The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership
The Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Illinois offers entrepreneurship programs, services and resources to faculty, students and community members.
The Academy’s mission is to encourage entrepreneurial awareness and initiatives across all disciplines at the University. Drawing on the strengths of all fields across the Illinois campus, AEL helps to initiate, build and connect an understanding, appreciation and inclusion of entrepreneurship.
In 2004, thanks to a $4.5 million, five-year grant from the Kauffman Foundation, the Academy opened its doors. The strong campus support from deans and upper level administration has ensured that the Academy will continue its presence in the future on the Illinois campus.
Today, the Academy sponsors events for faculty, student entrepreneurs and staff throughout the year, including workshops, public discussions, business plan competitions, symposia, professional FastTrac courses and lectures.
Entrepreneurship is the process of opportunity recognition and resource acquisition that leads to the creation of something new. Whether this is the creation of a new business, new approaches to solving social problems or development of career management strategies in the arts, the Academy is helping share the entrepreneurial field at the University and the world.