Peoria Innovation Alliance launches ‘Peoria Made,’ storefront provides opportunity for local growth


PEORIA, Ill.– In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Peoria Innovation Alliance launched one of its strategic initiatives; Peoria Made at 315 Main Street in the recently established Peoria Innovation District.

It’s all in an effort to hopefully be an incubator for ideas that’ll grow and flourish locally.

It’s really about driving density into the urban core and that’s what we’re trying to do with this. By defining the innovation district, opening this space, having our event on the 29th [Greater Peoria Homecoming] just this continued momentum with these small scale increments show this incremental improvement is really the goal of trying to attract people to downtown Peoria.

Jake Hamann, Executive Director | Peoria Innovation Alliance

The newly revived and redecorated 315 Main Street location will house the following components:

Peoria Made Retail Incubator: Led by a group of local artists and artisans, the retail incubator will launch with nearly 15 merchants displaying a wide range of tangible goods that are inventive, original, artisan and authentically Peoria.

 “How exciting to see an eCommerce platform emerge that will be available to showcase local artists and artisans,” says Jenn Gordon, Executive Director of ArtsPartners. “Couple this with Peoria Made’s retail incubator and storefront and you have a project that can really offer some tangible benefits and supports to entrepreneurial-minded artists in the area.”

Downtown Peoria Visitors Center: In collaboration with the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the new Downtown Peoria Visitors Center will feature visitor information and literature, as well as a branded photo opportunity for guests to experience and capture their visit to Peoria.

J.D. Dalfonso, President of the Peoria Area Convention & Visitors Bureau said, “The Peoria Made space will be a wonderful meeting of the historic, innovative, and cultural elements of our community. The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (Enjoy Peoria) is excited to help with this new adventure in the heart of downtown Peoria, along with one of the original blocks on Main Street. Space will showcase area talent and be an incubator for how the community will continue to evolve and flourish.

Without a doubt, the space is a perfect location for Enjoy Peoria to bring back—on a small scale—a storefront visitor information location, where visitors and residents alike can learn more about our communities.”

Podcast Studio: In collaboration with Widecast, the Peoria Made space will feature a small podcast studio aimed at providing early-stage entrepreneurs affordable and convenient access to the tools and resources needed to record and produce a simple podcast. Through the Widecast partnership, users will then have an opportunity to enhance their recordings and explore options for wider distribution through various media channels.

Learning Lab:  Entrepreneurial education is an additional strategic initiative of the Peoria Innovation Alliance. The physical learning lab at the Peoria Made space will offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to attend and actively participate in a multitude of classes and workshops aimed at filling current ecosystem gaps as well as creating valuable and practical mentor-ship opportunities for both mentors and mentees across the region. 

It kind of shows that there’s a lot of activity going on from the grass roots side that people are able to start their own thing and there’s support for that here. That they’re able to start it, grow it, mature it, build it into a bigger business that while the corporate careers are great, there are other opportunities.”

Jake Hamann, Executive Director | Peoria Innovation Alliance

Peoria Made will be hosting the Greater Peoria Homecoming event on Friday, November 29th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as part of Yule Like Peoria. Space will officially open to the public on Monday, December 2nd at 9:00 a.m. Operating hours are TBD.

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