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............................ 1871 - Where Digital Startups Get Their Start ........................


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Smart cities and how municipalities are changing the way they see WiFi

Smart cities and how municipalities are changing the way they see WiFi

Hardik Bhatt is the Chicago-based managing director for global market development for Cisco Systems Inc.’s Internet of Everything for Cities practice. He works with governments, including the City of Chicago, to connect and control public services through sensors that feed data into command centers to improve operations and livability. Bhatt earlier was chief information officer for the City of Chicago and commissioner for the Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology. He explains Chicago’s progress and room for growth as a smart city.
Q. What key lesson have you learned trying to innovate government?
A. Government’s core competence is making sure that the citizens have the education, tools and awareness of leveraging what the private sector has to offer and let the private sector build access and mobile broadband. In 2007, municipalities saw WiFi as an alternative for citizens to access the Internet, nothing beyond that. Now municipalities are looking at WiFi as an outdoor way of controlling and managing their assets. A side benefit of that is citizen access to WiFi. So we're seeing that happening for different reasons than what we tried in 2007.
Q. What’s an example of how the Internet of Everything (IOE) helps cities work better?
A. There is a direct correlation of the lighting condition in a particular area to how the city is perceived. If you have better lighting, then the perception of safety drives upper-class people into that neighborhood, schools are better, and the taxes you collect are much higher than in the darker, high-crime areas. 
Connected streetlights can let municipalities adjust the light on the street. If the City of Chicago has 300,000 light poles and has a way to know exactly the condition of each of these lights and for the lights to be intelligent to control the level of light below on the street, it will save administration and management time and electricity but still give the optimal amount of light.  
Q. Besides Cisco’s sponsorship of the 1871 tech incubator and your board seat on the Chicago Innovation Awards, how do you work with startups?
A. We look for the complementary portions of our solutions. A company from the Bay Area called Streetline (Inc.) is our partner for parking management. We have a few programs that we focus on startups. Last year, we announced a $100 million Internet of Everything investment fund, investing into startups at the early stage that have gone through the seed-funding round.
For the Internet of Things World Forum in October in Chicago, we have an IOE grant challenge. We are going to announce the winner, who will get seed funding with no strings attached. We are also partners of the Chicago Innovation Exchange, another incubator being built out of the University of Chicago. Cisco has sponsored its entrepreneur-in-residence. We will not only provide funding for a few of those finalists to start having their ideas built, we’ll also provide them mentorship, technology and space.
Q. What’s the biggest opportunity for Chicago to tackle next?
A. The next technology challenge the city can or should do is to leverage what I call their existing fiber layout. Right now every agency has its own connectivity. Barcelona took a 500-acre area called 22@. Twenty years ago, it was an industrial warehouse area like what the far South Side of Chicago is. They completely revamped the area by building an innovation district. Chicago has a similar opportunity with the Chicago Innovation Exchange opening on 53rd Street.
There is this huge land on the South Side called Chicago Lakeside, the old U.S. Steel mill, which is (about) 600 acres of vacant land. Cisco is the technology master planner for that land. With a little incentive and push from the city, county and state governments to incentivize development of that, the South Side would completely transform if (it were) developed over the next 15 to 20 years the way Barcelona did.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

1871, crowdfunding platform Indiegogo announce partnership

1871, crowdfunding platform Indiegogo announce partnership

1871, Indiegogo announce partnership
Indiegogo partners with 1871 to bring crowdfunding advice to startups
Crowdfunding platform Indiegogo will open a Midwest satellite office in Chicago's 1871, the organizations announced Tuesday, opening the door for quarterly crowdfunding labs, mentorship opportunities and office hours.
The notion of a collaboration emerged late in 2013 as incoming 1871 CEO Howard Tullman began taking the reins at the accelerator-coworking space in the Merchandise Mart.
Tullman is an investor in Indiegogo through his early stage investment firm, G2T3V.
The deal between 1871 and Indiegogo was finalized this summer, according to Indiegogo.
"We're excited to be able to better support our Midwestern campaigners with resources that will enable them to bring their dreams to reality," said Kate Drane, Indiegogo's head of outreach for hardware and tech. "Our team is thrilled to be working with (1871) to connect with and support Chicago's entrepreneurial community on Indiegogo, while bringing ideas to life that may never have been able to exist before."
It's a complicated but exciting time for proponents of crowdfunding, a hallmark of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which opened the possibility for small, private businesses to exchange equity in startups for funds solicited online and through social media.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is still finalizing rules for how to offer equity stakes to everyday investors. When equity is involved, the process currently is limited to "accredited investors," savvy venture capitalists and angel investors.
San Francisco-based Indiegogo also has satellite offices in Los Angeles and New York.
Indiegogo and competing crowdfunding platforms, such as Kickstarter, Crowdfunder, RocketHub and others, help entrepreneurs turn an idea into an effective pitch for money from strangers using clever videos and social media to promote a project.
While in Chicago, Indiegogo staff will work from 1871, the company said. It will host quarterly Indiegogo Labs events for 1871 members to learn crowdfunding basics and provide individual mentorship opportunities for 1871 startups interested in starting crowdfunding campaigns. It will also host a series of mixers to connect successful crowdfunders and first-time campaigners.


READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE: http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/heres-why-you-shouldnt-show-them-the-money.html

READ THE WHOLE POST HERE: http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/heres-why-you-shouldnt-show-them-the-money.html

Kickstarter darling Gramovox announces $650,000 in funding

Kickstarter darling Gramovox announces $650,000 in funding

Gramovox, a Chicago-based consumer-electronics startup that makes a Bluetooth-enabled speaker resembling a 1920s-era gramophone, on Tuesday announced $650,000 in Series A funding from Chicago-based Hard Eight Ventures.
CEO and co-founder Pavan Bapu said the company will use the money to build inventory, boost online marketing and help the company scale up for the holiday season.
“We’ll use it to meet the demand that we know will be out there this holiday season,” CEO and co-founder Pavan Bapu said Tuesday.
1871-based Gramovox burst on the scene over the holidays last year when its Kickstarter campaign, which asked for $100,000, generated more than 850 orders and $240,000. The company then got an invitation to the Grammy Awards, where glowing reviews from celebrities helped spread the word on social media.
Hard Eight Ventures principal Francis Wisniewski said the company’s crowd-funding success made it easier to say yes to its pitch for funding.
“I see a lot of companies with deal-flow projections that I don’t believe,” he said. “When you see (purchase orders) and people putting their credit cards down to buy the thing, it takes a lot of the guess work out of it.”
Hard Eight Ventures is a spinoff of Hard Eight Trading, a group of futures traders based at the Chicago Board of Trade, Wisniewski said.
Bapu said Gramovox’s first production run of 3,000 units is complete and that all pre-orders — about 1,000 units — will be shipped by Sept. 15. The horn is being made in China, the wood base in Cleveland and the audio electronics in Troy, Mich.
The Gramovox sells for $399.99.



Indiegogo to locate Midwest office at 1871, will bring crowdfunding education and opportunities to 1871 members

CHICAGO (August 26, 2014)—1871 joined crowdfunding platform Indiegogo today to announce a partnership that will bring crowdfunding education, new tools and marketing opportunities to 1871 members. Indiegogo will have an on-site presence at 1871 in order to interact with entrepreneurs and provide valuable resources to the 1871 community.

“Crowdfunding is an increasingly important tool for entrepreneurs seeking to develop their businesses,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “At 1871, we distinguish ourselves from ordinary co-working and desk rental spaces by providing extensive, high-quality resources that help our members grow successful businesses. This partnership with Indiegogo provides a critical service to 1871 startups, and we are excited that Indiegogo will have a noticeable and continuing presence at 1871. I have known Slava Rubin, Indiegogo’s CEO, for many years and there is no one I’d rather have as a partner in this exciting new area. He’s one of the most innovative and passionate people I know.”

The partnership agreement will establish Chicago (and 1871) as the Midwest headquarters for Indiegogo. Indiegogo staff, when in Chicago, will work from 1871, and Indiegogo will also explore stationing full-time personnel in Chicago. Indiegogo will host quarterly Indiegogo Labs for 1871 members to learn crowdfunding basics, and will provide individual mentorship opportunities for 1871 startups with crowdfunding campaigns.  Indiegogo plans to host meet and greets between successful and new or pending crowdfunding campaigners, and will also host various events for the Chicago community.

"As a Chicago-native, I have experienced first-hand the incredible innovation that the city has to offer,” said Indiegogo Head of Outreach for Hardware and Tech, Kate Drane. “Today, I'm thrilled that Indiegogo and 1871 have teamed up to take the lead in fostering this spirit and empowering Chicago's entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to life through crowdfunding."

In addition to its physical presence and labs, Indiegogo will maintain a satellite presence in 1871, which includes hosting virtual office hours and providing dedicated campaign review for 1871 members who launch Indiegogo campaigns. 1871 members will also benefit from Indiegogo’s expertise in using social media and video for business purposes.

“I am excited to have Indiegogo at 1871 because many of us could use their help,” said Brian Busche, 1871 member and Brewed in Chicago founder and CTO.  “My company is in the final stages of crafting a crowdfunding campaign for Brewed in Chicago.  It would be extremely valuable to interface with somebody from Indiegogo in order to achieve the highest level of success on their platform.”

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, envisions that, once the SEC issues the implementing regulations, U.S.-based startups will be able to take advantage of equity crowdfunding which allows them to raise funds in exchange for shares of their companies. 1871’s partnership with Indiegogo ensures that 1871 and its members will lead the way for startups using equity crowdfunding.

About Indiegogo

Indiegogo is a way for people all over the world to join forces to make ideas happen. Since 2008, millions of contributors have empowered hundreds of thousands of inventors, musicians, do-gooders, filmmakers – and many more – to bring their dreams to life. 224 countries and territories are home to Indiegogo campaigns.

About 1871

1871 is an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, the 75,000-square-foot facility provides Chicago startups with programming, access to mentors, educational resources, potential investors and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that help them on their path to building successful businesses. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.

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