Thursday, January 07, 2016


Applications Now Open For Weekend-Long Startup Event; Students From 1871’s University Partners Encouraged To Apply; Event To Take Place April 8-10

CHICAGO (JANUARY 7, 2016) – 1871 today announced the opening of applications for Campus 1871, a weekend-long startup event held each spring for local university students. In its third year, Campus 1871 draws a diverse set of students from each of 1871’s university partners to brainstorm business ideas, learn about entrepreneurship, develop business plans, and pitch their businesses to a panel of judges. 1871’s university partners include Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Loyola University Chicago, DeVry University, and Illinois Institute of Technology.

“Campus 1871 is the ideal opportunity to introduce students to the entrepreneurial and tech community in Chicago,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “The programming throughout the weekend leaves students excited and inspired to pursue their entrepreneurial passions. Our goal is to retain talent in the city by showing them why Chicago is the best place to start and build a business and to have an impactful career with a wonderful quality of life.”

During Campus 1871, students divide themselves into teams (with each team including hipsters, hackers, hustlers and dreamers) and spend the weekend building out their business ideas. After joining a team and deciding on an idea for their new business, students spend their time creating their business plans, building prototypes, and developing their business pitches. The program concludes with pitches from each of the teams, with winners chosen by a panel of judges. Throughout the weekend, students have the opportunity to hear speeches and receive mentorship from leaders in Chicago’s entrepreneurial community.

“Campus 1871 is a wonderful opportunity for students to collaborate on creative business ideas while also learning the various aspects of entrepreneurship,” said University of Illinois President Tim Killeen. “The event engages students from all academic backgrounds and shows them how building a business, especially in Chicago, is an exciting and fulfilling career path.”

Campus 1871 draws students from each of 1871’s university partners, including Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Loyola University Chicago, DeVry University and Illinois Institute of Technology. These universities all have dedicated spaces at 1871 where students and faculty come to work on their businesses and immerse themselves in Chicago’s entrepreneurial community. 1871 was recently ranked as the top university-affiliated business incubator in the United States by UBI Global due in large part to these relationships.

“During the course of a single weekend, Campus 1871 allowed me to collaborate with students from other schools to explore the various aspects of building a successful business,” said Jessica Chitkuer, member of 2015 Campus 1871 winning team LanguaLlama. “It was a great program that was especially valuable in showing me how my academic and professional experiences could help me pursue a more entrepreneurial career path.” 

Applications for Campus 1871 are open through January 31, 2016. To learn more and apply, visit

About 1871

1871 is the home of more than 350 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 120,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators Techstars Chicago and the Good Food Business Accelerator; impact investing fund 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 Inc. Magazine, TechCrunch, The 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.

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