1871 takes more space in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced tech startup supporter 1871 will add to its Chicago operations this summer. The company 1871 is named after the year of the Great Chicago Fire because of the resourcefulness of the engineers, architects and inventors following the devastating event. Its space is currently home to about 250 companies, according to the Chicago Tribune.

1871 helps build innovative startups and provide them a space to work. It's open to companies with two to eight employees and encourages alumni to come back as mentors, the Chicago Tribune reported. The company will expand by 25,000 square feet in order to house larger companies that need more space but want to continue working with 1871. There will be spaces for mini-incubators focused on food, real estate, education, financial services, engineering and women-owned businesses as well as the Internet of Things. The original space was 50,000 square feet.

The expansion represents a $2.5 million investment, which comes shortly after its two year anniversary. The company was formed as a partner with the state of Illinois in 2012. It has since graduated almost three dozen companies, which have gone on to create more than 1,000 jobs.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is providing the $2.5 million investment from the Build Illinois bond fund because of 1871's part in job growth in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported. Construction on building out the additional space on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart will begin in June and should be finished by October.

"1871 has become the most energetic gathering place for the digital community and the best place to grow and expand a startup technology business in Chicago," 1871 Founder J.B. Pritzker said.

Companies in the innovative technology industry should work with technical recruiters to help find the most skilled candidates for their open positions.