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Mick Swasko

Mick Swasko
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Recent Posts

Meet, the Company Pitching Chicago to Global Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 10/20/17 1:30 PM

1871-based has brought more than 60 companies from more than a half-dozen countries around the world. What did it take for Serhat Cicekoglu and Gerod Carfantan to build a bridge between Chicago and the rest of the world?

1871 Companies Prove Chicago is a City of Rebuilders After Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria

News, Community
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 10/13/17 3:40 PM

When three major and catastrophic hurricanes made landfall between late-August and early-October, the destruction left in their wake was described as “unprecedented” and “devastating.” In the following month, it has been inspiring at 1871 -- an organization that is named after those who rose up and rebuilt after a disaster -- to see the innovators and member organizations that have stepped up to use their tools and tap their communities to aid in the aftermath.

Tech Community Comes out for "High Fives" at Fifth WiSTEM Showcase

Events, Community
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 10/10/17 12:46 PM

The auditorium was filled October 9 for what has become one of of 1871’s signature events -- the WiSTEM Showcase. Thirteen women-led companies took the stage to pitch their businesses and showcase their success after 12 weeks of intense workshops, mentorship and programming.

Laura Brebner Seeks to Empower Patients with Advocatia

Posted by: Mick Swasko on 10/6/17 4:06 PM

Laura Brebner isn’t a doctor, but she might end up saving lives. The co-founder and COO of Advocatia, a WiSTEM cohort company, has partnered with her brother to make local, state and national healthcare benefits much more accessible and transparent for hospital patients.

1871 and Conagra join EX3 Labs in Donating VR Immersive Learning Lab to Pullman Elementary

News, Community
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 10/3/17 4:23 PM

It was an open house for parents September 27 at Pullman Elementary School, but the students were scuba diving in the ocean and exploring Mars. Thanks to a donation from 1871 member company, EX3 Labs, students at the South Side school now have an entire classroom equipped with Virtual Reality goggles and more than 600 educational experiences.

TIMMY Awards Celebrate the Workplaces that Drive Innovation

News, Events, Community
Posted by: Mick Swasko on 9/25/17 10:47 AM

It was appropriate the 3rd annual Chicago TIMMY Awards were held on a day of record breaking heat. Some of Chicago’s hottest, most talented and innovative companies gathered for the Tech in Motion TIMMY Awards at 1871 September 22, packing an energetic Auditorium. The awards recognize the best places for tech professionals to work in Chicago -- from companies that excel at embracing diversity to businesses with visionary leaders.

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.

Read the 1871 Blog for news about the Chicago technology and entrepreneurship community, as well as helpful tips, guides, and insights into the startup and investment world.

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