Calling All UIC Entrepreneurs: Apply for Campus 1871

Text by Abhinaya Konduru.

UIC Business students interested in Chicago’s startup community can't afford to miss Campus 1871, which takes place April 8-10 in downtown Chicago. The Campus 1871 application is due Sunday, February 14th.

What is 1871?

1871 is a nonprofit tech incubator on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart. The name comes from the year of the Great Chicago Fire, though not from the fire itself. “It’s about what happened next,” says 1871’s website, “a remarkable moment when the most brilliant engineers, architects and inventors came together to build a new city.” Entrepreneurs have been flocking to 1871 for the last few years, so much so that 1871 has had to expand their space twice since 2014. Learn more about 1871 here.

Why should you get involved?

1871 is one of the best places in Chicago to meet young thinkers, doers and makers. They currently list over 350 member organizations on their website; I guarantee you will meet someone new every time you visit the workspace. 1871 introduced me to Howard Tullman and a handful of startups, one of which I recently interned for. As a clueless freshman, 1871 gave me the opportunity to learn and build skills. You’ll meet a lot of people there who are very focused on their own projects, but they all love talking about their work and hearing your ideas.

How can you take advantage of 1871?

This coming April, 1871 will host a huge event for Chicagoland college students, Campus 1871. Campus 1871 brings together students from UIC, The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Loyola University and other area schools for a weekend of startup crash courses, lectures, mentoring and competitions. The Campus 1871 application is due on Sunday, February 14. I hope to see you there!

Beyond Campus 1871, current UIC students can get free access to 1871 anytime. This includes access to conference rooms, mentor office hours, workshops, potential investors and much more. More importantly, you get the opportunity to meet like-minded entrepreneurs. Learn more about UIC student access here.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at