Event Highlights

The Coleman Center hosted a wide variety of events this academic year to provide students with startup advising, real world experience, and networking opportunities. Several events were hosted at 1871 Chicago and the Coleman Center. Below are highlighted photos from some of our most popular events.

Student Innovation Expo

Diverse Entrepreneurs: Changing the Face of Leadership

2017 Events:

Entrepreneurship Symposium: Army of Entrepreneurs 


Startup Advising Workshop: Business Canvas Model 


Idea Expo 


Campus 1871: Pictures by 1871/Gregory Rothstein


Sustainability Conference 



Applications now open for DePaul’s first Purpose Pitch Competition, held May 11 at 1871. More info at purposepitch.org


We believe purpose is innate within any company and has to be accessed to reach its full potential. We want you to pitch us; not on what you do but why you do it. We believe your purpose can be summed up into three words: simple, genuine, and aspirational. We want to see what your company can bring to the table to inspire others and lead a transformative movement throughout the interactions you have.

DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is hosting the first Purpose Pitch with 1871 to explore the ideas of purpose driven startups within the city. The Purpose Pitch will be a unique pitch session where startups pitch their greater purpose and how they plan to fulfill that purpose through their business objectives instead of pitching investors on the product itself. The pitches will be judged and the winner will receive a monetary award from the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center to help develop their startup and a feature interview on advisor.TV. This event is for those interested in attending the Purpose Pitch as an audience member. Tickets not purchased here will be $45 at-the-door. To apply to pitch, apply on the Purpose Pitch site.

DePaul – Blue 1647 Coding Academy Application 2017

final poster blue 1647

If you are interested in applying to join the 2017 DePaul-Blue1647 Coding Academy Cohort please complete the following application by February 28, 2017. The following questions will allow us to gain insight into your entrepreneurial interests, learning orientation, and technology preferences. Every question is very important and admission is likely to be very competitive due to a large number of applicants and limited space in the class. We will select approximately 30 total students for the cohort with 2-3 members from each college at DePaul University. The academy will meet every Wednesday from 6pm till 9pm in the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center beginning in early April 2017. Selection decisions will be made and communicated to all applicants by March 10, 2017. If you have any questions, please email them to depaulblue1647@gmail.com.

Apply here

DePaul at 1871: How to Gain Access



DePaul University joined 1871 in July 2016 as a cross-campus collaboration between the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in the Driehaus College of Business, College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM), College of Law, and Academic Affairs. DePaul University’s 1871 space, located on University Road, offers students, recent alumni and faculty from across the university the opportunity to plug into Chicago’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

COMING SOON: 1871 will be rolling out a new system for University partners to reserve space (1.18DePaul Office) and register for1871 workshops.

Access to 1871 Through DePaul

  • Get approved: apply for access to the 1871 DePaul office through this link. Once we approve your application, you will receive instructions on how to reserve the DePaul 1.18 Space and register for workshops.
  • Eligibility: Students from every college across the university are welcome to apply to reserve workspace in the 1871 DePaul office. Recent DePaul alumni also have access to 1871 up to 6 months after their graduation date.

DePaul University 1871 Membership Manual

Please review the DePaul University 1871 Membership Manual for more information on eligibility, access, policies and procedures.

About 1871

1871 tops the UBI Global list of Top University-Affiliated Business Incubators in the country, and DePaul University has a space for students and faculty to use and join with the 1871 community.

1871 was created to support Chicago’s digital startup community in 2012. Since that time, it has become the hub for the city’s thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Today 1871 is the home of more than 400 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 120,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators, industry-specific incubators, tech talent schools, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition — the state’s leading technology advocate, a number of Chicago-based VCs, and satellite offices for Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, DeVry University, and DePaul University.

Chicago’s brightest digital designers, engineers and entrepreneurs are shaping new technologies, disrupting old business models, and resetting the boundaries of what’s possible. If that sounds like you, join us.Come to a place where you can share ideas, make mistakes, work hard, build your business and, with a little luck, change the world.

For more information visit their website

Read more about DePaul at 1871:

DePaul is getting its own space at 1871  

DePaul Joins 1871 to Expand Entrepreneurship Beyond Business School


Startup Advising Workshops (SAWs) to Return in Fall with New Topics


Based on feedback from our Startup Advising Workshops last year, our popular Startup Advising Workshops are returning in Fall 2016 with updated topics like Networking, Social Media Marketing, Funding for Startups and more!

These workshops focus on addressing initial startup questions, and connecting students to the resources they need. The workshops are designed to be an important first step in working with the Center, giving students and alumni a foundation of basic knowledge to build upon in their entrepreneurial journey.

Fall quarter workshops begin on Monday, October 12th, and will run on a rolling basis each month. The first workshop of each month will be Startup 101, a foundational program on launching a business. The second and third monthly workshop will rotate each month among topics such as Funding for Startups, Networking, Social Media and Marketing, Legal BasicsIntro to Chicago Startup Ecosystem, Building the Right TeamAccounting Basics, and Sales Basics for Startups. The workshop series will alternate days of the week each month in order to best accomodate class schedules and extend a wider reach throughout the university.

Startup Advising Workshops run for one hour, 3:30pm to 4:30pm, and are open to all members of the DePaul community, from across the university.

Register here for the Startup Advising Workshops scheduled this fall.

Coleman Fellow Teaches Entrepreneurship in Advertising

8392a843b62890f212b14f22_425x254This spring, Coleman Fellow Dr. Matt Ragas, Asssistant Professor in DePaul’s College of Communication, taught an undergraduate Public Relations class focused on entrepreneurship in advertising. In collaboration with TechNexus, the Public Relations & Advertising Entrepreprenurs (PRAD 373) class acted as consultants working with Chicago technology and startup companies at TechNexus to develop unique public relations, advertising and marketing ideas to help grow the entrepreneur’s businesses.

Students in this class learned about the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship from a public relations and advertising perspective, and learned the story of a Chicago entrepreneur and startup company. The class, divided into 11 teams, worked with 11 startup companies. At the close of the quarter, each student team presented their marketing and advertising strategies at TechNexus. Read more about their entrepreneurial experience on their class blog.

Pictured above is Dr. Matt Ragas (front left) and his class with Brendan Karp (back right) of TechNexus. Photo is taken by Perfect Cut Productions, a TechNexus tenant and partner.  

Startup Internship Program (SIP) Places 6 Students with 6 Startups


Thanks to a grant from the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is once again sponsoring DePaul undergraduate student internships at Chicago startups this summer. After a competitive interview process, 6 qualified students were selected from a pool of 30 student applicants. The selected students reviewed applications from 36 startup organizations to determine where they would work for 125 hours over 12 weeks of the summer.

Sophomore Jasmine Farley, a Computer Science/Software Engineering major, will work for FanPay, a crowdfunding website helping college athletes earn an education.

Taylor Jennings, a DePaul Junior double-majoring in Business/Hospitality Leadership and Marketing, will intern at Chicago Foodseum, the first nonprofit food museum.

Junior Lena Newkold, a Management/Entrepreneurship major with a minor in Studio Art, will work at Meliora K, a sustainable cleaning products company.

Omar Ortiz (pictured bottom), a DePaul sophomore double-majoring in Marketing and Finance, will intern at Levi Baer Consulting, LLC, a consulting company that brings teams and organizations to new levels of awareness, cohesion, and productivity.

Senior Management/Entrepreneurship major, Alyssa Prince, will intern at Kannatopia, a social media company focused on connecting the cannabis industry.

Annie Schmittgens (pictured top), a junior majoring in Management/Entrepreneurship with a minor in Studio Art, will intern at Spare to Share, an online private sharing network within residential buildings.

Congratulations to our SIP student interns! Look for updates on their summer experiences at Chicago startups in upcoming issues of On the Radar and on ColemanEnt.org.


