Saturday, May 31, 2014

1871 CEO Howard Tullman Speaking at MIT Digital Summit - Innovation Forum

Music Dealers expands music licensing platform to Asia and Mexico

Bringing 4 new execs on board, Music Dealers expands music licensing platform to Asia and Mexico

File 36980
Lincoln Park-native Eric Sheinkop knows his stuff when it comes to music licensing - he started a production company when he was 16 and last year even wrote a book titled “Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands." His expertise in the industry also led him to found music licensing platform Music Dealers in 2008.
Through the platform’s advanced technology, his company has been able to scale globally despite the fact that the music licensing industry relies heavily on personal relationships.
Today, Music Dealers is the one-stop shop for pre-cleared music and creative sounds while providing a middle ground for independent artists and brands. Music Dealers has expanded immensely since its inception just six years ago, however, Sheinkop said the business has recently taken on a new life. There are now seven Music Dealers offices with about 40 employees, almost all of whom work in its Chicago headquarters.
The idea for Music Dealers came about 10 years ago when Sheinkop noticed disorganization within the music licensing industry while attempting to locate relevant music for ad campaigns at a major Chicago ad firm. To stay organized, Sheinkop created a personal spreadsheet to keep track of various artists the agency had rights to use.
‘’There was no real efficient system at the time for brands to obtain rights for specific content that could be licensed in TV commercials, also, there was a lack of database of existing available artists,’’ Sheinkop said.  
Sheinkop said the light bulb went off after someone at the firm asked for access to his handpicked music spreadsheet. That spreadsheet wound up laying the groundwork for what is now considered a game-changing global technology platform to source music. 
The CEO said music licensing is a high-growth area in the music industry at the moment.
‘’It’s something that artists want more and more and need access to, and something that brand's, like television networks want,’’ Sheinkop said. ‘’We've been able to take a different approach to find the 'right' music for each client that really speaks to a brand's communication strategy.''
Over the past year, the company has expanded to Mexico, Brazil and parts of Asia. To keep up with technological growth and expansion overseas, four senior-level appointments were announced this week: Howard Tullman of 1871, Kayne Grau of, Clay Johnson of and digital marketer David Szostak.
As Sheinkop looks forward to new opportunities overseas, he remains fascinated by Chicago’s entrepreneurial style and budding startup scene. Although Sheinkop spent months traveling coast-to-coast in search of those senior-level staff members, he said the best-qualified people for the jobs were based right here, in Chicago.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Leasabl: Providing small businesses space to grow

by Kristin April Kim
May 28, 2014

    Kristin Kim/MEDILL

    Leasabl's four employees currently work out of 1871, Chicago's entrepreneurial hub for digital startups.


    Kristin Kim/MEDILL

    CEO Jason Goodrich of Leasabl says that many people at 1871 are potential Leasabl users, for they will       need to search for a new space when their business grows out of 1871.

Jason Goodrich was frustrated.

After all, his wish was simple: To find a space for his new business at a reasonable price. Instead, he was stumbling into spaces that were much too long-term, pricey and large for his needs.

Unsure that his business would last more than three years, he couldn’t sign a long-term lease. Months of searching coupled with a frustrating lack of flexibility in price and contract terms finally made Goodrich call it quits.

That’s when he asked: What if there was a way to make it easier for small startups to open their doors?

Goodrich’s space-seeking woes inspired him to create Leasabl, a website that connects short-term space seekers directly with property owners on terms that Goodrich says are much more reasonable and transparent.

“Up 'til now, the field has been tilted towards land owners and brokers,” he said. “They own the supply so they write the rules, thus there’s this lack of transparency that’s challenging for space seekers to access from the outside. They have no choice but to choose from what is offered.”

But not anymore, at least in Goodrich's view. Leasabl, he says, lays out all available short-term spaces on its website for seekers, property owners and brokers to see. With a model similar to Priceline and AirBnB but for office spaces, Goodrich contends that Leasabl mitigates risk and maximizes efficiency for all parties involved.

For example, though Leasabl receives 10 percent to 25 percent of each month’s rent from property owners, Mike Lombardo of Blue Star Properties agrees that that it is “found money” for property owners.

“They’re giving us a great short-term solution,” he said. “Obviously we want long-term tenants but when we can’t find them, a space might stay dark for a few months or longer. So while it's sitting there, why not plug in a young company that can’t sign a long term lease because they're new, but want to move in somewhere?”

Leasabl has been in business since receiving $35,000 from angel investors and has accepted over 40 applications from space-seekers to date. The company, now run by Goodrich and three others, faces more demand from space seekers than it can handle.

