First Friday

First Friday is a free community service connecting local Champaign County advisors and small businesses/startups.

The group meets the First Friday of each month, and advisors provide advice on an array of topics spanning from fundamental business experience, legal knowledge or advice, technology suggestions and support, and so much more.

The group has been reviewing plans for more than 15 years, providing advice to help small or startup businesses achieve their goals.

Meetings are led and organized by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC and University of Illinois Research Park.

The response from the attendees was extremely encouraging, but more importantly, the advice/insight you all provided was both informative and invaluable. – Michael Willard

The advisors:

  • Don Elmore, Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC
  • Laura Bleill, University of Illinois Research Park
  • Liz Kellner, Singleton Law Firm (Original Founder of First Friday, known then as Second Saturday)
  • Lori Gold Patterson, Pixo
  • Alan Singleton, Singleton Law Firm
  • Brendan McGinty, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
  • Deb Reardanz, Clark-Lindsey Village, Inc.
  • Ken Taylor, Granular
  • Laura Frerichs, University of Illinois Research Park
  • Mauureen McMichael, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Roland Garton, Garton Consulting Services
  • Shayla Maatuka, Dodd & Maatuka Attorneys at Law
  • Susan Toalson, Credit Union National Association
  • Tom Parkinson, IllinoisVENTURES
  • Will Patterson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – College of Engineering