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Connecting Chicago’s Startup Community

Chicago’s center for technology and entrepreneurship, 1871 in the Merchandise Mart, is all about connections. Home to more than 500 members, including hundreds of digital startups, 1871 is also a hub for tech schools, university satellite offices, accelerators and incubators, including Techstars, Bunker Labs, WiSTEM, Elmspring, DV X, and the IHCC and 1871 Joint Hispanic Tech Incubator. Digital connections, of course, are the foundation for communications and commerce for this thriving entrepreneurial community.
1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. Photo by 1871/Gregory Rothstein.

The internet connections throughout 1871 have just gotten better and faster. As part of its new partnership with 1871, Zayo has boosted internet speed and capacity throughout the facility, providing 10 GB of IP and providing consultation on upgrading its shared Wi-Fi network. “As 1871 has continued to grow, its need for high performance bandwidth has increased significantly,” said Amber Caramella, Zayo’s SVP of Sales. “We are excited to provide this shared bandwidth to accelerate business performance and innovation for the entire community.”

Zayo and the 1871 community celebrated their partnership last Friday afternoon. “1871 is home to a thriving ecosystem of startups, entrepreneurs, corporations, universities and tech leaders who rely on our innovative space to run their operations,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “The new partnership with Zayo is an example of how we are fully committed to continuously enhancing the space and providing state-of-the-art infrastructure for our member community to better run their businesses. We are happy Zayo’s network provides our members with one of the fastest connections of any tech hub on the planet.”

Zayo CIO Sandi Mays. Photo by 1871/Gregory Rothstein.

As a startup itself 10 years ago, Zayo is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial community, including accelerators and coworking facilities, including 1871, Galvanize and Capital Factory in Austin. In addition to consulting on infrastructure and telecom issues, Zayo stays involved with the community, offering its expertise, participating in panels and sponsoring special events.

From an infrastructure perspective, Zayo will continue to educate the community about solutions that can help companies scale effectively — including high-performance connectivity, data center solutions and cloud infrastructure.

“We have a strong commitment to share our knowledge and inspire and support the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Sandi Mays, Zayo’s CIO. “It’s part of our mindset to pay it forward.”

Zayo Team at 1871 Event. Photo by 1871/Gregory Rothstein.
1871 Event. Photo by 1871/Gregory Rothstein.
Sandi Mays (Zayo), Starr Marcelo (Chicago Booth) and Howard A. Tullman (1871). Photo by 1871/Gregory Rothstein.