Evanston Inventure was a non-profit partnership formed by the City of Evanston and Northwestern University in 1984. The intent of the organization was to gather representatives of the largest public and private institutions in Evanston in order to promote the economic development of Evanston's Downtown Central Business District. In addition to Northwestern and the City of Evanston, members of the organization included the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Evanston Township High School, First Bank of Evanston, HCIA/Sachs, and St. Francis Hospital, among many others. The organization was run by a board of directors comprised of representatives of member organizations as well as an Executive Director, Ronald Kysiak, who oversaw the day to day operations of Inventure.
Throughout its history Evanston Inventure was involved in numerous redevelopment projects within the Downtown area. The most notable of these was the Northwestern University/Evanston Research Park which was built in the area between Evanston's two commuter rail lines throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The Research Park was created with the intent of attracting technology based companies, who would work with the research division of Northwestern, to the Downtown Evanston area in order to create jobs and generate economic activity. Inventure worked with Evanston and Northwestern to plan and market the Research Park.
In addition to the Research Park, Inventure worked with member organizations on tackling many of the problems that Evanston's economy faced. In particular the organization invested a considerable amount of time into investigating ways in which the area between Church Street and Dodge Avenue could be revitalized. Other projects which Inventure focused on were integrating Not for Profit organizations into the Evanston Economy, finding use for funds from Tax Increment Financing, and reworking the property tax structure to benefit local business.
In later years two affiliated organizations, eTropolis and Technopolis Evanston, formed with the mission of making Evanston a more conducive environment to high-tech business. Furthermore Inventure made a significant effort to work with other economic organizations in the Evanston area including Evmark (an organization which markets Downtown Evanston), and the Chamber of Commerce.
In 2010 Evanston Inventure was disbanded as a result of a shortage of funds and the retirement of Ronald Kysiak.