Tech roundup: 1871's anniversary, public schools get $2M in edtech grants & more

by Andreas Rekdal
May 5, 2016

1871 celebrates 4th anniversary

Chicago technology hub

celebrated its fourth year in existence this week with cake and a visit from United States CTO Megan Smith. In its four years, the innovation center has already seen two major expansions. (Smith also attended a roundtable discussion with South Side entrepreneurs and community leaders at the University of Chicago’s .) [Chicago Tribune]
 

LEAP Innovations awards $2M in grants for 7 Chicago Public Schools

On Thursday morning, Chicago education nonprofit

announced that seven schools in the Chicago Public Schools system will receive grants of $280,000 each to pilot technology-enabled personalized learning programs. The grants are part of the 1871-based nonprofit's Breakthrough Schools Chicago program. [PR Newswire]


Chicago inventors advance in "America’s Greatest Makers"

A team of Chicago engineers working on a concussion detection device for athletes advanced to the final round of the TBS inventor contest "America’s Greatest Makers." The team’s device attaches to sports equipment like helmets, chin straps and mouth guards to detect concussion-inducing head trauma. The show’s final episode, in which five teams will compete for a $1 million prize, will air on May 24. [Chicago Tribune]
 

Home Chef serves up $10M Series A

This week, cooking startup

Located in the iconic Wrigley building, our location offers the best of the Loop and River North. Close to transportation, restaurants & shops.
announced the close of a $10 million Series A led by Shining Capital and Guild Capital. The funding will be used to boost the company’s nationwide expansion, in part through the opening of a West Coast distribution center. According to a statement issued by the company, additional rounds of funding may already be underway. [Built In Chicago]
 

Taylored Wines eyes consumer market

— a startup that helps restaurants order hard-to-find wine — is expanding to the consumer market. The company’s new online marketplace will let consumers order rare wines from independent wineries and get them delivered directly to their doorsteps. Cheers!
 

VISANOW scoops up CareerBuilder veteran

On Tuesday, immigration technology company

announced it has brought on former director Gretchen Keefner as its new vice president of sales. “Gretchen’s vast knowledge of the human resources industry coupled with a deep understanding of building and managing consultative sales teams will be integral to accelerating the record growth we achieved last year,” said President and CEO Dick Burke in a statement.
 

Uber brings accessible ride services to Chicago

Chicagoans in need of accessible transportation can soon count among their travel options. On Monday, the company announced a new program will let riders request rides that can accommodate wheelchairs. According to the company, accessible rides will be cheaper than a taxi. [Chicago Tribune]


GrubHub brings delivery service to the 'burbs

On Monday, food delivery titan

announced it is expanding its turnkey delivery service — which handles food delivery for restaurants that don’t have their own drivers — to Oak Park, Northbrook and Park Ridge. The company is also looking to Schaumburg and Naperville for expansions in the near future.


Peanut Butter gets political over sticky student debt

This week, Chicago student loan repayment startup

joined U.S. Congressman Robert Dold (R-IL) in introducing new legislation that — if passed — would give financial incentives to employers to aid their employees with repaying student debt. [Chicago Inno]


Amazon same-day delivery is coming to the South Side

Following a controversy over the unavailability of free same-day delivery in a number of Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods, Amazon announced on Tuesday it will be expanding the service to the South Side in upcoming weeks. Once the expansion is complete, the service will be available to every ZIP code within Chicago’s city limits. [Chicago Tribune]

Images via Shutterstock and listed companies.

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