Crain’s Headlines: 1871 Parent Acquires Illinois Technology Association

Two Chicago nonprofits that offer training and support to local tech firms have struck a deal to create a one-stop shop for them.

The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which operates tech startup hub 1871, announced it’s acquiring the Illinois Technology Association, which works with later-stage companies.

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It’s a consolidation of two big players trying to help cultivate Chicago’s reputation as a tech breeding ground.

1871 is best known for its co-working space in the Merchandise Mart and counts some 650 companies as alumni.

ITA has grown to about 400 members since its creation in 2005.

In other Chicago-area business news:

A fast-growing Chicago developer and embattled co-working provider WeWork are set to move into a new boutique office building underway in River North.

After hiring more than 70 people over the past year, CA Ventures is nearly doubling the size of its headquarters and moving it from Prudential Plaza to the 12-story property it’s co-developing at the corner of LaSalle Drive and Illinois Street.

WeWork has also inked a deal for the top floors of the property, which will open next year.

It will be the 14th Chicago location for the New York-based shared office giant – its first new one since it botched an attempt to go public last year, setting off a change in leadership and thousands of job cuts.

And how much money would business travelers pay to avoid airport delays? David Koch is hoping it’s a lot.

He’s a former United Airlines pilot behind AirChicago, a new private business-class airline he’s trying to get off the ground this spring.

He said he’s landed 200 deposits of $2,500 apiece from Chicagoans who would pay for an air shuttle membership service that would fly out of the Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling to other small airports in 18 different markets.

It’s a similar concept to those offered by companies like WheelsUp and JetLinx: memberships would range from $1,000 a year for those who travel no more than once a month to $99,000 annually for travelers who fly round trip each month at least three times.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

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