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updated: 5/22/2019 5:11 PM

Innovation DuPage opens in downtown Glen Ellyn Civic Center

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Daily Herald report

Innovation DuPage -- a regional hub for business development operated by the College of DuPage -- unveiled its new headquarters Wednesday in the Glen Ellyn Civic Center.

COD and village officials celebrated the opening with tours of Innovation DuPage, a kind of triple threat within the field of entrepreneurship. As a business incubator, accelerator and coworking space, Innovation DuPage will provide resources to startups and emerging companies.

"IDHQ is designed to serve a diverse cross-section of entrepreneurs," Managing Director Travis Linderman said in a statement. "Companies that choose to access the resources, working environment and connections that Innovation DuPage provides will find their growth jump-started in a way that is collaborative and faster than going it alone."

Under a 10-year licensing agreement with the village, COD is using 8,200 square feet of renovated space in the civic center in addition to another 1,200 square feet of shared space. The college also has moved its Business Development Center from a Lisle office building to the civic center. That program, previously known as the school's Center for Entrepreneurship, dates to 1984.

"COD's Business Development Center has decades of demonstrated results in support of regional business," Innovation DuPage Board Chair Joseph Cassidy said in a statement. "ID expands the scope and increases the partners focused on this work. Together, the total team can work with entrepreneurs from very raw ideation through to mature companies looking to grow jobs, launch new products and service, or those looking at acquisition."

One of the companies moving into Innovation DuPage is Gray Matters Games, a growing game design business founded in 2017 by Glen Ellyn husband-and-wife Joe and Lauren Barron. Less than a year after the company launched, Barron landed a deal to exclusively sell his adult-themed word game, "Ridiculous Expositions," in 700 Target stores. Other products are at Moore Toys & Gadgets in Wheaton and Fair Game in Downers Grove.

To launch Innovation DuPage, COD has partnered with universities, school districts and chambers of commerce across the suburbs. COD also chose the Civic Center for its high-profile location and easy access to the Metra station and downtown restaurants.