On February 4th Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) and 1871 kicked off the eighth cohort of the IHCC + 1871 Latinx Incubator. The mission of the incubator is to create pathways for Latinx and underrepresented entrepreneurs to participate in and contribute to the tech and innovation economy.
With the launch of the new cohort, the Latinx Incubator will have welcomed over 100 startups through its doors. “The incubator not only creates a bridge for Latinx and underrepresented founders to the broader technology ecosystem but also acts as a springboard for these underestimated entrepreneurs, thanks to the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s partnership with 1871,” says new incubator director Raúl Rosas.
As a member of the incubator’s very first cohort and entrepreneur-in-residence to Cohort 6 and Cohort 7, Raúl has witnessed the expansion of this community and successes of many of its graduates. “The incubator has grown and evolved so much throughout the years, and I look forward to what’s to come,” he added.
The Latinx Incubator offers a powerful mix of mentorship, access to opportunity and world-class facilities. Those fortunate selected for Cohort 8 will make history. They’ll form part of a project that is set to become one of the largest incubation project for minorities in Chicago. We will have the scale to catalyse entrepreneurial activity and be a vital bridge between startups and venture capital,” said Jaime di Paulo, President & CEO of IHCC.
Today, another 27 startups joined the Latinx Incubator. Cohort 8 is the biggest group to date and reflects the strength of the partnership between the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and 1871.
Latinx Incubator founders benefit from 1871’s unique PYROS curriculum that features four different “tracks” they can access depending on their stage while getting the community and connections that IHCC can provide.
As partners in the tech community, our mission is and always will be to increase the possibility of success for entrepreneurs,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. “We know that innovative ideas come from every corner of Chicago and the state of Illinois, and the Latinx Incubator plays an important role in providing the education, resources, and community necessary to support underrepresented innovators on their journey. We’re proud to reach this milestone in the history of the incubator, and proud to continue work with the IHCC to inspire and equip the next generation of Latinx business leaders.”
Meet the Cohort 8 Startups:
PYROS Stage: Grow (I am a founder who has proven the business model works and the market is there and am ready to scale the team and the company)
BringMeThat | Derek Beckmann | We help restaurants reach more customers through the internet and a unique business model.
Futurehaus | Javier E. Otero | Established in 2010, Futurehaus is a studio that makes design, technology, & innovation inclusive and accessible to people working to create a more equitable and just society. We are your capable, trustworthy, and cross-functional partner that provides an end-to-end solution for digital product development and implementation. Through our unique approach, interdisciplinary team, and breadth of experience, we’ve helped startups, nonprofits, small businesses, and government harness today’s technology on their terms.
PYROS Stage: Launch (I am a founder who has identified early indicators of product/market fit and am ready to test growth strategies and the business model)
Fontenelle Art | Christina Fontenelle | Fontenelle Art LLC is a Mental Health & Creative Wellness company that aims to serve communities by providing Art & Movement-based approaches to professional development and mental health awareness as well as creating spaces for healing and cohesion. Above all, advocacy for social justice is at the core of everything we do.
VGI Energy Solutions, LLC | Faustina Roman-Vincent and Van L. Vincent | Ready on Day 1, restoring the economy, creating jobs in clean energy, reducing planet-warming emissions, and increasing environmental protections. We are committed to making a difference in the clean energy transition future providing diversity, equity, and inclusion in clean energy. Energy management solutions – Energy As A Service (EaaS).
PYROS Stage: Build (I am a founder who has demonstrated some early market validation with a scrappy prototype)
Boughthis | Ernesto Escalona and Alexandra Ramak | When shopping online or new or little known brands and products, people struggle to find reliable information by endlessly scrolling on reviews, social media, and websites. Boughthis is a Shopping Social Media that allows people to share and recommend what they’re buying and actually see other people’s purchases of a specific product. Unlike Instagram Shopping or Amazon Reviews, we put people first in the consumer’s world by empowering them in purchase decision making.
Cyber Millions | Ramses Villelam| Cybermillions is a fundraising sweepstake platform based on blockchain. Our platform offers participants the possibility to win unimaginable experiences – all while they contribute to different causes through donations, supporting foundations with raising funds to help those who need it the most.
ERollCall LLC | Gerardo Reyes and Susana Reyes | Our platform enables transparent and efficient legislative roll calls for organizations, leads, and lobbyists. The platform offers real-time reporting on lobbyist efforts and progress around critical bills, eliminating the need for manual tracking and in-person meetings and offering an enhanced set of analytical tools to digitize the reporting and analysis processes.
Eros App, LLC | David Hernandez | We are a marketplace platform made by small businesses to service the needs of all small businesses.
Juntos 2 College | Luis Antezana | A career planning platform for undocumented high school students.
Leagueswype | Darius Grandberry | We make collecting and paying out winnings in fantasy sports as easy as Venmo makes paying your friends for taco Tuesday.Leagueswype is a digital wallet that allows a group of people who generally bet on sports to collect, store, and transfer money easily, securely, and with full transparency using their phone.
Post and Perk | Daniel Vallejos | It’s hard to find the time and right content to make your LinkedIn profile pop! Post and Perk solves that by curating daily cutting-edge LinkedIn content that you post to your feed in seconds, while offering digital media perks such as the opportunity to be featured on podcasts and LinkedIn posts. To date, we have created 1,000’s of curated content for individuals just like you.
PRSPCTVS, LLC. | Omar Hernandez and Kevin Hanes | PRSPCTVS is the first analytics platform designed to empower small businesses in Food & Beverage to make better data-driven decisions. PRSPCTVS helps business stakeholders understand the health of their business from a financial, sales, customer, and expense tracking view.
