Friday, February 24, 2012

The 1871 Hard Hat Tour

The Chicago tech community has gained a lot of noteriety over the last few years.  From Groupon to GrubHub,  Chicago is flexing it's tech muscles most recently with the announcement of 1871 to launch this spring on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart.

From 1871's website:

The story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 isn’t really about the fire.
It’s about what happened next:

A remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers,
architects and inventors came together to build a new city.
Their innovations – born of passion and practical
ingenuity – shaped not just Chicago, but the modern world.

What started 130 years ago continues to this day.

Chicago’s brightest digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs
are shaping new technologies, disrupting old business models,
and resetting the boundaries of what’s possible.

If that sounds like you, join us.

Come to a place where you can share ideas, make mistakes,
work hard, build your business and, with a little luck,
change the world.

Welcome to 1871.

Last Saturday, I was fortunate to go on a Hard Hat tour with some of the other Chicago Tech startups and the community.

There were a TON of interested folks there to find out more about 1871!

Apparently tall guys go into technology...

The space is HUGE and the map was almost overwhelming!

We were able to hear about cool building details that reminded me of my old office.  Steve is telling us about the old fire door they uncovered during renovation (finally migrated to the front).

So some cool details about 1871 to share:

1.  Announcement came January 18th, 2012
2.  The CEC (Chicagoland Entreprenuerial Center) will be "running" the space when it's up and going
3.  You can apply to be a part of the space here.  Shared desk space is $250/mo and a reserved desk is $400/mo (all mo to mo leasing).  There will also be night and weekend passes for $125 as well as some sort of punch card for interns and part-time staffers.
4.  A big part of the space will focus on education.  First dibs go to residents and if space is available, they will open it up to the community at large.
5.  Here are the fun facts from the tour I caught:
 - 1871 is over 50,000 square feet
 - There will be a coffee shop right in the entry way - sweet!
 - 1871 will have an event space that will house about 250 people
 - 30+ conference and phone rooms
 - 100 reserved desks and about 220 shared desks
 - 3 classrooms
 - Accellerator space that will fit up to 40 people
 - 6 offices for investors and schools
6.  The state of IL and Governor Quinn just came out in support of 1871 pledging a $2.3 million investment to help 1871 foster and launch digital start-ups.
7.  The open date for 1871 is sometime this spring and they are announcing the inaugural companies sometime in the next few weeks.

Pretty cool!  I applied for The Stock Flock, so fingers crossed, this spring, we might get out of my basement and into the Merchandise Mart - how ironic!

Have a great weekend!

PS if you're interested in learning more about 1871, follow them @1871Chicago "like" their FB page and check out their website

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