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Your Chicago: 1871 Tech Incubator

Kate Sullivan Kate Sullivan
Kate Sullivan is co-anchor of CBS 2 Chicago News at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m....
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(CBS) – It is one of the largest tech incubators in the country, nurturing startups and fueling the passion of hundreds of young and not-so-young entrepreneurs. And it’s in Chicago.

The space is called 1871 and it just celebrated its two-year anniversary.

CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan reports.

Take one step inside 1871 and you can sense the energy here is different: a place to inspire creativity and support innovation for the more than 250 businesses trying to start off on the right foot.

“Well first of all it’s lonely as hell to be an entrepreneur,” Howard Tullman says. “Second of all, it’s noisy in your basement or with your kids. Third, you learn from others. Almost nobody does things by themselves.”

Tullman, a serial entrepreneur with a track record of success, was tasked by Mayor Emanuel to make the a place to attract new businesses to Chicago, and he has.

With 50,000 square feet in the Merchandise Mart, it is one of the largest tech incubators in the world — a place where Pavan Bapu is birthing his idea.

Pavan created a modern gramophone that syncs to any Bluetooth device; it’s called the Gramovox.

Mariela Santori designed an app to help kids play game through Skype. She says 1871 helped her company grow in ways she never knew possible.

The name of the space, 1871, was inspired by the year of the Great Chicago Fire — a year when a whole lotta something came out of nothing.

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