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Graduation Day: 1871 Celebrates Sixth WiSTEM Cohort With Unforgettable Showcase

Last night, a dozen women entrepreneurs took the stage to present their businesses in front of a packed audience at 1871. From a vacation rental cleaning service to an employee engagement platform, each entrepreneur celebrated 12 weeks of hard work, grit, and passion as they pitched their business ideas and officially graduated from our sixth WiSTEM cohort. Not to worry if you couldn't make it -- we've captured the evening's highlights right here. 

Group photo.jpg Congratulations to the graduating class of our sixth WiSTEM cohort! 

According to recent studies, women own more than nine million businesses in the United States -- and that number is expected to grow in the coming years. Here at 1871, we're proud to share 12 more woman-owned businesses that you can add to the list. All of these women are now officially graduates of our WiSTEM program, a 12-week, curriculum-based course that connects women to capital, community, and technology resources. Since its inception, WiSTEM has graduated six cohorts, raised more than $10 million in capital, and has helped more than 76 women-owned businesses and 86 individual women entrepreneurs.

Yesterday evening, the Chicago community came out in full for a night of pitches, networking, and food and drink to support the new graduates at our Cohort 6 Showcase. We captured some memorable moments from the event and thought we'd share them with you. 

HAT.jpg1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman kicked off the showcase with his welcoming remarks.

"When they named 1871 the number one incubator in the world, they asked us to specifically present on WiSTEM. It's a program that has seen tremendous growth over the years, and we're so excited that we get to share it with our community here in Chicago." – Howard A. Tullman, CEO, 1871

Rachel Struna-1.jpgRachel Struna is the COO of AptAmigo, which makes apartment hunting more efficient, accurate, and transparent.

"The brokerage industry is broken. We fix that by going direct to buildings and landlords to collect accurate availability and we also leverage powerful search tools and data to ensure that we provide value for renters and building managers alike." – Rachel Struna, COO, AptAmigo

Deepa Kartha-2.jpgDeepa Kartha is CEO and Founder of Zinda, an SaaS solution that helps companies increase and optimize employee engagement.

"Companies lose $11 billion each year due to employee turnover. With Zinda, you can easily  create engaging activities to mobilize and motivate your employees." – Deepa Kartha, Founder and CEO, Zinda

Stephanie Choporis.jpgStephanie Choporis is the Co-founder of Happenstance, a mobile app that spontaneously delivers relevant audio stories to its users.

"Happenstance has great value for two demographics. For listerners, it delivers relevant and spontaneous audio stories and for  local businesses, it serves as a unique platform to advertise to their customers." – Stephanie Choporis, Co-founder and Managing Editor, Happenstance

Tiffany Williams.jpgTiffany Williams is the Founder and CEO of Givly, a platform that makes it easier for nonprofits to facilitate transactions.

"When it comes to charity, you've got to make it super simple to give. We've grown accustomed to transacting in four steps or less -- but it takes more than 13 steps to complete your average donation transaction. Givly solves that problem by equipping nonprofits with the tools that can help optimize those transactions and increase engagement." – Tiffany Williams, Founder and CEO, Givly

Amy Rosenow.jpgAmy Rosenow is the CEO and Co-founder of Jugl, a work-life coordination tool that makes it easier to manage and coordinate household logistics, schedules, and plans as a working parent.

"The 'Jugl' is real for working parents! It was almost as hard to be COO of my household as it was to be COO of a billion dollar company. That's when I came up with the idea for Jugl, which helps working parents reduce the potential for letdown and meltdown at home and also optimizes at-work presence and productivity." – Amy Rosenow, Co-founder and CEO, Jugl

Party.jpgThe showcase concluded with an after-party, where food and drinks were provided by our ChiBuys vendors: Justice of the Pies, Gayle's Best Ever Grilled Cheese, and Carol's Event Staffing.

Once again, a huge congrats to the powerhouse women of our sixth WiSTEM cohort -- we were lucky to have you and wish you the best in your entrepreneurial journey!


Are you a women entrepreneur looking to grow your business? If so, make sure you apply for a spot in our next WiSTEM cohort. Applications for the Spring 2018 cohort are open now through Monday, March 12th at 8:00 a.m. CST.

Topics: Events, Insights, Community

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