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monthly programming


Welcome to our learning community.

As a learning organization, Innovate Springfield is committed to supporting the personal and professional development of the startup founders that we serve.


The founders that we serve span industries and stages of business and they all come to us with a unique knowledge base and unique concepts, we’ve created tracked program opportunities to support them in their concept and professional growth regardless of where they are in their startup process. Check out a sampling of the programs that we hosted to support their continued success.

Interested in attending one of our stellar programs? Be sure to check out our events page. You can also catch our program replays on the Innovate Springfield YouTube Channel.

Podcasting 101: Behind the Scenes of Launching Your Own Show! - with The Freelance Coach, Laura Briggs (11/9/2022)

Have you been wanting to expand your market reach and influence via a podcast – but aren’t sure where to start? Or how to deliver a high-quality, impactful podcast once you do? Allow Freelance Coach Laura Briggs to introduce you to your new podcast - and the equipment and skills that go into creating engaging, memorable, and motivating content! Laura will walk you through the basics of how to launch a podcast, demo the basic studio equipment that contributes to a clear and compelling podcast, as well as some industry knowledge on what contributes to podcast popularity and longevity.

Planning for Life: Protection - with Joe Dunning from Modern Woodmen  (10/13/2022)

Many of us grew up watching Disney and may still enjoy watching it with our kids and/or visiting Disneyland. But did you know Walt Disney's whole life insurance cash value provided the funds for his dreams when traditional banks snubbed him? Planning for Life is an amazing program to look at creating financial security. Starting with Protection, Joe will be walking through options and possibilities for protecting what matters most to you.

Learning from your Organization with UIS College of Business and Management, Stephanie Maynard-Patrick (9/29/2022)

You’ve attended other seminars, trainings, and programs and have the knowledge you need to run a successful business. But learning from others is only half the process. Engaging in learning from within, by examining the firm’s data and operations, allows firms to make discoveries that will lead to further growth and success. From simple analysis of data from one’s HRIS systems to reveal potential problems in people operations to deeper examinations of critical incidents that can allow for improved future performance, owners can learn a lot from their firm if they only take the time to reflect.

Innovating HR with UIS College of Business and Management, Stephanie Maynard-Patrick (9/15/2022)

While there are a host of legal regulations that HR is responsible for, it can also serve as a strategic driver of the firm. However, as an entrepreneur, it’s vital to control costs and reinforce the culture you are creating, and sometimes the techniques used in larger firms aren’t ideal or worse are just new fads. This seminar aims to show you how to use tools and techniques that are low cost and high impact to replace more traditional practices, allowing the HR function to become more cost-effective and motivating. This presentation will go over several options, and then on how you can invent practices that will work with your organization.​

Challenge Yourself to Power Up Your Purpose
- with Amy Denney! (

Come learn how you can use the power postures of yoga to build your confidence around your purpose and elevate your business to the next level. This one-hour workshop intensive will give you the opportunity for hands-on practice (beginners are welcome and encouraged!). Bring your No. 1 goal and come prepared to set your intention and watch it soar to reality.

*contact Amy at to learn about her 30-Day challenge and private support group to help hold you accountable during the challenge.

In this presentation, Kurtis Minder, CEO and co-founder at GroupSense will walk the audience through how he became involved in ransomware negotiation while educating the audience on what the ransomware epidemic is all about. Explaining lessons learned in the trenches of cyber response, and how businesses can protect themselves and avoid becoming a victim.

*due to the sensitivity of subject matter presented, this session was not recorded.

Molly Lamb, DrPH and Executive Director for the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership will facilitate a dialogue about leadership styles in this interactive session.

*due to the sensitivity of subject matter presented, this session was not recorded.

In this presentation, Tristan Brown, Asset Building Counselor with Justine Petersen will share general lending guidelines including:

  • credit improvement tips including a full breakdown of how credit and FICO Scores actually work;

  • the different types of collections and how to bring your overall score up;

  • resource sharing and how the Justine Petersen Program can help you build your credit and achieve your business goals; and well as

  • The ins and outs of the Justine Petersen Program.

