Our History


In 2012, a group of Springfield business leaders and educators were introduced to the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. They met Craig Lindvahl, Founder of the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program, and were intrigued by the positive results they saw in other participating communities. They decided to bring the program to Springfield and launch Sangamon CEO.


In 2013, Sangamon CEO hired its first facilitator and launched its first class, with 18 students and 39 private investors.


In 2015. the program received a generous grant from The United Way of Central Illinois, allowing us to expand. Sangamon CEO grew to a 31-student class lead by two facilitators, and we launched the annual CEO vs Sharks event. Our list of supporters grew to 70+ private investors.

Hitting Milestones

Through 2017 and 2018, Sangamon CEO hired our first Director, and our class size grew to 50 students. Our list of supporters grew to 90+ private investors. In the spring of 2018, we hit the milestone of having graduated 150 total students.

iVenturED Founded

iVenturED. Inc. NFP, an Illinois not-for-profit startup corporation, assumed responsibility for funding Sangamon CEO as part of its programming efforts to provide entrepreneurial learning to anyone.