Hot startups across Chicago, Part 2: Wicker Park's AppDevy

by Carlin Sack
February 12, 2014

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AppDevy is one of those local companies that constantly works to power other digital companies in Chicago. Out of their Wicker Park and their 1871 offices, they have worked with about 35 companies (a majority of which are Chicago-based) to design websites and web applications since they launched in October.

But the AppDevy team isn’t just working with local digital companies this year: they also have some exciting projects in line, like “eliminating Wordpress” and creating a simply analytics application.

“It’s really great when you have a team of excellent programmers together, throwing ideas around,” CEO Jason Dunlap said. “You can turn these ideas into products in a few days.

Built In Chicago caught up with Dunlap to hear about AppDevy’s projects, their current collaboration with the Black Eyed Peas (yes, Dunlap has worked with them in the past) and their work with Code.org and Women Who Code to get more women programming (50 percent of their devs are female, by the way).

 

The stats: Bootstrapped. Eight people on the team, including six programmers and engineers. 35 clients.

What they are up to now: “We have some bigger projects half of our team will be working on, such as a web-based, custom CRM for a company and sales software for another. What’s even more exciting is that the other half of our engineering team is building internal apps that will help our customers improve their businesses. We want to eliminate Wordpress for one. We understand our clients want to be able to edit their own content on their website, change pictures, etc. Wordpress themes get broken quickly. We will have a much simpler solution that we will be releasing February. Another thing is analytics, most of our clients use Google Analytics, but don't understand it. We are creating a powerful analytics application, that is easy to understand for our clients.”

Their unlikely partnerships: “Regarding Black Eyed Peas, due to NDA's I can't go into specific details, but we will be enhancing the web presence of Fergie and Black Eyed Peas. I worked with them in 2010 on their production team for their E.N.D. Tour. With Code.org and Women Who Code (out of NYC), we look forward to doing similar events in Chicago, to get women introduced into Computer Science and programming. We want to help the community we do business in as much as possible.”

Their Wicker Park digs: “We are members at 1871, but do most of our work out of another coworking space in Wicker Park (the first coworking space in Wicker Park) called Free Range Office. It’s a beautiful 8,000-square foot location, which used to be the home to one of the heirs of the Drake Hotel. We are in Wicker Park because it is really the heart of boutique retailers and restaurants in Chicago. We really enjoy working with local area businesses, especially with companies who are as passionate about their products as we are creating their websites and apps.”

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