It's easy to overlook the amount of writing that goes into your business. Everything from pitch decks and presentations, to flyers and websites. That's why Innovate Springfield has partnered with UIS and Kent State University to bring you the experts who can help. If you're stuck or unsure about what words to use to best describe your products, your value proposition, or your "About" page, Dr. Jennifer Martin and Tabitha Messmore have some tips and tricks for you in this session. 

If you were with us for our Introduction to Creative Copywriting and you're ready to take it to the next level, OR maybe you didn't need that intro session but you're attracted to next-level copywriting, THEN please attend our second session for a more concentrated writing workshop with our experts!

In this session, participants will receive more concentrated feedback and advice on your writing needs.

It's 2021 and everything is online or bust [thanks covid], so it's time to evaluate what you do and how you deliver what you do online. Your website is the virtual “front door” to your business. It can be an effective first impression tool and can set the stage for new business and new opportunities. In this presentation, we'll discuss some ideas around how you can improve your website, creating a better experience for your current and prospective customers.

In this presentation, Stephanie Fuller, PMP, CSM, CIA founder and Principal Consultant at Iris Consulting Solutions will facilitate a fun and focused Vision Board Workshop that will assist you in defining what you truly want in your life and, from there, deriving what your goals look like.

The workshop begins with an exercise to define your priorities and ends with a pictorial representation of your goals, created by you!

We are going electronic so get your Pinterest Boards ready as we create an Electronic Vision Board you can display on whatever device you choose to serve as a daily reminder to keep your vision of success top of mind all year long!

Scott Faingold, a full-time faculty member in the UIS Communication department, will facilitate a practical "how-to" workshop on crafting the story of YOU, because your customers, constituents, and adoring followers WANT TO KNOW!

This University of Illinois Extension program will provide participants with: (1) methods for identifying stress within themselves and others; (2) techniques on providing empathy and active listening;  (3) examples of constructive emotion-focused coping skills; and (4) a guide to identifying warning signs of suicide and effective research-based actions to take if you feel someone is having thoughts of death or dying.

It's been said that "average managers play checkers while great managers play chess" (Marcus Buckingham). But what does this mean? In chess, all the pieces move differently. Each piece has it's strengths and weaknesses. In order to develop a strong team, managers need to play to the differences in what drives each employee. Is your individual a Persuader, a Promoter, a Captain, or a Guardian? And collectively, is your team a Pathfinding Team, Executing Team, or Stabilizing Team? What strategy is the team best skilled to pursue? In this presentation, we'll discuss different business strategies and the different team types that align to each. We'll also talk about communicating across styles to build a stronger team.

Many managers and business owners procrastinate tough conversations with employees, thinking and hoping that if they continue to treat the employee well, maybe the problem will go away. Unfortunately, it rarely does go away and the manager finds themself in what feels like a hostage situation. Discussing job performance (even "soft skills"), and areas for improvement at work is what matters most in your business! If your employees aren't performing at their best, your business can't perform at it's best. In this session, you'll learn practical tips and even some "scripts" to get the tough conversation started. We'll also talk about good leadership habits that prevent hard conversations from becoming hard in the first place.

This webinar focuses on creating automated systems using quickbooks online. With an ever-increasing workload, automating tasks is becoming more popular. In this workshop, we will talk about common tasks you can automate using quick books online such as creating invoices, writing checks, running payroll, etc.

In this session we’ll move beyond the foundation of sending a regular newsletter to introduce other time-saving, revenue-generating strategies and tools in the email toolkit.

In this session we’ll make the case for committing to email as an essential customer-building medium. We’ll lay out a simple process to start and/or maintain the habit or regularly hitting send on a newsletter, while also covering some copywriting and formatting basics.

Building a strong brand presence is both art and science. In this presentation, you'll learn the psychology of art and design in marketing, and how you can apply science to build a stronger brand identity.


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