Official Press Release

The newest group of female tech founders have been selected for 1871’s latest WiSTEM class, a program that gives added resources to women-owned startups in Chicago.

The 10 new companies, which 1871 announced earlier this month, will participate in the 12-week program that provides mentorship, introductions to investors, curated programming and workshops. The program, led and facilitated by Ms. Tech Founder Nicole Yeary and Chicago entrepreneur Rebecca Sholiton, culminates with a showcase event in which local tech and business leaders are invited to see the founders pitch their companies.

This is the eighth WiSTEM class 1871 has operated since the program began in 2015. Since then, the WiSTEM program has graduated more than 88 women-led businesses and has created more than 250 jobs.

“We are very excited to start Cohort 8. The female founders we were able to meet through this program are outstanding and deeply passionate,” said 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler in a statement. “WiSTEM started as a program to support women entrepreneurs and it’s evolved into a sisterhood that’s generated jobs and revenue for Chicago’s tech and business community, and I’m excited to see how this cohort will continue to raise the bar.”

Here are the 10 companies in WiSTEM’s eighth cohort:

Book + Main Inc.: Founded by Tracey Suppo, Book and Main is a platform to connect authors with readers.

DesignerShare: Founded by Sarah Perkins, DesignerShare is an online platform that allows women to rent their designer clothing and accessories to one another. The startup, which Perkins founded in 2016, recently relaunched its website, making it more user-friendly.

Explore Interactive: Founded by Amanda Thompson, Explore Interactive brings together the delight of tabletop card games and the magic of augmented reality technology to provide inquiry-based learning and creative building in STEM subject areas.

Floracracy: Founded by Sarah-Eva Marchese, Floracracy has created the first online platform focused on user-personalized flowers.

KNTXT Group: Founded by Dijana Mihajlovic, KNTXT Group uses interactive virtual reality technology to allow prospective buyers and tenants to virtually walk through and explore every corner of a future property long before it is built.

poolside: Founded by Maureen Burns, poolside is a staffing platform for restaurants that attracts and retains talent by giving them more control over their schedule and gives restaurants a continuous pipeline of talent through its labor marketplace.

Raven Intel: Founded by Bonnie Tinder, Raven Intel is a free online community that helps customers find, hire and review the perfect HR consulting partner for their HR software project.

The High Five Movement: Founded by Allison Capeless, High Five Movement is a real-time, positive-only feedback platform that allows customers to “high five” customer-facing employees to reinforce and reward high-quality service.

Tobogo Therapies: Founded by Michelle Worth, Tobogo Therapies is a comprehensive pediatric speech therapy solutions provider that allows parents to source, book, check insurance and pay for in-home pediatric speech therapy services via a user-friendly online interface.

vPeer: Founded by Dilara Sayeed, vPeer is an online platform that matches users with mentors who can help them excel in their professional lives.