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For a whole host of reasons, 1871 believes Chicago is the best place in the country for women entrepreneurs to start a business. With that in mind, we’ve created WiSTEM, a 12-week, curriculum-based program that connects women to capital, community, and technology resources. 


The WISTEM program offers:

  • A tailored experience – WiSTEM is a rigorous, yet flexible program structured around the challenges and opportunities faced by women entrepreneurs
  • Content and mentorship designed specifically around the individual companies admitted into the program
  • Access to the 1871 community and all of its resources including office space
  • Mentorship from some of Chicago’s top female (and male) business leaders
  • Access to 1871’s top University partnerships including University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Access to capital through 1871’s strong connections to the city’s top venture capitalists
  • Local and national exposure through 1871’s strong media connections


You qualify for WiSTEM if you:

  • Have at least one woman as a co-founder
  • Have a technology or tech-enabled business


Stay connected by subscribing to the WiSTEM newsletter. Get application updates, news, and important event information straight to your inbox!



business-woman-1  86 women entrepreneurs

meeting-purple  2,900 women connected

flash-purple  200 new jobs created

down-arrow-purple-e1522706861258  $1.5M in gross revenues

dollar-symbol-purple  $7M in capital raised

Meet Cohort 9

Spring 2019

Redesigning the future of traveling with kids.

eazyScripts is an electronic prescribing platform for doctors, that enables them to provide price transparency to patients receiving care.

Haystack Conferences
Haystack is the go-to resource to easily search for and find your ideal business conference.

iCook After School
iCook is a really fun, hands-on after-school cooking and nutrition education program for children in elemntary schools.

Joymap Co
Empowering joy with guides for life journeys.

Green Nyle
Redefining health and wellness with cannabis.

Little Lion
Little Lion’s Growth Platform provides access to mentorship, peers, funding, metrics, and other expertise to help small businesses located in non-metro areas where access is a scarcity.

MemoryBeach Co
MemoryBeach Boxes are the perfect monthly reminder gift for people who care.

Storybeat Studio
Cost-effective video stories for founders.

The Perfit
Helping women to shop for their perfect fit.

Past Cohorts

Cohort 8 shares their thoughts the value of WiSTEM, the challenges of startup life, and the power of community.


WiSTEM is proud to have the following partners and sponsors:

Mesirow Financial
Women Tech Founders (WTF)
Ms. Tech
Latham & Watkins LLP

Questions? Email [email protected]