We are excited to announce that 1871’s Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Lakshmi Shenoy, is the new leader of the new Tampa Bay innovation hub.
1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman recently said that "from day one, when I took over 1871, I wanted to build a place that was also a credential, a place where people ‘came from’ (much like being a Marine), and one where people would proudly say years later that, at 1871, they never stopped learning and growing and getting better -- and that they were a significant part of making 1871 into a special and world-class place -- one of the best of its breed anywhere. I know Lakshmi certainly feels that way. The entire 1871 community and I are very proud and happy for her as she takes this next major step in her own career.”
Shenoy is most proud of her contribution to the 3.0 buildout of 1871 on the 13th Floor, the development of the Bosch partnership which led to the Chicago Connectory, and the 100-plus corporate partnerships that she has built on behalf of 1871.
Shenoy’s efforts to increase diversity within the Chicago entrepreneurial landscape can be seen around every corner at 1871; in fact, she was part of the original team that developed and launched WiSTEM, a 12-week program that helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses and increase their networks.
Similar to 1871, Shenoy says that a commitment to community and inclusion are priorities that she’ll look to implement in the Tampa hub.
“We want to include a wide variety of perspectives and input to build an inclusive and robust hub for the Tampa entrepreneurial ecosystem. 1871 showed me that if you speak the prioritization of diversity and inclusion into existence, you’re now accountable. And, if you speak that into existence, then other people can join in your journey.”
When asked about her new position in Tampa, Shenoy said, “I’m excited because I see Tampa Bay having all the makings of a global entrepreneurial ecosystem. The new innovation hub can become the central address for entrepreneurship and innovation for the Tampa Bay region just as 1871 has become for Chicago.”
And while Shenoy is thrilled about what’s next for her, there are a number of things that she’ll
miss at 1871 -- like working with Tullman. She says that Tullman’s leadership style and his work ethic have been a constant source of inspiration.
“I’m coming into my new role fully aware of how hard it is because I’ve seen just how hard Howard works and how dedicated he is to the job. Howard taught me that as CEO you have to care more than everybody else and that the details matter.”
Shenoy says she’ll also miss the incredible staff and the growth they’ve created in her three-plus years at 1871.
“I am grateful for the impact that we have made as a team during my time at 1871. We helped to support new companies and changed the trajectory of their business for the better, and in doing that, we helped build 1871. Having that type of positive impact made it very easy for me to wake up excited each morning about the day’s work ahead.”
Today, 1871 hosts more than 500 startups, seven university partners, eight venture capital firms and 600 volunteer mentors, and holds nearly 1,000 events a year.
Here’s to you, Lakshmi Shenoy.