Students and faculty from Illinois universities founded 942 companies through the five fiscal years ending 2016-2017, more than double that recorded between 2009 and 2013, according to an Illinois Science & Technology Coalition report.
Of these, 73.9% remain in business, with another 11 businesses securing acquisitions and approximately 25% ceasing operations.
Illinois’s university-supported startups generated a record $877.5m in capital during the period reported.
The report attributed much of the success to non-tech transfer businesses – startups that have not licensed university-owned intellectual property, such as student-founded businesses from entrepreneurship centres. Nearly 800 of these startups launched between 2013 and 2017, an annual increase of 28% over the course of the period.
Illinois institutions also made headway on female representation, with 28% of Illinois university-supported startups featuring a woman on the founding team, compared with 17% nationwide. An estimated 40% of the startups have a foreign-born founder.
The state’s tech transfer licences generated $287m in revenue during 2016, an increase on the previous year, with 3.5% of the licences bringing in more than $1m, compared with 3.1% on average nationwide.
However, Illinois fared less well on tech transfer growth metrics.
The universities secured 241 patents during 2016, for example, enough to rank 10th in the US, but the metric’s compound average growth rate of 3% for 2012-2016 substantially trailed the national average of 8.3%.