Learn About Our History

ABOUT US

ENTREPRENEURS ARE DREAMERS DOERS GAME-CHANGERS INNOVATORS CREATORS DISRUPTORS PEOPLE LIKE US PEOPLE LIKE YOU

EVERY YOUTH CAN BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR

Future Founders is building the nation’s largest inclusive community of intentional young entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-minded leaders. Our programs immerse youth in experiences that inspire and empower them to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and create their own opportunity. We believe this leads to a generation more determined, hopeful and equipped as they engage the future. Since 2005, we have served over 35,000 youth, and our national 18 to 30-year-old founders have generated $139.8M in revenue, secured $85.9M in capital and created 1,027 jobs.

We want to foster inclusion in the entrepreneurial community and seed more diverse founders into the startup ecosystem.

OUR PROGRAMS CHANGE THE CONVERSATION

To us, “entrepreneur” isn’t a job title. It’s a mindset. One that allows you to take control of your future and pursue what matters most to you. To be an entrepreneur is to be a leader. To raise your hand. To solve the problem. To take the initiative. And when done correctly, to leave the world a little bit better than you found it.

We’ve spent the last 10 years immersing over 35,000 youth in experiences that inspire and empower them to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and create their own opportunity. For our middle and high school students, Future Founders provides the first meaningful experience with entrepreneurship. And for our 18 to 30-year-olds, Future Founders offers the validation, skill-building, and network young founders need to start and grow profitable businesses.

While our community of founders is inclusive to all, we place enormous emphasis on diversity, as we believe it’s long overdue for our businesses to mirror the rich culture of our people. Because this diversity will eventually lead us to a better future – a world where our businesses reflect our people, and opportunity, choice, and economic freedom are available to all.

Aspiring entrepreneurs should learn from real entrepreneurs and have a strong peer community.

WE’RE ENTREPRENEURS, TOO

Future Founders was established in 2011 through the merger of two programs: one created by the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (which now runs 1871) in 2005 and another created by Uptake Technologies Founder & Executive Chairman Brad Keywell. Needless to say, entrepreneurship is in our blood. We operate like a startup, work out of one of the world’s top incubator spaces, and enhance our program content to stay relevant to the changing world of entrepreneurship. Most importantly, we believe aspiring entrepreneurs should learn from real entrepreneurs and have a strong peer community. That’s why we hire early-stage entrepreneurs to inspire our middle and high school students and seasoned entrepreneurs to coach our 18 to 30-year-old founders. We also connect youth with talented, like-minded peers who can provide a network of support for this roller coaster ride we call entrepreneurship.

Recognition we’ve received…
1871 Award - New
Blackstone Award - New
Chicago Next Award - New
EOY Award - New
Google Award - New

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