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1871 and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Announce First Cohort of Joint Accelerator

Chicago-based technology incubator 1871 and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) announced Thursday the 12 businesses that make up the first cohort of a new incubator focused on fostering opportunities for Hispanic-owned technology companies. As part of the 12-week program, the tech companies will be provided educational programming, resources, technological support and guidance toward raising funding.

"IHCC is pleased to partner with 1871 to help develop this next generation of LatinX innovative entrepreneurs,” said Omar Duque, President & CEO of IHCC. “We're excited about the businesses and entrepreneurs in our inaugural cohort and we’re looking forward to exploring ways we can help grow and expand their businesses and connect them with our communities."

The joint incubator provides the businesses within the cohort direct access to mentors from a variety of backgrounds, and tailored content designed specifically for the individual businesses.

“Building diversity and inclusion in the tech community is a core pillar of 1871’s efforts, and this new accelerator is a crucial addition to our ongoing efforts,” said Howard A. Tullman, 1871 CEO. “Through a strong partnership with IHCC, these companies will be provided access to all manner of resources and opportunities that will accelerate their growth.”

Member companies in the first cohort include:

1871 has previously partnered with Chicago Urban League, CODE2040, ImBlackinTech, Ms. Tech, Code Latino and many other organizations in an effort to increase opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs. The Hispanic technology incubator is supported by a number of organizations, including JPMorgan Chase and Wintrust Financial.

"I am incredibly excited to be part of the first IHCC and 1871 cohort,” said Victoria Nones, founder of Women in Comedy. “Gaining valuable resources and education in order to further the efforts of my company, Women In Comedy, will be monumental. I can't wait to collaborate with other Latinx entrepreneurs and am grateful for the opportunity."

The accelerator is directed by Manny Ozaeta, who brings extensive knowledge of 1871, its member companies, and a strong understanding of the Hispanic business community. Ozaeta was previously 1871’s director of membership and has worked for a variety of organizations in Chicago, including Culloton Strategies and the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Being a part of the IHCC and 1871 program is an incredible opportunity to create meaningful relationships within the Latinx and 1871 communities and take my work at Paladin to the next level,” said Kristen Sonday, co-founder and COO of Paladin. “I'm grateful for the mentorship and resources provided through the program and look forward to contributing to the future of Latinx entrepreneurs in Chicago.”

For more information on the program, or to speak with one of the cohort members, email

About the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC)

The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) is the leading Hispanic business, networking, advocacy and development organization in the state of Illinois. IHCC empowers entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. We are a community of business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals committed to empowering individuals through economic growth. With decades of combined business experience, IHCC engages entrepreneurs through community advocacy, networking, and innovative one-on-one training designed to help them be leaders and agents of change in today’s world. We contribute to the financial strength of the economy by helping businesses create jobs, increase their revenue and be more profitable. For more info visit

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