Innovation DuPage Accepting Applications for Fourth Owner-to-CEO Program

By: Brian Kleemann

Liz Repking

Innovation DuPage is currently accepting applications for its fourth Owner-to-CEO Business Accelerator, a program for regional business owners who want to expand and grow.

Participants in the 12-week program, which begins Tuesday, Aug. 27, work together as they learn how to best move their businesses forward, capitalizing on the expertise of the region’s research institutions, government programs and educational resources. Course topics include finance, human resources, marketing, social media, strategic planning, emerging technology and distribution. One deliverable is a customized Strategic Growth Plan to be implemented once the program is completed.

Applying is free and applications are due no later than Friday, Aug. 9. The program will take place at ID Headquarters, located in the Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane St., Glen Ellyn.

Recent program participant Liz Repking (pictured above), whose business Cyber Safety Consulting works with schools and parents nationwide on safe internet usage for children, said the level of instruction is equivalent to a mini-MBA program.

“I also found the collaboration, networking and camaraderie with my fellow business owners to be incredibly valuable, and these relationships extend beyond the end of the 12-week program as our individual businesses continue to scale,” she said. “I don't know of anywhere else in this region that could replicate the kind of experience found at Innovation DuPage."

The Owner-to-CEO Business Accelerator is aimed at business owners in the greater DuPage County region or those considering relocation to DuPage County. Applicants should have a minimum of two years in business and two employees (including the owner) as well as $200,000 in revenue. Up to two people from each company may enroll.

Past program participants include a hot sauce manufacturing business, an emerging tech startup, an established restaurant with third-generation management, and a Brazilian company expanding to the U.S.

Learn more about the Owner-to-CEO accelerator cohort and apply online. For more information, call (630) 942-3340.

Innovation DuPage empowers, inspires and informs entrepreneurs by focusing on educational, governmental and private sector resources and expertise in support of job creation and economic growth. Learn more at