Tech Cocktail Chicago 12 Preview

December 6, 2009

12:25 pm

On the heels of a really great Tech Cocktail DC event, we are really looking forward to wrapping up the final TECH cocktail mixer of 2009 in Chicago !  We are so excited to have you all join us to see a great lineup of local Chicago start-ups.

First we want to take a moment to thank our sponsors for the event.  Without folks like them, it wouldn’t be possible for us to hold such great events with our totally fab community.

We want to start by thanking our platinum sponsor for this event, Microsoft, and their BizSpark program folks for helping out a number of local startups. The Microsoft guys will be at the event as usual so you can talk to them about their BizSpark program and about how you can get involved. Along with their event presence, Brian Gorbett (of the Microsoft Chicago office) will start blogging regularly for very soon so please be on the lookout for his sure-to-be insightful posts on startups and technology.

We also want to thank our longest running sponsor, ChicagoMicro. These guys have been with us from the beginning and they still continue to support our work even in a tough economy. Please check them out for all of your IT and managed service needs.

Now, onto the demo companies.

MyServiceVine is designed to connect with friends and their outstanding service providers. The recommendations come from people you know and trust. Motivated by the frustratation to find a good plumber, contractor or other service provider members are not posting reviews just to win a gift card or elite community status (although we do say thank you by donating to charity).

Eight Bit Studios is Chicago-based incubator focused on delivering socialized products to the web and iPhone.  Rubity is a website designed for parents to manage their kids’ wish lists.  The site has been up and running for about 4 years but has just been re-released with an entirely new look as an Eight Bit Studios product.  Features to come include an iPhone application, Facebook connect and other.

General System Dynamics (GSD) is a boutique company developing superior tools and technologies to manage data and data storage assets.  It’s first two most recent offerings are our Storage Forecaster & Data Manager services.

The Storage Forecaster can forecast how much storage you will use in your backup environment whether on disk or on tape. Data Manager provides enterprises the mechanism to manage data under e-discovery and legal-holds. With Data Manager you can gain total control of your backed up data and manage it according to your specific business requirements.

Specials Agent is a new bar and restaurant specials search engine. Users can search for food and drink specials based upon a specific address, intersection or landmark. The results can be filtered based upon a specific day or a specific special; this is your chance to save cash on the food and drinks you want, just steps away from where you want to be.

PeopleStox is a web-based marketplace which offers talented people an unprecedented and profitable avenue to connect with their fans in two distinct ways:

Model 1: An artist brings a valuable experience to market in exchange for cash. Fans can purchase these experiences for their own consumption or retain them for speculative purposes.

Example: A musician needs money for equipment. He sells a backstage pass for an upcoming performance through PeopleStox. The Fan can either redeem the backstage pass experience or potentially realize an economic profit by reselling the experience on PeopleStox.

Model 2: The Fan becomes an investor with claims to future cash flows generated by a project they are helping to fund. In order to maintain control of such projects and efficiently act as a mediator between the artist and fans, PeopleStox has limited the investment service model to three specific projects:

•    Musicians raising funds to produce market and distribute a new album.
•    Artists raising funds to produce showcase and sell their art at a gallery exposition.
•    Writers raising funds to publish a book.

OMaR9000 helps teachers, non-profits, individuals, and small businesses save time and money by replacing expensive optical mark recognition or data entry systems.  Originally conceived as a tool to help elementary school teachers use data driven instruction in their classrooms, Omar9000 easily scans, imports, and loads data from a variety of sources, and then lets teachers interact with them at the question level, giving them deeper analytics than they would get from a normal grade book.  By automating the grading and data entry, it lets teachers spend time improving their lesson plans, customizing their teaching to individual students, and sleeping.  And by using answer-level data, teachers are able to tailor their instruction to the specific needs of their classroom.

With Sendeazy you can share large computer files easily and securly.  A desktop app allows many choices including file level security, encrypted transfers, pause and resume and many other features.
Targeted towards SMB segment due to the nature of issues they face everyday  in balancing their business with technology challenges.

Simpletel provides Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Disaster Avoidance Security and surveillance products Email and network security, in addition to VoIP and wireless network design and deployment

Great America Networks Conferencing LLC (GAN Conferencing is the short version) is the next step in the evolution of conferencing providers!  We take our craft very seriously, and only utilize best-of-breed technology when it comes to Audio, Video, and web collaboration.

CheddarGetterCheddarGetter is a plug-in subscription management and recurring billing system. It’s the perfect way to track and bill your customers. CheddarGetter was founded with one goal in mind, to provide a full-featured, easy to use billing and subscription management system, making it easier for your business to accept and track payments. CheddarGetter offers a robust API to integrate into billing system for SaaS businesses.

SquadSquad is a lean, mean code editing machine for developers. It’s a real-time collaboration allows teams to open and share local files and see every keystroke. If you use a desktop text editor, it’s the quick and easy way to share code with co-workers or make a quick fixes from anywhere. Squad allows you to collaborate in real time with others. If you are new to coding, it’s the perfect way to ask a friend to lend a hand. If you’re an experienced developer Squad is great for code reviews, on the job training, and pair programing.

schedulethingScheduleThing makes it easy for businesses to offer online booking – simple appointments or complex services requiring multiple resources. ScheduleThing makes it easy to take your scheduling and reservations to the Web: from a ten minute tanning appointment to a full day conference facility reservation. Book simple appointments or make complex reservations that require the availability of multiple resources – people, places, or things. No matter how complicated your scheduling is, ScheduleThing makes it easy for your customers to book online.

JumpForwardJumpForward aims to revolutionize sports communication with proactive recruiting solutions for athletic departments, college coaches, & athletes. The product suite includes web and mobile applications that proactively prevent NCAA compliance violations, streamline contact management, provide powerful brand building tools, automate time consuming report generation, and simplify mass communication. JumpForward is poised to lead the way into an emerging market that called Sports Relationship Management (SRM).

Also don’t forget to register if you have not already!  We want to wrap up 2009 right.

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Jimmy Gardner is a Senior Unix/Windows Engineer, a lover of technology and photography. Follow him online at @jjgardner3 and enjoy his portfolio at

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