Playing a key role in the growth and development of Chicago’s innovative and entrepreneurial digital startup community.

1871 Logo

Founded in 2012, 1871 was created as a home for Chicago’s digital startup community. It has evolved into the hub for the city’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Today, 1871 is the home of 400+ early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 150,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of:

  • Nationally recognized accelerators
  • Industry-specific incubators
  • Tech talent schools
  • The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition — the state’s leading technology advocate
  • Chicago-based VCs
  • Satellite offices for Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, DeVry University, and DePaul University

Building Chicago’s tech startup community with key hires

Competing with larger, more established companies for top talent is a challenge startups face—especially when it comes to high-demand, top engineers. Speed and velocity are key for startups. To help its member clients, 1871 needed a customized program—one with the structure that could support and scale with the world-class company and the 40+ companies it houses.

Embedding at 1871 gives members the support they need

Our recruiters are housed onsite at 1871 and offer their expertise to 1871 companies and alumni. In two and a half years, we have partnered with more than 100 member companies on more than 150 openings. Our recruiters have also managed the internal hiring for the 1871 team, placing more than 20 1871 team members.

Creating a level playing field when it comes to attracting talent

110+ Hires
Average Salary of $72,500
$2,500 Cost / Hire

The combined recruiting efforts have helped startup organizations compete for top talent, resulting in 110+ hires to date,

In fact, more than half of the hires have been for difficult-to-find engineering talent. Forty-eight percent of those hired met an inclusion standard in 2016 with an average salary of $72,500. Hirewell and 1871 have both subsidized the program to make it affordable for startups.

The average cost to hire for 1871 companies has been less than $2,500/hire. The program we created for 1871 has led to a unique partnership resulting in successful outcomes for recruiter, client and the 1871 member companies.

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