50 influential people in Chicago tech you should follow on Twitter

Sam Dewey

Ahhh, Twitter. Whether you use it to stay up on the latest news or get your daily dose of Grumpy Cat, Twitter is an amazing tool to keep a pulse on the goings-on on the people and communities you love most. 

That's why — for the second year in a row — we've curated 50 people from Chicago's tech and startup community who we think deserve a follow. The list includes techies, founders, marketers, VCs, reporters and other important community members involved in the local tech scene. You'll find some Chicago tech staples and some newer, up-and-coming faces, all of whom have a significant following and are fairly regular tweeters.

This list is meant as a jumping off point for discovering great people to follow in our community — and is by no means exhaustive. (If we were to include everyone we love to follow ... we'd be exhausted!)

Without further ado, check out our 2016 list of 50 people in Chicago tech to follow on Twitter:

Step One: Login to Twitter

Step Two: Start Clicking Follow



Shrada Agarwal

Twitter bio: designer, of organizations, products, marketing brands, solutions. co-founder of @ContextMedia and JumpStart Ventures. #educationopportunities


Tom Alexander

Twitter bio: Chicagoan. COO @1871chicago, formerly w @chicagosmayor ofc. Into fatherhood, Chicago, tech, sports, politics, fitness, TV, social media, and the NYT xword.



Talha Basit

Twitter bio: CTO Dose, Serial Entrepreneur, Chef, Futurist, Runner, host of Geeks Like Us Podcast


George Bousis

Twitter bio: Founder, CEO of http://Raise.com - Entrepreneur - Investor - Technologist


Jennifer Brandel

Twitter bio: Founder / CEO @wearehearken, Founder @WBEZCuriousCity. Viva collaboration. Dumpling fanatic. Believer in disbelief. Founder @ddppchicago


Emile Cambry

Twitter bio: Polymath: Founder of @BLUE1647 , @21CYP, @CodeChicago, and @CISCFF.Professor, Filmmaker, Change Agent, sports fan. 2015 @Ebonymag Power 100, SXSW Dewey Awardee


Griffin Caprio

Twitter bio: Your rappers favorite dir of engineering at @Enova, raconteur, entrepreneur, watch nerd. Started @chicagoctoforum.


Steven Collens

Twitter bio: MATTER. Pritzker Group Venture Capital. 1871. Chicago Artists Coalition. IMSA Fund. Olive.


Jeffrey Carter

Twitter bio: Former trader, angel investor Co-Founded http://hydeparkangels.com http://westloopventures.com (@westloopv) Trustee @wwiimuseum http://www.nationalww2museum.org


Jayna Cooke

Twitter bio: CEO & Founder @EVENTup | Contributor @Forbes | Former VP @Groupon | Founder of @Closet_Angels | Facebook: http://on.fb.me/18VHhK3 | http://www.eventup.com


Andy Crestodina

Twitter bio: Web strategist and co-founder of Orbit Media (@orbiteers). Speaker and author focused on content marketing and Analytics http://www.orbitmedia.com/contentchemistry


Kristi Dula

Twitter bio: Network Relationship Manager at @PritzkerVC. @1871Chicago. #Chicago. #Tech. @WeAreWearables #WWCHI. @FoodDepository. @ChicagoCares. @TAMU #Aggie.


Amina Elahi

Twitter bio: Innovation reporter at @chicagobluesky. Leisure blogger at @paperplatesblog. Sour Patch Kids & chill. I ask a lot of questions.


Fabian Elliott

Twitter bio: Founder, Black Tech Mecca #HybridEntrepreneur #Millenial #Googler Instagram:Focused_Fabe


Jason Fried

Twitter bio: Founder & CEO at http://Basecamp.com . Co-author of Getting Real, Remote, and NYT Bestseller REWORK. Also at http://Instagram.com/jason.fried


Stella Garber

Twitter bio: #Entrepreneur/#Russian/#Foodie VP of Marketing @trello, Cofounder @matchist, @EntUnpluggd


Melissa Harris

Twitter bio: Vice President @OriginInvestments. Formerly @chicagotribune business columnist. [email protected]


Troy Henikoff

Twitter bio: Serial Entrepreneur, Techstars Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners Managing Director. Loves technology, startups, bicycles & interesting people...


Justyn Howard

Twitter bio: CEO Sprout Social (@SproutSocial). New dad. Enjoy brainstorming ideas with smart people, solving hard problems.


Josh Inglis

Twitter bio: PR and content marketing for startups and innovators. I try to occasionally say funny or insightful things. Our work: http://propllr.com/client-news/ 


Michelle Joseph

Twitter bio: Founder and CEO of @PeopleFoundry. Love Building Teams, Recruiting, Cooking, Running & Bikram, Traveling and The Cincinnati Bengals



Maria Christopoulos Katris

Twitter bio: CEO of Built In, mother, wife, entrepreneur and wine enthusiast. Connect w/me @BuiltInChicago, @BuiltInLA, @BuiltInColorado, @BuiltInAustin, @BuiltInNewYork


Seth Kravitz

Twitter bio: Founder of @Technori. 3x founder with 2 exits to public cos. Writer. Sometimes feel lost, sometimes found. Varies daily. Collector of interesting people.



