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 cutting-edge program designed to foster opportunities for women in technology.

WiSTEM is a 16-week curriculum-based program that connects women to capital, community and technology resources.

Our Fall Cohort members will have a unique $25,000 funding opportunity – new to the WiSTEM program. Through our partnership with Village Capital Communities, this cohort will participate in a Peer Investment process.  Companies in the cohort will be peer-ranked and the top 2 companies at the end of the program will each receive a $25,000 investment.



WiSTEM 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

Applications for the Fall 2016 WiSTEM cohort are currently closed. It will take place in Chicago from September 2016 – January 2017.

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