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Mick Swasko

Mick Swasko
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Recent Posts

Former FCC Chair Tom Wheeler: Open Internet is "Under Attack"

Events, Insights
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/19/17 12:58 PM

“The Open Internet exists today, and it is under attack.” That was the dire message Tom Wheeler, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, had for the audience of the Benton Foundation hosted event at 1871 on September 18.

BMO Harris Mentors Connect with Fintech Startups at 1871

News, Community
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/15/17 5:09 PM

Since April, 1871 has been excited to play host to an innovative partnership program in our space, which has paired mentors from BMO Harris Bank with some emerging Fintech startups in Chicago. Since then, Peanut Butter, Spring Four, Genivity, Medean, Wealth Pool and Tru Crowd have been working closely with the mentors in the 1871 space, refining their value proposition and scaling up to partner or pilot their technology with a large bank like BMO.

Vunzai Yeazel is Looking to Build an Empowered, Global Community of Women

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/15/17 3:02 PM

Vunzai Yeazel, born in America and raised in Zimbabwe, has filled three passports traveling around the world to help women, and now she’s landed in Chicago to continue her mission through tech. The Gorgeous Within founder and CEO began her company in 2010, as a way to bring women together and empower them through workshops and events.

Is Captain America Your Match? WiSTEM Company CharacTour Wants to Find Out

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/13/17 11:34 AM

Kim Foerster knows everyone is a character, and she has a patent-pending 26 point algorithm to back that up. Along with Co-Founder and COO Pete McEntegart, the WiSTEM member and CharacTour CEO is setting out to connect casual TV and movie watchers and superfans alike based on the characters whose personality traits they most match.

How to Fund Your Business: Key Takeaways from HPA’s Entrepreneurial Education Series

Events, Insights
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/8/17 4:16 PM

Intimidated by a term sheet? Scratching your head on SAFE versus convertible notes? Don’t even know where to start when it comes to approaching an investor? It’s not uncommon for bootstrapped startups to be a little lost when it comes to the concept of asking for funding, but luckily, Hyde Park Angels is willing to share their wisdom.

Mary Couzin of ChiTAG Looks to Promote Pioneers of Play

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/8/17 3:47 PM

Sell a million copies of a book, and you get your name in the New York Times. Produce a platinum album, you top the Billboard charts and even get a plaque. But create, market and sell a best-selling toy or board game? —barely anyone knows your name. WiSTEM member and ChiTAG founder Mary Couzin is looking to change that.

This Week on Instagram: IHCC Celebrations, a Wedding and a Big Name

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/1/17 2:55 PM

It was a week to celebrate at 1871, as we marked the conclusion of the second IHCC/1871 Joint Incubator, wished a coworker well on her upcoming nuptials and welcomed internationally renowned author Doris Kearns Goodwin to our space. 

1871 and IHCC's Second Cohort of Incubator Companies Celebrate at Showcase Event

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 8/31/17 4:00 PM

Hundreds gathered at 1871 on August 30th for the second 1871/Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Joint Incubator Showcase, where 13 Latinx-led startups pitched their businesses and celebrated completing an intense 12 week program of mentorship, workshops and support from the greater entrepreneurial community. 

A Different Look at Summer School with Rêve Academy and CoderSpace

News, Community
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 8/25/17 11:41 AM

Even though they’re learning the ins and outs of tech and business building while classes are out, Chicago students have had anything but a summer school experience at 1871 this summer. We welcomed students from both Rêve Academy and CoderSpace for a pair of innovative programs aimed at increasing opportunities in tech for young students and positively impacting communities.

Wedmony Looks to Simplify Planning for Your Big Day

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 8/24/17 8:35 AM

After planning her fair share of weddings and bachelorette parties for free, Christina Hecker decided it was time to make a little money on matrimony. Hecker, a member of WiSTEM’s fifth cohort, is the founder of Wedmony -- an online platform that aims to connect couples planning their weddings and offers them simple tools to help them keep on schedule during the process.