Monthly Archives: April 2021

Chicago’s Marking of Women’s History Month

Last month America marked Women’s History Month.  In this article we take a brief look at some of the activities that went on in Chicago.

Chicago Detours led an hour-long Badass Women of History Virtual Tour which spotlighted a wide range of women throughout history who were connected to Chicago in some way. One example was the activist Chicagoan women who fought make Chicago the location for the 1892 world fair. Led by Illinois based Emma Gilson Wallace they tried to create a ‘Women’s Department for the Fair.’

Illinois-headquartered Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky sees Women’s History Month as

“a time to celebrate and honor the achievements of women throughout history…There’s not a single museum dedicated to the achievements, accomplishments, and contributions of women, it is incredibly important to honor and celebrate all the great things that women offer in the world.”

One can also make a stop at the Field Museum for an exhibition on the incredible strength of Apsáalooke women and Warrior who preserved Northern Plains tribe stories. See the century-old war shields and unique artifacts that are in this exhibition.

Founder and CEO of Chicago’s Vosges Haut Chocolat Katrina Markoff said:

“This particular year of Women’s History Month really means something kind of very different to me than in the past, I feel we have this amazing momentum into 2021, a sort of balancing the archetypes of male and female and it’s rising in a very female type of moon…I think that we’re coming into this golden age of balance between the genders, and a lot more respect for tenacity and unknown and the intuitive nature of women.”

These women have made incredible achievements. Support them and others by going out for dinner under the Let’s Talk & Dine Together: Celebration of International Women’s Day program.

Local Startups and Accelerators

Chicago has recently been quite the hub for both accelerator programs and the start up community.  Here we take a look at two: the launch of Duality and 1871.

Duality is America’s first accelerator program which is dedicated 100% to quantum science and technology startup firms. This specific industry is on track to become crucial in the development of numerous other related sectors.  Duality itself is seeking to help quantum startups “bridge the gap between the laboratory and the marketplace… a critical barrier to success for emerging technologies.”   

Chicago has become a key address for Global Quantum activity. For example in 2020 an announcement was made by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science  Foundation to make Chicago the address for three out of the eight-federally funded quantum information science research entities.

The Chicago technical community has also recently been privy to the impact of startup incubator 1871, a company that “create the experiences and space that early stage, growth stage, and corporate innovators need while they build extraordinary businesses. We are actively committed to building a more inclusive and diverse community in order to provide those who are underrepresented a pathway into technology & innovation leadership.”

Now that Duality has acquired Hub88 – a company that offers an integration platform to guide gaming suppliers easily and efficiently through just one API for all casino operations – the merger will enable 1871 to provide increased access to emerging technologies. As Betsy Ziegler, CEO at 1871 explained:

“At 1871, we firmly believe in the transformative power of ‘and,’ that as a unified organization we can accelerate our members’ journeys across the maturity curve and embrace a deep technical focus in our programming, our physical spaces, and across the broader community. This is a remarkable opportunity to better support our members and expand our collective reach across Illinois and the greater Midwest. We are excited to welcome hub88’s innovators and university partners into the 1871 community.”

Chicago is fast becoming a tech hub where technology firms and startups are considering making their address.