Digital Hub’s Alumni Have Created More than 300 New Jobs to Date and Generated More than $10 Million in Revenue
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today
joined 1871, Chicago’s leading hub for digital startups, to honor 26 alumni
companies for their astonishing success and impact on Illinois’ economy,
creating more than 300 new jobs and $10 million in revenue. The event serves as
a milestone to recognize the significant achievements of the tech hub’s first
18+ months as it enters its second phase under the leadership of recently
appointed CEO Howard Tullman. Mr. Tullman takes over from interim 1871 CEO Jim
“At 1871, there is fertile ground for
entrepreneurship and new ideas,” Governor Quinn said. “1871 has become an
incredible resource for the technology industry in Illinois while working to
grow our economy, create jobs and keep our state a center for innovation
“1871 has been a driving force in
Chicago’s tech scene, creating jobs and opportunity,” Chicago Mayor Rahm
Emanuel said. “I am proud of the graduates and I wish them success as they lead
the next generation of Chicago tech companies.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of the
remarkable achievements we’ve seen during the first 18 months of 1871,” Jim
O’Connor Jr., who continues to serve as co-chairman of the Chicagoland
Entrepreneurial Center’s Board of Directors, said. “We
always knew that the real measure of our success would be in the number of
startups who built great technologies and grew out of 1871. I believe these 26
companies will be part of the next generation of corporate leaders in Chicago,
and I am excited to watch them as they continue to thrive.”
Building a Vibrant Startup City
1871 was launched in May of 2012 and
is overseen by the non-profit organization Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.
Governor Quinn provided $2.3 million in seed funding under the Illinois Jobs
Now! capital improvements program.
Through the collaborative effort of
leaders in the local business, civic, financial and education sectors, 1871 has
become the central address for Chicago’s startup community. It has garnered
global attention for bringing together many of the critical pieces of the
ecosystem to accelerate a startup’s path to success, and has become the model
for the creation of other like-minded centers both locally and nationally.
1871 set out to be more than a shared
co-working center. It sought to establish optimal conditions for
entrepreneurial success by providing proximity to other highly-driven
entrepreneurs, access to mentorship from experienced business leaders, programs
offering both knowledge and networking, and a workspace that was more
collaborative than coffee shops or home offices.
“1871 is designed to bring
together the talent, resources, tools and energy to create a rich environment
for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into world-leading companies,” 1871
founder J.B. Pritzker said. “Startup visionaries come to 1871 to learn from
each other, develop their ideas more quickly, and launch great tech companies.
These 26 alums are examples of exactly that.”
Making an Impact on Chicago’s Economy
In December 2013, 1871 conducted a
survey of current members and alumni to estimate the community’s economic
impact on Chicago and Illinois. The study revealed:
than 1,030 jobs were created by all 1871 member companies, 325 of which were
created by 1871 alumni companies.
$70 million of capital has been invested into all 1871 member companies, $32
million of which was invested into 1871 alumni companies.
member companies have contributed more than $31 million in revenue to Illinois’
economy, with more than $10 million generated by 1871 alumni companies alone.
“I am honored to have been asked to
lead the next exciting installment of growth and expansion for 1871,” incoming
1871 CEO Howard Tullman said. “I’m already jumping in feet first as I look to
make a tangible impact very quickly. Specifically, I hope to provide a more
structured and targeted mentoring process, establish partnerships with
international cities and innovation hubs, increase the unique resources
available to our members, develop suites for 1871 graduate companies, provide
state-of-the-art production capabilities that support communication and
marketing efforts, and select only the highest caliber innovators to become
"Having participated in the
startup communities both in Boston and San Francisco, but grown up in the
Midwest, I couldn't be more proud to launch a company here in Chicago,”
Rocketmiles CEO Jay Hoffmann said. “1871 provided extraordinary community and
camaraderie during the early months while we built Rocketmiles. As graduates,
we look forward to giving back to the community."
The 26 Alumni
AdYapper is a provider of real time analytics and viewability
monitoring for display and mobile ads.
BranchBird solves big data problems for companies by providing
world-class agile business intelligence services and solutions.
Caremerge offers a complete set of web and
mobile apps that are revolutionizing communication and care coordination for
senior living communities. The solutions help reduce healthcare costs in
providing care to the elderly.
Analytics is a
technology and analytics firm that helps companies, non-profits, and campaigns
leverage their data to develop smarter strategy, make better decisions and
build stronger, data-driven organizations.
is a digital hub for
women in the city of Chicago producing more than 35 articles each week, monthly
events and a state-of-the-art membership program.
Dashfire partners with entrepreneurs to
convert PowerPoints into products through software development and strategic
Digital H2O, Inc. (”DH20”) is a Big Data startup focused on creating an online water
management analytics and marketplace platform to disruptively change how energy
companies manage scarce water resources.
Everpurse charges your phone on the go,
Food Genius is a technology and services company
with a mission to deliver big data and insight solutions to the food industry.
MarkITx is the premier online marketplace for
buyers, sellers and wholesalers of secondary IT equipment.
Moxie Jean is upscale resale, making it easy for
busy moms to buy and sell high quality, like-new kids' clothes online.
KBooM! Games and Apps, from ideation to development, KBooM!
designs and builds custom games and apps that bring your business or idea
to mobile devices.
Piece & Co. connects brands and retailers with
artisans in the developing world, creating fashionable, story-driven products.
ProOnGo empowers small businesses to record and manage expenses
from any device, as well as create expense reports and sync to popular small
business accounting systems.
PrettyQuick, the "Open
Table" of the $60 billion salon and spa industry, PrettyQuick is an
innovative marketplace for top-tier beauty appointments that allows consumers
to easily find and book their perfect beauty appointments at the right time,
location, and price.
Rapleaf makes it easy for marketers of all sizes to
access the data they need to better engage the customer behind the email
Rocketmiles is a new
hotel-booking site geared toward travelers who want to stockpile miles for
Risk/IO is the first software-as-a-service to
use external Internet breach and exploit data to monitor, measure, and
prioritize vulnerabilities across an enterprise’s environment.
SimpleRelevance, a leading provider of personalized
marketing communication that combines customers' unique geographic, social and
demographic data with interests and past purchase behavior to automatically
send personalized marketing messages with dynamic product recommendations and
SpotHero is the Orbitz of parking spots. SpotHero works with the
largest parking companies to help drivers find parking spots, compare
discounted rates and book a guaranteed spot via website and mobile app.
Stagebloc helps you understand and communicate with your audience
Media is a
managed services provider for digital content for businesses.
ThinkCerca is an online, CCSS-aligned literacy
program with tools and content so teachers can help students learn to read
closely, think critically, and develop powerful arguments.
Toodalu is a mobile loyalty program for stores
and restaurants that rewards customers based on their credit
card transactions. Spring Marketplace acquired Toodalu in January of 2013.
WeDeliver brings on demand delivery to all of a
consumer’s neighborhood businesses. Ordered by the consumer. Delivered by their
Whittl helps you find what you need near you with a
comprehensive list and price menu of neighborhood services: beauty, fitness,
auto, home, pet and much more.
1871 is an entrepreneurial hub for
digital startups. Located in the famed 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 CEC.
The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center
(CEC) is a 501(c)(3) committed to the mission of supporting entrepreneurs and
promoting entrepreneurship in Chicago. Its flagship project, 1871, fulfills its vision of a central
address for tech entrepreneurs in Chicago.