Wednesday, March 21, 2018



1871 Partners With Leading Women’s Organization to Create Safe and Healthy Workplaces With Sexual Harassment Training, Education, and Awareness; Program Will Require Annual Mandatory Training of all Members; Will Offer Six Public Facing Events; Will Establish Anonymous Hotline.

PRESS RELEASE | Chicago, IL |  March 21, 2018

Yun Tai, Communications Associate
(910) 391-9496

CHICAGO (March 21, 2017) -- 1871 joined YWCA Metropolitan Chicago on Wednesday to announce a joint initiative that will expand efforts to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace throughout Chicago. The partnership affirms 1871’s commitment to its values of diversity and inclusion along with its mission to support and empower Chicago’s entrepreneurs and business leaders of all backgrounds.  
As a result of this partnership, 1871 has added a section to its Member Code of Conduct requiring all of its members to take a sexual harassment training course at least once a year. 1871 will also host one optional YWCA-led training course on sexual harassment each month as a benefit for its members; courses will cover preventative education topics to help members better recognize and prevent abusive behaviors.
“As the number one incubator in the world, we have an obligation to lead the way when it comes to gender equality in the workplace,” said 1871 COO Tom Alexander. “This partnership withYWCA Metropolitan Chicago ensures that we’re expecting our members to observe and implement the highest standards in terms of diversity and inclusion, and also helps further the discussion on significant gender issues in today’s workforce.”
In addition to its training courses, the YWCA will host six public events at 1871 throughout the year to educate and equip the 1871 community with strategies and best practices to identify, prevent, and report sexual harassment in the workplace. The first event will take place in April to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The partnership will also provide access to a YWCA hotline for all of 1871’s members, tenants, partners, and staff. The hotline will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will provide support and crisis intervention for individuals who have experienced harassment or discrimination. All hotline users will remain anonymous.                
“Sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse is unacceptable in any industry, at any level,” saidYWCA Metropolitan Chicago CEO Dorri McWhorter. “When it comes to diversity and inclusion, 1871 is taking significant action and provides a model for other businesses in how to effectively advocate and empower women in the workplace. The YWCA is proud to stand side-by-side with the 1871 community to advance safe and healthy workplaces for all.”
Along with its collaboration with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the largest provider of sexual assault support services in the Midwest, 1871 has launched extensive efforts to support women in the workforce including WiSTEM, a 12-week, curriculum-based accelerator for women entrepreneurs, whose companies have raised more than $10 million in capital and created over 250 jobs, and ChiBuys, which supports women- and minority-owned food vendors in the Chicagoland area.

In addition to its diversity initiatives and programs, 1871 has also built two nursing rooms on its premises to support working mothers, worked aggressively to achieve gender parity among its mentor roster, and continues to reflect its values of diversity and inclusion in all of its organizational efforts including membership, events, recruiting, and programming.

About YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is the oldest and largest women’s organization in the region, with a mission to eliminate racism and empower women. For more than 140 years, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago has been committed to serving the evolving needs of women and families. Today, they help more than 200,000 individuals annually through Safety & Wellness, Education & Training, and Economic Sustainability. The organization is the largest provider of sexual assault support services in Illinois, offering crisis intervention, counseling, education and medical and legal advocacy services. They administer the state’s largest Child Care Resource and Referral program offering services to families seeking child care and a variety of support resources for child care providers. They also offer career, financial management, digital literacy and business services to help youth and adult members achieve financial stability and obtain training to enter high-growth fields. To learn more, please visit

About 1871
1871 is the home of over 500 high-growth technology startups and more than 1,500 members supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. Visit for more information. Located in a 150,000 square-foot space over three floors in The Merchandise Mart, 1871 has more than 600 current mentors available to its members, as well as more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and other organizations that make its extensive matrix of resources possible. For more on our partners, visit, or become a partner by reaching out to

1871 CEOs Howard Tullman and Betsy Ziegler Interviewed on WGN Radio

Saturday, March 17, 2018

New INC Magazine Blog Post by 1871 CEO Howard Tullman

Let's Give Bruno a Break
The performer got targeted in a social media debate about his work. The debate may be phony, or stupid, but there's a real lesson to learn about how quickly your customers can evolve.

CEO, 1871@tullman

I feel really bad for Bruno Mars because he’s stuck in the middle of one of these stupid, click-bait driven, social media debates about whether he’s grateful enough and vocal enough about the influences that “black” music has had on his own work. Apparently, no matter how much or how often you say “thank you” these days and prostrate yourself to the memories of those gone before, it’s never sufficient for the trolls and the haters. So, we’re subjected to a 140-character debate about cultural appropriation by a bunch of know-nothings and two-thumb typers who can barely spell, much less understand what they’re talking about. I’m just glad that Mick and JT have never had to go through this kind of knee-jerk noise. And Elvis would be rolling in his grave if there was room enough in the casket for him to move that bloated body around.
However, these people aren’t entirely worthless because they can always serve as a bad example - a stirring demonstration of exactly what not to do. You can learn a lot from Luddites. The important lesson for entrepreneurs is buried deep in the trivial and utterly immaterial observations of these critics. It’s about how quickly and easily concepts, ideas, language, thoughts - and especially expectations - can jump around from person to person, place to place, and industry to industry in today’s hyper-connected and high-speed digital world.
My takeaway is all about customers and competition. We see this same kind of behavior in every kind of competition. Many years ago, every high jumper laughed at a guy named Dick Fosbury and his crazy Fosbury Flop technique-; until he won gold at the 1968 Olympics with a record-setting leap. Then everyone jumped in and copied his technique.

