9 student teams become 1871 members as they win college startup competition

by Carlin Sack
August 1, 2014


The inaugural Chicago College Startup Competition, which was put on by 1871 and ThinkChicago, just announced its nine grand prize winners. The nine student teams named as winners will receive a free year of 1871 membership, along with the education and mentorship opportunities offered via the space like the “Upperclassman” support system, which is made up of current 1871 companies that started off as college startups.

Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel stopped by to provide a few words of encouragement and to even try out some of the students’ products (see picture).

“Small businesses are the backbone of Chicago’s economy and these young entrepreneurs are creating the small businesses of tomorrow,” Emanuel said.

1871 CEO Howard Tullman took the opportunity to remind the students of what it takes to operate a successful small business: it takes a good idea, work ethic, cash, talent and customers, he said. “People come to Chicago to do business because this is where the customers are.”

Griffin Kelly, a Northwestern University graduate student and a member of winning team TRAC, said his team has already benefitted from the attention brought to TRAC from 1871: "We're all really excited to see where our company goes from here, especially with all the support that 1871 gives. It has already given us an added level of credibility, and shows that we're not just a couple of recent college grads with a half-baked idea."

Here's the nine student teams that you will be seeing around 1871 over the next year:

Spectrom (University of Wisconsin, Madison): brings photorealism to 3D printing via an add-on device that automates the production of full, multicolor objects in a fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer.

Hutster (Miami University, Ohio): is a student subletting marketplace that instantly connects students to help guide them through the subletting process.

Timing and Racing Around the Clock (TRAC(Northwestern University): seeks to simplify the running experience through innovative radio frequency identification (RFID) timing equipment.

Lumonik (University of Chicago): delivers extremely accurate human hydration monitoring devices to the mass market. The initial Hydraband product was developed as a part of last year New Venture Challenge at UChicago.

Hashtagr (DePaul University): is a social search engine that aggregates hashtag posts from Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, Google+, and other resources into a simple user interface.

Omicron (George Washington University): uses mobile and online tools to help young people expand their access to financial markets.

Fitness Cubed (University of Chicago): is creating "Cubii," an under-the-desk exercise device to address sedentary behavior in the workplace. Cubii comes with a mobile app that allows users to keep track of their exercise and connect to various fitness trackers.

Share Transport (Northwestern University): is a cloud-based service for maximizing any company’s transportation efficiency. Relying on analytics to optimize the logistic operation, Share Transport uses its extensive database to find matches for everyday transportation requirements.

Carbon Cash (Michigan State University): is a behavioral energy efficiency app targeted towards renter-occupied housing, including college students. Carbon Cash informs users how much electricity they consume, teaches them how to use less with educational quizzes, and rewards them for saving through both psychological competitions with peers and monetary incentives.

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