What an exciting day! This morning, we hosted a press conference with Governor Pat Quinn to announce some great news: 1871 will officially open its doors for business on May 2. The Governor has been a great supporter of 1871 as a catalyst to fuel the growth of the digital tech community in Chicago. We are truly grateful for the State’s generous $2.3 million contribution as it is a key component to ensure 1871 is up and running by May 2.
Celebratory events and activities are being planned for the opening week—stay tuned for more details next month.
This morning, we also shared the news that the first 15 companies have been accepted into membership at 1871—among them are ProOnGo and SimpleRelevance. ProOnGo CEO Phillip Leslie and SimpleRelevance CEO Erik Severinghaus spoke at the press conference about their enthusiasm for the opportunity to be a part of 1871 and how this new community will help position each of their companies for future success. They were joined by Neal Sales-Griffin who discussed the valuable partnership that Code Academy will have with 1871.
Three of our corporate sponsors – Cisco, CDW and Comcast – were also at the event to highlight their generous, in-kindsupport for 1871. With their contributions, these companies are helping develop the next generation of Chicago’s tech talent and we’re thankful that they, too, are a part of 1871. We were pleased to have Cisco’s managing director of global enterprise theatre—smart+connected communities Cliff Thomas, CDW’s Vice President of Small Business Jill Billhorn and Comcast’s Vice President of Business Services Jeff Buzzelli on hand for the event.
Following the speaking program, I led Governor Quinn on his first tour of the space. I had the opportunity to explain all the features and amenities that will be available to digital tech entrepreneurs at 1871. Take a look at some of the photos from the tour.
We are so proud to have Governor Quinn’s support for 1871 and the state’s tech entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to share the finished product with him, the public and, most importantly, Chicago’s digital tech startup community on May 2!
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