“Demand in the loft market in particular, with the whole exposed bricks and concrete look, is through the roof right now,” explained Lombardo. “They’re popular not just for the aesthetic appeal but also because it’s the right price point for young, innovative tech companies, which is what Leasabl is catering to.”

Though available inventory is small and changing, Goodrich says that this is a problem that can be resolved as Leasabl continues to increase its number of partnerships.

“We have five partners lined up with us on the supply side, two of which are global landlords,” he said. “Their supply is leased up for now, but we’re continuing to look for people wanting to use us on both the demand and supply side.”

Bradley A. Serot, senior vice president of property manager CBRE, also says that Leasabl is filling a niche for startup clients who are looking for a ready-to-go, flexible solution.

“It’s not that we’re focused on the short term; brokers are usually going through a longer consulting process for companies that usually results in a longer strategic outcome,” he said. “Leasabl is a nice additional place to go find companies that have a short term need and I think it has tremendous growth potential.”

Goodrich boasts that Leasabl is revolutionizing the retail real estate industry by allowing emerging companies to sign short-term options in an environment made easier and more transparent than ever.

“It’s a $80 billion opportunity, and that’s just the size of the hole in our market,” he said, referring to the $535 billion office and retail leasing market.

Lombardo agrees and says that it’s “win-win for everyone”.

“He should talk with every landlord in the city because the more options he has for his clients, the more he’s going to place, and there’s definitely room for growth,” he said.

While Leasabl has ambitious plans for national expansion, Goodrich says the company intends to remain true to its core values.

“We’re trying to create a market where you can book a space in minutes,” he said. “Our mantra is this: a space should define a business, not confine it.”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Music Dealers Boosts Senior Team as Music Licensing Industry Rockets to an Estimated $4 Billion

Music Dealers Boosts Senior Team as Music Licensing Industry Rockets to an Estimated $4 Billion

Senior appointments and technology innovation are key to Music Dealers’ strategy of revolutionizing how the industry licenses music globally.

"[Music Dealers' new senior appointments] are the ideal candidates to focus on developing our core business, strengthen our digital proposition and above all position Music Dealers as the dominant player in the music licensing industry.”
(PRWEB) May 27, 2014
Music Dealers™, the global B2B music licensing company, has strengthened its core leadership team with the appointment of four new senior members across the global business.
Announcing the appointments today, Eric Sheinkop, CEO and co-founder of Music Dealers, says the new senior roles are key to Music Dealers’ goal of developing game-changing technologies and forward-looking digital strategies that position the Music Dealers’ online platform as the unrivalled iTunes of B2B.
The new unified structure brings together some of the biggest names in the media, entertainment and tech industries to focus on launching an innovative online checkout embedded within the digital platform. Music Dealers will continue developing global clients, currently including The Coca-Cola Company, Sony, McDonald’s and Microsoft, collaborative partnerships, and creative resourcing.
The new appointments effective immediately are: 
  •     Howard Tullman – CEO of 1871, the Chicago-based entrepreneurial hub for digital startups, joins Music Dealers as Executive Chairman of the Board. He brings 45 years’ management experience in the music, film and digital media sector.
  •     Kayne Grau – joins Music Dealers as President from He has a wealth of 15 years of experience directing successful business and technology operations.
  •     Clay Johnson – joins Music Dealers as Vice President of Technology from Clay will lead all tech negotiations to implement a superlative user experience.
  •     David Szostak – joins Music Dealers as Director of Marketing and Business Development, focusing on marketing strategies to drive revenue growth and brand awareness.
Under the direction of the new team and to satisfy client needs as licensing requests skyrocket, Music Dealers has integrated and launched online checkout into its platform. This is designed to simplify and speed up the process of discovering and purchasing authentic music for TV, advertising and music campaigns – anytime and anywhere in the world.
The concept will provide Music Dealers’ client base unprecedented 24/7 access to the world’s largest music catalogue of more than 180,000 songs by 17,000 independent artists from 85 countries.
Music Dealers CEO and Co-founder, Eric Sheinkop says, “Strong leadership within our organization ensures we maintain momentum as we continue to expand the reach, influence and innovation around the Music Dealers online music licensing platform. Howard, Kayne, Clay and David all possess a vital mix of deep industry knowledge alongside a passion for pushing boundaries. Along with our streamlined online checkout providing the perfect music for any media campaign, they are the ideal candidates to focus on developing our core business, strengthen our digital proposition and above all position Music Dealers as the dominant player in the music licensing industry.”
For more information and images, please contact:
Lyndsey Ager
Notes to Editor:
About Music Dealers
Music Dealers™ is a global B2B music licensing company whose passion and mission is to help brands, agencies, TV networks, and film & game studios realize the full potential of music to drive value for their business. Music Dealers provides its clients unprecedented 24/7 access to the world’s largest catalogue of emerging talent via their online platform. By working with Music Dealers, artists have earned millions through sync placements, custom music creation, and clearance deals. In 2011, Music Dealers cemented an exclusive partnership with The Coca-Cola Company as the brand’s global music partner. Since, Music Dealers has formed partnerships with Viacom, The Orchard, INgrooves, and Havas Sports & Entertainment. Founded in 2009, Music Dealers is based in Chicago, with offices in New York, Atlanta, London, and Mexico City. For more information visit:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


