Mayor Emanuel and World Business Chicago Celebrate Growth of 2112

Thriving Music Incubator Marks First Year, Expanding and Attracting Music Tech Startups from across the Country and Support 75 Companies with 1,500 employees

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and World Business Chicago (WBC) today joined music and tech companies, and community members to celebrate the recent growth of 2112, Chicago’s music and technology business incubator. Located within Fort Knox studios, the massive rehearsal and recording space for musicians on Chicago’s Northwest side, 2112 has become a hub for music tech startups from across the country.

“Chicago has deep musical roots and a reputation for cultivating talented artists,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We look forward to 2112’s continued growth in supporting the next generation of Chicago’s artists. Whether we’re talking about education, finance or music technology, tapping into the true potential of Chicago means supporting the talent in Chicago.”

“This is one of the few places in the world with the proper resources and community to support the development of a startup in music technology,” Scott Fetters, Director of 2112 said.

Since its inception, Fort Knox/2112 has added 75 member companies with 1,500 employees. Members have access to business mentors, investors and educational programming, plus co-working space and conference rooms. The 2112 facility includes 92 practice rooms, six recording studios, instrument repair, and fabrication shop for building out studio furniture, cabinetry and sound proofing.

Today Mayor Emanuel joined Fort Knox and 2112 to open The Hangar, a 7,200 square-foot facility for film and video production and photography. Later this month they are adding a 30-seat classroom; a partnership with Mobile Makers Academy coding boot camp; and a formal partnership with Iceland’s Music Export Office. In the years to come, there are also plans for a national expansion.

The creative industries business incubator, named in honor of the epic Rush album, was created by Kent Nielsen and Dan Mahoney to unite Chicago’s fragmented music industry under one roof while developing businesses at the intersection of music and technology.

“2112’s success both in and outside of Chicago to the comprehensive ecosystem has created a space for connecting startups with not just community, education and access to capital, but also to the artists and established businesses within Fort Knox Studios,” World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn said. “This provides the startups with industry relationships and real-time feedback to further develop their business.”

To date, music companies from across the country have held Who’s Who in Music Tech meetups at 2112 for the chance to introduce themselves to coders, investors and others in the industry. Additionally, several members have either relocated or expanded from other cities to be a part of 2112.

2112 offers four membership levels for interested music, film, and creative tech entrepreneurs starting at the entry-level enrichment program, which gives access to mentorship, events and educational programming to unreserved work spaces, reserved desks and private offices. For more information, visit


Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago drives regional economic growth. WBC collaborates to create jobs, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy. A unique public-private partnership, WBC engages business and community leaders to advance Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs.