Our Story

At Sangamon CEO, “CEO” stands for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities. The Sangamon CEO program is a year-long study of entrepreneurship for high school seniors in and around Sangamon County. Our accredited program provides not only dual-credit through local colleges but also team-building, leadership training, and community networking opportunities for 40+ students each year.

Our Mission

We believe that high school students make meaningful impacts on our communities. As a result, we strive to empower Sangamon County students with the tools they need to grow themselves, make connections, launch a business, and ultimately work to build our community as they envision it.

students working in a classroom
students working in a classroom

At a Glance

Students Graduated
High Schools
Years Running

Our History


2012 A group of Springfield business leaders and educators were introduced to the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship. They met Craig Lindvahl, Founder of the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program, and were intrigued by the positive results they saw in other participating communities. They decided to bring the program to Springfield and launch Sangamon CEO.


2013 Sangamon CEO hired its first facilitator and launched its first class, with 18 students and 39 private investors.


2015 The program received a generous grant from The United Way of Central Illinois, allowing us to expand. Sangamon CEO grew to a 31-student class lead by two facilitators, and we launched the annual CEO vs Sharks event. Our list of supporters grew to 70+ private investors.

Hitting Milestones

2017-2018 Sangamon CEO hired our first Director, and our class size grew to 50 students. Our list of supporters grew to 90+ private investors. In the spring of 2018, we hit the milestone of having graduated 150 total students.

iVenturED Founded

iVenturED. Inc. NFP, an Illinois not-for-profit startup corporation, assumed responsibility for funding Sangamon CEO as part of its programming efforts to provide entrepreneurial learning to anyone.