Monday, November 25, 2013

Flashpoint founder Tullman leads 1871 tech startup hub

Flashpoint founder Tullman leads 1871 tech startup hub

Flashpoint Howard Tullman now heads 1871 hub

Rock star entrepreneur Howard Tullman, having completed the successful establishment of an innovative vocational school dedicated to digital arts, will assume one of the most important leadership roles of his career.

On Jan. 6, the former CEO/chairman of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy will lead 1871, Chicago’s marquee technology start-up hub, considered the public face of Chicago’s technology community.

The two-year old 1871 houses more than 240 individual entrepreneurs and startups in 50,000 sq. ft. of space in the Merchandise Mart.  It’s the flagship project of non-profit Chicago Entrepreneurial Center — which Tullman also will lead — committed to supporting, promoting and growing Chicago’s start-up community.

Hiring Tullman was “a home run,” said 1871 founder J. B. Pritzger of Pritzker Group Venture Capital. “I don’t think anyone imagined we could get someone with the level of talent he brings.”

One of the focuses now is going to have to be up-or-out.  We’re not just a hobby,” Tullman told Chicago Confidential. “We’re not a place for people to go to feel good about attempting to be an entrepreneur. We’re about people committed to building businesses.”

Some of Tullman’s plans include Indiegogo opening its Midwest office at 1871; additions of a TV studio to produce promotional videos and 3D printing facilities.

Tullman’s career of innovation and investment

Tullman has a national and international reputation as a longtime relentlessly successful entrepreneur.  His CV of business and innovation endeavors and investments, leadership roles, honors and civic involvement is almost book length.

After spending a few years turning culinary Kendall College around, Tullman took on the challenge of starting a vocational school exclusively for digital media education.

In 2010, Robert DeNiro’s New York-based Tribeca Enterprises became 50% partner and the name was changed to Tribeca Flashpoint Academy.

Last year, a local private equity firm acquired a majority interest in the school and having achieving his goals, Tullman recently left Tribeca Flashpoint to start his own capital venture firm.

At 1871 Tullman replaces Kevin Willer, who left in June to become a partner at Chicago Ventures.

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