50 influential people in Chicago tech you should follow on Twitter

May 26, 2016

Ahhh, Twitter. Whether you use it to stay up on the latest news or get your daily dose of Grumpy Cat, Twitter is an amazing tool to keep a pulse on the goings-on on the people and communities you love most. 

That's why — for the second year in a row — we've curated 50 people from Chicago's tech and startup community who we think deserve a follow. The list includes techies, founders, marketers, VCs, reporters and other important community members involved in the local tech scene. You'll find some Chicago tech staples and some newer, up-and-coming faces, all of whom have a significant following and are fairly regular tweeters.

This list is meant as a jumping off point for discovering great people to follow in our community — and is by no means exhaustive. (If we were to include everyone we love to follow ... we'd be exhausted!)

Without further ado, check out our 2016 list of 50 people in Chicago tech to follow on Twitter:

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Step Two: Start Clicking Follow

 

 

Shrada Agarwal

 
Twitter bio: designer, of organizations, products, marketing brands, solutions. co-founder of @ContextMedia and JumpStart Ventures. #educationopportunities
 

Inspiring new wall murals at @contextmedia - reminders to fight for our mission #WhatsYourSuperpower #ChangeTheWorld pic.twitter.com/0YmRbRALnF

— Shradha Agarwal (@shr4dha) April 26, 2016
 

 

Tom Alexander

 
Twitter bio: Chicagoan. COO @1871chicago, formerly w @chicagosmayor ofc. Into fatherhood, Chicago, tech, sports, politics, fitness, TV, social media, and the NYT xword.
 

Super fun (albeit short) trip to Cali. Congrats to MyChild and @1871chicago and GFE! ¡Hast… https://t.co/RI7NExGwwv pic.twitter.com/vAnVB0ryZo

— Tom Alexander (@tomalexander19) May 5, 2016

 

 

Talha Basit

 
Twitter bio: CTO Dose, Serial Entrepreneur, Chef, Futurist, Runner, host of Geeks Like Us Podcast
 

check out our new engineering blog at https://t.co/oW31TZp47g! @DoseTeam @dose

— talha f basit (@talhafbasit) May 23, 2016
 

 

George Bousis

 
Twitter bio: Founder, CEO of http://Raise.com - Entrepreneur - Investor - Technologist
 
 

Excited to share w/ everyone the new Raise welcome video! https://t.co/4VroblAXx8

— George D. Bousis (@GBousis) May 19, 2016
 

 

Jennifer Brandel

 
Twitter bio: Founder / CEO @wearehearken, Founder @WBEZCuriousCity. Viva collaboration. Dumpling fanatic. Believer in disbelief. Founder @ddppchicago
 

Office HQ for @wearehearken go from my dining room to Aon Center thanks to @thoughtworks - We feel so welcomed! TY! pic.twitter.com/0zXEgg9s4U

— Jennifer Brandel (@JenniferBrandel) April 27, 2016
 

 

Emile Cambry

 
Twitter bio: Polymath: Founder of @BLUE1647 , @21CYP, @CodeChicago, and @CISCFF.Professor, Filmmaker, Change Agent, sports fan. 2015 @Ebonymag Power 100, SXSW Dewey Awardee

Please check out the @BLUE1647 #join1919 Women in Tech program video of our latest Tech Tea Party https://t.co/YanZV4cQGW cc:@KathrynFinney

— EmileCambry (@EmileCambry) May 21, 2016
 

 

Griffin Caprio

 
Twitter bio: Your rappers favorite dir of engineering at @Enova, raconteur, entrepreneur, watch nerd. Started @chicagoctoforum.
 

5 years ago I wrote about my dad, chicago and community building for @Technori https://t.co/27bgLlYxrF Time is flying

— Griffin Caprio (@gcaprio) May 7, 2016
 

 

Steven Collens

 
Twitter bio: MATTER. Pritzker Group Venture Capital. 1871. Chicago Artists Coalition. IMSA Fund. Olive.
 

