1871 2.0: Innovation Hub's Expanded Space Officially Opens, Growing 50 Percent Overnight
14 October 2014
1871 2.0, the 25,000 square foot expansion of Chicago's tech and startup hub, is finally complete and open for business.
The ribbon cutting event is scheduled for this morning and will feature remarks from CEO Howard Tullman and 1871 founder J.B. Pritzker. Alumni companies will also speak about how they plan to grow their businesses within the new space.
1871 received a $2.5 million state grant to complete the expansion, which will increase its size by 50 percent.
1871 2.0 will be home to larger companies that have outgrown their current space but want to continue to grow within the startup environment. The space will also house several niche incubators that will have a specific focus on a number of industries and demographics. The programs include:
● The Bunker: the nation’s first veterans-exclusive technology business accelerator, which will harness the leadership experiences of veterans as a strategic differentiator for startup and early stage veteran-owned, technology-enabled businesses.
● LEAP Innovations: an incubator that seeks to foster the development of the best learning technologies by supporting startups that create these technology products and programs for key learning gaps and helping pilot these technologies in real-life learning environments.
● The DeVry EdTech Incubator: an incubator designed to help startups develop new educational technologies to accelerate innovation in teaching and learning by offering mentorship, coaching and access to DeVry’s network of educational leaders.
● The Elmspring Real Estate Incubator: an incubator supporting startups that leverage technology to create solutions for complex challenges throughout the real estate industry. Elmspring seeks to foster clever and innovative concepts that disrupt traditional models in real estate and its related industries. 1871’s real estate technology incubator space is sponsored by DTZ.
● The Good Food Business Accelerator: a fellowship program focused on encouraging broad-based food entrepreneurship and leveraging technology in the food industry. Operated by FamilyFarmed.org, the GFBA will be the nation’s first business accelerator focused on building supply chains of sustainable local food.
● WiSTEM: a program for women-owned and operated technology businesses. In addition to its complete access to the 1871 community and all of its resources, WiSTEM will offer a rigorous yet flexible program to foster and support women entrepreneurs.
The expansion represents a big step for 1871, which in many ways serves as the embodiment of Chicago's thriving tech ecosystem. Tullman frequently acknowledges that 1871 is no longer a "tech treehouse" and startups are being told it's "up or out" when it comes to growing their businesses. The expanded 1871 will give more resources to startups and shows that Chicago is committed to tech and innovation.