Mayor Rahm Emanuel and World Business Chicago today announced a new Coworking and Innovation Hub Referral Program, which offers companies and entrepreneurs new or relocating to Chicago discounted access to the city’s diverse network of coworking spaces and innovation hubs. Nine leading hubs are included in the program and represent a range of industries, providing new and emerging businesses with the ability to grow and expand their Chicago presence.
“Chicago’s thriving coworking and entrepreneurial community offers emerging business leaders more than two million square feet of collaboration space and endless opportunities for innovation,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This referral program lowers the barrier of entry for businesses to build their Chicago presence and offers flexible and low-risk office solutions that allows companies to focus on what they do best.”
The Mayor announced the program today during a panel discussion in London with local business leaders from Chicago and the UK. Facilitated by World Business Chicago and offered to new or newly-relocating businesses and entrepreneurs, the referral program provides discounted monthly rates at Chicago’s leading coworking and innovation spaces. Selected based on industry expertise, geographic coverage and a track record of collaboration, initial program partners include:
“World Business Chicago is often approached by companies around the world looking for a strong landing spot to grow their presence in Chicago,” Jeff Malehorn, president and CEO of World Business Chicago said. “In addition to giving our organization the opportunity to truly support a company’s growth, this program opens up the office location pipeline and gives companies instant access to Chicago’s global business community.”
“We are excited to launch this initiative with World Business Chicago and are eager to work closely with Chicago's startup, business, and civic leaders to further establish the city as a thriving community for creators, entrepreneurs, and change makers,” Megan Dodds, director of community for WeWork, a leading referral program partner and home to six coworking spaces in Chicago said. “Whether a freelancer, a local startup or a non-profit, or a Fortune 500 enterprise, WeWork will provide the space, community and services Chicago companies need to thrive. We are committed to this community, and we are just getting started.”
"Any opportunity for 1871 to expand its network and welcome new, diverse members is exciting for our community,” Howard A. Tullman, CEO of 1871 said. “We look forward to the pipeline of new talent the city's program will bring, and are proud to be a partner in the launch of this initiative that will greatly benefit the Chicago tech community."