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Romeoville, Lewis University new business incubator program

3/15/2017, 12:18 p.m.
Lewis University and the Village of Romeoville have teamed up to develop the next generation of innovative businesses in the ...

Lewis University and the Village of Romeoville have teamed up to develop the next generation of innovative businesses in the region.

The Regional Alliance Business Incubator project will help local entrepreneurs develop stronger and healthier businesses through a partnership with the Des Plaines River Valley Enterprise Zone, which includes Romeoville, Joliet, Rockdale, Lockport and Will County.

The Enterprise Zone Board approved the first phase of the program, which includes a feasibility study. If the study yields favorable results, the Alliance Incubator will be housed at Lewis University’s Fitzpatrick House and be funded by the Enterprise Zone along with in-kind donations by the university.

By using a mix of educational workshops and the university’s existing intellectual, technological, and material resources, the Alliance Incubator aims to create a state of the art business program. STEM-related, product based, and information technology companies are at the heart of this initiative.

“We appreciate the Enterprise Zone’s assistance on this initiative that shows great potential for positive economic impact on the region,” said Dr. David Livingston, President of Lewis University.

Once established, the five first-year tenants will receive mentoring and strategic coaching, networking opportunities, assistance with loan applications and venture capital presentations, potential small seed grants, business training offerings, and faculty expert support during the start-up process. In exchange for these services, the tenants will pay rent and have an expectation of locating their businesses within the Enterprise Zone boundaries. The program hopes to graduate these tenants after a two-year stay while accepting five new tenants each year.

“The Alliance Incubator Program at Lewis will allow our area to become more competitive in capturing and creating the companies of the future,” said Romeoville Mayor John Noak.