Students from seven Chicago-area University Partners are set to participate in a long weekend of immersive workshops, mentorshop, and pitch practice beginning March 31. A record number of students will participate this year in what has become a hugely-anticipated event by university students.
Campus 1871 is a weekend-long collaborative cross-campus initiative between 1871 and its major university partners: Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois Springfield, DeVry University, DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago and the University of Chicago. The event will welcome more than 140 students from those schools for an immersive weekend of entrepreneurship-focused programming. The event encourages student teams to create a viable business model and design for a potential startup company that would solve a meaningful problem in today’s world.
“We’re excited to again welcome students from our university partners to 1871 for what has become one of our most collaborative and high-energy events,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “Events like Campus 1871 and all the programming we provide to our educational partners are further proof of why 1871 has been ranked as the number one university-affiliated incubator in the United States. We look forward to celebrating another successful event with our university partners.”
The weekend event includes Startup 101 crash courses, keynote speakers and mentorship, culminating in a pitch competition for students that includes a prize of membership at 1871. This year’s group of students is the largest ever, and contains a near-even split of men and women among the confirmed participants. Food, lodging and other participatory costs are paid by 1871 as part of its community focused mission.
During Campus 1871, students divide themselves into teams and spend the weekend building out their business ideas. The teams consist of Hustlers (business, marketing, and sales strategists), Hipsters (designers, inventors and idea-makers), and Hackers (developers), whose dynamic talents work toward developing their ideas. After joining a team and deciding on an idea for their new business, students create their business plans, build prototypes and develop their business pitches. The program concludes with pitches from each of the teams, with winners chosen by a panel of judges. The winners receive a temporary membership to 1871. Throughout the weekend, students have the opportunity to hear speeches and receive mentorship from leaders in Chicago’s entrepreneurial community, including 1871’s CEO Howard Tullman.
“Campus 1871 is a highly anticipated event for our students who are passionate about entrepreneurship,” said Amelia Salter, Economic Outreach Coordinator at the University of Illinois System. “Each year, we look forward to watching our students collaborate, create lasting connections and generate innovative business concepts at Campus 1871.”
Sponsors for Campus 1871 include SAP Software, who is sponsoring catering at Campus 1871. Other generous vendors for the weekend include Amazing Edibles, Freshii, Paramount Foods, Pinstripes, Amanecer Tacos and Naansense. Also supporting the weekend is Bonfyre, which will be the official communications app for Campus 1871 participants.
"Campus 1871 was an incredible experience that allowed me to develop a business I continue to build at 1871 today," said Andre Johnson, one of last year's Campus 1871 winners and founder of LiveEquipd. "Going into the event, I just expected a weekend of networking with fellow university students. However, the programs, workshops and lasting connections I made at Campus 1871 far exceeded my expectations, and I am so glad this year's program will welcome such a large group of talented students to experience everything the event has to offer."