Our History

How Elevate Started

     Elevate was started by the organization Mattoon in Motion. Mattoon in Motion was created in the fall of 2017 when a cross-section of more than 80 passionate community members came together and participated in a series of planning sessions initiated by the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce, the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation and the MAPPING community planning program offered by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.


     The loss of business was identified as one of the top five concerns during the city’s visioning process called Mattoon in Motion (MIM). This community volunteer organization identified economic and business development as one of its top goals. They began to explore ways to start new businesses, create jobs, and retain talent in the area.


The Robust Economy Committee Won a Google.org grant worth $325,000 which will helped us complete Phase 1 and 2 of our center! 


     Elevate will help solve this concern by providing a “hub” that is centrally located and viable for local entrepreneurs and innovators to access the resources they need to turn their ideas into reality.


As Elevate grows, we will be a driving force that will produce 50% more new patents in our area within the first three years of operation. We’ve received a number of letters of support for our project.

It started with an idea…

  • Be a space where all age groups can come together to support each other’s business endeavors.
  • Be open 24/7  and can be accessed with a keycard when not manned.
  • Be a place where members have access to professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and bankers in the area that can help answer questions they may have.
  • Include business support services which have since left this area due to funding cuts by the state.
  • Be the new home of Class E students who are working towards becoming the next generation of entrepreneurs in Coles County.
  • Be a cool/ safe hangout for entrepreneurs who want a new place to learn.
  • Be a place for innovation.

     We have researched different business incubators in Illinois and are utilizing what we have learned to make sure Elevate is a comfortable place to get work done. 

Phase 1
  1. A multipurpose facility for gatherings and innovative ideas.
  2. Space ready for further development and finishing.
  3. All basic communications in place for small businesses to utilize.
  4. HVAC, restrooms, electrical will be up and running.
  5. Drywall in place primed but not finished.
  6. Fiber optic, gigabit speed internet access.
  7. Polished concrete floor.
Phase 2
  1. Completed work-space.
  2. Finished interior design.
  3. Glass walls installed for aesthetic.
  4. Build out complete including; conference rooms/teleconferencing equipment/privacy booths for interaction with clients and conferencing capabilities.
  5. A community facing co-work space complete and ready for partnerships.
  6. Business mail boxes and business center available for use.
  7. Complete installation of furniture elements, coffee/breakfast bar, and presentation screens.
Phase 3

Elevate is always looking to develop partnerships.
This part of the process is will always be ongoing.
If you have an unique idea for our space or want to partner please contact us Today.

  1. Partnerships with local support services.
  2. Classes held for Class E students.
  3.  We will offer a monthly or bi-monthly programming on informational business seminars that will support and help small business development.
  4. The naming of offices which will reflect the involvement of community partners while supporting the business incubator.
  5. Civic community engagement working with clubs such as Rotary/ Kiwanis/Exchange/Lions.
  6. Continued fundraising until the center becomes self-sustaining.

Location: Cross County Mall.

Proposed Layout: