CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman and members of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center board of directors to announce that 1871 will grow by 25,000 square feet this summer. The $2.5 million expansion will increase 1871’s size by 50 percent and is the latest major accomplishment for the innovative co-working space, which just had its second birthday.
“In just two short years, 1871, its member companies and alumni have created more than 1,000 jobs,” Governor Quinn said. “1871 has become a true entrepreneurial hub for our state and its expansion means more career opportunities for the hardworking residents of Illinois. We look forward to a strong partnership with 1871 as we continue to grow our start-up community and support our innovators.”
The expansion project will allow 1871 to house larger companies that have outgrown their current space but want to continue to grow within the 1871 environment. It will also allow 1871 to create, grow or expand incubators and accelerators in the critical areas of food technology, real estate technology, education technology, financial technology, startup engineering and women-owned technology businesses. In addition, the new space will house venture capital firms looking to invest in local companies, and will serve as a launching pad for existing businesses.
"?This expansion is important to 1871's commitment to continue raising the bar and providing the most extensive facilities and resources for our member companies," 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman said. "It also confirms the Governor's continued confidence that building smart new technology businesses is the best way to keep adding critical jobs to the Illinois economy."
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is providing the $2.5 million investment as a result of 1871’s strong contributions to job growth. The investment will allow construction to begin this month. The expansion should be complete and open in mid-October.
1871 was launched in partnership with the state of Illinois on May 2, 2012. The original 50,000-square-foot space was constructed using a $2.3 million DCEO investment. To date, 1871 has graduated nearly three dozen companies, who collectively have created nearly 400 jobs and raised nearly $40 million in venture capital funding. 1871 has hosted dozens of high-profile visitors, including former British Prime Minister David Cameron, entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
"1871 has become the most energetic gathering place for the digital community and the best place to grow and expand a startup technology business in Chicago," J.B. Pritzker, Pritzker Group Managing Partner and 1871 Founder said. "Thanks to Governor Quinn, this expansion will help 1871 continue to advance its mission and further define Illinois as one of the world’s fastest growing large tech startup communities."
“This expansion shows that our investment in the next generation of Chicago businesses is paying off,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “The jobs of tomorrow will come from the types of small businesses growing at 1871 today, and this expansion will allow even more entrepreneurs and businesses to locate here, bringing new jobs with them and supporting the city’s economic growth.”