Monday, November 25, 2013

Chicago Tech Hub 1871 Names Howard Tullman CEO

Nov 25, 2013, 2:09pm CST

Chicago tech hub 1871 names Howard Tullman CEO

Howard Tullman is the new CEO of Chicago tech hub 1871.

Reporter-Chicago Business Journal
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Is Howard Tullman really the mentor and facilitator — and drill sergeant — that Chicago's much-hyped 1871 tech center has been awaiting?
The parent Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center has tapped Tullman as the next CEO of the digital start-up hub that 1871 was designed to be. Tullman replacesKevin Willer, who announced his departurein February of this year.
According to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tullman, 68, is the right man for the job, calling him "the perfect person to take 1871 to the next level." Illinois Gov.Pat Quinn hailed Tullman as an "experienced innovator and visionary leader."
Emanuel has set a goal of doubling Chicago's tech economy over the next 10 years and adding 40,000 new jobs in the sector.
Tullman's task, however, will be much harder than was that of his predecessor Willer. Now that the novelty of 1871 has worn off after well over two years, Tullman must prove that 1871 can really help establish Chicago as a major tech center.
Though past performance may not guarantee future success, Tullman has a history and a reputation in Chicago and beyond as an entrepreneur. Among his accomplishments is the founding 33 years ago of CCC Information Services, which is said to have subsequently created thousands of jobs in Chicago and nationally.
Tullman also is credited with having saved Kendall College by moving it form Evanston to Chicago and transforming it into an institution known for training culinary professionals.
More recently, Tullman founded the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy for vocational training in the digital media arts. The Academy has graduated more than a thousand students 2007.
With top politicos Emanuel and Quinn having both blessed Tullman's appointment as 1871 CEO, he has wasted no time positioning himself as a change agent within the tech hub.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Tullman suggested he is going to get tough with start-ups that are part of 1871. Tullman apparently believes too many of these start-ups are talking too much about raising investor capital and not doing enough actually to grow these start-ups and generate revenue.
Whether Tullman's stance will be enough to make 1871 realize its full potential remains to be seen. Just how much success he will have will depend in large part on the city's economic health in the months and years to come and how that weighs on young entrepreneurs as they decide whether Chicago is the best place to launch their start-ups and, just as important, whether the city is the best place to grow the start-ups once they are up and running.
Noted Tullman of his new role: "As a serial entrepreneur for more than 40 years, I can honestly say that there has been no more exciting time to be part of a start-up organization in Chicago than today."
The tech hub 1871 opened in May 2012. More than 240 start-up companies currently are housed at 1871, located in the Merchandise Mart. These businesses have attracted $40 million in investment capital and created 800 jobs that have contributed an estimated $15 million to the Illinois economy.

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