Rarely has a word sparked as much contention as the word millennial. Whenever uttered, it invokes a gamut of archetypes about young people, ranging from the entitled narcissist to innovative, scapegoated tastemakers and game changers.
Regardless of your personal opinion on Gen Y, there’s no denying their influence on, well, just about everything. They’re early adopters of tech and critics of establishment for establishment’s sake. In honor of Millennials everywhere, here are 10 Chicago tech companies every Millennial should check out.
1871-based Caysh is Venmo meets SnapChat — two apps that have become somewhat of an institution for many Millennials. Caysh lets users send digital payments alongside videos, GIFs, and pictures to make the money transferring experience more social. Though the app is still operating in beta, it’s built up a ton of anticipation for its official launch, being named one of Tech.co’s 2015 startups of the year.
From Napster to Spotify, technology has irrevocably altered the way people purchase, experience, and share music. Chicago-based Nusiki is one of those companies looking to reimagine how tech and music interact. Their app is building a more social experience behind online listening, allowing users to share songs and follow friends with stellar taste in music.
Rent Like A Champion is an online rental marketplace that’s designed to make it easier for college grads to travel back to their alma mater with friends for a big game. The company, which appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank last fall, allows campus homeowners to rent out their spaces to sports fans so they can rent in style.
For young professionals, Charlie is a godsend. It combs the web for relevant background information on the important people you meet with, making sure you’re armed with information so you can make an outstanding first impression every time.
Looking to purchase a house? If you’re a first-time buyer, you might find out the process is not nearly as seamless as it should be. At least, that’s how Casamatic sees it. The service, which just launched in Chicago a few months ago, helps prospective homeowners find their perfect house.
Gen Y is filled with self-described social media savants, and brands have taken notice of the level of influence some users have amassed. With armies of followers or subscribers, a single, complimentary post can result in a substantial amount of traffic and awareness for a business. Companies like Popular Pays help connect brands with those popular Instagram influencers.
Many Millennials reject the idea of working your whole life only to explore the world come retirement. They travel (a lot) — but walking down the beaten path isn’t always easy, especially for women traveling alone. That’s where Wanderful comes in. Wanderful is a community for women who travel that provides them with travel tips, connection opportunities, and networking in popular destinations.
Speaking of traveling, frequent-flying Millennials will find little excuse to ignore websites like Rocketmiles. Rocketmiles brings the airline loyalty program experience to hotel booking, meaning hotel reservation can also rack up free air miles for your next vacation. What’s not to love about that?
What’s a list of apps for Millennials without mentioning one of Chicago’s food delivery companies? Kitchfix is a solid option for busy twentysomethings in search of local, healthy, and delicious food. All of their food is gluten-free and organic — tailor-made for a generation leading the food revolution.
Millennials have reimagined what the traditional day at the office can look like. In place of cubicles and suits, they’re opting instead for open floor layouts, standing desks, hoodies, and — if Chicago-based Fitness Cubed has its way — under-desk ellipticals. Their product, Cubii, is the “workout for the digital age,” syncing with a mobile app that tracks your steps as you sit at your desk.
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