Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the expansion of the 1871 tech hub Tuesday and the addition of more than 700 jobs for the city.
1871 has grown from a 50,000 square foot space in 2012 to a bustling tech center taking up two floors and 115,000 square feet in the Merchandise Mart.
“Today both 1871 and Chicago’s tech scene are growing so I want to thank these companies for committing to adding jobs and supporting the incubator where some of them started out,” Emanuel said. “These tech companies are establishing the next generation of Chicago’s economy- an economy that is thriving due to the city’s central location, access to transportation, unmatched talent and business friendly environment.”
The incubator’s latest expansion looks to house companies that have previously outgrown their space at 1871. In addition to this, the offices will house venture capital firms.
The expansion will also bring a variety of new tech companies and jobs to the Chicago area. Among them is CloserLook, Inc., a full service digital marketing agency that works with pharmaceutical marketers. They will add 50 jobs in the city, Emanuel said.
Aside from CloserLook, 15 other tech businesses will be moving into the incubator and adding jobs.
“Chicago is fortunate to have such an engaged tech community, that works together to advance the city and its businesses,” World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn said. “Our efforts to attract talent, increase access to capital and facilitate connections to cultivate growth would not be possible without this supportive and nurturing community.
Chicago’s tech industry is already growing with companies like Google and Motorola Solutions and other smaller tech businesses already investing in the city.