CITY OF CHICAGO TREASURER KURT SUMMERS VISITS 1871 TO MEET WITH MEMBER COMPANIES
City Treasurer holds a roundtable discussion with a group of 1871 member startup companies as part of his 77 in 77 project.
Chicago (Jan. 26, 2015)—1871 welcomed recently-appointed City of Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers for a roundtable discussion with a group of entrepreneurs whose companies are based at 1871. The purpose of this discussion was to identify unique investment opportunities in their specific industries. The Treasurer’s visit to the technology business incubator in The Merchandise Mart is part of his 77 in 77 project in which he is visiting all 77 of Chicago’s neighborhoods during the first 77 days of his new position.
"The primary goal of 1871 is to foster the development of the innovative new tech businesses that are crucial drivers of Chicago’s job and economic growth,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “We think there are many opportunities to connect our businesses and the efforts being undertaken at City Hall. We are excited to facilitate this conversation between Treasurer Summers and members of Chicago’s rapidly growing tech industry and look forward to a continued, fruitful relationship.”
Summers assumed office with a 90-day action plan in place, in which he has identified a number of opportunities to secure the financial future of the city. The plan focuses on driving responsible and active investment to Chicago neighborhoods and local entrepreneurial businesses. According to Summers, there is a significant amount of investment opportunities in the city and this plan will guide the efforts of the Treasurer’s office moving forward.
“My mission is to effectively utilize and mobilize our financial capital while investing in the type of economic development that can impact every neighborhood in Chicago,” said Treasurer Summers. “Companies at 1871 are helping build the next generation of Chicago’s economy, which will keep our city vibrant and competitive for generations to come. I am excited to work with Howard and the team at 1871 to extend the organization’s reach to every neighborhood in the city of Chicago.”
With the 77 in 77 project, one of the initiatives that will help further his 90-day plan, Summers is committed to create open-communication channels with residents and entrepreneurs across the city by visiting all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods within 77 days.
1871 startup companies who participated in the discussion were:
• Stock Trend Spotter, a software that helps people take control of their investments by suggesting trending stocks based on personal preference
• Quid, a platform that helps entrepreneurs find funding for their projects in less than 24 hours
• Brewed in Chicago, a social network for Chicago beer lovers
• School Loan 411, a company that offers financial services to individual borrowers, educational institutions, and private lenders
• Kahoots, a mobile app that helps build stronger networks
• Bad Testing, a software that uses quality assurance, testing, and configuration to ensure effective product releases
• Youtopia, a company that utilizes digital badges and gamification to engage students
• DreamHighr, a software application that uses optimized matching algorithms and data mining to match jobseekers to relevant job openings
• GuardLlama, a mobilized personal security system that summons police assistance directly to its carrier with the simple click of a button
• ONeill Contractors, Inc., a veteran-owned commercial contractor that specializes in flat low-pitched roofs and water-proofing
• SHIFT, a donation platform that provides financial solutions to unbanked women around the world via group savings and mobile money services
• Alligator Games, a company that creates gaming applications for children
• ThinkCERCA, a digital platform that helps students build college and career readiness skills
• Breakwater Chicago, an entertainment startup focused on the design, development and operation of floating entertainment complexes
Quid, Stock Trend Spotter, DreamHighr, and ONeill Contractors, Inc. are member companies of The Bunker, the nation’s first veteran-focused incubator, which is based out of 1871. “In October 2014 we launched The Bunker knowing that our partnership with 1871 would give us an opportunity to have a positive impact in society by leveraging the strengths and entrepreneurial will of veterans in the tech community,” said The Bunker CEO Todd Connor. “Having these companies engaging in a roundtable discussion with the City Treasurer to talk about the economic challenges and opportunities in their industries is proof that we are making great progress toward these goals.”
1871 is the home of more than 325 early-stage, high-growth startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 75,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators, Techstars Chicago and Impact Engine; half a dozen industry-specific incubators in key areas such as real estate, education technology and the Internet of Everything; several emerging tech talent schools (The Starter League and the Startup Institute), and the state's leading technology advocate, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. It is the second home to Chicago-based VCs, Pritzker Group, MATH Ventures, Hyde Park Angels, OurCrowd and Chicago Ventures, as well as satellite offices for Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and DeVry. 1871 has fast become recognized as the hub for the city’s entrepreneurial/technology ecosystem and has been featured in TechCrunch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business among other top media.