The Startup of the Year Competitors of the Midwest

September 9, 2016

1:30 pm

Join Tech.Co and Consumer Technology Association (CTA) this upcoming September for the Innovate! and Celebrate conference in San Jose, CA. Register now to attend!

The Midwest has a lot of nicknames. From the Heartland to America’s Breadbasket, middle America has been given more wholesome names than Quaker Oats oatmeal flavors. However, what these names don’t reveal is the blossoming startup talent that lives in the Midwest. That’s why Innovate! and Celebrate has a wide range of Midwestern startups competing in the Startup of the Year competition.

With startups from cities like Chicago, Cleveland and Fargo, the Midwest lineup for this year’s competition is ready to impress the judges. From companies hoping to make voting easier to startups providing student loan relief, the competition will be fierce from the middle of the country.

Who are these budding Midwest startups looking to take home the crown? Meet them below and check out their websites today:

Advanced Bone Technology from Fargo, ND

SimuBone is a patent-­pending platform combining engineered materials with a specialized additive manufacturing (3D printing) process to produce the most realistic alternative to human bone available. The product could provide the experience of working on a human body – a standard for device, therapy, and procedure development is human cadaver or animal testing.

Abode from Chicago, IL

Abode is a concierge style home buying platform that uses data analytics and online work flow tools to help users maneuver through the home buying process with ease. Other features include matching service for home buyers and services providers (realtors, movers, etc.) throughout the process, document management system, digital payments and its a free service.

BallotReady from Chicago, IL

BallotReady is a non-partisan online vote guide for local elections. Learn about all the candidates running for office in order to make an informed choice at the polls. Their mission is to create a society where every voter can enter the voting booth prepared and BallotReady.

CareerPodium from Chicago, IL

CareerPodium has built an interactive platform to disrupt the confusing world of job hunting.

CoSchedule from Fargo, ND

CoSchedule is a drag-and-drop plan, publish and execute marketing calendar. Consolidate your social media, project management, marketing, and blogging tools in one place.

Future Apps from Westland, MI

This companies main service is “FutureBox,” a mobile app that searches for news before it happens. The platform allows users to personalize their news by keywords and sources and receive alarms for disasters.

Occasion from Chicago, IL

A scheduling and ecommerce platform to help small business grow their digital business and expand their online presence with ease to create a better user experience that converts to sales. Users can add their image-based class schedules or calendars to numerous website or social media sites.

Parihug from Cleveland, OH

Parihug makes pair-able teddy bears that let you virtually hug someone from anywhere in the world. The company pairs two bears through an electronic connection, when one person hugs a bear, the other will receive a vibration letting them know they received a hug.

Peanut Butter from Chicago, IL

Their technology enables employers to offer student loan repayment as a benefit. The company’s team and software consult on plan design, handle employee enrollment, loan verification, and the coordination of payments to the loan service providers.

Register Now to Attend Innovate! and Celebrate 2016

Come join us at the Innovate! and Celebrate conference in San Jose, CA. The event will take place September 20 – September 22, and is held in partnership with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at

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