1871 and After School Matters Announce Partnership to Promote Tech Sector Opportunities for Chicago Teens

1871 and After School Matters Announce Partnership to Promote Tech Sector Opportunities for Chicago Teens
Summer internship to welcome four Chicago teens to experience tech community firsthand
Chicago, Illinois (May 27, 2014) — 1871 and After School Matters announced today they will partner for the first time this summer to provide Chicago teens with an internship program to experience technology and digital entrepreneurship. After School Matters has a long-standing tradition of partnering with organizations like 1871, that are able to expose teens to marketable job skills and future careers.
“1871 is committed to fostering community engagement from its members and the tech community,” said 1871 CEO, Howard A. Tullman. “By partnering with After School Matters, 1871 will be able to help the next generation of entrepreneurs develop their talents as they become Chicago’s future leaders.”
1871 will select four interns to take part in the six-week program beginning July 1, 2014. The program will allow the interns to work directly with members of 1871’s executive team and with some of Chicago’s growing companies, business experts and community leaders.  As active members of the 1871 team, interns will work on a variety of tasks ranging from event planning to community outreach. The teens will also be responsible for a regular blog post that will be featured on the 1871 website. In the posts the teens will be able to share their first-hand experience of working at 1871 and in the multifaceted world of digital entrepreneurship. 
"I am thrilled that After School Matters and 1871 are working together," said J.B. Pritzker, Pritzker Group Managing Partner and 1871 Founder. "1871 is the perfect place for this select group of teens to learn about technology entrepreneurship and see first-hand how companies are built from the ground up."
After School Matters provides internship opportunities to its more advanced teens who have participated in previous programs and are ready to take their skills to the next level. This first-time partnership between After School Matters and 1871 will connect Chicago high school teens to real-world work opportunities in some of the most exciting and innovative career fields available today. During the program, the interns will have the opportunity to help 1871 foster relations with Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods as the tech hub seeks to broaden its community engagement.
“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with 1871 and connect our teens with one of the most creative and dynamic environments not just here in Chicago, but in the entire world,” said Mary Ellen Caron, After School Matters Chief Executive Officer.
In addition to the internship program, 1871 has also begun showcasing artwork by After School Matters teens. The works of art will be a mix of canvases, skateboards, and mixed – media pieces, similar to those regularly on display at the After School Matters Retail Store. The art is on display in 1871’s Auditorium and will be available for purchase starting June 1, 2014Images of the art are available on the 1871 website:
About After School Matters
After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Over the past two decades, close to 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, science, sports, technology and communications. Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, community-based organizations and Downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts.
About 1871
1871 is an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, the 50,000-square-foot facility provides Chicago startups with programming, access to mentors, educational resources, potential investors and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that help them on their path to building successful businesses. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. Follow 1871 at @1871chicago or visit



Howard Tullman leaves arts stamp on 1871

Howard Tullman leaves arts stamp on 1871

 - Howard Tullman decorates 1871 with his own collection. Among the pieces is
Howard Tullman decorates 1871 with his own collection. Among the pieces is "Fortis” by Tim Okamura.
No surprise Howard Tullman is putting his stamp on 1871, the big office space at the Merchandise Mart used by techie entrepreneurs.
Along with making it a hub for new business, Mr. Tullman has brightened up the place with original pieces from his personal collection of contemporary artwork.
Some of them were moved from Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, which he co-founded, and others are new or from his private loft space.
Some recently purchased artwork fits well with the new FEMtech initiative, Mr. Tullman told me. He was referring to 1871's focus on women in the tech industry. There's a new 80-foot mural in the hallway by Chicago artist Jeff Zimmermann. Mr. Tullman talks about that in his blog.
And there are some pieces created by teens via nonprofit After School Matters that are hanging and for sale. The painted skateboards and other artwork were created as part of an internship program.
I spent some time at 1871 last week and talked to a few entrepreneurs there about the artwork. Most were surprised to hear it came from Mr. Tullman's personal collection.
“It warms up the space,” said Jill Salzman, founder of Founding Moms, a company that helps moms get businesses off the ground.
Paul Caswell, founder and CEO of Weave the People, an online team-building tool, said, “In tech, we're always in our heads. We're all thinkers. But there's an artistic side, too, and that was missing."
And Brian Busch, founder of Brewed in Chicago, an online gathering place for the craft-beer community, said, simply, “Creativity is at the core of what we do, so having art cover the white walls makes sense.”
Follow Shia on Twitter at @ShiaKapos.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Women at work: Creating opportunity, adding voice in tech industry at 1871

