CHICAGO (November 6, 2015) – 1871 today announced a private healthcare and employee benefits exchange that will be available to all 1871 companies and individual members, as well as alumni members who have graduated from the space but maintain membership. The launch of the benefits exchange makes 1871 the first incubator in the world to create a private healthcare and employee benefits exchange available to its member companies, and is expected to be a major benefit to many individuals and companies who are a part of the 1871 community.
“From day one we’ve been talking about the importance of launching healthcare for our members,” said 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman. “This is an essential tool for all companies in recruiting and retaining employees, especially startups. It’s also a critical offering for individuals who are pursuing their passion and dreams, but who are also responsible for themselves and their families. We are really excited to add this to the robust set of services and resources we already offer our members and which further distinguish 1871 on the global stage.”
The 1871 Health and Benefits Exchange is now fully operational at 1871.memberbenefits.com. Benefits include several health insurance plans, as well as dental insurance, vision insurance, identity theft protection, telehealth services, and pet insurance. Startups will have the option to create defined contribution plans for their employees, and all members of 1871 will be able to access the exchange for themselves and their families.
“Access to a complete set of employee benefits is crucial to our ability to hire the most talented employees for our growing team,” said 1871 member and Options Away co-founder and COO Heidi Brown. “We’re excited to take part in the new benefits exchange and see 1871 continue to actively respond to member needs. We’re proud of 1871 for stepping up on this important issue and taking a major step forward on behalf of all the companies here.”

“Health insurance is absolutely critical for me to continue building my business,” said 1871 member and Founder and CEO of Haka Products Colm Lennon. “Valuable resources like this exchange are exactly why I chose to join and stay at 1871.”
Wolf Point Advisors is 1871’s partner in the creation and support of the new exchange. Members can now sign up for benefits in order to be insured beginning in 2016, and can utilize Wolf Point Advisors’ extended office hours to receive help with the sign-up process. Additionally, Wolf Point Advisors staff members will be available to meet with companies and guide individuals through the process as necessary. As such, the exchange is expected to be much easier to navigate and also competitive in pricing with any public exchange.
“This is a game changer, period,” said Dominic Volini, co-founder and CEO of Wolf Point Advisors. “We understand how crucial it is for companies, and leaders of those companies, to have a sense of security as they grow and advance their businesses. This has been part of our conversation with 1871 since partnering with them - making it even more exciting to see the results.”
Members will have the option of selecting from four different insurance providers offering an array of plans suitable for every situation. The plans are competitively priced and the additional resources offered will allow further customization. Members will be able to access any part of the offering, and some members are expected to use the additional insurance options as an add-on to existing coverage and offerings. Further, companies as small as two employees will be able to set up “groups” that will allow them to contribute to their employees’ health care needs.
“Health insurance is key to attracting and retaining top talent, which is crucial to building great new businesses,” said Matt Maloney, CEO of GrubHub. “Organizations like 1871 are proving themselves pivotal to the growth of Chicago startups because 1871 can provide access and group purchasing for key benefits and services.  This would have been very helpful when I was building GrubHub.”
About 1871
1871 is the home of more than 325 early-stage, high-growth digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, this 75,000 square foot facility is also the headquarters of nationally recognized accelerators, Techstars Chicago and Impact Engine; half a dozen industry-specific incubators in key areas such as real estate, education technology, food and financial technology; several emerging tech talent schools (Flatiron, The Fullbridge Program, Designation and the Startup Institute), and the state's leading technology advocate, the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. It is the second home to Chicago-based VCs, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, MATH Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, OCA Ventures, OurCrowd and Chicago Ventures, as well as satellite offices for Northwestern University, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and DeVry. 1871 has fast become recognized as the hub for the city’s entrepreneurial/technology ecosystem and has been featured in Inc. Magazine, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business among other top media. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.
About Wolf Point Advisors
Wolf Point Advisors®, Ltd. is a nationwide, full service financial services and advisory firm specializing in brokering risk management and insurance products, professional consultation services and executive/employee benefits tailored to the unique needs of companies and individuals. For more information on their approach and services, visit www.wolfpointadvisors.com.

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