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1871 and Ms. Tech Announce Innovative Partnership to Facilitate Opportunities for Women in Technology


Ms. Tech to become co-facilitator of WiSTEM, will move to and grow at 1871

CHICAGO (July 17, 2015) – 1871 and Ms. Tech announced an innovative partnership today that will dramatically expand opportunities for women in technology in the Chicago area. Ms. Tech, a well-known Chicago-based organization that is dedicated to fostering the growth of women in tech through programming, mentorship, networking and other resources, will move its operations to 1871. Nicole Yeary, Ms. Tech’s founder and CEO, has been named the co-facilitator of the exciting new WiSTEM program at 1871. Ms. Tech will also offer its curriculum and programming to all interested 1871 members and will use the 1871 space to facilitate new opportunities and special events for women throughout Chicago.

“Ms. Tech is made up of some of the most forward-thinking tech leaders in Chicago, many of whom are already members of 1871. WiSTEM and this partnership will bring not only our members, but the entire community access to capital, technology and educational resources, and play a part in continuing to build a stronger and more inclusive tech environment,” said Nicole Yeary of Ms. Tech. “We are really looking forward to rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on vibrant curriculum and exploring interesting opportunities for taking more women-owned businesses to the next level.”

The partnership between Ms. Tech and 1871 follows Ms. Tech’s rapid growth and success in the tech community. Under Yeary’s leadership, the organization has grown from a private Facebook group to one of the most established groups in Chicago, boasting some of the most talented women in tech, digital media and technology related fields.  Through her work with Ms. Tech, Yeary is viewed as one of the leading women in Chicago tech and has passionately dedicated herself to creating an environment that will foster the growth of women in tech.

The 1871/Ms. Tech partnership includes three major elements:

  • Ms. Tech staff will move its base of operations to 1871 and they will use the 1871 space to conduct their programming, mentorship and classes.
  • Nicole Yeary, founder and CEO of Ms. Tech, will become the co-facilitator of the WiSTEM program and will develop a curriculum that is exclusive for the WiSTEM cohort, in addition to broader efforts in support of the WiSTEM program at 1871.
  • Ms. Tech will work with 1871 to craft offerings of Ms. Tech services that are available to all 1871 members as their companies grow, as well as to the entire Chicago technology community.

"Ms. Tech is an incredibly valuable resource and advocate for women entrepreneurs in Chicago," said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. "We are excited to partner with Nicole and Ms. Tech to create opportunities for WiSTEM and for women across the city."

The WiSTEM program is a women-focused program that will take place at 1871. The first cohort is slated to begin on September 14. The program is centralized around three major pillars:

  • Access to capital – The program will support women entrepreneurs as they seek capital and resources for their businesses. Included will be specific mentorship and advice about the capital raising process, as well as introductions to VCs and angels looking to invest in women entrepreneurs.
  • Access to technology – The program will focus on supporting the women entrepreneurs as they build their technological solutions for their businesses, including guidance about finding technical solutions, technical support for critical issues with websites or applications, support in hiring, and support in finding additional female developers for opportunities in the tech economy.
  • Access to community – The program will build a network of women entrepreneurs throughout the Chicago technology community and foster workshops, programming, and other events designed to facilitate discussion and interaction around this critical issue. Additionally, the program will have a robust curriculum, mentoring, and support system for the women entrepreneurs who are participating in each cohort.

The first cohort of WiSTEM was announced recently, and includes thirteen companies. The program will kick off in September and will run for five months. There will be two cohorts a year -- September through January, and March through June.

The members of the inaugural WiSTEM class are:

  • Alex Buck – Co-Founder and CEO, Plumwise
  • Amanda Greenberg – Co-Founder and CEO, Baloonr
  • Annie Mohaupt – Founder and CEO, Mohop
  • Catherine Merritt – Founder and CEO, MUMZY
  • Elena Valentine – Co-Founder and CEO, Skill Scout
  • Holly Bellmund – Founder and CEO, Werenro Group
  • Julie Novack – Founder and CEO, PartySlate
  • Linda Zabors – Founder and CEO, Honorary Chicago
  • Michelle Smyth – Founder and CEO, Pay Your Selfie
  • Parminder Batra – Co-Founder and CEO, Sekure Trak, Inc./TraknProtect
  • Reva Minkoff – Founder and President, Digital4Startups and DigitalGroundUp
  • Rose Afriyie – Co-Founder and CEO, mRelief
  • Veatrice Glenn – Founder and CEO, Insightful Decisions, Inc.

One of the key areas of partnership between Ms. Tech and WiSTEM will be around the development of WiSTEM-specific classes and educational sessions that will be led by Ms. Tech and will be based, in part, upon Ms. Tech’s successful curriculum and existing programming. Ms. Tech and WiSTEM will also work together to find other opportunities for mentorship and interaction with the businesses.

"Ms. Tech already does so much for female founders in Chicago and beyond, so it's very exciting to hear that Ms. Tech will be involved with WiSTEM on such an impactful level," said Reva Minkoff, founder of DigitalGroundUp – one of the companies from the first WiSTEM cohort, and a Ms. Tech member. "I am confident that Ms. Tech's programming will be extremely well received by the members of WiSTEM and will have a lasting positive influence on the program and the member companies alike."

The partnership between Ms. Tech and WiSTEM is effective immediately.

About Ms. Tech

Ms.Tech is a social impact focused, membership organization with a learning community that provides women in technology ventures and innovative companies the inspiration, knowledge and connections to reach their full potential. With a mission to evolve the conversation of female entrepreneurism and women technologists beyond the issue of ‘changing the ratio’ and towards actively advancing the quality of businesses, networks and resources, Ms. Tech encourages its members to develop entrepreneurial thinking, educated risk taking, creative problem solving and inspirational, supportive leadership within their teams, organizations and businesses. Together, we are a community and forum for early, mid-career and executive-level individuals who are committed to developing themselves as leaders through education, mentorship, networking and knowledge-sharing.

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