About: Our Story

Developed by Bosch and 1871

A Home for Chicago’s IoT Community

The Chicago Connectory opened its doors to the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) in May 2017. The idea of building and creating a space for the IoT community to meet and collaborate and provide them with the best resources for their success was developed between both Bosch and 1871. Collaboration not only defined the Chicago Connectory’s origin, it went beyond that and became one of its day-to-day guiding principles.

Chicago Connectory coworking space featured image.
Merchandise Mart featured image.

More than a Coworking Space

The space covered about 20,000 square feet in Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart. The Chicago Connectory was a co-creation space and IoT incubator boasting cutting-edge technology and networking opportunities with IoT experts. More than a co-working space, the Chicago Connectory offered partners a co-creation model that fostered collaboration, networking, problem solving, and a new way of doing work in the age of connectivity. 

The Chicago Connectory is a partnership between Bosch and 1871. Together, 1871 and Bosch are empowering an ecosystem in Chicagoland and the greater Midwest to drive the future of IoT and build a connected world together.

Connectory logo with featured icons.

Our Name

The name Connectory is a combination of the words “connection” and “factory,” two central elements of Bosch’s vision for the future. It is a space where connections happen – among devices, people and ecosystems – as the world evolves through a digital transformation. The Connectory becomes a physical space, designed to connect and co-create around the topic of IoT for startups, universities or other corporations.

Our Team

The Chicago Connectory team was made up of dedicated people with a wide range of expertise and different backgrounds. What all of them had in common is the motivation to support our members to make their IoT development a success.

Bosch featured image.

About Bosch

As a global leader in manufacturing, Bosch has a rich history of innovation. It began in 1886 as a startup in a backyard garage when Robert Bosch developed the first automotive spark coil. Over the following 130 years, the company has grown into a leader in industrial manufacturing, admired worldwide for its quality products ranging from automotive components and power tools, to home appliances and sophisticated sensor technology. Now, as the digital era transforms our world and billions of devices are linked to the Internet, Bosch is developing its strengths in manufacturing to bring new capabilities to a connected world.

1871 featured image.

About 1871

Founded in 2012, 1871 was created to support Chicago’s digital startup community. 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 150,000 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.