As a member of Chicago’s tech community, I am honored to be a mentor for the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and to be a part of 1871. I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the new space in the Merchandise Mart a few weeks ago and was absolutely blown away by what I saw.
As someone who has been involved in the Chicago tech community for the last 10 + years, it’s great to see the renaissance that is occurring in the digital community. It is my personal belief that a strong startup community needs continual contributions by the entrepreneurial / tech community to ensure a lasting impact on our tech community. The success or failure of Chicago will be determined by the willingness of people to contribute their time and energy to the community. I encourage everyone to get involved in some way - whether that be by being a mentor, meeting with people seeking advice, attending events, etc. I think that members of the community will find that 1871 provides opportunities to get involved via their workshops, seminars and office hours, events, etc. This programming will provide tremendous value to startups.
One of the biggest impediments for a startup can be space available to foster ideas, etc. Not only is 1871 helping to solve this issue for Chicago startups, but also it gives startups an environment to share ideas with one another and to receive the necessary feedback from peers / mentors to help iterate on their concept.
1871 is off to a good start with all 100 reserved seats allocated to 35 startups and 35 additional startups signed up for the shared space. It will be exciting to see the new companies that benefit from 1871. I’m excited about the hundreds of new jobs that will be created as a result of 1871.
A successful startup community can’t be created overnight. It’s going to take a lot of effort from many people over a long period of time to solidify our city as a hub for technical innovation. As a member of the tech community, I’m looking forward to the opening of 1871 and what it’ll mean to our city. Congrats to the CEC team on a wonderful start.
About the Author
Steve Sanger, VP of Business Development, GrubHub
Steve Sanger is a seasoned professional with experience in business / corporate development, strategy formulation, marketing, financial analysis, leadership, and project management. He received his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Mr. Sanger has held various business / corporate development roles. He was Vice President of Business Development and a member of the senior leadership team for GrubHub (NYSE:GRUB). Mr. Sanger led business and corporate development activities for the company as well as helping to define and to execute the company’s overall strategy.
Prior to joining GrubHub, Mr. Sanger worked at Tribune Interactive where he proactively sought partnership opportunities to drive revenue and to minimize costs for the interactive division. At Diamond Management & Technology Consultants (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), Steve was an Associate who worked on various projects including M&A integration, strategic and competitive analysis. He also interned at Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company where he worked on developing the company’s go-to-market strategy for the Latino segment. Mr. Sanger has also worked at First Industrial Realty Trust.