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New Incubator For Female Entrepreneurs In Chicago

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 3/12/2014

1871 launches FEMtech, a new incubator to provide training and mentoring for women-owned tech startups in the Chicago area.

Women on the tech startup scene often face additional hurdles. With tech startups typically dominated by male entrepreneurs, women sometimes struggle to gain traction--a notion that is supported by the relatively low number of women in leadership positions at the nation's most promising technology startup firms.

New Female Enterpreneur Incubator at 1871 in Chicago

But one of Chicago's most influential technology startup centers is trying to change that with the launch of a business incubator designed to address the needs of female entrepreneurs. 1871, an entrepreneurial hub for tech startups, recently announced the launch of the 1871 FEMtech incubator, a program and facility that will provide much-needed assistance and advice for female entrepreneurs.

Funded by Google, Motorola Mobility and the Lefkofsky Family Foundation (operated by the wife of Groupon's CEO), 1871 FEMtech will provide assistance to 10 to 15 startups at any given point in time, offering them training, mentoring and other resources.

"Women-owned technology businesses have grown in number and reach in recent years, and we are hopeful to see more of these exciting companies doing great things as a result of our new incubator," said Howard A. Tullman, CEO of 1871.

Not surprisingly, the announcement of the new incubator has received widespread praise and support from both the business community and local government officials, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel.

"Chicago's tech and digital manufacturing industry continues to create jobs and boost economic growth across the City," Mayor Emanuel said. "The FEMtech incubator at 1871 will increase opportunities in this dynamic sector for women-owned tech businesses and startups.

It's expected that 1871 will begin receiving applications for program participants in June, with a program launch slated for sometime in the fall. According to Tullman, the program will involve use of a dedicated space at 1871, a full-time staff person/mentor and programs that are capable of accommodating the unique schedule requirements of mothers.

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