Springfield is putting forth major efforts to train and keep its young business people with the launch of business incubator Innovate Springfield (i-SPI), which has been funded by the Q5 Strategic Leadership Council of The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“This will be a great tool for younger people with aspirations of big dreams, and also something to attract people to the Springfield community,” John Stremsterfer, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, which has provided funding and organizational support for i-SPI, said. “We’re very enthusiastic about it, and we hope the larger community will be as well.”
Innovate Springfield is a tool that will allow fledgling business owners to share ideas and get technical support as they develop. It will be at the corner of Fifth and Adams streets on the Old State Capitol Square.
“We’re extremely excited about this endeavor,” Innovate Springfield Board Chair Bruce Sommer said. “i-SPI will be a valuable resource for entrepreneurs with an innovative and viable business or social venture that is relevant to our community but (who) may not have the resources or know-how to effectively launch or operate it.”
High school seniors will be able to take advantage of the Sangamon CEO program, which allows students to learn from local business people and to develop entrepreneurial expertise, at i-SPI.
“This aligns directly with the mission of Q5,” Chamber President and CEO Chris Hembrough said. “We’re very excited about it."