7 of the fastest growing Chicago tech companies that are hiring right now

by Garrett Reim
October 2, 2014

Online restaurant takeout company GrubHub has become quite a tent pole company in Chicago. Its name is well recognized nationally and the company’s portfolio of brands includes GrubHub, Seamless, AllMenus and MenuPages. As more and more food is delivered via online orders, GrubHub is out front with the best of them.
 
To stay out front, the company likes to give a high-level of responsibility to its employees. The company’s employee management style is all about “empowering them to dictate the direction and execution of their projects,” said spokeswomen Meghan Gage. “Whether it’s working on a product update or exploring new ways to make the user experience better, GrubHub team members use their passion and experience to drive innovation,” said Gage. GrubHub’s emersive employee training program offers an experience that’s hard to find elsewhere.
 
“GrubHub’s deep focus on user research means that everyone across the company, including developers, understands what users want out of the products. New employees shadow a member of the customer care team to learn more about our diners and restaurants,” said Gage. “Through Slice, GrubHub’s on-site restaurant, team members experience the day-to-day operations of a restaurant and apply those learnings to improve GrubHub’s suite of products.“
 
 

closerlook is a digital marketing agency that helps pharmaceutical brands market to the healthcare industry. The company has grown to over 100 employees that specialize in digital strategy, user experience, creative design and writing, data analytics, web and mobile application development, video, and program management.
 
“We’re looking for people who can thrive and succeed in their roles who have the soft skills we’re looking for—people who are self-starters and can identify problems and work through them. They collaborate and work well within a team atmosphere,” said Joanna Kontoudakis, director of human resources.
 
The company’s projects include interactive design, content development, front and back end website development, all rooted in the principles of strategic marketing and close employee collaboration.
 
Though the company has been around since 1987, its pharmaceutical digital branding marketing focus is relatively new. The company said its new employees will get to play a big role in shaping their new direction. “They are really in a position to help reinforce the direction closerlook is headed, and help shape the company’s future,” said Kontoudakis.
 
 

This civic tech company came out of President Obama’s cutting edge 2008 election campaign. Led by Obama’s former chief analytics officer Dan Wagner, Civis Analytics is reapplying the lessons they learned on the campaign trail as a big data startup. They have a number of different expertise including database integration, predictive analytics, randomized controlled experiments, and survey research.
 
 “Every day, organizations almost regardless of size are generating, capturing and storing increasing amounts of digital data. What we consistently hear from non-profits, companies and campaigns alike is that they are overwhelmed by this abundance of data and know that they’re missing opportunities to learn what it’s trying to tell them,” said Wagner in a previous interview with Built in Chicago. “They want to make sense of their data to guide strategy and decision-making, to stop guessing and instead have those processes be data-driven.”
 
Funded with a seed investment from Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt, Civis Analytics has been growing immensely.  The company is looking for software engineers, sales representatives and data scientists. 
 

Peapod is one of the original Internet grocery delivery companies. Founded in 1989, the company was way ahead of its time when it started grocery delivery in Evanston, Illinois. Back then, before the World Wide Web, Peapod had to provide software and dial-up modems so that its customers could order. That being said, Peapod claims to be the first e-commerce only company. 
 
Since then, the company has grown enormously; it IPO’d in 1997 and was bought by international grocery store Royal Ahold. It still has a big presence in the Chicago-area and employees get the benefits of a big corporation while operating in a fast growing tech space. Though Peapod started in the pre-web days, the company now provides a number of online grocery ordering options including a website, mobile apps and tablet apps. To keep the company’s massive business running, Peapod is fast hiring software developers and business operations personnel.
 
 

Vivid Seats is a live event ticket market place and is one of the fastest growing tech companies in Chicago. Founded in 2001, Vivid Seats has been steadily growing and has recently hit its stride. The company has grown its employee base by over 400 percent since 2011 and to accommodate that growth the company has been expanding its offices. In fact, in the first six months of 2014, Vivid Seats hired more than 100 employees. The company is hungry for further expansion and is actively looking for more new hires. 
 
If you are lucky enough to be one the company’s new employees you will certainly never get bored with its online ticketing service. Vivid Seats offers tickets for everything from sports to music concerts to theater. Most recently, Vivid Seats signed a deal with the Chicago Bears for VIP ticket packages and fan experiences like pre-game tailgating, field passes and top-notch seats this season. The company is looking for software developers as well as customer service and sales representatives. 
 
 

Chicago has quite a few HR tech companies, but none like UrbanBound. UrbanBound doesn’t focus on the process of hiring employees, rather it focuses on helping hires move to their new city once they have signed on the dotted line. 
 
The startup saw a lot of companies wasting money on relocation stipends. Something that was like “throwing money at the problem, but not solving the problem,” CEO and co-founded Michael Krasman previously said to Built in Chicago. “Employees will still show up on the first day of work with a lot of personal business unsettled.”
 
To solve that problem, UrbanBound lines up all the resources future employees need to move. The website includes services to help find movers, apartments, new dentists, information to calculate relocation tax deductions, and tools help manage and track moving expenses. The company has doubled its employee base in the past year to over 30 employees and will likely do so again this year said Krasman. UrbanBound is looking for developers, business development specialists and customer service representatives.
 

 

 

SIM Partners is a Chicago-based SaaS marketing platform that helps businesses drive clicks, leads and phone calls to their locations via search, social and mobile. The company helps big national brands connect to consumers on a local scale because it believes local search is much more effective than blanket advertising.
 

“SIM Partners employees get to work with some of the world’s largest brands as well as help shape the future of an industry,” said founder and CEO Jon Schepke. “Local marketing drives the best ROI for large multi-location brands and our Velocity platform provides the most efficient and effective solution for the complex issue of multi-site brand management. Local marketing consists of more than just optimized pages and listings -- it’s a complex ecosystem that is always-on and always changing.” 
 

Flush with an $8 million Series A, SIM Partners is chasing some serious growth and is hiring sales representatives and software developers to meet its goals. CEO Schepke promises life on the inside of SIM Partners will never be boring. “With more than 900 Google algorithm updates last year alone, and a constant proliferation of devices and platforms, the need brands have for a local marketing automation platform solution is clear,” said Schepke. 
 
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