Future of health will be continuous engagement with the healthcare system via tech like @4DHealthware https://t.co/0pSx3jxXFH @MATTERChicago

— Steven Collens (@scollens) May 19, 2016
 

 

Jeffrey Carter

 
Twitter bio: Former trader, angel investor Co-Founded http://hydeparkangels.com http://westloopventures.com (@westloopv) Trustee @wwiimuseum http://www.nationalww2museum.org

Saturday in the Park (@ Lincoln Park in Chicago, IL) https://t.co/JglCuIenDz pic.twitter.com/abu1A8HAD2

— Jeffrey Carter (@pointsnfigures) May 21, 2016
 

 

Jayna Cooke

 
Twitter bio: CEO & Founder @EVENTup | Contributor @Forbes | Former VP @Groupon | Founder of @Closet_Angels | Facebook: http://on.fb.me/18VHhK3 | http://www.eventup.com

These Are The Most Difficult Tech Jobs to Fill https://t.co/WzBlu14XRf #tech #startup #entrepreneur

— Jayna Cooke (@JaynaCooke) May 24, 2016
 

 

Andy Crestodina

 
Twitter bio: Web strategist and co-founder of Orbit Media (@orbiteers). Speaker and author focused on content marketing and Analytics http://www.orbitmedia.com/contentchemistry …

How to Rank Higher in Google in 5 Minutes https://t.co/B866xcxHF2 ← real, ethical #SEO for #ContentMarketing pros. pic.twitter.com/vHW9qGCSsS

— Andy Crestodina (@crestodina) November 12, 2015
 

 

Kristi Dula

 
Twitter bio: Network Relationship Manager at @PritzkerVC. @1871Chicago. #Chicago. #Tech. @WeAreWearables #WWCHI. @FoodDepository. @ChicagoCares. @TAMU #Aggie.

Congrats to @bforgan and @Hologram_io! '#Chicago #IoT startup raises $4.8 million' https://t.co/M3DBiIuVci via @crainschicago

— Kristi Dula (@KristiDula) May 24, 2016
 

 

Amina Elahi

 
Twitter bio: Innovation reporter at @chicagobluesky. Leisure blogger at @paperplatesblog. Sour Patch Kids & chill. I ask a lot of questions.

Chicago tech office spaces that keep it: https://t.co/2Fkp0I0nDu

— Amina Elahi (@aminamania) May 9, 2016
 

 

Fabian Elliott

 
Twitter bio: Founder, Black Tech Mecca #HybridEntrepreneur #Millenial #Googler Instagram:Focused_Fabe
 

Definitely a must read. Provides a valuable career and life perspective. Please don’t learn to code https://t.co/fNjzh9NW00 via @techcrunch

— Fabian Elliott (@Fabian_Elliott) May 17, 2016
 

 

Jason Fried

 
Twitter bio: Founder & CEO at http://Basecamp.com . Co-author of Getting Real, Remote, and NYT Bestseller REWORK. Also at http://Instagram.com/jason.fried

Know Your Company lands some well-deserved press in FastCompany: https://t.co/5ch8zG3pA1. Congrats @cjlew23!

— Jason Fried (@jasonfried) May 23, 2016
 

 

Stella Garber

 
Twitter bio: #Entrepreneur/#Russian/#Foodie VP of Marketing @trello, Cofounder @matchist, @EntUnpluggd
 

arrive to airport 3 hours before flight in Chicago. NBD. https://t.co/AYW7v0Yo9Q

— Stella Garber (@startupstella) May 17, 2016
 

 

Melissa Harris

 
Twitter bio: Vice President @OriginInvestments. Formerly @chicagotribune business columnist. [email protected]
 

It's early but never thought I'd see this in my lifetime. @Cubs (.786), Sox atop divisions and MLB. pic.twitter.com/xVApN2SQwP

— Melissa Harris (@ChiConfidential) May 7, 2016
 

 

Troy Henikoff

 
Twitter bio: Serial Entrepreneur, Techstars Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners Managing Director. Loves technology, startups, bicycles & interesting people...
 

