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MSLCE students visit 2112: Chicago’s First Incubator

By Poorvi Nair

As aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, MSLCE’s latest visit to 2112 in Chicago was the perfect opportunity to experience real-world startups in the creative industries. As Chicago’s first business incubator, 2112 focuses on the development of entrepreneurs in Music, Film/TV, and technologies associated with the creative industries. It is housed in the same ecosystem of Fort Knox Studios.

From creative marketing agencies and entertainment law firms to PR and Video production companies, 2112 houses a myriad of companies all located at one massive site, housed in Chicago. MSLCE students got the chance to tour the entire location, headed by director Scott Fetters.

The first shop/company that students visited was a musical instrument repair shop. Starting off on their kitchen counter, this wife-husband duo now run their own business of repairing and servicing musical instruments, especially guitars. Based entirely on passion, students experienced how a small idea could take a form of permanence in a space like 2112.

Students then visited two audio production company spaces. One of them hosted artists, such as Ariana Grande, who came in to record. The other audio production space was a smaller one. This one was unique, in that, no two walls or edges of the space were parallel to each other, providing for better sound quality production.

The visit also served as a networking opportunity for students. The current MSLCE cohort comes from diverse backgrounds, and with diverse interests. Ranging from fashion to film/TV and advertising, there are a variety of industries within the creative enterprises that students are interested in. A place like 2112 serves as a perfect platform for the MSLCE program, since there were industries relevant to almost all the students that visited the site.

The end of the visit culminated with a panel discussion involving Northwestern Alumni who have their businesses set up in 2112. Students got to ask the alumni questions including stories from idea to execution.

2112 is a great and grandiose space with huge potential for growth. Almost all the spaces are filled by companies, and they are further expanding. Some members of the MSLCE cohort are currently in an NUVention Arts Entrepreneurship class, where they have to come up with an idea for a Startup in the creative or Arts industries. 2112 served as an idea for a platform to launch those ideas.