Innovation DuPage and Autism Angels Group launch Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program
Innovation DuPage and the Autism Angels Group recently announced the launch of the Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders interested in the program can learn more at www.innovationdupage.org/programs/ndep.
The deadline for applications is Dec. 31.
Selected ventures will receive over $11,000 in grants and services, including:
• A $4,000 microgrant;
• Innovation DuPage MVP Membership ($2,700 value);
• Access to T2S-Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Support Model ($5,000 value).
The program is a project hosted by Innovation DuPage, funded by the Autism Angels Group, and powered by the Transition2Success Project at Autism Community Ventures.
Affiliated with College of DuPage, Innovation DuPage is a nonprofit venture and business startup incubator that unites founders and small business owners with the people, resources, and programs capable of driving future growth and success.
Autism Angels Group is the world's first social impact investment association focused on neurodiversity. And Transition2Success employs a customized wraparound support model to help neurodiverse individuals thrive at key life transition points.
The three organizations have come together to fund, offer, and host the Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program which is designed to drive success among neurodiverse entrepreneurs, founders, and business leaders.
The term "neurodiversity" encompasses the idea that neurological differences, such as those seen in people with autism, ADHD, or dyslexia, for example, reflect normal variations in brain development. Many famous iconic founders, entrepreneurs, and innovators attribute their success to their neurodiversity. Companies with neurodiverse leaders serve as role models for future entrepreneurs while illustrating that neurodiversity can be a strength and an asset for other firms.
"We firmly believe that cognitive differences can drive innovation and company success," stated Joe Cassidy, Innovation DuPage president, and chair. "This program is designed to prove that point and to help communities receive the fruit of that premise in the form of more diversity and innovation in new ventures. Innovation DuPage defines itself by being at the frontier of the new business economy, and this program further signals our commitment to that ideal."
Cassidy discussed the project further at the recent Stanford Neurodiversity Summit hosted by Stanford University. He was a key panelist during a forum moderated by Dr. Lawrence Fung, director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, and Dr. Maureen Dunne, neurodiversity expert and current chair of the board at College of DuPage. Approximately 5,000 people registered for the Stanford Neurodiversity Summit, which was held virtually Nov. 7-9, 2021.
The Neurodiverse Entrepreneurship Program is open to both new and current Innovation DuPage member companies from across the region.
Priority will be given to companies formed or planning to establish operations within greater DuPage County.
Being an entrepreneur or startup leader is challenging. Don't go it alone. Apply today.
Innovation DuPage is a nonprofit venture that unites entrepreneurs and small business owners with the people, resources, and programs that help them grow. ID connects its members with vetted mentors who can help establish a strong foundation as they rapidly scale. It is a place to belong, offering workshops and inclusive coworking, as well as a community, a place to try new things and build on new ideas. Innovation DuPage is offering the program through a strategic partnership with the nonprofit arm of the Autism Angels Group and the T2S-Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Support Model offered by Autism Community Ventures. Learn more at www.innovationdupage.org.
The mission of the Autism Angels Group is to bring together capital and talent to aggressively drive economic opportunities and technology-driven solutions that create a positive social impact for the autism community. They welcome partnerships with individuals, organizations, and institutions that wish to join in investing in people, private markets, and for-profit enterprises that seek to include and empower those on the autism spectrum. Its nonprofit arm offers Innovator Microgrants with fiscal sponsorship from the Organization for Autism Research and is a funding partner for the national Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program. Visit www.autismangelsgroup.com.
Autism Community Ventures is a public benefit corporation with a network of global partners and a mission to promote social, financial, and economic inclusion for neurodiverse jobseekers. It is the parent organization for several innovative programs and companies, including the award-winning Transition2Success Support Program, which involves a proprietary customized wraparound support model to promote the success of neurodiverse students, jobseekers, and entrepreneurs. Transition2Success is a strategic partner in the national Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Program with the T2S-Neurodiverse Entrepreneur Support Model. Visit autismcommunityventures.org.