Sign-Speak LLC. | Yamillet Payano and Nicholas Wilkins and Nikolas Kelly and Max Galbraith | There are minimal solutions for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) individuals looking to communicate effectively with hearing nonsigners in casual, Ad-Hoc, and everyday settings. Sign-Speak LLC is an automated American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting application that enables natural communication between Businesses and Deaf/Hard of Hearing customers. With this auxiliary service, the business can ensure that the D/HH customer receives impartial information from, and conveys information to, the businesses. We are currently securing our first client to obtain market validation by putting our minimal viable product (MVP) into a pilot phase. Our technology currently uses novel data augmentation, computer vision, and machine learning techniques and is being developed by a Google alumni.
SoundOff Inc. | Morris Ravis and Daniel Phiri | Welcome to value-added streaming. SoundOff gives artists visibility into the fans behind their streams & allows fans to provide direct financial support to artists. Artists see exactly how listeners are interacting with their music, and fans become immersed in the journeys and milestones of their favorite up-and-coming artists.
PYROS Stage: Explore: (I am a founder who is passionate about a business idea and want to test it).
BLU Commercial Cleaning | Saul Marchan | Our platform will assist service based companies establish a streamlined virtual office. This includes employee management, inventory management and virtual office communication. Our goal is to help business owners centralize their operations improving their staff’s experience as well as their customers. Ultimately, the platform will improve and create a stronger brand and culture to scale effectively and efficiently.
CREO | Carlos Felipe Sierra and Brenda Hernandez | CREO is an online platform that aims to close the network gap in the Latinx entrepreneurial community. We do that by connecting aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners with opportunities.
FARO Associates LLC | Olga Camargo and Juan Avila | Our App will focus on U.S. Latinas and help empower them through culturally-relevant financial education so they understand:Basic Budgeting; Emergency Savings Goals; College and Retirement Savings. As a bonus, the app will also include resources to help Latinas with career/leadership management and how to negotiate fair compensation.
Hire Her | Danielle Cortes DeVito | Hire Her is a platform for companies and government entities to hire women of color for emergency and disaster positions. Emergency and disaster response is a male dominated field. Hire creates a space where African American and Latina women will be front and center for HR professionals to hire talent.
Infer Health IT | Infer Health IT is a startup with the mission to provide solutions for challenging healthcare problems. We use collaboration among diverse stakeholders as the method to find solutions. Agility, adaptability, security, privacy, and safety, are foundations to Infer Health IT. Compliance with HIPAA is essential for confidentiality and privacy and ensuring the protected health information is secure. Infer Health IT’s focus is on developing and implementing IT solutions that build with a cybersecurity foundation, which are essential for secure, safe, and private use, data transmission, and data storage.
Khemion | Gustavo Rondon | Startup based on on Demand logistics- Intermediary between auto parts stores and buyers- Buy spare parts online
LatinXChange | Margarita Moreno and Lucero Rodriguez | LatinXChange lights the fuse through community collaboration and conversations that will catapult Bilingual Education forward. We provide the platform needed for educators to collaborate with each other on the projects, resources and curriculum they need. We are building a community across our social network while integrating and elevating the voices and work of LatinX community everyday.
Move On One Click (MOOC) | Jose Sanchez | My idea is based to create job opportunities for all communities with different niches using gps technology.
Puertas Unidas | Carmen Fraser | The Puertas Unidas Project will aid in increasing the Latino professional representation in the C-Suite and on Boards as a result of a system of relationship-building, mentorship and leadership, executed primarily through a core digital platform wherein constant interaction and support facilitates a community that strengthens each individual and stakeholder to then strengthen the population.Our system will provide leadership training, educational tools, community building and mentor-matching all on one platform. The digital space created will be national, such that someone in a small town, with no other ties to a Hispanic community, may also have access to these tools and relationships, similar to someone in a large city.
RAYR Mobile App, LLC | Kevin Gabriel | RAYR (Rent Around Your Radius) Mobille App, is a mobile software that gives our renter’s the opportunity to post and promote their everyday items with the end goal to reach our rentee’s through our mobile app. Communities will be able to see what’s readily available around them for rent and our renters will be able to reach more of an audience.
SixKeys | Francisco Sebastian | SixKeys is a universal virtual queue system! No more will people waste valuable time by waiting and standing in queues! SixKeys will first serve to uplift business for small and local restaurants, to thereafter implement the SixKeys system within DMV’s and other government facilities, amusement parks, and more locations!
Tree Bytes, Inc. | Elbert Dockery | Tree Bytes, Inc. primarily is a software company focusing on providing software and IT solutions for for-profit and government agencies. We specialize in mobile development, data management, and the creation of web & mobile-based applications.
Vive Healthy Sport and Nutrition, Inc | Edna Jackeline Vazquez | To create a fitness and wellness app to help, improve and maintain a healthy regime for the community by quantifying their workouts, physical activities, daily nutrients, setting goals, sharing workouts, sharing recipes, socializing and the most important element of enjoying and having fun on this journey.
IHCC represents a community of business owners and professionals committed to empowering individuals through entrepreneurship. With decades of combined business experience, IHCC engages entrepreneurs through community advocacy, networking, and innovative one-on-one training designed to help them be leaders and agents of change in today’s world. IHCC contributes to the financial strength of the economy by helping businesses create jobs, increase their revenues and become more profitable. Visit www.ihccbusiness.net for more information.
1871 is a not-for-profit organization that exists to inspire, equip, and support founders to build great businesses. It is the #1 ranked university-affiliated business incubator in the world, and the home of ~500 high-growth technology startups and ~1,500 members supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. Located in a 140,000 square-foot space in The Merchandise Mart, 1871 has 500 current mentors available to its members, as well as more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and other organizations that make its extensive matrix of resources possible. Visit www.1871.com for more information.