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Future Founders and 1871 Announce Partnership

Future Founders Moves Headquarters to 1871; Both Organizations Launched Through Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center

CHICAGO (APRIL 5, 2016) – Future Founders, a nonprofit that believes every youth can become an entrepreneur, joined 1871 today to announce a new partnership that will impact thousands of young entrepreneurs across Chicago and beyond. As part of the partnership, Future Founders has moved its headquarters to 1871. Future Founders was jointly launched in 2011 by Uptake Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Brad Keywell and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which is also the parent organization of 1871.

“The growth of Future Founders is a unique entrepreneurial story,” said Scott Issen, President & CEO, Future Founders. “The organization was created by two of the region’s entrepreneurial leaders, seeded by innovative organizations, incubated at Lightbank, and is now located at the nation’s number one business incubator. Partnering with 1871 will give us unparalleled access to expand our network, grow our resource base, and most importantly, immerse our students in the center of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Future Founders offers age-appropriate and stage-appropriate programs to connect students with mentors and help them build a toolkit of entrepreneurial skills. The organization focuses on inspiring youth to create employment opportunities for themselves instead of having to depend on others for their livelihoods.

“Future Founders is about inspiring youth, immersing them in a vibrant entrepreneurial community, and connecting them to incredible people who act as teachers and role models,” said Future Founders Chairman and Uptake Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Brad Keywell. “Our organization not only gives students concrete business skills, but also allows them to visualize their own paths towards entrepreneurship.”

Future Founders is empowering over 2,000 young entrepreneurs this year through its three programs:

  • Future Founders Discover, a series of high-energy workshops that introduce elementary and high school students to entrepreneurial skills.
  • Future Founders Ignite, a program that combines entrepreneurial experiences and mentoring to inspire high school students to develop their own business ideas.
  • Future Founders Startup, a dynamic platform to engage, equip and empower college-age entrepreneurs. Startup also features a selective year-long Fellowship Cohort to accelerate the success of the nation’s top young entrepreneurs.

“By connecting students in underserved communities with entrepreneurs from Chicago's most exciting companies, Future Founders is ensuring that we prepare the next generation of Chicagoans to succeed as innovators and business leaders,” said Jim O’Connor, Jr., CEC Board Chair. “Chicago’s entrepreneurs are uniquely committed to giving back to their communities, and Future Founders provides the vehicle for entrepreneurs to harness their expertise in order to make a meaningful impact to the lives of future entrepreneurs. This represents exactly the sort of impactful community resource that CEC works to facilitate, and I’m thrilled to see Future Founders and 1871 working together to create further opportunities around technology and entrepreneurship.”

CEC and its Board of Directors are responsible for a number of activities around facilitating entrepreneurship in Chicago. CEC supports the operations and activities of 1871, its flagship project, which was founded in May 2012 with the intention of becoming Chicago’s premier entrepreneurial hub. CEC Board is also responsible for the production and execution of the annual Momentum Awards Dinner, the single largest fundraising dinner and gathering of Chicago's tech community, as well as for hosting Startup Bootcamp workshops and supporting other organizations that work on entrepreneurial activities. In addition, CEC is focused on fostering inclusion in the tech and entrepreneurial communities by providing opportunities for women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs.

“Future Founders provides a crucial resource to students as they prepare to begin careers in the new digital economy,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “Whether they become entrepreneurs or pursue other professions, young people who understand the importance of being entrepreneurial in their careers will be better prepared for success throughout their lives. We are thrilled to welcome Future Founders to the 1871 space, and look forward to working with them to foster greater opportunities for engagement and inclusion in Chicago’s tech and entrepreneurial communities.”

“Future Founders has contributed invaluable connections that have helped me grow both as an individual and as a business owner,” said Future Founders alum and Founder/CEO of KAEYOS, Inc. Kaeya Majmundar. “99% of my sales are a direct result of the people I met while participating in the 2015 Future Founders Fellowship cohort.”

About Future Founders

Future Founders is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that believes every youth can become an entrepreneur. We immerse youth in experiences that inspire and empower them to create their own opportunity. We believe this leads to a generation more determined, hopeful and equipped as they engage the future. Since 2005, our programs have served over 30,000 youth. The organization is powered by Capital One, CME Group Foundation, The Coleman Foundation, Keywell Foundation, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Accenture, The John E. & Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, Bank of America, Baxter, EY, Ford Motor Company Fund, Hoyt Family Foundation, Motorola Mobility Foundation, Smart Bet Charity, and many of the region’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders. Join us as we empower the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

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