Communications Made Easy Receives $10,000 in Business Development Grants From Millikin Regional Entrepreneurship Network and Illinois Homeland Security Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center

ROCHESTER, IL--(Marketwire - February 18, 2009) - The Millikin Regional Entrepreneurship Network (MREN) and the Illinois Homeland Security Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (HSIEC) are pleased to announce that their client, Communications Made Easy™ (CME), is the recipient of a $5,000 Challenge Grant from each center.

CME, a 4-in-1 broadcast communications service based in Rochester, IL, allows customers to send immediate, simultaneous messages via e-mail, text message, phone voice message, or website postings all from one central point of access with no additional hardware or software to purchase. In a homeland security application, CME gives emergency management officials the ability to send news, updates, evacuation instructions, and AMBER alerts, as well as to quickly coordinate an emergency response to help people affected by natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other dangerous situations.

In addition, CME is an ideal solution for university and college officials who need to establish a written emergency broadcast communications plan under the provisions in the Clery Act. CME provides the service they need to immediately warn students, parents, and staff of a potential danger to the campus or emergencies that require quick action.

"We are thrilled to receive the grant money and will use it to further develop our strategic business plans for CME," said Michelle Tjelmeland, co-founder of CME. "These awards will allow us to expedite our marketing efforts and target specific customers who can really benefit from CME's services."

MREN and HSIEC award grant money to businesses with high growth potential to help with comprehensive business planning, evaluating a proposed start-up or expansion, or other accelerated support services. Through their respective grant programs, MREN and HSIEC help award recipients achieve significant milestones to take their businesses to the next level. HSIEC gives preference to companies demonstrating the pursuit of products or services that clearly meet a published request by the Department of Homeland Security.

About MREN

MREN works with entrepreneurs and businesses (regardless of industry or stage) that demonstrate the ability to achieve growth through revenue generation and job creation and to contribute to the economic development of Illinois. MREN is a network of organizations and individuals throughout the region and state that are collaborating together and strive to become the driving force for exciting entrepreneurial activities and initiatives throughout the Central Region. For more information, visit


HSIEC delivers specialized business development assistance in homeland security to entrepreneurs and small businesses as part of the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network through a joint effort between the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Northwestern University. The Center launched in October 2005 and has made over 20 challenge grants to fund strategic business projects. For more information, visit

Contact Information: Contacts: For HSIEC Mara Conklin (847) 816-9411 Linda Muskin (847) 432-7300 For Northwestern University Megan Fellman (847) 491-3115 For Millikin University Connie Beck (217) 424-6267