New Expanded Coleman Center to Open in 2016

DePaul startup lab renderingAs we look to the future of entrepreneurship at DePaul, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is pleased to announce significant progress in the continuing fundraising effort to create the new expanded home of the Center, Entrepreneurship Suite 7900. This 4,038-sq.ft. space, located on the 7th floor of the DePaul Center, will serve as the new home for the Coleman Center and a physical hub of entrepreneurial activity for the university. Additionally, the new Center will include a dedicated Startup Lab to provide a co-working space for students to work on new business ventures.The Startup Lab’s flexible structure — with movable worktables and chairs — will allow the space to be easily transformed from a co-working environment into an event space for workshops, seminars and other gatherings. An 18-person training room, a 10-person conference room and private advising room will also be housed in the space.Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, this new home of the Coleman Center will bring together co-working space, the Center’s administrative offices, advisors and training to support student entrepreneurs, faculty, staff and recent alumni. It will also host dynamic programs with members of the greater Chicago business community, many of whom will serve as advisors, mentors and entrepreneurs-in-residence.
This capital project is scheduled to be completed in 2016, with more information on construction progress and the grand opening to follow.

Startup Internship Program (SIP) Reflections

b5c68f9a1e60726adc70c859_425x283This summer the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is sponsoring six student internships at premier Chicago startups. DePaul undergraduate students — Jasmine Farley, Taylor Jennings, Lena Newkold, Omar Ortiz, Alyssa Prince and Annie Schmittgens — are each working a total of 125 hours at their startups throughout the summer.


We have checked in with both the students and the startups about the internship process and received great feedback from all parties. In addition to bringing entrepreneurial energy to the companies, the startups appreciate the strong organization skills the students bring to their respective companies.


They have expressed gratitude for the talented student interns who are helping them achieve significant progress with their ventures.The students enjoy the experience of having great autonomy in implementing their ideas, and are making a lasting impact on the companies. They have taken on roles developing market research and competitive analysis, creating marketing campaigns and developing promotional media materials. They also have launched creative sales strategies to help grow their respective startups.


These six DePaul student interns will continue working at their  startups through the beginning of August. Upon the completion of their internships, we will be posting their reflections of their experience. To learn more about our Startup Internship Program, visit ColemanEnt.org.

DePaul Student Entrepreneur Award Winners

DePaul’s Launch DePaul New Venture Competition aims to give student companies the initial support they need to “launch” or continue into grow a successful company. Since the Launch DePaul 2014 competition, two of the winning companies have gone on to win other venture competitions this spring.


Photo submitted by Dr. Patrick J. Murphy

Under the mentorship of Dr. Patrick J. Murphy (left photo, first from right), DePaul MBA student Elizabeth Ames (second from left) and her co-founder/sister Melissa Ames (third from right) won first place at Loyola University’s 3rd annual Quinlan Social Enterprise Competition on April 11th. The team, pictured above with Loyola Professor Mike Welch, recevied a $5,000 prize. Out of many applicants, they competed against finalist teams from Chicago-area universities (Northwestern, University of Chicago, UIC/Loyola, SIU and DePaul). Their venture, EarlyVention, is a one-step ordering process for effective tools that help a family start an early intervention program for a child diagnosed with autism. The judges and audience were impressed by EarlyVention’s innovative business model that integrates social mission and operations, and also by its core product: a cognitive development tool kit for parents of children with autism.

The same weekend in April, DePaul sophomore, Bianca Perry, and her company Bbands, took First Place in the Elevator Pitch division at TCU’s Values & Ventures Business Plan Competition in Fort Worth, Texas (right photo). In addition, BBands was one of three companies recognized with an additional award new to the competition this year, the Ripple Effect Award (named for the impact that one woman can have on the world). In all, she brought home $1500, valuable mentoring advice, and lots of “hardware”.


Photo submitted by Molly Haigh

Bianca was competing against undergraduate teams from 49 different universities, including 5 international entrants. Her company designs sports headbands that display an encouraging tagline and message of inspiration to young women. She employs disadvantaged women to sew the headbands, and is creating a virtual community to connect her young female customers and offer them mutual support through role models and influencers.

We’re proud of our DePaul student teams who have continued to grow their successful companies and make a difference in the entrepreneurial community.