UPDATE from University Tech Park | Winter 2017

Celebrating the Tech Park's first 10 years

On the evening of November 29, some 70 guests gathered in the Technology Business Center Atrium to honor the accomplishments of UTP's first decade in advancing the success of tech startups in Chicago.
President Cramb
In welcoming the crowd, UTP Executive Director Catherine Vorwald introduced Illinois Tech President Alan Cramb, who described the Tech Park as a crucial part of the city's tech ecosystem and a key element of the university's mission to foster innovation in Chicago and beyond.

President Cramb thanked David Baker, who passed the baton to Catherine in February 2016, for his many contributions as the Tech Park's early champion. Baker and his team attracted notable companies such as Cleversafe and Chromatin, Inc., whose success helped establish UTP as a great place for tech startups to grow.
Since that time, the Tech Park has expanded to include the Technology Business Center, Incubator North and South Buildings and designated floors of the IIT Tower. UTP's development reflects a strong private-public partnership leveraging city, state and federal support in collaboration with leading developer Wexford Science + Technology.
From left: Jim Berens, President of Wexford Science + Technology with David Baker and John Anderson, Past President, Illinois Tech 

The Tech Park is now home to 18 companies working on groundbreaking technology commercialization in food tech, pharmaceutical design and development, medical devices, energy, data security and much more.
In an IIT Magazine article on UTP's first decade as a "living laboratory" for innovation, Vorwald said the Tech Park's future is "bright with the growing tenant base commercializing inventions from Illinois Tech. We are becoming an effective link for the transfer of technology from Illinois Tech for public use and benefit."
Tech Park Exec Director Catherine Vorwald (left) with Pat Laughlin, VP of Finance & Administration for Illinois Tech and Past President John Anderson 

Senior leaders of two UTP companies shared their thoughts on the park's role in helping tech startups get off the ground. Greg Albright, VP of Business Development with AllCell Technologies, a graduate company, recalled the company's move to Incubator North soon after it opened in 2005.
While the newly opened labs were pretty quiet in those first few months, he said, AllCell founders were glad to find a secure, affordable location that served as an ideal springboard for growth. The company, which produces lithium-ion battery packs that feature patented thermal protection technology, moved to new headquarters on Chicago's South Side in 2009.
Samir Mayekar (left) with Greg Albright
Guests also heard from Samir Mayekar, co-founder and CEO of SiNode Systems, who recalled the challenges his company faced before moving to the Tech Park in 2014.
"We essentially tried to set up a wet lab in an Evanston high-rise!" he said. "It wasn't long before my team staged a sit-in strike. I'd heard good things about the Tech Park, and after David Baker gave me a tour, we knew we'd found our solution."
The SiNode staff is developing longer lasting, faster-charging lithium-ion batteries to power mobile devices, electric vehicles and more. Being at the Tech Park has given SiNode a distinct edge, Mayekar said:  "In a setting like this, it's easy for us to host world-class companies like
Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler with confidence."
UTP is proud of the successful startups that have called the Tech Park home over the past decade and we look forward to providing state-of-the-art lab and conference room space for generations of new innovators in the years ahead. For a timeline of our first 10 years, check out this article in IIT Magazine.

From left: Phil Troyk, President and CEO, Sigenics Inc., with President Cramb and Betsy Hughes, VP of Institutional Advancement, Illinois Tech

Michael Semenzin, Partner, MRSA Architects and Planners (left) with Mark Korczakowski, VP of Asset Management, Wexford Science + Technology

From left: Pat Laughlin, David Baker, Catherine Vorwald and Chris White, Vice Provost for Research and Academic Affairs at Illinois Tech 


Donna Rockin, Executive Director, Knapp Center for Entrepreneurship at Illinois Tech (left) with Alice Martin, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Sarfaraz K. Niazi (right), Executive Chairman, Adello Biologics, with Oliver Vogt, General Manager for Adello operations in Chicago

President Cramb with Jeanne Arens, Associate VP of External Affairs for Illinois Tech

Catherine Vorwald (left) with Peggy Parfenoff, President, WorldChicago