Women at work: Creating opportunity, adding voice in tech industry at 1871

Two women spearheading digital startup companies at the 1871 tech hub say their new, male-dominated environment poses challenges, but ones that enliven and inform them.
Jamie Migdal, a serial entrepreneur who has grown three successful brick-and-mortar pet-care companies, in late July is launching an online career and networking site for the pet-care industry — think for pet-care businesses, employees and would-be workers.
The site,, now in private beta, aims to improve professionalism in the industry by letting businesses find qualified, passionate and dedicated employees.
After working almost exclusively with other women throughout her 18-year entrepreneurial career, Migdal said she has met only a couple of other women who have founded their own companies since she moved to 1871 in January.
She has learned to be OK with seeing few other women in the shared space, and has turned it to her advantage.
“I feel accomplished, special and like I can make a huge difference because I’m bringing a voice to the tech industry,” she said, adding that she has mentored men and women for many years and values having both on her company’s board.
There’s another incentive: her 21/2 year-old daughter, Sadie.
“I feel I’m building a legacy for her,” Migdal said. “I really want to show her what women can do to challenge assumptions and create opportunities.”
Migdal, 43, is creating FetchFind after pet-care business owners begged her to help them deal with high worker turnover, and ambitious pet owners sought her advice for starting their own firms. “The pet-care industry is a $60 billion industry that has very little technology or sophistication to help move it forward,” said the Elk Grove Village native, who lives in Wicker Park.
FetchFind employs three and just closed on a $275,000 round of friends-and-family fundraising.
Her status comes from starting Out-U-Go!, a now nationally franchised pet-sitting company; AnimalSense Training and Behavior and CanineLink Training and Career Academy. Migdal sold Out-U-Go 14 years ago, and marvels at its growth. She sold AnimalSense to former student and employee Lindsay Rapp, who in May sold it to Paradise 4 Paws, a national airport-based pet hotel firm.
Katie Hench is CEO and co-founder with friend Christopher Flint, of Infiniteach, a digital learning platform that sells interactive, individualized lessons for people with autism.
Hench, 31, of Lincoln Park, spent her career in the female-dominated world of education, including as a special education teacher and training specialist for families with children with autism at the Chicago Children’s Museum and Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago.
That changed a year ago, when Infiniteach launched its first iPad app, Skill Champ. A key player in the app’s creation is Infiniteach partner and chief networking officer Lally Daley, the youngest daughter of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and a clinical community psychology doctoral student at DePaul University.
Company founders have raised $550,000 in a friends-and-family fundraiser. They moved into the 1871 tech hub in early September.
Hench said her new status as part of a female minority, where she often is the only woman at a table of 10 men, has made her appreciate the value of both perspectives. “When you speak up (as a woman), there is maybe something new here that the other 10 brains didn’t think of.”
Hench has seen it when co-founder Flint proposes a big idea for a product or service, and she quizzes him about how it would fit in families’ day-to-day lives.
“I will never be a (software) coder, but I will continue to be one who investigates what I’m asking of others,” she said, noting that being an entrepreneur is foreign to her risk-averse nature.
Hench is encouraged by the willingness of women at 1871 to mentor and help one another. “It makes this a stronger community,” she said.
Neither Migdal nor Hench plans to move to 1871’s new female-focused FEMtech incubator for women-owned startups because of the valued role that men play in their companies — though Migdal hasn’t ruled it out.
Migdal and Hench are among 28 percent of companies who work out of 1871 that have a woman on the founding team. Nationwide, 5 percent of of tech startup founders are women, according to Shaherose Charania, co-founder and CEO of Women 2.0.
Wale Taiwo, a senior recruiter at Chicago-based ITADMN, an IT resourcing firm, says women locally often experience a tough time finding jobs because they don’t have enough experience, and he has seen many start their own businesses.
Twitter: @sandraguy

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