July 17, 2017
Cofounder and former CEO of Belly, Logan LaHive has some secrets when it comes to building a business. The first one being having an amazing team as your foundation.
When he took over as director of Techstars Chicago, he made it his mission to invest in “Bad” ideas, actively seek diversity, provide value to founders and their team and boost the Chicago tech ecosystem. Today they released their next batch of 10 cohorts joining the Techstars Chicago Accelerator 2017 class.
“We’re excited about the diversity of ideas, spaces, and founders – incredible leaders who are tackling massive problems,” LaHive said. “The infrastructure to build a great tech company exists in Chicago. What the market needs now is disruptive growth companies. Companies that are flipping industries on their head. We believe the most disruptive innovation looks like a bad idea at the start – but the founders see something that no one else yet sees.”
Let’s meet the next 10 startups building businesses in Chicago:
This startup helps you build better professional relationships by identifying the right connections and empowering you to strengthen them over time.
4Degrees enables you to build better professional relationships. The platform identifies the right connections to focus on, empowers you to strengthen those relationships over time, and helps you activate your network when you need it. In doing so, 4Degrees accelerates your professional trajectory.
Founders: Ablorde Ashigbi, David Vandegrift
This startup is redefining home buying by connecting consumers to everything they need to buy a home in one place.
Abode redefines real estate with an all-inclusive home buying experience. Leaving one-dimensional search engines behind, we ease the stress of home buying by guiding users through the process step-by-step and packaging all services in one user-friendly location.
Abode uses machine learning to match buyers with top professionals, such as realtors, bankers, and attorneys, and offers data-driven insights on housing markets. Professionals use their cloud-based management tools for efficient collaboration with clients. Abode has integrations with multiple mortgage banks and has signed partnerships with brokerages covering 4000+ agents in 10 states.
Founders: Kyle Stoner, Carson Junginger
This is a Slack bot for diversity and inclusion at work.
Allie is your Chief Diversity Officer – in Slack – that uncovers hidden biases so you can proactively improve culture. Allie allows employees to self-report microaggressions and get tips on how to manage. Companies receive customized insights and recommendations that drive diversity and inclusion strategy. Employees are armed with training and tools so that they can own their culture. Add Allie to your Slack team to make diversity and inclusion accessible for all.
Founders: Emilie Hsieh, Simon Tam
Their AI & Computer Vision algorithms help sports teams by autonomously operating off-the-shelf drones to automatically film and interpret player-action for performance analysis.
AraJoy gives sports teams insight into their performance by filming with autonomous drones, utilizing AI and Computer Vision. Over 300,000 US teams waste hours every week re-watching film repeatedly in slo-mo to try to analyze and critique performance to win more games. The technology does this for them. Auto-filming the team’s actions and tracking what’s happening at all times enables technology to perceive the game like never before.
Founders: Renji Bijoy, Brady Evans
This startup provides intelligent insights and automation platform to drive marketing and product decisions based on customer behavior.
Elemetric is a data-driven consumer insights platform, intelligently merging existing customer data sources with customer feedback data (NPS, surveys, etc.) to build smarter user profiles over time. Elemetric, backed by IDEO and Datascope Analytics, enables companies to build intelligent workflows that engage customers at key moments – enabling automated segmentation, reducing customer churn, and saving time on manual follow-up.
Founder: Daniel Mason
This startup is helping people make the most of thier retirement.
Harbor Inc. is bringing back the pension (or something like it). They offer technology and retirement plans that deliver an outcome instead of an uncertainty. The company makes it easy for anybody to build a retirement portfolio that incorporates guaranteed lifetime income so every American can build a secure retirement.
Founders: Nicholas Moy, Colin Sidoti, William Rueter
This startup helps engineers discover opportunities and skills that will maximize their market value. The technology landscape has changed dramatically in the recent years. New technologies are coming out frequently, and engineers are required to be versatile and treat their career as it was a business – they have to be in constant learning mode, and create their competitive advantage among others. Jobeek brings the power of real-time market analytics to help engineers boost their career. The company helps them unlock their skills potential and discover future opportunities that will maximize their market value. The solution aims to put every engineer just clicks away from getting valuable and personalized insights about the ever-growing industry.
Founders: Maor Idan, Stav Sitnikov, Amit Hacohen, David Ben Shushan
This startup aids in asset protection for companies operating in volatile regions. Omelas is a SaaS firm that aids in asset protection for companies operating in volatile regions.
Founders: Evanna Hu, Ben Dubow
This platform takes the busy work out of pro bono so your team can focus on making an impact in your community. Paladin is SaaS for legal pro bono. There are 1.3M attorneys in the U.S. with an ABA responsibility to do 50 hours of pro bono per year. However, because the pro bono ecosystem is disaggregated and inefficient, 80 percent of those who need free legal help never receive it–i.e. the justice gap. Legal employers waste millions annually on pro bono programs that are time-consuming and cumbersome, and pro bono spend is on rise. This company is the first software to help law firms, Fortune 500 legal teams, and law schools streamline, manage and track their pro bono engagement and impact.
Founders: Kristen Sonday, Felicity Conrad
This startup develops custom promo products that people want to keep. Swag.com is the best place for companies to buy promotional swag that people will want to keep. 95 percent of the products that we tested didn’t make the cut. Their streamlined e-commerce experience significantly cuts the time it takes for customers to find, design and buy quality swag. The company works with hundreds of companies including Facebook, Google, WeWork, Bravo, Virgin and Jolly Ranchers.
Founders: Joshua Orbach, Jeremy Parker
Read about more startups in Chicago at TechCo
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