Beautiful view! pic.twitter.com/FuqOyykKDL

— TroyHenikoff (@TroyHenikoff) May 24, 2016
 

 

Justyn Howard

 
Twitter bio: CEO Sprout Social (@SproutSocial). New dad. Enjoy brainstorming ideas with smart people, solving hard problems.

44% of people say they're more likely to apply for a job they saw on #social. More on this in @Entrepreneur. #HR https://t.co/WYqzU4KGBq

— Justyn Howard (@Justyn) May 19, 2016
 

 

Josh Inglis

 
Twitter bio: PR and content marketing for startups and innovators. I try to occasionally say funny or insightful things. Our work: http://propllr.com/client-news/ 

9 simple steps to strong content marketing, the Michelin way https://t.co/ST3DwxASpj

— Josh Inglis (@Propllrhead) May 23, 2016
 

 

Michelle Joseph

 
Twitter bio: Founder and CEO of @PeopleFoundry. Love Building Teams, Recruiting, Cooking, Running & Bikram, Traveling and The Cincinnati Bengals

Founders try to convince you of their vision, I get it but that often leads to getting loose with knowable facts https://t.co/huSLIu1pNL

— Michelle Joseph (@MichelleJPF) May 18, 2016

 

 

Maria Christopoulos Katris

 
Twitter bio: CEO of Built In, mother, wife, entrepreneur and wine enthusiast. Connect w/me @BuiltInChicago, @BuiltInLA, @BuiltInColorado, @BuiltInAustin, @BuiltInNewYork

"We Could All Use a Little Homework" by @lefkofsky: https://t.co/2d0c8iERfx

— Maria Katris (@mariakatris) April 13, 2016
 

 

Seth Kravitz

 
Twitter bio: Founder of @Technori. 3x founder with 2 exits to public cos. Writer. Sometimes feel lost, sometimes found. Varies daily. Collector of interesting people.

Me looking at my inbox right now. Thanks for all the nice notes everyone :) #gratitude pic.twitter.com/SR8zrQlxfu

— Seth Kravitz (@SethKravitz) May 11, 2016

 

 

Amanda Lannert

 
Twitter bio: CEO of @JellyvisionLab, @jellyvisionalex. My personal twitter account. Thoughts on biz/start ups/marketing/tech and random hilarity ensue.

Crowd shot from first ever @JellyvisionLab hackathon final presentation. #jellygames2016 pic.twitter.com/QEtuckcPFg

— Amanda Lannert (@AmandaLannert) May 12, 2016
 

 

Paul Lee

 
Twitter bio: CEO & Co-founder @RONIIN, ex-GP at @Lightbank, ex-founding Partner at NBC's Peacock Equity, Adjunct Lecturer at @KelloggSchool, Director at @Lifeway_Kefir

40% of the nominees for best new startup in the @MoxieAwards are @roniin companies https://t.co/8VdpGQrvjS cc: @GetOfficeLuv @pearachute

— Paul Lee (@iPaulLee) May 17, 2016
 

 

Steven Lee

 
Twitter bio: Former eye doctor. Innovator and Inventor. Co-Founder @Opternative
 
 

https://t.co/TCJxvu3FTf Top 50 startups to watch in Chicago pic.twitter.com/c7rqP8zwfT

— Steven Lee (@isightdr) January 26, 2016
 

 

Eric Lefkofsky

 
Twitter bio: @LightBank, @Groupon, @Uptake, @EchoLogistics, @MediaOcean, @InnerWorkings
 

The lobby of Groupon today. Very cool pic.twitter.com/FZsHyD8gUu

— Eric Lefkofsky (@lefkofsky) April 25, 2016
 

 

Eric Lunt

 
Twitter bio: Signal CTO (formerly BrightTag), FeedBurner co-founder & CTO
 
 

Trevor and I doing some afternoon coding together at @Signal today. pic.twitter.com/C33Zqq3GVt

— Eric Lunt (@elunt) April 28, 2016
 

 

Katy Lynch

 
Twitter bio: Entrepreneur. Investor. Founder, SocialKaty (acquired @ManifestDigital). #TravelTuesday creator. Scottish. @Radiohead superfan. @CraigUlliott's wifey.
 

