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Last Friday, January 12, Governor Bruce Rauner moderated an entrepreneur roundtable discussion at Peoria NEXT Innovation Center.
Bradley University was well represented and, after a brief meeting with BU president Gary Roberts, the governor sat down with a few of GP’s entrepreneurs to hear about them, their companies, and their ideas on what the State could do to create a better environment for businesses.
Rauner himself spoke of “regulatory relief” and “bureaucracy”, as well as wanting to reduce the “tax burden” on Illinois businesses, while GP’s finest shared their thoughts on the following:
- connection to other ecosystems – Chicago and Silicon Valley were specifically mentioned
- woes with the State’s procurement processes
- corporate lobbying creating unfair playing fields
- rising property taxes
- state matching of innovation grant dollars awarded to startups
- bringing business innovation culture to government
- the lack of seed funds
- other overly rigid incentives
- how much further a Peoria dollar goes than a Silicon Valley dollar goes
It was a great discussion. Governor Rauner left with some ideas to follow up on, Bradley University put an excellent foot forward, and our GP entrepreneurs spoke their minds intelligently and respectfully.
All in all, it was a successful meeting, which I hope will lead to good things.
There are a few photos on the ILSBDC at BU Twitter feed.