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TGIF @ 1871

Sarah Hale

Last Friday, the Walker Sands team headed to 1871, the center of the Chicago tech community. On the surface, 1871 is a coworking space, albeit one with a ping pong table. Its mission is derived from its name: just as Chicago rose from the ashes of the 1871 fire, 1871 is leading the way in redefining Chicago and the Merchandise Mart as the tech hub of the Midwest.

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Walker Sands President Mike Santoro addresses the crowd at 1871

Walker Sands hosted a networking event, where we met with tech startups and nonprofits alike. We walked away inspired from the great ideas we heard, including:

  • Social networking for investment professionals
  • Apps for difficult-to-catalogue and discover genres of music, such as classical and jazz
  • A nonprofit that engages local professionals to share their careers and passions with middle school kids in low-income neighborhoods
  • A Yelp-like site that enables sports and music fans to rate individual seats at venues
  • Data scientists who can pinpoint friction points in website experiences, such as why consumers abandon shopping carts

1871 pic

Over 150 entrepreneurs and their staff attended the event. Check out 1871’s website for more info on weekly TGIF networking events.