EIGERlab

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Whether it's Steve Jobs building a computer in his garage or Hector Boyardee cooking pasta at the Plaza Hotel, many American brands and businesses start from humble origins.  Current start-ups seek to replicate that success, but they don't do it alone.

In this Friday Forum, WNIJ's Chase Cavanaugh discusses the groups that help northern Illinois small businesses get started.

Rock Valley College

A business incubator based in Rockford is going regional under its new owner. 

EIGERlab opened a decade ago as a place budding entrepreneurs could get help launching their products from concept to customer. Now the mission is the same, but the reach is getting bigger through Northern Illinois University, which acquired EIGERlab from the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. 

Eigerlab

Rockford’s EIGERlab hosts its 8th annual Fastpitch Competition Wednesday, June 18, at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine at Rockford.

EIGERlab Marketing Coodinator Sherry Pritz compares Fastpitch to the television show “Shark Tank,” where entrants pitch their ideas for a new product or process to a panel of investors.