FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1/14/2014
​Governor’s Press Line: (312) 814-3158
Brooke Anderson Brooke.Anderson@illinois.gov
Grant Klinzman Grant.Klinzman@illinois.gov
Melissa Lederer (1871) Melissa@1871.com

 Governor Quinn Celebrates Successful Startups at 1871

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 O’Connor Jr.
“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 worldwide.”
“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:
  • More than 1,030 jobs were created by all 1871 member companies, 325 of which were created by 1871 alumni companies.
  • Almost $70 million of capital has been invested into all 1871 member companies, $32 million of which was invested into 1871 alumni companies.
  • 1871 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 1871 members.”
"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.
Civis 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.
Cheeky Chicago 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 acceleration.
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, wire-free.
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 address.
Rocketmiles is a new hotel-booking site geared toward travelers who want to stockpile miles for dream vacations.
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 offers.
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 better.
Tempesta 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 Neighbor.
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.
About 1871
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.
About 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.