Howard Tullman is the startup scene’s most prominent and seemingly inexhaustible leader. He is CEO of tech hub 1871 and a noted speaker, writer and connector in the community.
Tullman started his career as a lawyer, retiring from that profession in 1980 to become an entrepreneur. He turned around Kendall College, moving it to downtown Chicago from Evanston and converting it from a nonprofit to a for-profit college. He sold his first startup, CCC Information Services, for about $100 million in 1987.
“One of the focuses now is going to have to be up-or-out,” Tullman told the Tribune when he took over leadership of 1871. “We’re not just a hobby. We’re not a place for people to go to feel good about attempting to be an entrepreneur. We’re about people committed to building businesses.”
Tullman served as longtime board chair of Cobalt Group, a buyer-insight platform for car sellers, and in 2013 started his own venture capital firm, G2T3V, an early stage investment firm focused on financing and developing disruptive innovations.
Tullman received his bachelor’s in economics and math as well as his JD from Northwestern University.