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1871: A Tech Renaissance In Chicago
By: Emory Brown
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There is a saying that “invention is the mother of necessity.” Yet sometimes innovation is the desire born in a passionate heart, or the mind of a soul that is eager bring visions to life.
When we look at great thinkers throughout history, there seems to be a common thread in which schools of thought emerge and give life to marvels. 1871, a Chicago-based not-for-profit, is helping create a tech renaissance in Chicago that is on its way to making Silicon Valley stand up, pay attention, and pay homage.

It’s a great thing to be able to walk into an office building and see men and women working furiously toward a goal. To eavesdrop on conversations about ideas and witness walls filled with dates for panel discussions with heads from tech greats like Microsoft and Google.
1871 was the year that the “Chicago Fire” blazed through the city and almost completely destroyed it. It is also the year that the great thinkers of Chicago emerged and poured their visions into what was desolate and made it a world-class city that changed the world in the process. This type of thinking is what is needed in our economy today. A culture dedicated to job creation not from big government promises but from ideation, implementation, and collaboration to set the stage to nurture entrepreneurial excellence. 

The phoenix that rose from the fire 140 years ago is soaring through Chicago’s tech scene while Chicago’s best and brightest are shaping new technologies, disrupting old business models, and resetting the boundaries of what’s possible in the marketplace. 1871 is like the honey comb hidden from tech entrepreneurs; as they say, “Working in a garage is overrated. It’s cold in the winter, hot in the summer and lonely all year long.” Steve Jobs, we love you, but I have to say the people at 1871 may be right. Tenants pay a reasonable fee once a month for 24-hour access to office space, phones, and year-round support from some of Chicago’s best business schools like the University of Chicago and Northwestern. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, it’s a perfect place to hang out, take clients, and recruit talent. Plus the ideas that are bubbling in there are amazing.

1871 will one day be the Silicon Valley of Chicago. Actually, you may say it already is, because Chicago's "tech renaissance" has started and it’s going to bring technological marvels to the world. 


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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