J Blaszczykiewicz
Director of Marketing, 1871

1871 and Hub88 join forces to drive collective acceleration for early-stage founders, growth stage businesses, and corporate innovators across the Illinois region. 

CHICAGO (April 6th) —

1871 and hub88 announced today that they have entered into a binding agreement pursuant to which hub88’s intellectual property assets and programs will be acquired by and integrated into 1871. This integration will further strengthen 1871’s support for members across the entire business maturity curve and expand its physical footprint in Chicago’s Western suburbs. 

Rooted in a commitment to drive economic growth throughout Illinois, 1871 and hub88 are naturally aligned in their mission, vision, and values. Both organizations proudly serve as convenors of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region and dedicated partners in the state’s tech community.

With a strong virtual presence and resources at Nokia’s campus in Naperville, hub88 empowers entrepreneurs and corporate intrapreneurs to discover, and test emerging technologies and services, with a focus on innovative technologies such as 5G and LTE networking, drones, and beyond. As a result of today’s announcement, 1871 will assume operation of the hub88 space and continue its emerging tech endeavors and offerings such as their tech talks, Drone Interest Group and private 5G/LTE, carrier-grade communications lab. 1871 will also continue to support one of hub88’s core missions, which is to inspire and support the next generation of innovators. 

“1871 is guided by the understanding that important ideas come from every corner of the Chicagoland area,” said Larry Eppley, Chairman of 1871 and Managing Partner of Sheppard Mullin’s Chicago office. “hub88 has a history of bringing together talented tech leaders from Chicago’s Western suburbs, and we’re signaling with this move our commitment that location will not be a barrier to accessing 1871’s wide network of support.”

In integrating hub88 into the 1871 community, members will have the opportunity to access 1871 benefits both virtually and at the downtown Chicago and Naperville locations, as well as the deeply technical expertise, programming, and capabilities hub88 offers. This acquisition will also incorporate a keen specialty in emerging technology into 1871’s core operations and build upon recent moves. In February 2021, 1871 joined forces with Catapult Chicago to introduce its peer-selected and community-driven structure into the “Catapult” stage of 1871’s PYROS curriculum, designed specifically for experienced, early-stage members. In February 2020, 1871 combined with the Illinois Technology Association (ITA), extending its services to the growth stage businesses and across the entire business maturity curve. 

Matthew O’Sullivan, Chairman of the hub88 Board of Directors, said, “We are thrilled to be integrating into the 1871 organization. Our ecosystem of entrepreneurs, corporate innovators, and STEM educators will benefit from 1871’s internationally recognized programs and management team. 1871 will benefit from its expanded reach and relevance in the Illinois I-88 tech corridor and the hub88 Naperville location in the historic innovation center of Nokia/Bell Labs, along with the deep tech focus that it brings. I want to thank all of the hub88 members, volunteers, and sponsors that built an organization that is a desirable addition to the world’s top innovation center, 1871.”

Founded in 2018, hub88 is an integral advocate for entrepreneurs in Chicago’s Western suburbs. 1871 is honored to carry on the hub88 legacy of technological innovation and education by amplifying its reach and resonance across a wider network. 

“When we launched hub88 in 2018, it was our dream for start-up companies and other entrepreneurs in the western suburbs to have a high-quality resource to develop and commercialize their products and services,” said Kenn Miller, founding Chairman of hub88 Board of Directors. “I could not have asked for a better outcome for our community and hard-working team to join forces with 1871 and bring its programming and services to support the hub88 community. We are proud to be able to provide added value to the already successful and established 1871 community.”

“At 1871, we firmly believe in the transformative power of “and,” that as a unified organization we can accelerate our members’ journeys across the maturity curve and embrace a deep technical focus in our programming, our physical spaces, and across the broader community,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. “This is a remarkable opportunity to better support our members and expand our collective reach across Illinois and the greater Midwest. We are excited to welcome hub88’s innovators and university partners into the 1871 community.”


About 1871

1871 is Chicago’s technology hub and the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world. It exists to inspire, equip, and support early stage, growth scalers and innovators in building extraordinary businesses. 1871 is home to ~450 technology startups, ~300 growth stage companies, and ~1,500 members, and is supported by an entire ecosystem 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 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and others. Since its inception in 2012, more than 650 alumni companies are currently still active, have created over 11,000 jobs, and have raised more than $1.65 billion in follow-on capital.

About hub88

hub88 is a northern Illinois technology accelerator that integrates the regional commercial, education, and entrepreneurial communities to discover, test and commercialize emerging technologies and services. hub88 offers business development resources, entrepreneur mentoring and networking assistance, and engaging programs to connect our community with subject matter experts. Since inception in 2018, hub88 has launched its 5G testing Communications Lab, Drone Interest Group, and numerous programs reaching over 1,000 community members coming from over 400 companies and organizations. The hub88 monthly TechTalk series garners praise for its breadth of subjects and quality of panelists. hub88 subject matter experts and mentors have assisted companies with startup and growth advice, accelerating 5G/LTE wireless, IoT, drone, medical device and autonomous vehicle technologies. In addition, hub88 supports the next generation of innovators with its camps and STEM workshops as well as facilitating internships for students from Illinois universities.


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