1871 AND Level39 ANNOUNCE FRIENDSHIP AGREEMENT
Chicago-based 1871 and London-based Level39 begin a fruitful partnership that will provide drop-in membership access to community members of the two organizations
London, United Kingdom and Chicago, Illinois (April XX, 2014)—Following 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman’s successful visit to a number of the major incubators and accelerators in London and to Tech City in Shoreditch, 1871 and Level39 announced a partnership that will facilitate access to each other’s communities and facilities through a Friendship Agreement that provides reciprocal membership benefits. Located in London's new Canary Wharf financial district and in the heart of Chicago's "startup city" respectively, Level39 and 1871 are leading hubs for digital entrepreneurs that work to foster disruptive innovation in traditional business sectors.
“This partnership reflects the spirit of cooperation and collaboration that is inherent in the missions of 1871 and Level39,” said 1871 CEO, Howard A. Tullman. “Expanding international relationships in the community of digital entrepreneurs allows for the most innovative ideas and businesses to succeed on a global level. Our technology connection with London started more than two years ago through the efforts of the U.S.-based team of the UK Trade and Investment. More recently, 1871 hosted UK Prime Minister David Cameron for a tour and chat with its members, and later Tullman joined UK Minister for Science and Universities David Willetts for a presentation and panel discussion on his new programs."
"This agreement will, quite literally, open doors for Chicago companies to expand, innovate, collaborate and access lucrative European markets from within London's thriving tech community,” said Colette Buscemi, Head of Trade and Investment at UK Trade & Investment, based at the British Consulate-General in Chicago. “Chicago is already on the radar for UK companies in the financial tech sector, as illustrated by Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to 1871 two years ago. The relationship between 1871 and Level 39 will highlight the natural synergies even more. UK Trade & Investment is dedicated to opening doors for British and American companies, and we look forward to helping them do more business in London and here in Chicago through this new agreement."
The agreement, which primarily focuses on the financial tech, retail tech and smart cities tech sectors, will provide free drop-in membership access at 1871 and Level39 to individuals or corporate entities that hold memberships at either of the locations. Drop-in membership will include access to co-working facilities, meeting and conference rooms, visitor Wi-Fi and reception assistance.
"The friendship agreement with 1871 is a very important collaboration for the Level39 ecosystem of startups, corporates and investors,” said Level39 Deputy Head, Claire Cockerton. “It builds on a growing portfolio of international tech cluster partnerships, across the US and beyond, enabling a more frictionless process of trade, investment and expansion opportunities for UK businesses. We are very excited to work with such an entrepreneurial, dynamic and multi-disciplinary team from Chicago; now, a world-renowned centre of business opportunity in our specialist sectors."
Attracting interest, opportunities and young companies seeking to enter the US market from around the world is a key new focus at 1871, and the massive digital startup site has already been host to thousands of international visitors. 1871 is in active discussions with other incubators and co-working spaces in London and elsewhere around the world as part of an ongoing effort to make additional tools and resources available to the members of 1871 so that they can continue to be responsive, flexible and pro-active as their businesses expand.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, 1871 and Level39 are exploring the creation of a "virtual corridor" connecting the two spaces, with the primary purpose of expanding programming from one site to the other and creating added benefits and interaction.
In addition to the interaction with Level39, 1871 is also working with Accenture (which operates an accelerator connected with Level39 in the same facility) both in Chicago and around the world to help select and evaluate current and future members of 1871.
About Level 39
Level39 is Europe's largest technology accelerator space for finance and retail technologies. Sitting on the entire 39th floor of the iconic One Canada Square at Canary Wharf, Level39 is uniquely placed to bring together the hottest tech talent from London's tech city and global players in the finance and retail marketplace. Level39 was established by the Canary Wharf Group in 2013 and is headed up by successful Fintech entrepreneur Eric Van der Kleij.
1871 is an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, the 50,000-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 CEC.