I always say that the expectations of customers are "perpetually progressive," which simply means that they (we) can't help themselves from continually raising the bar. Which means that you've got to keep getting better and better in your business (product, service, support, speed, etc.) all the time because what was yesterday's miracle is tomorrow's "so what?" 

Like it or not, we’re all living in a “what have you done for me lately?” world. And to make things even worse, your competition never sleeps; they’re ready, willing, and able to step right up and grab any unhappy customers if you lose a step or two or start taking anything or anybody for granted. No one owns the customer today; switching costs are minimal; people’s choices are virtually unlimited; and locked-in and loyal consumers are a sure thing only as long as you keep delivering the goods.
But the new news is that the state of the competition has changed and you need to make sure that you aren’t spending too much of your time looking through the rear-view mirror or trying to measure your performance and success against the wrong bars (traditional and too low) and the wrong ball players (too few and too narrow a view).
The most important competition today for the time, attention and dollars of your customers isn’t in your own backyard. It’s not in your silo or limited to the set of standard competitors that you have always benchmarked your business against because that’s simply too low a bar and too modest a target. The competition today for the hearts and minds of your customers - listen closely - is the last great experience (sales or service) that they’ve had, whenever and wherever that took place. Whether or not it has anything directly to do with you or your business doesn’t matter. That’s simply how the consumer keeps score today.
You need a new mindset and it starts with a simple acknowledgement. In today’s one-stop world, you’re competing against the likes of Amazon even if they aren’t yet selling the same stuff or services that you are - if that’s even possible anymore given that they have virtually everything at the Everything Store. You’re competing against the most trusted brand in America and you’re competing with the ways (every way) that Amazon does business. Speed, access and convenience trump everything else. Once we experience this hyper-speed anywhere in our lives, we immediately bump up the bar, raise our expectations, and apply the same new standards to everything else in our lives. This is a case of appropriation uber alles and every one of us is guilty of it because that’s basic human nature. Who doesn’t want more and better anything and everything?

Amazon isn’t alone in setting the curve in the “right now” economy. You can get an on-demand flu shot at Walgreens in 15 minutes these days at your convenience. Why would you ever again beg some receptionist for an appointment to go see your internist in three weeks, then take 3 hours out of your day and spend several hundred bucks to accomplish essentially the same thing. And you’ll probably catch the flu before you get around to the date of your appointment anyway.

The bottom line: if you treat your customers as if it’s business as usual, they won’t be back or be your customers much longer. So, my advice is to “Be like Bruno” (with apologies to Michael Jordan). Change up your game constantly, get out of your comfort zone, look beyond your own four walls and your own marketplace, see who’s hit it out of the park (last week or last century), rip them off politely, and then do it better than they ever did.
Good artists copy; great artists steal.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

1871 Welcomes Angie Bastian from BOOMCHICKAPOP

1871 and Advanced Resources Host Blockchain Panel

1871 Welcomes Mayor Emanuel for Chicago Stories Live Podcast with 1871 CEO Howard Tullman

March 18, 2018

Mayor’s Press Office

Mayor Emanuel Interviews 1871 CEO Howard Tullman Live on Chicago Stories Podcast

For the first live episode on Chicago Stories, Mayor Emanuel sat down with 1871 CEO Howard Tullman this week at Chicago’s leading tech innovation space to look back at Howard’s career of reinvention, 1871’s world leading expansion, and how Chicago became the global tech hub it is today.

Founded in 2012, 1871 takes its name not just from the Great Chicago Fire, but from what happened next — the period of intense innovation that combined engineers, architects, and investors to build the new city we know today.

It’s that spirit of innovation that led 1871 to be ranked the first in the world in the 2018 UBI Global List of Top University-Affiliated Businesses Incubators.

Howard’s own Chicago story began as a student Northwestern University, but his story as a Chicago tech leader began — of all things — as a trial lawyer and criminal defense attorney. He specialized in Federal litigation, and was even admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. But after a decade in the field, he focus was turning to technology.

“In the course of those 10 years the computer really came into existence as a business tool,” Howard said, “and at the end of the 10 years it was more interesting to me to manage the information using the computers that it was to continue to be a trial lawyer.”

So in 1980 Howard retired from his law career and reinvented himself as a innovator and entrepreneur by starting the first of a series of database and information-based computer businesses.

Since that time he’s seen Chicago transform itself as a hub of tech entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly over the last four years he’s led 1871.

Be sure to check out the full live podcast episode to hear Mayor Emanuel and Howard talk about the difference between learning from failure and learning from life, what makes Chicago’s tech community so unique, the importance of giving back, and the latest updates on Chicago’s Hyperloop and quest to land Amazon’s HQ2.

Listen and subscribe to Chicago Stories podcast on Apple PodcastsSoundcloud and Spotify.


“When we started, the core underlying idea was mobile was going to change the world. Today, everything is digital, every business is tech-enabled, so what’s the next set of hurdles? It could be and we’re building in blockchain, we’re building in augmented reality, we’re building in machine learning, we’re building in the Internet of Things downstairs on the fifth floor.”

“You take the good lessons and the bad lessons and you apply them.”

“Sticking to it beyond a certain point is not really the smartest thing or the best thing to do.”

“Everybody is not going to be successful at everything they do. The biggest thing is to decide if you’re digging a hole is when to stop digging and when to do something else.”

“You’re not going to move the needle in a city by building start-ups. You’re going to use and move the needle when those start-ups’ technology and disruptive innovations are adopted by large corporations, and that really is where the impact occurs.”

“Entrepreneurs do not look backwards. We call this ‘in-game amnesia.’ If you’re focused on what happened in the past, the shot you missed, or an opportunity that you missed, you’re not paying attention to going ahead, and so my focus has always been what’s next.”

Total Pageviews


Blog Archive