Full house at @Chi_Innovation Celebrating Women In Innovation event! Proud to be an entrepreneur & #womanintech pic.twitter.com/OCJZtBP4Mv

— Katy Lynch (@thekatylynch) May 18, 2016
 

 

Mike McGee

 
Twitter bio: Packers/Cubs/Blackhawks/Northwestern fan - Sports Investor - Gas Can Prophet - Co-Founder @starterleague
 
 

Lol Brienne was all like, "yeah I killed Stannis" #GameofThrones pic.twitter.com/xpEWLoL7C8

— Mike McGee (@michaelmcgee) May 16, 2016
 

 

Dorri McWhorter

 
Twitter bio: Accountant...Fashionista...Conscious Business Leader...#FindingDorri
 

In 1984, 37% comp sci grads were women, today 18%! @victoriaespinel #AICPAGC16 #womenintech #stem #chitechgyrls #WeCanDoBetter

— Dorri McWhorter (@chicCPA) May 16, 2016
 

 

Lorena Mesa

 
Twitter bio: @PyLadiesChicago & @WriteSpeakCode organizer, @devbootcamp guide, @GirlDevelopIt teacher, @SproutSocial dev, 9X @chimarathon.All your code & miles belong to me.
 

Awesome write up on how to use code in your slides https://t.co/wMnSInp4V2 @lookatmyslides

— Lorena Mesa (@loooorenanicole) May 3, 2016
 

 

Rebecca Miller-Webster

 
Twitter bio: software engineer, conference organizer, & educator. Founder @writespeakcode. CTO @teampolymathic. cupcakes, pugs, sea mammals, & prosecco. she/her
 

SO EXCITED!

Trained Therapists will facilitate

SELF-CARE & ART THERAPY@WriteSpeakCode Alumna track. https://t.co/7qR6kRJwXE

— Rebecca (@rmillerwebster) May 4, 2016
 

 

Julian Miller

 
Twitter bio: Julian Miller: co-founder @Learnmetrics Ex-high school teacher focused on advancing education, data, and edtech. #educolor @TheImpactEnginejulian miller
 

Working on beautiful things with brilliant people. @ 1871 Chicago https://t.co/kjD3qhg60N

— Julian Miller (@JulianMiller) May 17, 2016
 

 

Matt Moog

 
Twitter bio: CEO of @powerofreviews and founder of @builtinchicago
 
 
 

This is a fantastic post explaining the nature of Venture Returns https://t.co/WoJhpFGLUQ via

— Matt Moog (@mattmoog) May 18, 2016

 

 

Jimmy Odom

 
Twitter bio: Founder•Chief Experience Officer of @WeDelivr (Acq. 15) @Techstars (14) @ChicagoIdeas Co-Op Ambassador Alum of @Apple and a passionately contagious entrepreneur
 

My boy @JoshYTsui getting some love from @TechCrunch on his VR photog concept demo. https://t.co/gQSrTZyzcx

— Jimmy Odom (@JimmyOdom) May 16, 2016
 

 

Jason Peterson

 
Twitter bio: follow me into the dark @jasonmpeterson
 
 

.@davidbanner dropped by @HavasWWChicago today #annextalks pic.twitter.com/fFx3Rz6LqP

— Jason Peterson (@Jasonmpeterson) April 13, 2016
 

 

John Pletz

 
Twitter bio: Tech reporter, blogger at Crain's Chicago Business.
 
 

#Funding news: @ConceptDrop raises $1.1M from @jeffmaters for on-demand graphics labor platform. https://t.co/3Pp1wjcIta

— John Pletz (@johnpletz) May 20, 2016

 

 

J.B. Pritzker

 
Twitter bio: Culture that breeds nimbleness and yields excellence. Values matter too. See also @PritzkerVC
 

Meet Viv, the next AI personal assistant from the creators of Siri @AKoopersmith @PritzkerVC https://t.co/L6MxaKYE3R

— J.B. Pritzker (@JBPritzker) May 11, 2016
 

 

Stacy Ratner

 
Twitter bio: Reader, writer, aunt, & founder of literacy ventures @OpenBooks and @ChiLiteracyAlli / @Literacenter. Also makes quilts & eats ice cream. Hi!
 

