Tech roundup: Techweek co-founder plans investor conference, WeDeliver's Bolzmann takes on new role, & more

August 13, 2015


Techweek co-founder Jonathan Pasky announces Fund Conference, coming this fall

Techweek co-founder Jonathan Pasky announced he will launch a new conference in the fall aimed at exploring fresh ways for early-stage startups and investors to raise capital, like crowdfunding and angel networks. The day-long event, dubbed Fund Conference, will feature 1871 CEO Howard Tullman as the keynote speaker. Fund Conference is scheduled for October 7 at the UIC Forum. [Techweek co-founder plans new Fund Conference for investors: Chicago Tribune]


WeDeliver’s Daniela Bolzmann jumps on board Techweek as VP of Marketing

Former co-founder and CMO of WeDeliver (which was acquired by the Valley’s Deliv in June) Daniela Bolzmann has joined Techweek as vice president of marketing. According to the Tribune, Bolzmann will fill former chief strategy officer Allison Konkel’s vacated position. [WeDeliver's Daniela Bolzmann takes a leadership role at Techweek: Chicago Tribune]


Signal, Sprout Social land at the top of Inc.'s Top 5000

Inc. has released its comprehensive list of the top-growing, privately held companies in the US. Leading the pack for digital tech companies was Signal, a global leader in real-time, cross-channel marketing technology, who landed high at number 51. Meanwhile, Sprout Social — a leading social media management platform for businesses — came in at 78. DevMynd and Market6 both cracked the top 500, and companies like Punchkick Interactive, JumpForward, Gorilla Group, Rise Interactive, Coyote Logistics, and Mediafly (among many others) all made the cut as well. [Built In Chicago]


Controversial 'cloud' tax deadline pushed back to Jan. 1

The city’s controversial lease transaction tax, which drew sharp criticism from many tech community leaders after its quiet introduction in late June, will not go into effect until January 1 of next year, the city announced last week. Popularly dubbed the “cloud tax,” the ruling plans to expand a long-standing statute so that it now includes what it sees as taxable, tech-based transactions (think cloud-based services like SaaS, and PaaS). [Built In Chicago]


Internationally renowned design firm opens up shop in Chicago

Duffy, the premier design and branding agency behind some of the world’s most iconic brands like Coca-Cola, Hallmark, Fisher-Price, and Bacardi, announced it is expanding its presence to Chicago. Chicago’s own John Geletka, who teaches digital foundations at the Chicago Portfolio School, has joined the firm’s new digital team as EVP of Digital Strategy.


Monica & Andy raises over $1M in funding

Chicago-based e-commerce site Monica & Andy raised $1.27 million this week, according to a filing made with the SEC. Monica & Andy is a children's clothing company focused on fun, unique, and organic pieces. The company also carries accessories and non-clothing items for children from other designers/manufacturers.


Snagshout opens Chicago office, brings on new director of business development

Social deals website Snagshout announced this week they have hired founder and former CEO Jeff Cohen as their new director of business development, who will also head the team’s new Chicago office. “We are thrilled that Jeff Cohen has joined our team,” said Paul Johnson, founder of Snagshout in a statement. “He is a true industry trailblazer and his expertise will certainly accelerate Snagshout’s success in the marketplace.”



Carsharing platform Getaround rolls into town as part of federally-funded study

Another auto tech company is rolling into town — this time, as part of a $715,000 two-year study on peer-to-peer carsharing in the city. San Francisco’s Getaround, which has already raised around $40 million in funding, launched this week in Chicago. Getaround allows users to rent their unused cars out to other members. Renters can expect to pay an average of $8/hour or $60/day. The launch coincides with Getaround's participation in the federally-funded study through the city’s Shared-Use Mobility Center and the Center for Neighborhood Technology. [Built In Chicago]


Study shows 3 Illinois universities produce more female founders than most school in the US

According to a recent analysis from Crunchbase, Illinois universities lead the Midwest in producing the highest amount of female startup founders. Out of the 25 highest female founder-producing universities, only four came from the Midwest — and three call Illinois home. Northwestern University came in at number 12 on the list, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Chicago landed at 18 and 21, respectively. [Built In Chicago]

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