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1871 Diversity Entrepreneur Scholarship Program


Program Summary

The 1871 Diversity Entrepreneur Scholarship Program, powered by our sponsors, is a 4-month program that supports high potential entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds with the dual goal of supporting them in building their companies and empowering them to support their communities. The goal of this program is to connect more individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to the center of the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in Chicago.

As an effort to promote diversity in the 1871 community, the program will offer financial assistance to facilitate the recruitment and retention of entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds. The scholarship is available to Black, African American, Africa, Hispanic, LatinX, Asian, Pacific Islander and American Indian entrepreneurs who can meet the following requirements.  


Membership Expectations and Requirements

Monthly touchpoints with 1871 membership team ([email protected]) are required for to track the progress of your predetermined goals. The 1871 staff will be available to help with any challenges you might face throughout this time frame.

You must also commit to the following conditions to participate:

  • Demonstrate that you are spending a significant amount of time on your business (Working on your business/project full-time)
  • Being good citizens of the 1871 community
  • Making timely payments to your membership fees
  • Attend at least four workshops per month (one a week)
  • Attend at least two mentoring sessions per week
  • Host a demo table at TGIF at least once every three months
  • Attend at least two public 1871 events per month
  • Be able to provide a classic ‘Startup Pitch’–which means being able to clearly and effectively speak about what your business does, typically accompanied by a visual aid (PowerPoint presentation) by the halfway point of the program
  • Submit a monthly one page document detailing all of the programming you attended and how you benefited from those programs. Those are due to the 1871 membership team by the 5th of each month for the 4-month scholarship term.

If, for any reason, you do not meet any of these requirements 1871 reserves the right to terminate this scholarship at will.


Monthly Reporting Requirement

You will be required to create a short document that lists all of the programming you attending that month. The document should list the four workshops, eight mentoring sessions and two public events you attended, including the date and time. In this document, you will need to specify what you found valuable from those session, what you may have felt was lacking and how you were able to apply it to your business’ growth.

The document should end with a short paragraph about your company’s overall growth that month, any milestones you reached, and setbacks you experienced along with the progress you are making towards meeting the goals set out with the 1871 Business Development team.


Membership includes

  • 24/7 access to 1871 which provides vibrant and energetic workspaces
  • Wireless and Ethernet high-speed internet (10gb fiber network)
  • Access to conference rooms in the Shared co-working areas
  • Access to local/long distance phones in conference rooms and phone rooms
  • Printing, copying and local/long distance faxing
  • Access to receive mail and packages
  • Benefits & Perks
  • Includes, but is not limited to: Healthcare, Student Loan Repayment, Hiring Resources, Travel and Lodging, Enterprise-Level Software, Wellness and Leisure, Access to co-working space around the country through our partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs and the North America Tech Hub Network
  • Access to 1871 workshops and programming
    • Workshops: 1871 provides, on average, 30 workshops a month across a wide variety of topics and focus areas, including business, marketing, analytics, finance, legal, branding, personal and professional development, leadership, and more. Workshops are led by industry experts and are thoughtfully curated to help educate, inform, and inspire you to improve all facets of your business.
    • Mentorship: Entrepreneurship advice can be found anywhere, but the opportunity to develop a relationship with someone who knows the ropes and can help guide your journey is invaluable. There are more than 500 mentors at 1871 – successful entrepreneurs, investors, and experts – volunteering their time to help you learn and grow, totaling over 1,300 mentorship hours a month.


Cost of Your Membership

Diversity Scholar Entrepreneurship Scholar Membership’s will be considered and charged as Shared Memberships. For the first three months of the program, the members will be responsible for one-third of “Shared” membership fees ($120/month). The remaining 2⁄3 will be paid by our sponsors. For the latter three months, members will be responsible for two-thirds of their membership fees ($240/month). The remaining 1⁄3 paid by our sponsors. After six months, when the scholarship program concludes, members will be responsible for the full amount of the Shared Membership.  

The sponsorship is valid for exactly 4 months and is not renewable.




To apply for a diversity scholarship, you should have already been accepted for a membership to 1871. If you are selected for a scholarship, the 1871 team will follow up with a separate membership agreement for you to sign.

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