Innovating Through Partnerships: Illinois Corporate Start-Up Challenge
Mark Matlock, Senior Vice President, Food Research, Archer Daniels Midland
Mark Harris, President & CEO, Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC)
The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) is a nonprofit, member-driven organization that harnesses the power of research and innovation to expand and enrich the state’s economy. Created by the State of Illinois 25+ years ago, ISTC forges public-private partnerships among industry, research institutions, federal labs, and government to increase investments in research and technology, develop talent, promote awareness and policies, and drive job growth in Illinois.
As an intermediary organization for the Illinois innovation economy, the ISTC helps to catalyze new initiatives that fill gaps in Illinois’ research and innovation pipeline, and champions the state’s tech economy through advocacy and data-driven reporting. This includes the Illinois Corporate-Startup Challenge, a program that accelerates corporate innovation through highly curated engagements with entrepreneurs, disrupters and emerging-growth companies. Developed in 2013, the program assembles a class of Fortune 1000 corporations on a semiannual basis to facilitate impactful partnerships with the startups and early stage/emerging businesses that will power it through the 21st century.
Learn about the program's process and growth and hear directly about participation from Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). To date, 102 startups have presented at twelve corporate demo days (Allstate, Walgreens, John Deere, Molex, Motorola Mobility, Exelon, ADM, Hyatt Corporation, Microsoft, State Farm, UL, and Danfoss). Of these, 68 have forged connections with one or more of the corporate partners, with at least 50 currently exploring mentorship, joint development agreements/pilot engagements, strategic partnerships, contracts, or investment opportunities. Corporate partners have used the program to accelerate their own new products, services, and business competitiveness by gaining insight into the entrepreneurial community’s brightest innovations.