From AP - News Headlines -

Governor Unveils Illinois Innovation Network

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says Illinois could be a leader in creating start-up companies.

On Friday, Quinn announced the "Illinois Innovation Network" in an invite-only event for leaders of high-tech firms.

The network is designed to help entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground. The idea is to connect them to free or discounted advice in areas like legal matters, real estate and business development.

"The best way to fight poverty, the best way to fight crime, the best way to keep families together is a J.O.B. - a job," Quinn said. "We want to work together as a team as a family to make things happen in Illinois."

Brad Keywell, founder of Chicago-based Groupon, is chairing the network. Keywell said that in the past 25 years, the single largest creator of new jobs in the Midwest has been businesses 5 years old or less.

The website for the Illinois Innovation Network is expected to be launched Friday afternoon.

During the same event, Quinn also announced that Illinois will be the first state to partner with Startup America - a national effort to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.