Monday, April 27, 2015

1871 Welcomes Ontario's Minister of Economic Development - Brad Duguid - for Tour

Richard Branson: How crowdfunding could change the world.

Is crowdfunding going to change the world? I was delighted to take part in the first event at the opening of Virgin Hotels Chicago, where I joined a fascinating panel to discuss the nuances of crowdsourcing. It is an area that is transforming the way entrepreneurs can do business, and one I’m taking a keen interest in. 
Crowdfunding isn’t as new as we think it is. One of the first examples of crowdfunding was when Paris gifted New York the Statue of Liberty, but did not provide anything to put it on. The people of New York ran ads in the newspapers to raise money to build a base for the statue. Crowdfunding has come a long way since then, but the principles remain the same.
The benefits of crowdfunding go way beyond the money. It brings market validation, access to new investors, promotion, community exposure, and real-time feedback. As well as the funds to start your business, it provides real connection with people who care about your business.

Image from Virgin Hotels Chicago
I met the founder of Indiegogo on Necker in its early days, and learned about his vision for crowdfunding. I particularly liked its non-profit element, as well as its commitment to creating positive change in the world. I decided to make a small investment in the company, and since then have enjoyed watching it and the crowdfunding sector grow. Since then I’ve come across dozens of projects on Indiegogo that have really excited me.
There are lots of wonderful ideas that are now getting the exposure they need to secure bigger investments, which is tremendous for the new generation of entrepreneurs. Like most things in life, crowdfunding success is much more related to how willing you are to pour yourself into the project with your heart and soul. You’ve got to have a great product, and then you’ve got to stand out from the crowd.

Image from Virgin Hotels Chicago
Back in the UK, Virgin StartUp has partnered with Crowdfunder to invite entrepreneurs to raise money for their projects, with Virgin StartUp then matching any money raised with one of their loans. If this is approved the entrepreneurs will then be matched with a Virgin StartUp mentor, giving their business the best chance possible to succeed. Three quarters of a million pounds are up for grabs as part of this innovative funding initiative – I can’t wait to see what new businesses come out of it.
The crowd is very good at ensuring the best projects rise to the top. It is also excellent at self-regulating so that the odd questionable project gets found out. Because you have to ask your loved ones, friends, co-workers – everyone you have ever met – to support your project, if it turns into a scam, you will not be very popular. 

Image from Virgin Hotels Chicago
We were asked an interesting question about investing in emerging markets. They are growing much quicker than established markets, and people would be mad not to invest in emerging markets. Crowdfunding seems a smart way to do so. What’s more, you will be offering a chance to lots of exciting new entrepreneurs in emerging markets who may otherwise not get the exposure and funding they need.

Image from Virgin Hotels Chicago
How wonderful it would have been if Indiegogo had existed when I was 15 struggling to start a magazine, – I certainly would have used it. It is still early days, but I do believe crowdfunding could absolutely transform the world. Have you invested in a crowdfunded project, or started one yourself? I’d love to hear about it.

1871 Company Rippleshot Selected for SixThirty Accelerator in St. Louis

SixThirty Announces Spring 2015 Accelerator Cohort

April 22, 2015

SixThirty might not invest in as many companies as other accelerators, but that’s because they give each of their selected startups a $100,000 investment. And it’s not like there are only a few people applying for the young, but powerful, accelerator either: this year close to 100 applications for the Spring 2015 class came in.
To date they’ve made 18 investments in 15 different companies, 11 of which are located outside of St. Louis and two of which are international startups. They also opt for later seed-stage fintech startups with working products.
In exchange for the $100,000 investment, each company exchanges a negotiated percentage of equity, usually between three and ten percent. And three of the six companies in this class also participated in the Fall 2014 cohort.
Selected participants will receive hands on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities with the top financial services companies in the region. The cohort will run from April 14 to July 16 and will be housed in the T-REx incubator space in downtown St. Louis. Companies will have a direct pipeline to follow-on funding, as well as opportunities to pitch to business leaders and potential clients.
SixThirty’s Spring 2015 class is:
  • Bandura, St. Louis, MO: Bandura is a revenue­-producing cyber security software company delivering automated IP threat intelligence technologies to stop network cyber attacks and data leakage for Financial Services, Healthcare, Energy, Government.
  • DAVO Technologies, Portland, ME: DAVO Technologies has a patented process that automatically collects, files, and pays sales tax for brick and mortar merchants.
  • FinLocker, St. Louis, MO: FinLocker is a consumer-enabled financial locker, which reduces costs and risks for lenders via actionable financial information throughout the entire loan lifecycle.
  • New Constructs, Nashville, TN: Stock, ETF, and mutual fund research based on uniquely thorough review of SEC filings, especially footnotes. New Constructs does the homework their clients do not have time to do.
  • Public Funds Investment Tracking and Reporting (PFITR), St. Louis, MO: Investment accounting, analytics, and treasury management on fixed income portfolios. PFITR provides the technology for internal controls for compliance and transparency.
  • Rippleshot, Chicago, IL: Rippleshot detects payment card data breaches, usually long before credit card issuers or merchants have any idea of the breach occurring.

INTX HACK at 1871 starting on May 2nd


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Alumnus and professor Howard Tullman wins Illinois Humanities Council Award

tullman638.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will honor Howard A. Tullman, CEO of digital startup incubator 1871 and an alumnus and adjunct professor of Northwestern University, with the 2015 Public Humanities Award at the council’s annual benefit luncheon on Thursday, May 14, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

A serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, educator, writer, lecturer and art collector, Tullman has fostered a vibrant relationship between the humanities and business. Under his leadership, 1871 has become a globally renowned space for ideas, collaboration and innovation. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called 1871 “a driving force for Chicago’s tech scene, creating jobs and opportunity.”

