When we were thinking about the many roles a space like 1871 could play in Chicago’s startup community, one role was definitely a showcase of our entrepreneurs to both domestic and international leaders. Last week, we were visited by a Mayor of a major global city as well as a Governor of an important US state.
On Wednesday, we welcomed the Mayor of Helsinki, Finland, Jassi Pajunen, and his economic development delegation. CEC Board member Robert Blackwell Jr as well as Hyde Park Angels founder, Jeff Carter, joined this meeting to discuss ways for Chicago companies to do business with Finnish companies and vice versa. Special thanks to Kaarina Koskenalusta of the Kellogg Innovation Network for organizing the visit and to John Murray of Accenture for sponsoring the excellent lunch.
On Thursday, we welcomed the Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, and his economic development advisers. CEC Board member, Hank Adams, CEO of Sportvision and native Coloradoan joined us to talk about our work with entrepreneurs in Chicago and how we might build bridges to the developing startup eco-system in great Colorado cities like Boulder and Denver.
In the short one month 1871 has officially been open, we’ve had a Prime Minister, a global Mayor, and a US Governor visit this home for Chicago startups – can’t wait to see who will visit next!