University of Illinois @ 1871

Located in Chicago’s famed Merchandise Mart building, 1871 is the city's premier co-working hub connecting startup companies and entrepreneurs with mentors, programming, educational resources, potential investors, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. The University of Illinois is proud to be one of the anchor tenants in this vibrant space, helping to leverage the talent, innovations, and resources from our students, faculty, and staff.




U of I’s 1871 membership is available to current students, faculty, and staff from all of the University’s main campuses in Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield, and regional campuses in Rockford and Peoria, who can demonstrate that they are engaged in entrepreneurial pursuits that would be advanced by accessing 1871.


  • Dedicated U of I Room, equipped with wifi, whiteboard, phone, printer, and videoconferencing capability
  • Additional conference rooms of all sizes (must be reserved separately through 1871’s room reservation system)
  • Telecom support
  • Printing services
  • Shared kitchen
  • Concession area

Events & workshops

1871 hosts unique and educational events every month, several of which are free to members, including the University. Visit the 1871 events calendar to register for 1871’s programs. (Please note that some events at 1871 are also open to the public or may require a fee to attend.)

Using 1871

Step 1: User Application Form (for first-time users)

First-time users must complete the University’s User Application before they are able to access the membership (for security purposes). Users only need to fill out this form once and will receive email confirmation within 1-2 business days.

All applicants and users must review and agree to the U of I @ 1871 Usage Policy before using the space. 

Step 2:  Create an 1871 Member Profile
Create an 1871 member profile here. We use 1871’s online member portal to make reservations so this will allow you to access the room’s online reservation system so that you can reserve to use the room and register for select 1871 events and workshops that are open to University of Illinois (UIC, UIUC, and UIS) students.

Please note, it will take about 1-2 business days to approve your user application and activate your 1871 member profile.

Step 3: Access 1871’s Online Reservation Portal

Once you’re approved, you can login to 1871’s online portal here. We will also send you a complete user guide with instructions on how to book your spot and access 1871 events.