1871 and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) announced Thursday that their joint incubator program has opened applications for its second cohort, which is set to begin at 1871 in May 2017. The new cohort members will be following the 10 startups that successfully graduated on March 1 from the inaugural cohort. The incubator’s current title sponsor is PNC Illinois, whose sponsorship facilitates the resources to make the program a success.
“We are building the next generation of tech entrepreneurs and are very much looking forward to welcoming the newest group of Latinx founders to 1871 and IHCC,” said Manny Ozaeta, Director of the hispanic technology incubator. “We are excited for this new set of startups to begin taking advantage of the mentorship and community that are an integral part of our programming.”
To apply to the incubator, interested businesses should visit 1871.com/hispanictech. In order to qualify, the companies must have at least one person of Latino or Hispanic heritage as a co-founder, and the companies must be technology-enabled. Each company that is accepted must also meet the general 1871 acceptance criteria and be able to attend weekly incubator sessions.
The joint program between 1871 and IHCC began last year in an effort to focus on Latinx founders and entrepreneurs in the Chicagoland area. The 12-week program will include learning labs, mentorship and pitch practice and will also leverage the existing 1871 programming ecosystem. The program will culminate with a showcase featuring the businesses from that cohort and include a celebration of diversity in technology and entrepreneurship. The summer cohort of 1871/IHCC will be in addition to the 16 entrepreneurs who have participated in the program to date.
“The 1871/IHCC program gave me the education and resources to shape my business and move things forward quickly and efficiently,” said Victoria Elena Nones, Founder and CEO of Satira, an inaugural cohort company. “The staff from both organizations have been a fantastic resource. Today, I have soft launched our platform, I am onboarding users and I’m ready for the next stages of growth for my startup.”
1871 has become a leader in Chicago’s ongoing effort to expand the role of diversity in tech. WiSTEM, 1871’s incubator program for female founders and entrepreneurs, is set to begin its fourth cohort later this month. Board members of both 1871 and IHCC have met with entrepreneurs from all cohorts and are working to connect the businesses to opportunity in the Chicago community.
The two cohorts are prime examples of 1871’s continued commitment toward a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem in Chicago. Additionally, 48 percent of those hired through 1871’s recruiting program meet an inclusivity standard and two-thirds of 1871 staff are women. In addition, minority and women-owned vendors are engaged on a regular basis for events and any public panel or event held at 1871 must include participants with diverse backgrounds.
“Establishing the IHCC’s presence at 1871 has been a tremendous resource for members of the Latinx entrepreneurship community,” said Omar Duque, President and CEO of the IHCC. “We look forward to continuing to connect the dots on resources, funding opportunities and mentorship needed for these businesses to thrive.”
Applications are live now at 1871.com/hispanictech. The application deadline is April 14, 2017; selected businesses will be notified in early May. Members of the media with questions about the incubator program or those who wish to arrange an interview can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.