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1871’s latest initiative - entitled “PYROS” - provides member companies and founders with multi-stage, tailored resources, tools, mentors, workshops, curriculum, and peer groups based on their startups’ business development needs.

1871-pyros-logo-whiteChicago, IL (November 20, 2019) - 1871’s newest initiative, “PYROS” fundamentally changes the membership experience at the #1 ranked private business incubator in the world. Now, members have access to a white-glove approach for resources, tools, mentors, workshops, curriculum, and peer groups curated for where they are in their development. A series of twice weekly workshops and deep dives into product strategy, business fundamentals, and leadership development, this initiative facilitates the next stage in the evolution of an 1871 member, as a founder and a startup.

The technology hub recognizes that becoming a startup founder is an extraordinary act and that building a startup is hard. PYROS drives success for founders through an experience driven by meeting their fundamental needs instead of a dependency on time. Founders in PYROS receive a tailored curriculum throughout their journey with the ability to take nearly any segment until their business needs are met and they move onto the next stage. 

“The launch of our PYROS initiative underscores our deep commitment to membership needs and affirms our roots as a founder-focused organization that continuously iterates on how we help our startups build extraordinary businesses,” said Larry Eppley, CEC and 1871 Board Chairman and Managing Partner of the Chicago office of Sheppard Mullin. “We are excited to offer our members stage-specific support that accelerates them to promising futures and inspires more innovation in Chicago.”

The 1871 Founder Experience Team works alongside the founders to determine their startup’s needs, goals, and growth pace, they are placed into their cohort, and any respective affinity peer groups, that will maximize their potential. Founders can find themselves in one of the initiative’s four stages:

  1. Explore: For early stage products or ideas
  2. Build: For proofs of concept and market viability 
  3. Launch: For product introduction to markets
  4. Grow: For scaling their startup and developing customer retention 

“Founders are the center of our gravity at 1871 and we’re incredibly proud to introduce PYROS,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871 and CEC, “This new initiative provides founders with tailored resources, workshops, mentors, and tools that puts their businesses on the trajectory for success any given startup stage.”

These stages are set up as a mission control system that reduces the turbulence most commonly experienced as a startup by limiting overreach, missteps, and assists in identifying “fires” before they happen. 

“The program was designed from years of learning and hundreds of interviews to really understand what founders need at various stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle,” says Rachael Feuerborn, VP of Founder Experience at 1871. “The biggest piece of feedback we get from entrepreneurs is 'I don't know what I don't know'. The program is structured enough to highlight what matters most for your business right now and what doesn't.”

Programming and workshops have been integral to the 1871 Experience since its foundation in 2012. With more than 1,000 events per year and countless mentorship hours, members and partners have experienced and understood the power behind the density of our network and capabilities. Now, with this new initiative these capabilities have been rolled into one, white-glove approach that provides value to the founders at the time that they need it most. 

Osayanmo “Osa” Osarenkhoe, Founder of GYST Audio, shares his experience as a part of the PYROS initiative nine months into his time as an 1871 Member:

“I came in with this assumption that I knew what I was doing and the first thing I learned was that I don't, I don't know what I'm doing. But the second thing I learned was 1871 is a place where you can, you can learn how to do those things or you can learn how to cover those gaps. You can learn how to make up for the things that you lack and how to truly grow an idea into not just a product, as every developer wants to, but into a business that can stand the test of time.”

1871 is breaking the traditional framework associated with incubators and accelerators through a format that empowers any founder, at any stage, to be given the necessary means to build out their extraordinary ideas.

For more information, please email the Founder Experience and Membership Teams at

Topics: Community, Members, PYROS

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