1871 Announces First Winners of the Chicago College Startup Competition
Selected college startups will receive free membership, access to a full range of 1871 programming and a unique support system
CHICAGO (July 31, 2014)— 1871 announced the first winners of its inaugural Chicago College Startup Competition Thursday morning, in conjunction with ThinkChicago. The competition provides one year of free membership to 1871 for nine grand prize winners and three months of free membership for two runners-up. This year’s winners were chosen from a talented group of expanding businesses that were founded in colleges across the country.
“The Chicago College Startup Competition is an important tool for attracting and keeping the most talented digital entrepreneurs, designers and developers in Chicago,” said 1871 CEO Howard A Tullman. “This year’s selected college startups will benefit not only from 1871’s extensive range of programming, but also from their extended immersion in the 1871 entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
CCSC was launched by 1871 in conjunction with and in support of the efforts by Mayor Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn to attract and retain businesses in Chicago and Illinois. Both the Mayor and the Governor have identified young business owners, especially those from colleges around the nation, as a key group to attract and retain in Chicago.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Chicago’s economy and these young entrepreneurs are creating the small businesses of tomorrow,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I congratulate the winners of the Chicago College Startup Competition on their accomplishment and expect to welcome them back soon, when they decide to grow their businesses here in Chicago.”
“We have been proud to assist 1871 as it continues to bolster our economy by reaching out to young entrepreneurs,” Governor Pat Quinn said. “We congratulate the winners of this competition and look forward to their contributions to Illinois commerce as they advance in their careers.”
In addition to receiving free membership at 1871, chosen companies will have access to the full range of 1871 membership benefits that include frequent mentorship opportunities, specialized education programs, and access to potential partners and investors. 1871 has also created a unique “Upper-Classmen” support system for the new college startups, which is composed of current 1871 companies that began as college startups.
Grand Prize Winners
Spectrom - University of Wisconsin - Madison – Spectrom brings photorealism to 3D printing by creating an add-on device that automates the production of full, multicolor objects in a fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer.
Hutster - Miami University, Ohio – Hutster is a student subletting marketplace that instantly connects students to help guide them through the subletting process.
Timing and Racing Around the Clock LLC – Northwestern University - T.R.A.C. seeks to simplify the running experience through innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) timing equipment.
Lumonik – University of Chicago – Lumonik delivers extremely accurate human hydration monitoring devices to the mass market. The initial product, the Hydraband, comes in the form of a color changing bracelet that monitors human hydration levels in real-time, thereby allowing users to actively prevent dehydration.
Hashtagr – DePaul University – Hashtagr is a social search engine that aggregates hashtag posts from Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Google+, and other resources into a simple user interface.
Omicron – George Washington University – Omicron uses mobile and online tools to help young people expand their access to financial markets.
Fitness Cubed – University of Chicago – Fitness Cubed is creating "Cubii," an under-the-desk exercise device to address sedentary behavior in the workplace. Cubii comes with a mobile app that allows users to keep track of their exercise and connect to various fitness trackers. Fitness Cubed recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund Cubii.
Share Transport – Northwestern University – Share Transport is a cloud-based service for maximizing any company’s transportation efficiency. Relying on analytics to optimize the logistic operation, Share Transport uses its extensive database to find matches for everyday transportation requirements.
Carbon Cash – Michigan State University – Carbon Cash is a behavioral energy efficiency app targeted towards renter-occupied housing, including college students. Carbon Cash informs users how much electricity they consume, teaches them how to use less with educational quizzes, and rewards them for saving through both psychological competitions with peers and monetary incentives.
Monkey Bars – Illinois Institute of Technology – MonkeyBars coordinates crowdsourced innovation challenges (Hackathons) that help companies and organizations improve the way they learn, think and grow. Their products range from external crowdsourced consulting initiatives to internal culture of innovation projects.
AnonyMonkey – University of Chicago – AnonyMonkey's app offers a way for high school and college students to share emotions semi-anonymously in groups that are centralized around each user's campus.
1871 is an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, the soon-to-be 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.
REMARKS OF 1871 CEO HOWARD TULLMAN
Good morning and welcome to Chicago and 1871. I’m Howard Tullman the CEO here at 1871 and I’ll be telling you more about 1871 in a little while. For now, I just want to tell you how excited we all are about Think Chicago and especially about our CCSC competition and the great first class of winners that we’re announcing today.
Apart from a good idea, a killer work ethic, a great team and a lot of luck (some of which you make yourself), it takes 4 things for a new business to grow and succeed:
(1) Cash – and today there’s tons around. We’ve had more than $5 Billion worth of exits of Chicago-based businesses just in the last year. So money’s no big deal.
(2) Customers – startups sometimes lose sight of the fact that you’ve got to sell something to someone and those somebodies are customers and there’s no better city for a diverse customer pool (large and small) than Chicago. Here’s a dirty little secret – there are no B-2-B customers on the coasts – they’re all here in the real world. Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because that’s where the money was. People come to Chicago to do business because this is where the customers are.
(3) Talent - that’s why we are here today. Attracting and retaining the best and the brightest talent to 1871 to start and grow their businesses (and to Chicago to start and grow their families) is our mission and – so far in just 2 years – we’re killing it. But there’s nothing that you can’t do harder, longer or better so we’re doing everything we can to create the best platform in the country to launch your next great idea.
And finally, it takes a Mayor who gets it.
It’s my great pleasure to introduce my friend Rahm Emanuel. I’ve been his supporter, his client, his landlord, and even an occasional critic (and you can guess how that worked out) for over 20 years. An old movie mogul (Samuel Goldwyn) used to say: “I want people to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.” Rahm wouldn’t go that far; he just likes me to think of him as a friend who’s always right.
And remarkably, since he’s been running our City, things for the tech community and for the 250 new businesses starting out here at 1871 simply couldn’t have been any better. So please join me in welcoming a GREAT supporter of entrepreneurs and innovation, a tremendous leader, and a good friend – our Mayor.