Apply now to use incubator space >>

Thank you for your interest in using Northwestern’s 1871 incubator to help jump-start your new venture. The 1871 registration process is now managed by The Garage. Please contact Simone Edwards ( with questions, or to apply for access.

Below, you will find an overview of Northwestern’s 1871 incubator space, and on the next page you will find a short summary of policies for using the 1871 space. After reading the overview and policies, you can apply by clicking the link at the bottom of the policies page.


1871 wall1871 is a co-working space for digital and tech entrepreneurs on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. It houses Chicagoland startups, companies, and other entrepreneurial institutions.

Separate from Northwestern, 1871 offers its own memberships that provide different levels of access to workspaces, member-only events and office hours, and other perks. Northwestern rents out one conference room in 1871 and pays for access to the common area. Thus, as a member of the Northwestern community at 1871, you'll have access to the shared workspaces of the common area, conference rooms and small meeting rooms, and a dedicated room for the exclusives use of Northwestern students, alumni, faculty and staff. You will not, however, have access to 1871 member-only events and office hours or a reserved workspace for only your company. You must purchase an 1871 membership to gain those additional privileges.

To use Northwestern’s 1871 space, fill out the incubator application and indicate that you want to use 1871. Once you submit your application, you will receive an email with instructions for setting up a short phone call with a Farley Center staff member to further discuss your business and your plans for using the incubator. Only one application is required per business. If your business is accepted, all employees working with the business and planning on using the space must then join the Big Marker online community for tenants. Once that is completed, all team members will receive access to the space via an online scheduling system that allows individuals to sign up for blocks of time to use the space. Instructions on joining Big Marker and using the scheduling system will be emailed to you once your application is approved.

Once your business/team starts using Northwestern’s 1871 space, you will be required to pay a $5 monthly fee for use of the space. Failure to pay this fee will result in termination of access to the space and the right to use it.

We recommend that you tour the space first to assess whether Northwestern’s 1871 space will fit your business needs. You can sign up for one of the weekly tours conducted at 1871.

Read policies and apply now to use incubator space >>

Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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