Today was the culmination of the second 13-week summer program for Excelerate Labs, the top ranked startup accelerator program in Chicago led by Troy Henikoff (of SurePayroll) and Sam Yagan (of OK Cupid & Sparknotes). The Excelerate Labs Demo Day showcased the 2011 graduating class of 10 startups, which we previewed previously (you may notice 3 companies changed names since April), with the teams presenting to a room full of investors, entrepreneurs, mentors, media and others – even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City CTO John Tolva were in attendance.
In 2010, Excelerate Labs launched ten startups. They raised a combined $7.7 million in equity funding and added 71 new employees to the Chicago economy. Notable companies include: TapMe Games with $1.4 Million, Edulender with $1.7 Million, and GiveForward with $500,000. FeeFighters raised $1.6 Million and was also voted the hottest Chicago startup in our community poll. As a new addition, every member of this year’s class was offered a $50,000 convertible note from Chicago’s leading venture capital firm, New World Ventures.
The Excelerate Labs Class of 2011 included:
We’ll be keeping an eye on all these startups and will be looking forward to covering them as they continue to grow and evolve.
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