Startup Greater Peoria – a regional resource for entrepreneurs

We changed our name! Startup Peoria is now Startup Greater Peoria (or Startup GP). The new name reflects the charter of the Greater Peoria EDC to serve the five-county region known as Greater Peoria. Startup GP programs and resources are available to all scalable startups and entrepreneurs in the counties of Logan, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford.

We didn’t stop there. In addition to the name change, we have a new logo and website. Here are some features of the website that we’re excited about:

  • Directory of Startups – A place for every startup in our region to shine. It will give basic information about the business, tell a little bit about the founders, and link to their site.
  • Regional Ecosystem – A categorized mass of information on everything we could think of that would help an entrepreneur: incubators, mentor programs, universities & colleges, funding opportunities, and more. The next phase of this will include professional business services.
  • Directory of Guides – Our mentor program that will assist those on their entrepreneurship journey. Right now, experienced pros can apply to become either a mentor or an expert, or entrepreneurs can apply to get in touch with one of our Guides.

We hope the new site shows a little more about what we do and helps connect entrepreneurs with some resources they need. If you have any feedback about the site, please contact

Speaking of websites, we’ve been working on GP Sourcelink, an online tool which will provide startups and small businesses with the information they need to grow. Not only does it have a ton of helpful information on how to start your own business, but it also can help you find resources you need or discover ones you didn’t know existed. Check out local funding sources, helpful programs, incubators, coworking spaces, and events.

We relocated The Nest Coworking to 820 SW Adams, Suite C. We stayed in the “Oak + Adams” neighborhood of the Warehouse District in Peoria, but the new space has a totally different vibe, with more diverse seated and standing work stations, a more open concept, and a focus on spaces where entrepreneurs can interact with each other and with Guides in ways they wouldn’t have been able to at the former location.

Our work has now shifted to adding people and programs to The Nest, which I’m happy to say we have begun. The Keystart Pre-Accelerator officially launched on April 13!

Some of you will remember Keystart from the past couple of years as our Shark Tank-style live pitch competition. We solicited business startup ideas, selected the best, and invited them to pitch at the live pitch competition.

Keystart is now a pre-accelerator. We have arranged for participants to interact with over 10 mentors, experts, and investors across five topics. Not only will this better prepare them for the live pitch competition, but get them started on a more informed way forward in the early stage. Oh, and the winner of the new Keystart pitch competition will be awarded a $10,000 business development grant from Startup GP!

The public is invited to watch the Keystart live pitch competition on May 4 at Metamora Fields, from 7-9pm. Come early and get yourself a bite to eat, then stay for the high stakes competition!

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