About Us

PROPEL helps guide the development of formation-stage and early-stage life sciences companies by providing entrepreneurs with access to specialized resources and expertise to prepare them for early-stage funding. Industry, academia, service professionals, entrepreneurs and government agencies connect to create and support a vibrant entrepreneurial community in Illinois and throughout the Midwest through PROPEL programs.


PROPEL's Programs

Level 1:  Open to the Public

Workshops and networking; PROPEL Business Plan Competition; Chicago Innovation Showcase; PROPEL Intel monthly newsletter.

Level 2:  For Active PROPEL Companies (via application process)

One-on-one coaching and mentoring; network of subject matter experts; team-based mentoring via Chicago Innovation Mentors (Founder and Sponsoring Institution); GBI Research Platform; SBIR/STTR assistance awards; grants for BIO Convention, MedTech Conference and other conferences;  PROPEL Connections publication for investors; access to investor conferences, funding opportunities, interns, other.

Level 3:  More Selective Programs for Active PROPEL Companies

Milestone awards*; investment preparation assistance*; regulatory planning assistance*; Setting the Stage for Investment (a 5-session private workshop series); Increasing Value for Investors (private workshop); investor panels, practice pitch sessions, other.


The biotechnology industry in Illinois includes world-class research, management talent, an educated and trained workforce, state-of-the-art facilities, easy access to markets and scientific collaboration and advanced services infrastructure. iBIO and the iBIO Institute created PROPEL in 2007 to develop these attributes into a self-aware, highly interactive community.

In addition to the iBIO Institute and iBIO support staff leading PROPEL, PROPEL depends on the time and expertise of the life sciences community, serving PROPEL as coaches, technical experts, subject matter experts, panelists and in many other ways. If you are interested in contributing your time and expertise to PROPEL, please contact us.