Innovation DuPage taps new leadership to continue successful impact on regional economy

  • Innovation DuPage

    Innovation DuPage Courtesy of Innovation DuPage

Updated 10/8/2021 11:38 PM

Business incubator and accelerator Innovation DuPage has named Dan Facchini as interim managing director and Joe Barron as entrepreneur in residence as it positions itself for continued success.

They follow longtime Managing Director Travis Linderman, who exits the organization for new opportunities in the San Francisco Bay area.


Facchini is a certified fund raising executive with a master's degree in public service management and over 20 years of extensive advancement and nonprofit leadership experience. Barron is owner and CEO of Gray Matters Games and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza School of Business.

Joseph Cassidy, Ed.D., board chair for Innovation DuPage, looks forward to Facchini and Barron continuing the success of Innovation DuPage since its launch in 2018 by College of DuPage.

"The combined leadership of Dan and Joe will help ID improve its cultivation and support of startups and small firms throughout DuPage County," he said. "Combined with our organization's dedicated staff, extensive network of partner organizations and engaged board of directors, ID's next phase of growth is bound to be even more impressive."

Innovation DuPage recruited Linderman soon after its founding. He has since run seven three-month accelerator cohorts, served over 120 member companies and advanced hundreds of businesses through events, workshops, mentorship and consulting.

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Linderman considers his work during the past three years a privilege.

"This unique organization continues to connect the entrepreneurs and small business owners in our community with the resources to help them grow," he said. "In combination with support from our incredible partners, we have created a sustainable environment for consistent development. I look forward to seeing that growth continue in the years to come."

Cassidy acknowledged Linderman's impactful contributions while announcing the organization's new leadership plans.

"We are sad to see Travis go and thank him for his keen business insight and tireless spirit that helped launch ID. In his stead, we are excited to introduce Facchini, who will develop processes, systems and strategic refinements for our organization, while Barron, ID's first incubation member, will step up as our second Entrepreneur in Residence."

Serving approximately 21,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The college grants seven associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

Innovation DuPage is a nonprofit venture that unites start up founders and small business owners with the people, resources and programs that support their growth. Members collaborate across an extensive network of enterprise, academic, economic development and research partners. Though its 4 primary development programs, Innovation DuPage supports the startup community, enhances regional prosperity, attracts world-class talent, and drives sustainable economic growth.

Since its founding, Innovation DuPage has served hundreds of entrepreneurs residing in DuPage County. The American Association of Community Colleges recently awarded Innovation DuPage the 2021 Award of Excellence for Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership for its demonstrated success in advancing economic prosperity in the greater community. For the past three consecutive years, members of Innovation DuPage have won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from The Daily Herald.

The College of DuPage is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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