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About The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC)

The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs on their path to building high-growth, sustainable businesses that serve as platforms for economic development and civic leadership. Its flagship project, 1871, fulfills CEC’s vision of a central address for entrepreneurs in Chicago. CEC runs and operates the workspace, develops programming, organizes events and ensures that the culture of 1871 allows entrepreneurs the greatest opportunity for success.



CEC promotes and grows the startup community in Chicago. We develop programs, establish partnerships and run projects that provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to build successful, sustainable businesses.


CEC is funded through private entities and corporations. It is also supported by numerous emerging and successful entrepreneurs, established businesses and academia that recognize the importance of entrepreneurs and the impact the CEC has on the local economy.


The Momentum Awards Dinner is put on by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center for the benefit of 1871, its flagship project, and is the biggest celebration of the past, present and future of entrepreneurship in Chicago. Fundraising for the dinner provides key support for various initiatives that directly support Chicago’s entrepreneurs.

Learn more about The Momentum Awards