Tullman lectures regularly on venturing, change management and entrepreneurship at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern University School of Law.

Given annually by the IHC since 1984, the Public Humanities Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have helped transform lives and strengthened communities through the humanities.

“Business is a human pursuit, with creativity, innovation and collaboration serving as tenets for success,” said Angel Ysaguirre, IHC executive director. “Howard has highlighted these principles in the operations of 1871, with initiatives that engage political leaders, veterans, women, youth and people of color. He models the way the humanities can strengthen all aspects of life, including business.”

Throughout his career, Tullman has encouraged art as a vantage point for expression and digital innovation. He is a co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, a premier digital media arts college in Chicago. He also served as president of Kendall College in Chicago and transformed the 70-year-old college into a major national leader in the culinary and hospitality education market.

Tullman received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern in 1967 and a J.D. from the School of Law in 1970. At the School of Law, he graduated with honors, was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as the chairman of the editors of The Law Review. He is the author of “The Perspiration Principles” and writes a weekly blog for Inc. magazine.

“Howard is a cultural phenomenon,” said Joel Henning, IHC board member and one of this year’s co-chairs. “I’m delighted to help honor a man who has done more than anyone here to nurture high-tech creativity and entrepreneurialism and also stimulate cutting-edge contemporary art, all of which has vastly enhanced the economics and culture of Illinois and indeed the entire country.”

Visit Northwestern News for more

Inc. and CNBC Present the 2015 iCONIC Tour

Inc. and CNBC Present the 2015 iCONIC Tour

Join Inc. and CNBC at The 2015 Iconic Tour, a one-of-a-kind experience to connect with fellow visionaries and provocateurs, ignite new ideas, and be inspired by today’s biggest business icons. Every minute and every session will challenge you to overturn conventional thinking and revolutionize the way you do business. At Iconic, you will motivate one another, along with an unprecedented lineup of business luminaries, as you brainstorm fresh, exciting ideas to revolutionize every aspect of your business.

The 2015 iCONIC keynote speakers include founders and CEOs, Bert Jacobs, The Life Is Good Company; Kip Tindell, The Container Store; Neil Blumenthal, Warby ParkerElizabeth CutlerSoulCycleKevin Plank, Under Armour; Howard Tullman,1871; Julia Hartz, Eventbrite; Matt Maloney, GrubHub; Marcus Lemonis, Star of CNBC's television show The Profit, and more.
These brands made a big market impact by thinking differently. Get your tickets for iCONIC to hear from the icons who made it happen and to learn how you can too.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Blackbox Connect and Google for Entrepreneurs Partner To Accelerate Female-Founded Startups - 1871 Member 30Second Mobile Selected

Blackbox Connect and Google for Entrepreneurs Partner To Accelerate Female-Founded Startups

Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day Winner To Participate in Female Founders Edition

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Female Founders Edition Startups
San Francisco, California (PRWEB) April 24, 2015
Blackbox, the Silicon Valley accelerator dedicated to leveling the playing field for global startups, today announced their first-ever program comprised exclusively of women founders. Blackbox Connect Female Founders Edition is committed to helping women gain access to Silicon Valley resources and funding networks, and is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. Since its inception, Blackbox has dedicated itself to maintaining diversity by ensuring that 50% of their program startups are founded by women. The nonprofit Blackbox has hosted hundreds of companies from 50 countries over the past three years with 90% funded, and all deeply embedded in a growing network of successful entrepreneurs.
One participant in the Blackbox Connect program, Tatiana Birgisson, Founder of Mati Energy, just won Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day. The other entrepreneurs chosen hail from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Poland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. The businesses bring innovations in a variety of industries, including art education, enlightened dating, eyewear, fashion, healthy eating, location-based e-commerce, mental health, native advertising, and wearables.
The full list of female founders and their companies are available on the Blackbox website and the program will be held in Palo Alto from April 27 - May 8, 2015.
“There are many underrepresented women founders in both the U.S. and abroad that could benefit from more support,” said Fadi Bishara, Founder of Blackbox. “Silicon Valley does not have a monopoly on talent, but access to the valley’s rich resources are critical to an entrepreneur’s success. Blackbox creates that access and helps startups learn, collaborate and grow. Along with Google for Entrepreneurs, we are thrilled to have the privilege of welcoming such talented female entrepreneurs to Blackbox.”
“Through our efforts like the #40Forward initiative, we've seen how access to funding and mentor networks is critical to the growth of any business, especially female-led startups,” said Bridgette Beam, head of women’s outreach at Google for Entrepreneurs. “The women joining us in the Blackbox Connect Female Founders Edition represent some of the most promising female entrepreneurs from around the world, and we're excited to help them connect to the best of Silicon Valley and support them in building high growth businesses."
About Blackbox Connect:
Blackbox Connect is a two-week, residential program in Silicon Valley designed to immerse founders in the startup culture, to learn from other successful entrepreneurs, to connect with potential partners and investors, to forge valuable business relationships, and to receive expert advice from venture capitalists, successful founders, and game changers. Sponsored in part by Google for Entrepreneurs, Blackbox Connect gives founders a foundation of knowledge and access to the expertise needed to expand their vision and scale their companies globally. To learn more about Blackbox Connect, visit Blackbox and find us on FacebookTwitter and G+.
About Google for Entrepreneurs:
Google for Entrepreneurs provides financial support and the best of Google's resources to dozens of coworking spaces and community programs across 125 countries. We also create Campuses: physical hubs where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and build companies that will change the world. To learn more about Google for Entrepreneurs, visit or follow us on G+ (+GoogleForEntrepreneurs) and Twitter (@GoogleForEntrep).

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