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Come Grow with Us

The Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center provides:

  • Individualized technical assistance to help businesses overcome problems
  • Instruction on how to access private and public funding
  • Group educational programming
  • Referrals to a wide array of resources and expert mentors

Below is a list of common startup issues, yet this is only a fraction of the services we provide:

Start–Up Services

  • Company entity formation and structure
  • Access to resource directory
  • Business plan development
  • Cash-flow projections development
  • Real estate and understanding your lease
  • Employment and staffing
  • Understanding licensing needs
  • Knowledge about insurance, legal, accounting, banking, and other professional services
  • Financing options

Expansion and Strengthening Services

  • Outsourcing strategies
  • Financing options
  • Marketing, merchandising, and sales promotions
  • Developing add-on products and services
  • Market expansion including exporting
  • Lead generation
  • Exit strategy—IPO or sale
  • Access to resource directory

Business Tools you can Use

City of Chicago Small Business Resource Center

Business Plan Template

Cash Flow Projections Template

Monthly Breakeven Analysis Worksheet

Basic Business Building Blocks

Competitive Analysis Worksheet

Personal Household Budget Worksheet

Access Pro-Bono Patent Attorneys for your Inventions

Entrepreneurial Law
Chicago-Kent Law Offices

The Entrepreneurial Law Clinic represents entrepreneurs in transactional matters common to early-stage and small companies, including but not limited to choice of entity and entity formation, contract review and drafting, corporate governance issues, review of leases, researching legal issues as appropriate, and trademark searches and filing.

For more complete law service details, visit:

Chicago Kent Patent Hub
A Pro Bono Program for Illinois Inventors

Details about the Patent Hub program as well links to additional information and access to the inventor application can be found at
Questions can be directed to Mary Anne Smith, Director, Chicago-Kent Patent Hub,

While the services provided by patent agents and attorneys are provided pro bono (without fees), accepted applicants are responsible for all Patent and Trademark Office fees and any other necessary costs and charges outside of attorney fees.

SBA Reviews: Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights
Duration: 00:30:00

What is intellectual property and how do you protect your ideas? This course gives an overview of intellectual properties and explains how to protect them. Learn why you should protect your intellectual property. Explore the differences between patents, trademarks and copyrights and discover the process for filing for a patent or trademark and registering for a copyright.

For help registering your Trademark, please visit:

Global Entrepreneur in Resident Program at the Illinois Institute of Technology

The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has chosen to participate in the Global Entrepreneur in Resident (GEIR) Program to help its international alumni corporate founders and essential personnel to remain in the USA through the H-1B visa pathway so as to retain much needed highly technical talent in Chicagoland.

For complete program details and an application to apply, please go to:

Importing and Exporting Resources

  • Customs and Border Protection’s Importing Basic Info
    Basic importing information page, including tips and requirements. Also provides information about importing motor vehicles, medications/drugs, and internet purchases.
  • Importing Specific Products
    A resource guide for importing agricultural products, automobiles, chemicals, defense products, food/beverage products, industrial goods, or pharmaceutical goods.
  • International Trade Commission Tariff Data
    Searchable database on the most current tariff and trade data for specific products.
  • U.S. Census Bureau Import Statistics
    Detailed statistics on goods and estimates of services entering the US from foreign countries.
  • Department of Agriculture Import Regulations and Policies
    Policies and regulations that ensure that imported meat, poultry and egg products imported into the U.S. are safe, properly labeled, and properly packaged.

More Importing and Exporting Resources

Export Financing

SBA Export Loan Programs

  • SBA Export Express offers financing up to $500,000. It is the simplest export loan product offered by the SBA
  • The Export Working Capital loan provides advances for up to $5 million to fund export transactions from purchase order to collections.
  • SBA’s International Trade Loan Program provides small businesses with enhanced export financing options for their export transactions.

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