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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. 

Applications for the Early Spring 2019 cohort are now open! The deadline to apply is January 27, 2019. 

Apply Now


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 8

Fall 2018

Book+Main is the next-generation platform for how readers find books and authors find readers.

DesignerShare LLC

DesignerShare is a community that allows women to rent their designer clothing and accessories to one another

Explore Interactive

Explore Interactive brings together the delight of tabletop card games and the magic of augmented reality technology to provide inquiry-based learning and creative building in STEM subject areas.  


Floracracy has created the first online platform focused on user-personalized flowers.


KNTXT Group  is revolutionizing the way we experience real estate not yet built. Using interactive VR technology, our platform allows prospective buyers and tenants to virtually walk through and explore every corner of a future property long before it is built.


poolside is a new staffing platform for restaurants that attracts and retains talent by giving them more control over their schedule and gives restaurants a continuous pipeline of talent through it’s labor marketplace.

Raven Intel

Raven Intel is a free online community that helps customers find, hire and review the perfect HR consulting partner for their HR software project.

The High Five Movement

High Five Movement is a real-time, positive only feedback platform that allows customers to “high five” customer-facing employees to reinforce and reward high quality service.

Tobogo Therapies LLC

Tobogo Therapies is a comprehensive pediatric speech therapy solutions provider that allows parents to source, book, check insurance, and pay for in-home pediatric speech therapy services via a user-friendly online interface.


vPeer is first-to-market with an evidence based peer-to-peer platform to Match-Meet-Mentor, and Make Greater Impact.

Past Cohorts

Cohort 7 shares their thoughts on the value of being a part of the WiSTEM program, 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]