1871 adds a real estate accelerator, ElmSpring

April 22, 2014

Another startup accelerator is going to be calling 1871 home.

ElmSpring, which is aimed at real estate startups, is taking applications for its first class this summer. It joins accelerators TechStars and Impact Engine in 1871 in the Merchandise Mart.

ElmSpring was launched by Elmdale Partners LLC, a Chicago-based investment firm that operates a large Century21 office and does real estate investment. It's targeting seed-stage real estate startups for its initial 90-day program.

ElmSpring follows the traditional accelerator model: intensive mentoring from industry experts and entrepreneurs, culminating with a "demo day" pitch to investors. Participating startups get $20,000 in funding but give up a 6 percent equity stake. Applicants can apply here.

ElmSpring fits with 1871 CEO Howard Tullman's goal to develop specialized programs to help the incubator for tech startups increase sponsorship opportunities and participation.

“ElmSpring is the first of many partnerships we hope to have with leaders in a number of industry-specific verticals,” Mr. Tullman said. “We believe that by providing focused support and resources to individual companies based on their industry-specific needs, we avoid a one-size-fits-all type of experience for them and drive a far more rewarding and effective process to help them be successful."

ElmSpring is the second real estate incubator developed in Chicago. The National Association of Realtors began a virtual accelerator called REach last year. 

The association named the eight startups in its 2014 class yesterday, including Chicago-based companies Desktime and Goby LLC.