Being a Beta User @ 1871, by ProOnGo

April 26, 2012

1871 has been abuzz with activity leading up to the May 2nd launch.  The final touches to the mural art are in progress.  Intelligentsia has served tastes to a lucky few passersby.  The floors are being sealed.  The neon sign is lit up.  Member companies have group-purchased (thanks to a bunch of razor scooters to get around the sprawling 50,000 square foot facility.  All signs are ‘go’ for a smooth opening day.

1871 Mural ArtMy team, the folks behind ProOnGo Expense (@ProOnGo), moved in on March 27th as part of the “beta period”.  Over the years we’ve often released new products and features under the label of “beta”, giving away free services in exchange for feedback from early adopters.  We’d never heard of a “beta period” for an office space before, but we just knew we had to be a part of it.

It’s been a treat to see the care and focus that the construction crew and staff have put into making this space “just right” for innovators.  But perhaps even more enjoyable has been learning about the businesses that are filling in around us.  Just this past week, I’ve talked with:

  • An exchange brokering the sale of 500 refurbished iPad 1s (@MarkitX)
  • A team that sends 5% of your restaurant purchases to your favorite charity (@ToddOhara)
  • An entrepreneur doing triple-time on three ventures – including one that creates some of the smartest 3D milling machines on the market (

The pace of trading advice — on topics ranging from investment pitches to sales tactics to search engine optimization — is increasing by the day.  Come join us at 1871 to learn, teach, and build the next great Chicago tech company.

By: Phillip Leslie, Founder, ProOnGo 

(this post was originally written for