The AWARE program is a collaboration among The Grainger College of Engineering, the Office of Technology Management, and the EnterpriseWorks incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park, and is being funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support entrepreneurship training, counseling, and networking. Learn more about AWARE workshops here.

AWARE offers resources and an enhanced infrastructure that make the current entrepreneurial ecosystem more accessible to all. Those resources include:

  • A dedicated entrepreneur-in-residence familiar with the needs of those from underrepresented groups
  • Small proof-of-concept grants for teams
  • Targeted mentorship, training, and networking opportunities

AWARE is being led by principal investigator Jed Taylor, Executive Director at the Technology Entrepreneur Center, and co-PI Laura Weisskopf Bleill, Associate Director of the University of Illinois Research Park and EnterpriseWorks.  

For more information, please contact Keilin Jahnke at