Annual Fund

Shining a light on innovation!

Help us empower more innovators!

It’s individuals like YOU that make our community of changemakers a possibility. It’s been an amazing decade of innovation since we’ve first opened our doors, and we’re not done yet!  

As a 501(c)3, we exist to inspire, equip, and support our members – from right here in Chicago to all the way across the globe – as they continue to build extraordinary businesses. 

We’ve been busy launching new innovative lab programs and hosting our annual resources, programming, and events that help support our community of tech innovators & industry leaders. 

Benefits of giving in 2023

86% of donative dollars go directly to programming at 1871.

Any gift

  •  …helps put our community in action
  •  …helps 1871 deliver on its signature events throughout the year like International Women’s Day and Juneteenth
  • …gives our Community Resource Groups, BLKtech Voices and PRDtech Voices, funding to run programming and events throughout the year
  • …enables 1871 to offer needs based scholarships to underestimated founders who want to build a business but do not have the resources to take that risk


  •  …helps put our community in action
  •  …helps 1871 deliver on its signature events throughout the year like International Women’s Day and Juneteenth
  • …gives our Community Resource Groups, BLKtech Voices and PRDtech Voices, funding to run programming and events throughout the year
  • …enables 1871 to offer needs based scholarships to underestimated founders who want to build a business but do not have the resources to take that risk


  • Supports one founder for a month at 1871, supports a founder virtually for 2+months


  •  …provides a founder 3 months of 1871 membership to explore and build their business. 
  •  …unlocks the opportunity for a founder to join and participate in one of 1871’s Innovation Labs
  • …enables a founder access to join a 3 month cohort in our WMNtech, BLKtech, or LTNtech Affinity Program


  •  …provides a founder a full year of access to 1871, where they will have access to mentors, programs, training, community, and more.
  •  …enables 5 founders to participate in 1871’s 12-week Affinity Founders Program for WMNtech, BLKtech, and LTNtech
  • …provides an early tenured technical or market facing leader access to 1871’s leadership accelerator (WMNtech Leaders, BLKtech Leaders, LTNtech Leaders)


…Contributes funds to expand our Entrepreneur in Residence program

Enter our sweepstakes

This is the fun part – No donation necessary to enter!

1871 Swagbag
1871 Early Stage Membership for 1 year
1 Virtual ticket to the 
2023 Momentum Awards 
1 In-person ticket to the 
2023 Momentum Awards

Sweepstakes rules 

*No donation necessary to enter or win, a donation will not increase your chances of winning. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited.


1871 Annual Fund Sweepstake, Spring 2023 (the “Sweepstakes”) is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia  [exlcluding NY and FL] who are at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of entry. Employees of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and other companies associated with the promotion of the Sweepstakes, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children) and household members of each such employee are eligible. The Sweepstakes is subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. 


1871 Swag Bag (10 available) 

1871 Membership for 1 year (5 available) 

Individual Membership can be used by the winner or gifted to a person of their choosing 

Eligible memberships include: Early Stage Membership (Virtual or Open Desk). All winners must fill out a placement form to best assess the stage of the company and access will be granted based on maturity of business. If an individual does not have a business  (e.g. a developer, works for a late stage or corporate partner) they will be able to convert to community access only (includes physical space) or gift the membership to an aspiring founder.  

1 Ticket to the 2023 Momentum Awards (5 available) 


The Sweepstakes is sponsored by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, located at 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212, Chicago, IL 60654

Agreement to Official Rules

Participation in the Sweepstakes constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon being compliant with these Official Rules and fulfilling all other requirements set forth herein.

Sweepstakes Period

The Sweepstakes period begins on June 5, 2023 at 12:00 PM CST and ends on June 30, 2023 at 11:59 PM CST (the “Sweepstakes Period”). Entries that are submitted before or after the Sweepstakes Period will be disqualified. Submissions will be accepted for the duration of the Sweepstakes using the following methods: 

How to Enter

Online: This method of entry will be available by completing an online form and following the directions provided to fill out the entry information, and submit. 

Limit one (1) entry per person, per email address, and per household for the duration of the Sweepstakes Period, regardless of method of entry. Entries received from any person, e-mail address, or household in excess of the stated limitation will be void. 

Prize Drawing

On or about July 6, 2023, the Sponsor will select potential winners in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received. The odds of being selected depend on the number of entries received. The Sponsor will attempt to notify the potential winner via telephone or email on or about July 10, 2023. If the potential winner cannot be contacted within five (5) days after the date of the first attempt to contact him/her, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from the remaining non-winning, eligible entries. 

Winner Notification 

The potential winners will be notified by email. If a potential winner cannot be contacted or prize is returned as undeliverable, the potential winner forfeits the prize. If the potential winner is at least 18 but still considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize in the name of his/her parent or legal guardian, who will be required to fulfill any other requirements imposed on the winner set forth herein. Potential winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor will award the applicable prize to an alternate winner by random drawing from among all remaining eligible entries. Only three (3) alternate drawings will be held, after which the prize will remain un-awarded. Prizes will be fulfilled approximately 8-10 weeks after the conclusion of the Sweepstakes. 

General Conditions

In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Sweepstakes is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, bug, worm, unauthorized human intervention or other technical problem, or in the event the Sweepstakes is unable to run as planned for any other reason, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either (a) suspend the Sweepstakes to address the impairment and then resume the Sweepstakes in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules or (b) terminate the Sweepstake and, in the event of termination, award the prize at random from among the eligible, non-suspect entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these official rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to damage the website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes may be in violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages (including attorney’s fees) and any other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Failure by the Sponsor to enforce any provisions of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

Release and Limitations of Liability 

By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, and each of their respective partners, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, other companies associated with the Sweepstakes, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, shareholders, representatives, and agents (the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto), including, but not limited to: (a) any technical errors associated with the Sweepstakes, including lost, interrupted or unavailable Internet Service Provider (ISP), network, server, wireless service provider, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone, cellular tower or cable transmissions, lines or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties; (b) unauthorized human intervention in the Sweepstakes; (c ) mechanical, network, electronic, computer, human, printing or typographical errors; (d) application downloads, (e) any other errors or problems in connection with the Sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors that may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes, the announcement of the winner, the cancellation or postponement of the event.. if applicable, the incorrect downloading of the application, the processing of entries application downloads or in any Sweepstakes-related materials; or (f) injury, death, losses or damages of any kind, to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrants participation in the Sweepstakes or acceptance, receipt or misuse of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto). Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Released Parties liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Sweepstakes, and in no event shall the entrant be entitled to receive attorney’s fees. Released Parties are also not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by site users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.


Except where prohibited, each entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Sweepstakes or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Illinois. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrants rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules, which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Illinois.


Information collected from entrants is subject to Sponsor’s privacy policy.

Winner list

To request the name of the winner send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212, Chicago, IL 60654. Winner List requests will only be accepted after the promotion end date (listed above). For the Winner list, you can also send an email.