March 18, 2014

Mayor Emanuel, ThinkChicago and 1871 Launch New Program to Attract the Best Collegiate Startups in the Nation to Chicago

1871 to Provide Free Work Space and Mentoring Opportunities Following a National Competition for Collegiate Tech Entrepreneurs

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, ThinkChicago and 1871 today launched the Chicago College Startup Competition (CCSC), a new effort to attract the leading collegiate business startups from around the country to Chicago.
As part of the CCSC, 1871 will provide up to 10 full-time desks at their 50,000 square-foot networking and business incubation space in The Merchandise Mart. The spaces will be designated for entrepreneurs who started their businesses while in college and wish to continue after graduation by moving to Chicago. The winners of the competition will receive a full free year of desk space, mentorship services, and all of the amenities that are made available to startups at the 1871 facility.

"This is exactly what ThinkChicago is about," said Mayor Emanuel. "The City of Chicago remains focused on attracting the best and brightest tech entrepreneurs to Chicago. This opportunity will help future college graduates succeed while integrating their businesses directly with Chicago's thriving tech community."

ThinkChicago and 1871 will work with some of the leading entrepreneurial business plan competitions at colleges across the country to identify outstanding businesses that may be selected as the winning businesses. Businesses can also directly apply to 1871 and ThinkChicago to be considered for the program. This will ensure businesses that are not involved in ongoing entrepreneurship competitions can still have a chance to be offered a place in the program. A panel of current businesses located at 1871 and members of ThinkChicago will evaluate the additional entries for inclusion in the program.

"1871 is all about attracting the best new businesses and helping them succeed," said Howard A. Tullman, CEO of 1871. "Collegiate businesses are in a unique position to be successful, and we believe that the resources that are available at 1871 will greatly help these young startups on their path. I'm excited about the potential for integration with the ongoing efforts of the city as part of this effort."

Competition winners will have same access to all 1871 resources as existing businesses. 1871 will also create a working group focused specifically on the unique challenges facing collegiate entrepreneurs to support the new companies and future collegiate businesses that come to the City of Chicago.

Interested applicants should visit or contact for more information. Competition winners will be publicly announced at ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza during the first week in August.

ThinkChicago looks to attract some of the top startups in the nation directly to the city, providing them with the support and resources they need to succeed. Mayor Emanuel has set a goal of doubling the size of Chicago's technology business by 2020, creating 40,000 jobs for the local economy.

# # #

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 programm