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Opportunity for Supply Chain Innovation Lab in Chicago

Take Your Supply Chain Technology to Another Level in Chicago!

Are you a Canadian innovator and entrepreneur in supply chain?  

Do you have a product or technology you would like to gain traction in the US market?   

Are you seeking mentoring and guidance to refine your go-to-market strategy?   

If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, then we encourage you to submit your application to the 1871 Supply Chain mentoring program in Chicago – No registration fee.  

The Trade Commissioner Service will be working with 1871 (1871 - Independent Innovation hub) innovation hub, incubator and accelerator in Chicago, to provide strategic guidance to Canadian Supply Chain start-ups.  The four month immersive hybrid program will run between 12 Aug. and 8 Nov., 2024.

The Supply Chain Innovation Lab at 1871 (Supply Chain Innovation Lab - 1871 - Independent Innovation hub) connects growth-stage, late-stage and corporate tech businesses that want to solve the biggest challenges and opportunities in Supply Chain. During this four-month immersive hybrid program participants in the Lab will have access to immersive programming with experts, venture capitalists, industry, a community of peers, and brand amplification opportunities. 

The areas of focus for this year’s program:  

  • Smart Manufacturing 
  • Supply Chain Responsibility 
  • Global Resiliency 
  • AI in Supply Chain 
  • Visibility and Planning 

Why participate?     

  • The growth and late-stage companies will receive year-round support, including access to the full 1871 ecosystem of industry experts, peer networks, strategic investors, continuous connection, thought leadership sessions, coaching and mentoring  
  • Over a 12-week period, 4 weeks of custom programming with opportunities to network, connect with start-ups, attend 101 level directly applicable sessions  
  • Participate in the 1871 Supply Chain Innovation Summit  
  • Improve your understanding of market access issues in the US   
  • Define or refine your go-to-market strategy   
  • Build your network of key contacts in the Chicago market—a logistics and supply chain hub—to develop new business relationships and identify market opportunities  
  • Immerse yourself in a culture of collaboration, open innovation, and entrepreneurial inspiration  
  • Receive dedicated services from the Trade Commissioner Service in Chicago 

Program outline:

Week 1             August 12-16, 2024            Virtual

Week 2             September 9-13, 2024      In person

Week 3             October 7-11, 2024            Virtual

Week 4             November 4-8, 2024        In person

All participants of the program will be invited and have an opportunity to attend the Supply Chain Innovation Summit (Accenture is the corporate partner) on November 7, 2024, a capstone event and public showcase.

Program Expectations  

  • Plan to travel to Chicago at least two times, one week at a time, for immersive programming in September and November 2023.    
  • Able to commit at least one senior team member (C-level or Founder) to take part in the program.

Eligibility Criteria   

  • Supply Chain Innovation Lab companies are selected using a competitive application process. Candidates must:  
  • Have a supply chain product launched in the market   
  • Have created a technology/product with high potential for growth in the US market  
  • Be seeking customers, investors, or partners  
  • Have a strong and experienced management team  
  • Have a need for local professionals to evaluate their business model/strategy  
  • Have resources for their senior team to participate in both the virtual and in-person immersive weeks of the program  
  • Take note that though 1871 makes the final selections, the Consulate will work with them to encourage the selection of companies that are geographically diverse, and whose founders reflect the diversity of Canadian society

Custom Services from the Trade Commissioner Service in Chicago 

Canadian companies selected for the 1871 Supply Chain Innovation Lab will receive “high intensity” services from the Trade Commission team in Chicago. These free services may include customized meetings with major companies in the Chicago region seeking new technologies for their supply chains. The Consulate will also seek to arrange tailored meetings between interested participating companies and venture capital with an interest in their sector, if desired.  These custom events will take place during the in-person weeks in Chicago, so no additional travel is expected.

How to apply?

If you are interested in participating in the program, please apply directly to 1871 by using the link here: (  

We ask that companies applying directly to 1871 send a copy of their application to the Consulate General in Chicago. This helps us gauge the level of interest in the program from Canada and helps us begin to arrange tailored meetings for the companies in question based on their focuses. Moreover, the Consulate is working to secure a limited number of dedicated spots in the program for Canadian companies only. Communicating your application to us will help us ensure that Canadian companies are accepted to the program. 

For questions about the supply chain lab in 1871 itself, we encourage you to ask your questions directly to the organizers in 1871. For questions for the Trade Commissioners at the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago about our support for the program, our views on the benefits it would have for you, and the support activities you can expect to receive, please Contact Sunitha Anand at Space is limited; all applicants will be qualified by a vetting committee.  

The Trade Commissioner Service supports equality and diversity, we strongly encourage companies led by Canadians of all backgrounds and orientations to apply.   

Deadline: Completed forms must be received by email to the Consulate by June 24, 2024, to be considered.


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