Innovation Incubator Kicks off Fall 2012 with a Visit to 1871

There may be some of you out there who don’t know what 1871 is. There may also be UIC Liautaud students who don’t know what Innovation Incubator is. If this is the case, well you are most certainly reading the right blog.

For any Liautaud student who is interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, currently has their own start-up, wants to begin their own start-up, or is looking for people to collaborate with on their perspective business ideas, Innovation Incubator is the place for you.  We seek to nurture those interested in entrepreneurship- at whatever stage their skill set is in. We also aim to provide an outlet for learning and growth of ones business skills.

Now that I’ve given you a bit of background on Innovation Incubator, I’m very pleased to inform you of our first event. On September 21, we visited one of the hottest places for innovation in the city of Chicago: 1871. 1871 was founded as non-profit communal space for start-ups. It’s located in the heart of Chicago-  the Merchandise Mart. There are various levels of membership, based on what resources and space your start-up requires. Again, as this is a non-profit, it’s incredibly affordable to rent space there. There are even waitlisted start-ups just dying to get in. You can rent a workspace, private office, or a desk (for just yourself, or other members of your start-up, too).

The amount of informal collaboration and networking that happens among the tenants of 1871 is profound-there was so much energy in this workspace, it amazed me. Outside of this informal collaboration, 1871 offers seminars and workshops to its tenants with things that are relevant to entrepreneurs-how to work with venture capitalists, how to write a business plan, how to write a marketing plan…the list goes on and on.

On our visit to 1871, we visited all of the types of workspaces that are available for rent. We also saw Excelerate Labs (located inside 1871). Not only is 1871 a beautiful place to work, but also it makes you want to really challenge and push yourself-you are surrounded by incredibly motivated and diverse people.

When all was said and done, I wanted to move on in to 1871- and I don’t even have my own business venture! It was a great kick-off event and I’d like to thank everyone who came. I look very much forward to seeing all of you at our future events.