Amanda Lannert

Twitter bio: CEO of @JellyvisionLab, @jellyvisionalex. My personal twitter account. Thoughts on biz/start ups/marketing/tech and random hilarity ensue.


Paul Lee

Twitter bio: CEO & Co-founder @RONIIN, ex-GP at @Lightbank, ex-founding Partner at NBC's Peacock Equity, Adjunct Lecturer at @KelloggSchool, Director at @Lifeway_Kefir


Steven Lee

Twitter bio: Former eye doctor. Innovator and Inventor. Co-Founder @Opternative


Eric Lefkofsky

Twitter bio: @LightBank, @Groupon, @Uptake, @EchoLogistics, @MediaOcean, @InnerWorkings


Eric Lunt

Twitter bio: Signal CTO (formerly BrightTag), FeedBurner co-founder & CTO


Katy Lynch

Twitter bio: Entrepreneur. Investor. Founder, SocialKaty (acquired @ManifestDigital). #TravelTuesday creator. Scottish. @Radiohead superfan. @CraigUlliott's wifey.


Mike McGee

Twitter bio: Packers/Cubs/Blackhawks/Northwestern fan - Sports Investor - Gas Can Prophet - Co-Founder @starterleague


Dorri McWhorter

Twitter bio: Accountant...Fashionista...Conscious Business Leader...#FindingDorri


Lorena Mesa

Twitter bio: @PyLadiesChicago & @WriteSpeakCode organizer, @devbootcamp guide, @GirlDevelopIt teacher, @SproutSocial dev, 9X @chimarathon.All your code & miles belong to me.


Rebecca Miller-Webster

Twitter bio: software engineer, conference organizer, & educator. Founder @writespeakcode. CTO @teampolymathic. cupcakes, pugs, sea mammals, & prosecco. she/her


Julian Miller

Twitter bio: Julian Miller: co-founder @Learnmetrics Ex-high school teacher focused on advancing education, data, and edtech. #educolor @TheImpactEnginejulian miller


Matt Moog

Twitter bio: CEO of @powerofreviews and founder of @builtinchicago



Jimmy Odom

Twitter bio: Founder•Chief Experience Officer of @WeDelivr (Acq. 15) @Techstars (14) @ChicagoIdeas Co-Op Ambassador Alum of @Apple and a passionately contagious entrepreneur


Jason Peterson

Twitter bio: follow me into the dark @jasonmpeterson


John Pletz

Twitter bio: Tech reporter, blogger at Crain's Chicago Business.



J.B. Pritzker

Twitter bio: Culture that breeds nimbleness and yields excellence. Values matter too. See also @PritzkerVC


Stacy Ratner

Twitter bio: Reader, writer, aunt, & founder of literacy ventures @OpenBooks and @ChiLiteracyAlli / @Literacenter. Also makes quilts & eats ice cream. Hi!


Harper Reed

Twitter bio: I am awesome. Check out this guide to my tweets: http://bit.ly/r1GnK // former CTO @ Obama for America // founder of @modest (acquired by @paypal)


Beth Santos

Twitter bio: Founder/CEO of @sheswanderful & @witsummit, inspired entrepreneur, global traveler. Fierce advocate of @kelloggschool & @wellesley. Insta/Snapchat: @maximumbeth


Ellen Shapiro

Twitter bio: I make apps that make your phone more useful, including @SpotHero and @justhum. Tech here, personal nonsense over at @loudguitars.


Rishi Shah

Twitter bio: Founder : Operator : Investor


Howard Tullman

Twitter bio: CEO - 1871 & General Managing Partner - G2T3V, LLC


Guy Turner

Twitter bio: Early stage venture investor at @hydeparkvp. Big fan of fast growth looking for amazing entrepreneurs to work with.


Kevin Willer

Twitter bio: husband, dadx3, VC, Xoogler, 1871'er, angel, @ChicagoVentures @1871Chicago @Google @Arsenal


Jessica Williams

Twitter bio: I help #women #entrepreneurs conquer the first steps of starting new businesses. Also #WiSTEM Co-Facilitator @1871chicago. http://techbizgurl.com/freebie



Jessica Droste Yagan

Twitter bio: Passionate about aligning profit and social good. Impact investor @theimpactengine. Champion of #empathy. Chief Logistics Officer for my family.


Nicole Yeary

Twitter bio: founder @mstechgroup #mstech /Partner @1871Chicago #WiSTEM /SEO Technologist /#Music=#lifeblood /Member @UN_Women

Note that this list contains only people, not organizations — many of which are great to follow on Twitter, too. Of course, there are many more techies out there worth following, and we welcome your suggestions here

If you're more of a Twitter list fan, subscribe to our 50 to Follow Twitter list — and be sure to follow us, too: @builtinchicago.

This list was sponsored by Marketwired.

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