Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago

The Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago's Make City incubator is one of the largest and oldest incubators in the country. Built in the 1890s, at 416,000 square feet, the incubator is unique in its manufacturing focus. ICNC provides growing companies in a wide variety of industries affordable space, business assistance, and an entrepreneurial community that they can both benefit from and contribute to.


The Illinois Small Business Development Center and IL SBDC International Trade Center, housed within ICNC, provides both our incubator clients and those from the community we serve the opportunity to access a “one-stop shopping” approach to business advising.
The Workforce Development Department supports small businesses throughout the continuum of building a sustainable team via comprehensive human resources consulting and hands on management of the hiring process. The department also manages a tuition free Emergency Medical Technician Training Program for women.
ICNC’s Make City incubator, as well as most of the businesses ICNC works with, are in one of the City’s Planned Manufacturing Districts and the Kinzie Industrial Corridor. The City of Chicago’s policy decisions on zoning, land use, incentives, and infrastructure have immediate and significant impacts on these businesses and advocacy on their behalf is at the core of ICNC’s mission.


Accelerators and Incubators

  • Incubator

Business Planning

  • Business Plan Consulting
  • Demographic and Census Data
  • Diversification
  • Forming a Business
  • Identification and Research of Foreign Markets
  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research

Buying or Selling a Business

  • Buying or Selling a Franchise
  • Purchasing or Selling an Existing Business
  • Tax Services

Economic and Site Development

  • Economic Forecast
  • Tax Credits

Events and Community Building

  • Hackathon / Startup Week or Weekends
  • Neighborhood Fairs and Festivals
  • Pitch Events
  • Startup Drinks

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Budget, Financial Statement and Cash Flow Training
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Loans
  • Tax Credits

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Apprenticeship
  • Employee Development
  • Hiring and Firing
  • Policies and Templates
  • Recruiting
  • Retention
  • Workforce Incentives
  • Workforce Training

Import and Export Assistance

  • Certification and Licensing
  • Financial Assistance for Exporting Activities
  • Identification/Research of Foreign Markets
  • Locating Foreign Distributors
  • Networking/Exploring Exporting
  • Trade Education and Training

Internship Programs and Student Services

  • Internship Program
  • Student Marketing Projects
  • Student Placement
  • Student Research Projects
  • Student Training
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Education

Legal Services

  • Patent Seminars
  • Patent, Trademark & Copyright Information

Libraries and Research

  • Business Research Resources
  • Demographic/Census Data

Management Issues

  • Human Resources
  • Insurance Requirements
  • Leadership/Professional Development
  • Recruiting Assistance

Manufacturing, High Tech, Life Sciences Development

  • Commercialization
  • Quality Improvement (Supply Chain, Six Sigma)

Marketing and Sales

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Identification/Research of Foreign Markets
  • Market Plan Development and Training
  • Market Research
  • Student Marketing Projects


  • One-on-One Counseling
  • Peer Mentoring

Networking and Associations

  • International Trade
  • Small Business/General

Operations and Logistics

  • Quality Improvement (Supply Chain, Six Sigma)

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • City Business Issues
  • Small Business Policy
  • State Business Issues

Regulatory Compliance

  • International Regulatory Compliance

Selling to the Government and Large Corporations

  • Obtaining Certification
  • Registration Assistance


  • Commercial Kitchen Facilities
  • Conference/Meeting and Event Space

Starting a Business

  • Business Research Resources
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Forming a Business
  • Registration, Licenses and Permits
  • Startup Business Counseling
  • Startup Classes

Tax Services

  • Tax Credits


  • Budget, Cash Flow and Financial Statements Training
  • Business Plan Training and Assistance
  • International Trade Education and Training
  • Startup Classes
Primary ContactMerly Thomas
Address320 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60012
Phone(312) 433-2373