Loyalty Rewards Company Belly Announces International Expansion into Canada

By | Jun 30, 2014 at 10:00 am

It was announced this morning that loyalty rewards company Belly has expanded internationally, launching 50 locations in the Vancouver market. This is the company’s first move beyond the United States. Since its founding in 2011, the Chicago-based company has gained more than 3 million members, who have redeemed more…

Co-working Spaces

Doejo’s Phil Tadros on Opening a New Chicago Coworking Space

By | Jun 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm

As an increasing number of Americans move into the freelance and entrepreneur economies, we’ve seen coworking spaces opening up in cities around the country. Looking at NYC as an example, it’s pretty much nearly impossible for you to not find at least one coworking space…


Review Trackers Hauls in $2 Million From Midwest Investors

By | Jun 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Yesterday Review Trackers Inc, the Chicago based startup in Wicker Park, announced the successful close of a $2 million funding round from a host of premier Midwest investors. It was led by Milwaukee’s CSA Parnters and included other investors American Family Ventures, Jeff Rusinow,…


Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago’s 1871 Announce Major Expansion

By | Jun 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Since its launch in May 2012, Chicago’s 1871 has graduated close to three dozen startups, which altogether created nearly 400 jobs in Illinois and raised almost $40 million in venture capital (and these figures don’t even include all of 1871’s member companies). A little…


BrightTag Rebrands as Signal, Launches New Open Data Platform

By | Jun 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

It was announced on Tuesday that Chicago-based BrightTag has changed its name to Signal. This news arrives just a few weeks after the company’s acquisition of the digital marketing software company bearing the same name. BrightTag is a cross-channel marketing technologies company, and has…


Questions About Product Roles? Our Chicago Sessions Panelists Have Answers

By | Jun 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

At our recent Tech Cocktail Chicago Mixer & Startup Showcase we were happy to bring Jen Busenbark, Sandra Dainora, Aaron Rankin, and Barbara Mousigian on stage to field a host of questions about product facing roles. It all went off without a hitch thanks to…


Barbara Mousigian Tells Her Secrets For Success In A Product Role

By | Jun 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Barbara Mousigian, the VP of Product for, has been a product person since her early career. She worked through Bain and Company, PepsiCo Frito-Lay, Ocean Spray, Digitas, and CDW before landing in her current stint with Her experience throughout all of these…


Chicago’s SpotHero Raises $4.5 Million In Series A Round of Funding

By | Jun 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm

It was announced this morning that the Chicago-based SpotHero, which offers a mobile app that pairs parking garage owners with drivers looking to find and reserve spaces, has raised a Series A round of funding worth $4.5 million. Many of the company’s previous investors participated…

Chicago’s Hottest Showcasing Startups Are…

By | May 30, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Earlier in May we traveled to the windy city to host our Tech Cocktail Chicago Mixer and Startup Showcase. The crowds rolled in to John Barleycorn – River North to watch the competing startups vying for the winning position, and with the help of our…


Bravo Announces Integration With Formstack

By | May 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

Bravo, the simple user-generated video software for marketers, today announced that they are integrating directly with Formstack, an online form builder solution. Before Formstack, Bravo users could record, review, and send their video clips directly from their smartphones or tablets to businesses and organizations….

Speaker Series

4 Traits of a Kick-Ass Product Manager 

By | May 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Last week, we brought together a panel of experts in Chicago to talk about being a product manager – an often-unsung team player whose work spans business, design, and technology. “The buck starts and ends with the product manager. They’re the one person that…

Speaker Series

How GrubHub Obsesses Over Their Customers (in a Good Way) 

By | May 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Last year, GrubHub was weeks away from releasing a new product. But at the last minute, they decided to pull the plug. “I actually felt pretty good about it,” recalled Sandra Dainora, director of product, at our Chicago Sessions event last week. “An important…


Chicago-based raises $1M for a B2B search engine for the global used machinery industry

By | May 27, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Let’s face it, the startup boom of recent years has brought us a never-ending choice of options if we want to share just a few more pictures of cats, get a hold of a donut five minutes faster, or save 20 percent on our…


Online Marketing Technology Leader BrightTag Acquires Signal

By | May 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Crain’s Chicago Business has reported that the online marketing technology company, BrightTag, has acquired Signal, a digital marketing software company. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but the Crain’s report stated that “Signal, a four-person [sic] company, will be absorbed into BrightTag,…


Techstars Chicago Announces 10 Startups in Its Summer 2014 Class

By | May 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Techstars Chicago announced this morning in a blog post that it has selected ten startups to participate in the accelerator program’s summer 2014 class. Formerly Excelerate Labs, this will be the accelerator’s second season as Techstars Chicago, having launched their inaugural class last summer. Ten companies were…


DC-Based Ground Transportation Aggregator RideScout Expands to Chicago, Plans for NYC

By | May 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

DC-based RideScout announced today that the company will be expanidng its service to the Chicago metro area. This is the fifth major city since RideScout was launched in November of last year, with the San Francisco and Boston regions having been its most recent expansions….


Creating IL Talent is a New Program Training Women and Minorities in Software Development

By | May 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Yesterday, Illinois state officials announced a joint public-private initiative aimed at training women and minorities in web and mobile application development. It’s an effort by the state to better position those in under-served communities for the increasing technological demands of the work economy. “Our…