Laura Frerichs is the University of Illinois Research Park Director and Director of Economic Development for the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus. She is responsible for managing startup company services at the EnterpriseWorks technology incubator, marketing the Research Park, and supporting the University’s economic development efforts. Frerichs has developed innovative entrepreneur support programs as well as has attracted many new companies who are interested in engaging with the University of Illinois. Her board positions also include FARM Illinois and the Association of University Research Parks.
Under Frerichs’ leadership, the Research Park was named AURP Outstanding Research Park of the Year in 2011, by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 3 College Town Incubators in 2013, and by Forbes in 2013 as one of 12 Business Incubators Changing the World. In 2015, she was appointed by Governor Rauner to co-chair the new Innovate Illinois Advisory Council. She serves on the boards of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Technology Association and the Illinois Science and Tech Coalition. In 2015, she received the Chancellor's Academic Professional Excellence Award. Laura was named “Woman of the Year” by Central Illinois Business Magazine in 2009; awarded the Entrepreneur Advocacy Award at the Champaign County Innovation Celebration, 2011; and presented the 2013 Athena Young Professional Award. Laura is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Media and served as Student Body President at the Urbana-Champaign campus.