#Veterans, Construction Progress, Development, Elevate Programs

A Look Through Time

Not to mention the success Elevate has had in gathering resources for those who will utilize the center, the physical space we occupy has greatly changed since renovations began nearly a year ago. When Rural King, ‘America’s Farm and Home Store’ first provided us with the space, there was much progress to be made before we would have the innovative work center that is present in the Cross County Mall today. 

As of today, the finishing touches are being completed in the workspace. We are appreciative of our contractors who are completing the final installs for our equipment lockers and televisions. Finally standing in the center, the colorful open workspace speaks volumes of everyone involved in every step of the process of creating our center. Our colorful furniture area, booth design, and open layout have truly shaped a beautiful co-collaborative workspace to benefit entrepreneurs in our region.

We at Elevate CCIC, Inc. would like to thank everyone who has supported our mission to encourage, connect and grow small and startup businesses in the region by creating a mixed-use, co-working space that provides resources and opportunities to empower success. Since the conception of our organization, creating a greater community that nurtures

innovation and economic prosperity in the Coles County region through a collaborative community of entrepreneurs has been our vision. Elevate has made developmental strides of success since the idea for our center was first organized. Going into the future, we see great success generated through the various programs we have to offer entrepreneurs.

Current programming for Elevate includes the ‘Grow With Google’ program provides digital resources, workshops and discussions organized by our supporter Google.org. 

Words cannot fully express the excitement we have towards the  coming months, following final installation and the state’s ‘Shelter in Place’ order we stand eager to put new start-ups in motion and further develop small businesses. 

In coordination with Lake Land College, the ‘Lakeland Initiative’ is organized to provide full members of Elevate with an opportunity to receive limited tuition waivers  for a Business Development Certificate through Lake Land College.

We are glad to support our Veterans in co-operating with Code Platoon, this program provides educational opportunities to veterans and their spouses through a 14 week coding course.

Elevate is proud to use the ‘4-H Farmbot’ in our center to use and showcase agricultural development by facilitating 4-H after school programming.

Additionally, our ‘Simple Accelerator Program’ is in place to help entrepreneurs build financially feasible business plans and access low interest revolving loans.

The accomplishments achieved by our center would not be possible without you, our supporter. The team at Elevate owes the most sincere thank you to everyone who has provided the resources needed for our center. We hope our continued success will inspire our supporters to continue to work towards providing a co-collaborative business incubation center in order to spur growth in our community.


As always, keep up to date with Elevate on social media, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC, Tik Tok– @elevateccic Twitter and Instagram @elevate217

Construction Progress, Development

The History of Elevate: From Inception to Construction

Mattoon in Motion Robust Economy Committee was organized to “create a community of entrepreneurs who are passionate about developing their business.” As part of this initiative, Elevate CCIC, Inc. is supporting this goal by developing a grassroots economic development center that will encourage cross-collaboration of ideas and resources. To understand where Elevate is today, and our vision for the future, a look at our history is imperative.

Carlos Ortega, Executive Director
at Elevate CCIC, Inc.

In August 2019, Carlos Ortega accepted the Executive Director position at Elevate CCIC, Inc., the brainchild organization created by the Robust Economy Committee to encourage the growth of small business development in the Coles County area. Carlos says he took the position because he is “passionate about community development and supporting people with the resources they have available to them.” His experience with the Illinois State Senate, four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and obtaining his MPP at Western Illinois University has prepared Carlos with the expertise needed to organize a center that brings the best parts of the community and region together.

As a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, Elevate is funded by the goodwill of investors who see the potential of a business incubation center in our community. In the early stages of the Elevate, three organizations supported the inception of our business incubation center through substantial grants and in-kind awards.

On February 15th, 2019, Elevate was awarded the Google.org Impact Challenge Illinois Grant and People’s Choice award for $325,000 to fund the full renovation of the center. As described by Google.org, “The Google.org Impact Challenge asks local nonprofit innovators and social entrepreneurs how they would make their community and beyond an even better place.” In alignment with the award granted by Google.org, Rural King provided Elevate with the open space in the Cross-County Mall to host our vision.

On August 5th, 2019, Elevate was awarded the Rural Business Development Grant by the United States Department of Agriculture. This $98,000 grant was able to fund the furnishing of the space as well as all equipment in the center. The USDA grant brings Elevate to its current position, awaiting the finishing touches on the construction of the center.

To find more information about Elevate’s vision, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC, Twitter and Instagram @elevate217

Construction Progress

Construction of Center Prompts Excitement

Elevate CCIC. would like to thank all who have contributed to the formation of our new business incubation center. Due to the recent hard work of our contractors, the center is getting closer to our eventual Grand Opening.

Contractors James, Tim and Jack (left to right) are working diligently to finish center.
Cafe style booths will allow entrepreneurs to work in a collaborative environment.

While much is still to be done before the center can officially open, the amount of progress that has been made is astounding. Throughout the last month projects such as the completion of two development areas have drawn interest to those working in the space.

The Unique multi-level work space will spark innovation.

Carlos Ortega, the executive director of Elevate, hopes that the layout will allow entrepreneurs to work in a unique way that does not resemble the traditional office environment. He says, “Elevate is designed to be an agile space where entrepreneurs can co-collaboratively build their brand.”

The decision to build Elevate with an open layout resembles a movement that has been adopted by many organizations in recent years in order to boost productivity and rethink how office communication should work.

Find out more about the construction of Elevate by searching Elevate CCIC on Facebook or LinkedIn and on Instagram or  Twitter @Elevate217