Chicago’s summer may be hot, but for a group of startups, it just got even hotter.
Techstars Chicago announced today which startups have been accepted into its incoming 2015 class.
Techstars Chicago is an accelerator that provides startups with seed-level funding, formative mentorships, and an invitation to join a network of entrepreneurs, all for a small stake in the company’s equity.
This year’s ten-strong cohort was selected from a pool of about 900 prospective applicants, which is more than the program saw just last year.
The majority of this year’s members companies are B2B.
Of the companies selected, five hail from the Windy City itself. Two more are in the process of relocating to the city, while three are based in countries from around the globe.
That sense of internationality speaks volumes about the appeal and success of the program, according to Techstars’ Chicago managing director Troy Henikoff.
“We’re drawing not just from the United States, but also from across the world,” Henikoff said. “In this year’s class, we have India, Spain, and Canada all represented.”
This class marks the accelerator’s third season for Chicago, and Henikoff said the program is quickly becoming a force of nature. As results have improved over the past couple of years, they’ve attracted even better companies to the program.
“We’re building on the momentum of previous years,’ Henikoff said. “And i think it’s going to be the best class yet."
The program’s Demo day is planned for mid-October. There, the companies will have the opportunity to give their best pitches to a room full of investors, supporters, and mentors.
Here are the participants of the 2015 Techstars Chicago class:
1. Akouba Credit - Chicago
Founders: Chris Rentner (CEO), Evan Hareras (COO), Nick McMillan (CTO)
AkoubaCredit provides lenders an algorithmic underwriting platform that reduces the cost and time required for banks to issue a small business loan. The platform, customized to each lender's underwriting principles, allows small businesses to apply and track their application electronically, with results delivered within 48 hours. Banks that use Akouba love it because they get more happy borrowers faster.
2. BetaOut - Noida, UP, India
Founders: Ankit Maheshwari (CEO), Arjun Maheshwari (COO)
BetaOut is a customer intelligence and marketing automation platform built specifically for ecommerce businesses. We make it easy to track and segment users based on their interaction data, and arm our customers with smart marketing tools across email, sms, and on-site engagement, so that every user gets the right message at the right time every time.
3. Glidera - Chicago
Founders: David Ripley (CEO), Mike Xakellis (CPO)
Glidera enables developers to add bitcoin buying and selling services into their applications. Glidera brings USD-to-digital-currency-conversion capability to hundreds of digital currency wallets and applications, making it easy for any wallet developer to offer bitcoin buying and selling services directly in their applications. Using our straightforward and secure API, developers can integrate this functionality in just days, and we handle all of the compliance, banking, liquidity, and fraud challenges. Different than all other conversion services, Glidera never holds customer funds and is specifically built to work with any secure bitcoin wallet.
4. Growth Geeks - listed under Chicago
Founders: Bronson Taylor (CEO), Mike Hardenbrook (CMO), Lucas Taylor (CTO)
Growth Geeks is a marketplace for growth hackers and marketers. We make it easy to discover and hire freelance marketing professionals to grow your business, on a hourly or project basis. With thousands of vetted geeks already on board, and our 100% money back guarantee on every project, Growth Geeks makes shopping for marketing talent fast and foolproof.
5. Hooks - Alicante, Spain
Founders: Jose Luis Perez (CEO), Oleg Kozynenko (CMO), Miguel Ángel Ortuño Ortuño (CTO)
Hooks lets you discover and create push notifications for just about anything, and configure the notifications based on your needs. Choose from thousands of subjects and types, from television, music, sports, social media, weather, and more. Hooks has already sent more than 30 MM notifications worldwide to more than 100K people just like you.
6. Infiniscene - listed under Chicago
Founders: Stu Grubbs (CEO), Dan Trocchio (CTO), Ryan Forquer (CMO), Aaron Hassell (COO)
Infiniscene enables gamers to easily create beautiful live broadcasts in their web browser. Design, produce, and direct from anywhere with no experience or expensive hardware. Seamlessly connect game data and third party services – displaying stats and community updates live to your audience. Infiniscene puts every gamer just clicks away from becoming a streamer.
7. Routific - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Founders: Marc Kuo (CEO), Suzanne Ma (CMO)
Routific offers route optimization as a service for any business with deliveries, pick-ups or multiple stops a day. Our dashboard and mobile app enable business owners and fleet managers to plan their daily routes across an entire fleet and dispatch to their drivers in just minutes. Businesses using our platform save not only hours of time, but up to 40% in fuel costs. Routific’s mission is to cut waste in the trillion dollar transportation industry.
8. Specless - Chicago
Founders: Stephen Corby (CEO), Shashank Sharma (CTO)
Specless unlocks the potential of your advertising creative with richer, more effective advertising experiences that run anywhere imaginable. For publishers, Specless provides the freedom to easily test and deploy higher value custom ad formats. For advertisers and agencies, Specless means managing fewer creative assets, yet more flexibility to run campaigns in any type of media.
9. Tribe - Chicago
Founders: Henry Vasquez (CEO), Sam Harris (CTO)
Tribe makes it easy to get anything done with anyone, from anywhere, at any time. Tribe works naturally in emails, text, and chat so that coworkers, clients, and contractors can stay coordinated working in their tool of choice. Tribe is like a personal assistant who never forgets to keep you on task!
10. Urban Leash - Chicago
Founders: Lina Pakrosnyte (CEO), Demetri Maltsiniotis (CTO)
Urban Leash offers on-demand dog walking services for busy professionals. Use our mobile app to get instant notifications, GPS track your dog on the walk, read notes of what happened and see pictures of your pet. With fully vetted, trained, and insured professionals, you can rest assured your pet is in good hands.
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