COBHA Business Incubator

The USF Business Incubator is located in downtown Joliet, at USF’s St. Bonaventure Campus. Applications are now being accepted from startup businesses and entrepreneurs and are typically reviewed once every spring and fall semester.

The Incubator provides...

  • Co-working environment between startups, community members, and entrepreneurial students
  • Events/lecture series promoting educational offerings for startups
  • A professional office location in downtown Joliet (located at 16 W. Van Buren Street, across from the Rialto Theater) for startups to begin/continue business activities

COBHA Business Incubator

What will the startup receive?

Startups will receive the following services (services may be subject to change):

  • Desk space at University facilities in downtown Joliet
  • Connection to mentors
  • Access to university resources, faculty, students, interns and more
  • Access to free high-speed wireless internet in the incubator
  • Access to wireless printer/copier (printing/copy rates may apply).
  • Startups retain ownership of their personal property and intellectual rights

Startups will be required to:

  1. Submit application
  2. Upon acceptance into the incubator, sign an access agreement
  3. Provide a criminal background check and insurance
  4. Pay a small monthly usage fee (please contact us for details). The first year in the incubator is free, and all services are free to USF students.

Incubator Mission 

The St. Francis Incubator supports the economic development of the region by fostering new business development; a secondary aim of the incubator provides students from St. Francis and neighboring junior colleges entrepreneurial education in a lab setting.


“The Business Incubator has provided a solid foundation for the successful launch of my consulting business. I’ve especially benefited from direct and regular access to a wise mentor on the USF business faculty, a spacious office with whiteboards and printing, and a new network of fellow business owners—all for free.”

Hollister, HData’s founder, is a USF graduate who previously worked as a securities litigator, served as counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. House of Representatives, and founded the Washington-based Data Coalition, the nation’s largest trade association for data companies. HData’s Board of Advisors features 21 world leaders in applying new technologies to regulatory reporting. In its first year, HData signed nine clients, confirmed over $240,000 in revenue, and prepared to raise an initial capital investment round.

“The USF Business Incubator enabled HData’s growth by providing a supportive environment, office infrastructure, and world-class business advising.”
Hudson Hollister, HData
Former member | USF alumnus
“The Incubator has helped me to become more effective with fewer distractions. Having an office in the community has helped me show that I’m engaged with the community; I’ve already had meetings here with clients and prospects. It is a great space, beautiful view, has all the office items I need access to, and the interns are professional and helpful. Time management is important and making sure I have a plan. I’m going to continue to connect with the community and learn how I can add value.” JBJ has been providing organization development services for the past 10 years for organizations to include large and small contracting companies. Examples of past clients include the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Marine War University, McKesson, BMW, Daimler, Bancroft Architect Engineering, Industrial Fence Inc, and Mazor Robotics Inc across the nation as a prime and a subcontractor. As part of the Joliet community, JBJ wants to help agencies hire smarter so they can minimize turnover using hiring best practices. JBJ’s President and CEO Dr. Jerry Bell Jr, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point and has a MBA and PhD in Organization Development from Benedictine University.
Dr. Jerry Bell Jr., JBJ-Business Group Inc.
Current Member
"The Incubator office at the University of St. Francis has helped us gain contracts. The physical office location helped us get an edge and professional feel. We met in a furnished office space with utilities for a low cost in a safe location, with extended morning and evening hours that made it easy to conduct our business which often operates outside of the regular 9 to 5.

I was able to finish school, get my Bachelor's degree, and grow my business without having to commute very far.

All of these options combined helped us to grow exponentially; we eventually needed to move since we outgrew the co-working space at the Incubator.”
Jennifer Law, Road Operatives
Former member | USF alumna
“The Business Incubator at the University of St. Francis has provided me with a starting point to grow my business. I now have office space, mentorship opportunities, access to student interns for help with projects, and access to valuable business services that I need to get my business off the ground!”
Matthew Thornton, Thornton Business Solutions Inc.
Current Member
“It was nice to be there [the incubator] and use the facilities for my company. All the available resources were very helpful and guided me through the first years of my company.”
Yuri Gallegos, Quasar Design
Former Member

More Information

For more information, contact Dr. Bonnie J. Covelli at 815-740-5071 or