DJ John Tolva at 18711871 is Chicago's entrepreneurial hub for digital startups.

Smart Chicago was a founding tenant of 1871, the only civic tech organization with seats there when it opened in May 2012. Our founding tenancy was the result of more than a year of discussions with 1871 leadership and our founding partners— The City of Chicago, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Chicago Community Trust.

Smart Chicago left 1871 in January 2016. Here's a look at some of our shared work:

We've offered seats to "small companies, civic leaders, and community members who are interested in building software using city, county, and state data to improve lives and build businesses" through our Developer Resources program from the start. This program allowed the innovative and popular Open Gov Hack Night to move to 1871 when it opened. Derek Eder of Open City Apps and his fellow organizers have done an amazing job of growing it into the most vibrant weekly civic hacking event in the nation. 

We also host several events there including the first OpenGovChicago Holiday Party, our On The Table 2014 session, the Illinois Public Health Datapalooza, and our first National Day of Civic Hacking.

Smart Chicago has continued to build our presence at 1871, and we now have 6 seats. Here's the current lineup of 1871 members hosted by Smart Chicago: 

Smart Chicago Consultant Christopher Whitaker

Christopher Whitaker

Whitaker has served as Smart Chicago's primary research, writer, and event coordinator since December 2012. He has helped to contribute ...
Smart Chicago Consultant Josh Kalov of Kalov Strategies

Josh Kalov

Josh Kalov of  Kalov Strategies leads our Cook County Open Data project. Josh also advises Smart Chicago and several of our projects. He was a ...
Jonathan Giuffrida

Jonathan Guiffrida

We gave Jonathan Guiffrida of the University of Chicago a seat at 1871 as part of our Developer Resources program to ...


We provided a seat at 1871 to Stuart as he was building BestMatch— a free, non-profit online information resource designed ...

Chicago Public Library

Since first opening their doors in 1873, the Chicago Public Library has served all Chicagoans with free and open places to gather, ...