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Dear DPI Friends and Colleagues,

Discovery Partners Institute recently announced the establishment of an endowment, an important tool to secure our long-term future.

What’s special about it is who this endowment will serve, and where the $3.5 million to seed it is coming from.

The endowment will fund DPI’s Pritzker Tech Talent Labs. One lab, our community education division, is helping kids from underserved Chicago neighborhoods launch careers in tech. Meanwhile, our workforce education lab is helping adults transition to more lucrative and resilient careers in tech.

In short, the sole purpose of this endowment will be to help Illinois workers.

The seed money is coming from profits from ShieldT3, the university’s COVID-19 testing business. ShieldT3 is built on the saliva test invented by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The company was created to export that invention across the nation and globe. In just two years, we have served hundreds of clients from New Zealand to Maine and saved lives.

This is exactly what President Tim Killeen and I envisioned for DPI: That successful businesses built on university R&D would ultimately support our efforts to diversify the state’s tech economy and help workers.

Because of strong state and university leadership, the ingenuity of our faculty and staff, and the tireless work ethic of the Shield T3 team, this vision for equitable economic development became a reality in less than three years.

If we can do it once, we can do it again. We are eager to recruit more donors, launch more successful businesses, return profits to the endowment, and ultimately help the people of Illinois obtain lucrative and in-demand tech jobs.

If you want to learn more, email me at

Let’s schedule a meeting.

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