1871's Web3 Innovation Lab Brings Together Major Players Pioneering Blockchain and Decentralized Technologies to Drive the Future of the Industry.


CHICAGO, November 1,  2023 – 1871, global innovation hub, is excited to unveil its latest endeavor: the Web3 Innovation Lab, a forward-thinking program dedicated to exploring the limitless possibilities of Web3 native decentralized technologies. Partnering with us for this exciting initiative is both the U.S. Blockchain Coalition, the only driving multistate collaboration across the U.S.,  and Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) Advanced Technology Cluster, an industry leader in economic growth and connectivity for blockchain technologies and quantum computing; and our Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Arry Yu, co-founder and executive director of U.S. Blockchain Coalition, who share our commitment to advancing the Web3 industry. Applications are now open until December 29, 2023

In an era marked by the transformative potential of Web3, 1871 is eager to lead the charge in creating cutting-edge solutions and applications that will redefine how we interact with technology and the digital world.

“Web3 opens up so many opportunities for new innovations, and it’s essential at this stage in the sector’s growth to bring together stakeholders across the spectrum from startup to enterprise to investor to make sure we capitalize on all the opportunity,” said Nick Ellingson, director of products at WTIA Advanced Technology Cluster. 

“The power of Web3 is around the potential of privacy-preserving, people-owned, secured data on digitally native distributed systems,” said Arry Yu, co-founder and executive director of the U.S. Blockchain Coalition. “Web3 infrastructure using blockchain-based security is more than ten times better than what is in corporations today. Let’s invest in our innovators and build partnerships to make this a reality.” 

“The launch of a Web3 innovation lab at 1871 heralds a new era of digital transformation. This technology is more than innovation; it’s a gateway to a decentralized, trust-based future where data ownership, privacy, and security take center stage,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871.  “By empowering pioneers in this space, we’re not only shaping tomorrow’s digital landscape but also safeguarding the values of autonomy and transparency in the digital age”

The Web3 Innovation Lab will operate from January 22nd, 2024, through April 19th, 2024, focusing on pushing the boundaries of Web3 native and decentralized technologies. This lab program will explore emerging Web3 applications and their potential across various sectors.


Web3 Innovation Lab 2024 Highlights

The Lab is open to the following innovators: 

  • Growth-stage startups with a technology or product focused on Web3 and blockchain-based technologies 
  •  Late-stage partners seeking to enhance their Web3 through partnerships or have a core product focused on the Web3 space
  • Corporations sitting at the forefront of Web3 innovation or seeking to enhance their Web3 and blockchain-based technologies via partnerships 

There will be a selection process for startups to ensure those admitted to the program have proven readiness and are fit for the Lab. 

Information sessions on the Lab will take place on  12.06.23 and on 12.20.23, to provide attendees with curriculum information, cohort eligibility, and the benefits of joining as a cohort member or partner. 


2024 Lab focus areas 

This Lab focuses on several “focus areas” for cohort members to explore, identify, and collaborate to solve issues within Web3, blockchain, and decentralized technologies. Specifically, developing and expanding the foundational elements of such.

High-level focus areas include: 

  • Building Out Digitally Native Middleware: protocols dictating how data is exchanged and transmitted in Web3 
  • Layer 0’s and 1’s: shifting control and ownership of identity information from centralized entities to individuals themselves 
  • Enabling Enterprise: subset of use cases for companies to explore, like supply chain, loyalty, and finance 
  • Enabling Government: subset of use cases for governments to explore, like taxation, voting, and funding 
  • Use Cases for Normies: subset of use cases for consumers to explore, like product tracing, decentralized currency, and asset tokenization 

The lab experience broken down

This Lab is designed to connect startups, late-stage partners, corporate innovators, VCs, and Web3 experts for four immersive weeks of programming, alternating in virtual and in-person experiences. 

The cohort will meet for one whole week of programming in January, February, March, and April 2024. 

The program ends with its Web3 Innovation Summit, taking place on 04.18.24


Why Web3 

The current internet, often dominated by tech giants and intermediaries, has raised concerns about data privacy, censorship, and control. Although still relatively new, Web3 redefines the digital landscape with its emphasis on user empowerment, data ownership, and decentralization, offering a solution to these issues.

Despite its setbacks, Web3 continues to be alive and thriving, using artificial intelligence and decentralization to offer its users safety and security while putting users in charge of their data. Now is the time to utilize Web3’s resistance to censorship, commitment to economic inclusion and developer empowerment, and fostering global accessibility, making Web3 a promising frontier for the future of the internet.

1871, the U.S. Blockchain Coalition, and WTIA Advanced Technology Cluster are looking forward to a groundbreaking year of collaboration and innovation at the 2024 Web3 Innovation Lab. We invite the press and the public to join us in exploring the future of the Web3 industry.


About 1871 Innovation Labs

The Innovation Labs serve as a dynamic hub for fostering cutting-edge solutions, collaboration, and technological advancement. These labs offer a platform for startups, industry leaders, investors, and venture capitalists to come together to pioneer the future of various industries, including artificial intelligence, cannabis, supply chain, and beyond. 

Typically running for three or four months, the labs are at the forefront of innovation, connecting key players in the tech ecosystem to drive transformative change and accelerate the development of groundbreaking solutions for today’s challenges,

About 1871

1871, a nonprofit global innovation hub, exists to inspire, equip, and support early-stage, growth-stage, late-stage, and corporate innovators in building extraordinary businesses. 1871 is home to ~500 early-stage startups, ~250 growth and late-stage companies, and ~60 corporates, and is supported by an entire community focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. The member experience includes virtual and in-person access to workshops, events, mentorship, and more. The nonprofit organization has 350 mentors available to its members, alongside access to more than 200 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds, and others. Since its inception in 2012, more than 1,050+ alum companies are still active, have created over 14,700 jobs, and have raised more than $3.7 billion in follow-on capital.

About U.S. Blockchain Coalition 

The U.S. Blockchain Coalition (USBC) is a proactive collaboration of state associations, private entities, and influential individuals that drives a national conversation about emerging technology policy, education, and adoption. The USBC’s mission is to share best practices, lessons learned, improve operational efficiency for each member, improve the purchasing power for the benefit of each member, and to consolidate political influence. The Coalition serves as the convener and the subject matter experts with a multi-state focused collective voice to better advocate for constructive public policy and educate key stakeholders, especially investors.

About WTIA Advanced Technology Cluster

The Advanced Technology Cluster is funded through Washington State’s Innovation Cluster Accelerator Program, and the focus of the group is to convene stakeholders from industry, government, academia, and the investment community to work together towards ensuring the Pacific Northwest and the broader United States is a leader in emerging technologies. The near term focuses of the Cluster are to promote the growth of web3, quantum information sciences, and artificial intelligence within the Pacific Northwest, while also finding opportunities for partnerships across the United States and the world. The Cluster works on a variety of initiatives including public policy and advocacy, workforce development, startup acceleration, and community building.

For media inquiries, please contact:

J Blaszczykiewicz, Sr. Director of Marketing at 1871



FINN Partners for WTIA


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