Chicago Bitcoin Center Launches at 1871
Chicago’s First Bitcoin Incubator Officially Launces at 1871, Welcomes Inaugural Class of Startups Focused on Blockchain-Based Technologies
CHICAGO (INSIDE BITCOINS CONFERENCE) July 10, 2015 — Prominent Chicago entrepreneurs and investors today announced the launch of the Chicago Bitcoin Center, an incubator to serve as Chicago’s key resource and center of gravity for blockchain-based technologies. Opening its doors today at 1871, Chicago’s hub for digital startups, and officially announced at the Inside Bitcoins Conference in Chicago, the Chicago Bitcoin Center will work to foster a new wave of technological innovation on the blockchain. The Chicago Bitcoin Center is dedicated to education, innovation, and development of blockchain-based technologies.
“Chicago has a rich history and DNA in financial technology, and the blockchain has the potential to provide a new, open-source rail for FinTech innovation,” said Matthew Roszak, founder and CEO of the Chicago Bitcoin Center and founding partner of Tally Capital, a Chicago-based venture capital firm focused on blockchain-enabled technologies and currencies. “The Chicago Bitcoin Center is open to designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and all those dedicated to building tomorrow’s next chapter of financial technology.”
The launch of the Chicago Bitcoin Center at 1871 provides a number of resources and opportunities for startups focused on blockchain-based technologies. In addition to office space in the Chicago Bitcoin Center, incubator companies will have access to mentorship by leading Bitcoin entrepreneurs, technologists and investors. The Chicago Bitcoin Center also provides a full suite of public relations and government affairs services to member companies. This incubator is one of many efforts being undertaken at 1871 to foster innovation around financial technology.
“The financial industry is a key vertical that is profoundly affected by technology, and the Chicago Bitcoin Center establishes a leadership position for 1871 and Chicago in this important field,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “We are excited to welcome the Chicago Bitcoin Center and its first cohort of startups to 1871.”
In conjunction with the launch of the Chicago Bitcoin Center, 1871 has announced that it will now be able to accept payment in bitcoin. Additionally, members will be invited to pay their rent in bitcoin, should they so desire. This is one of several steps 1871 will be taking to promote the use and acceptance of bitcoin.
“At the Chicago Bitcoin Center, I look forward to working with FinTech entrepreneurs to build on the growing momentum in the FinTech industry, while drawing on the city's deep legacy of financial innovation," said Jonathan Solomon, who serves as the first executive director of the Chicago Bitcoin Center.
The Chicago Bitcoin Center’s Board of Advisors includes: Andrew Filipowski, chairman of the Chicago Bitcoin Center and founding partner of Tally Capital; Don Wilson, founder and CEO of DRW Trading; Jeff Garzik, bitcoin core developer and founder of Dunvegan Space Systems; David Johnston, managing partner of Decentralized Applications Venture Fund; Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce; Josh Metnick, CEO of Navier; Luke Sully, director of advisory services at PriceWaterhouseCoopers; and Ezra Galston, venture capitalist at Chicago Ventures.
The Chicago Bitcoin Center’s inaugural incubator companies include: Bloq, a blockchain technology company; Glidera, a digital currency merchant services provider; Red Leaf, a bitcoin ATM operator; and OasisCoin, a bitcoin remittance provider.
About the Chicago Bitcoin Center
Leveraging Chicago's rich history and DNA in financial technology, the Chicago Bitcoin Center is an incubator focused on blockchain-enabled technologies and provides a platform for education, innovation and development. The Chicago Bitcoin Center is sponsored by a group of Chicago-based technology entrepreneurs and investors, and is located at 1871 Chicago. For more information visit: www.chicagobitcoin.com.
1871 is the home of more than 325 early-stage, high-growth digital 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, food and financial technology; several emerging tech talent schools (Flatiron, The Fullbridge Program, Designation 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 Venture Capital, MATH Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures, OurCrowd and Chicago Ventures, as well as satellite offices for Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Loyola University 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, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business, among other top media. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.