Hooray for @ChiLiteracyAlli member @ChiDebateLeague, rocking it tonight at @SVPChicago Fast Pitch! #impact pic.twitter.com/P8q7ze9DEW

— Stacy Ratner (@stacyjratner) May 12, 2016
 

 

Harper Reed

 
Twitter bio: I am awesome. Check out this guide to my tweets: http://bit.ly/r1GnK // former CTO @ Obama for America // founder of @modest (acquired by @paypal)
 

Kim Kardashian has become the Iranian state's newest enemy https://t.co/OyXw2EuEV7

— harper (@harper) May 24, 2016
 

 

Beth Santos

 
Twitter bio: Founder/CEO of @sheswanderful & @witsummit, inspired entrepreneur, global traveler. Fierce advocate of @kelloggschool & @wellesley. Insta/Snapchat: @maximumbeth
 

Okay, Chicagoans really are that nice.

— Beth Santos (@maximumbeth) May 25, 2016
 

 

Ellen Shapiro

 
Twitter bio: I make apps that make your phone more useful, including @SpotHero and @justhum. Tech here, personal nonsense over at @loudguitars.
 

.@dasmersingh pointing out that there are >2m iOS apps, but only ~10k watch apps, ~1k tvOS apps, ~30k Mac apps. Lots of opportunity. #UIKonf

— Ellen Shapiro (@designatednerd) May 23, 2016
 

 

Rishi Shah

 
Twitter bio: Founder : Operator : Investor
 
 
 
 

Everyone on a "track" should read this. Especially recent grads in consulting/banking etc.. who don't enjoy the work https://t.co/A1PbK11NkG

— Rishi Shah (@RishiShah) May 22, 2016
 

 

Howard Tullman

 
Twitter bio: CEO - 1871 & General Managing Partner - G2T3V, LLC
 
 

Today in @chicagoinno: "...1871 is also changing the image of one of Chicago's most iconic buildings." https://t.co/ac5cHViDJ2 #1871Chicago

— 1871 Chicago (@1871Chicago) May 23, 2016
 

 

Guy Turner

 
Twitter bio: Early stage venture investor at @hydeparkvp. Big fan of fast growth looking for amazing entrepreneurs to work with.
 

Nothing says #midwest #tech focus like my 2015 GOOG location map. On the ground @hydeparkvp pic.twitter.com/SD3UPns6Yw

— Guy Turner (@guyhturner) March 30, 2016
 

 

Kevin Willer

 
Twitter bio: husband, dadx3, VC, Xoogler, 1871'er, angel, @ChicagoVentures @1871Chicago @Google @Arsenal
 

What do these two developers know about Chicago the rest of us don't? https://t.co/XiASw0Bpne via @crainschicago

— kevin willer (@kwiller) May 20, 2016
 

 

Jessica Williams

 
Twitter bio: I help #women #entrepreneurs conquer the first steps of starting new businesses. Also #WiSTEM Co-Facilitator @1871chicago. http://techbizgurl.com/freebie
 

“But it wasn’t about the money. It was about the freedom.” — @VioletaNedkova https://t.co/cTt4Vq2oV2

— Jessica L Williams (@techbizgurl) May 25, 2016

 

 

Jessica Droste Yagan

 
Twitter bio: Passionate about aligning profit and social good. Impact investor @theimpactengine. Champion of #empathy. Chief Logistics Officer for my family.
 

How Chicago's Social Entrepreneurs Can Be Profitable and Responsible | US News Opinion https://t.co/vJpCbdf9eF

— Jessica Droste Yagan (@drosteyagan) May 24, 2016
 

 

Nicole Yeary

 
Twitter bio: founder @mstechgroup #mstech /Partner @1871Chicago #WiSTEM /SEO Technologist /#Music=#lifeblood /Member @UN_Women
 

One of the biggest barriers to getting funding for minority-owned business https://t.co/F3eZiE5nEI by @lydiabreakfast via @FastCompany

— Nicole Yeary (@nicoleyeary) May 25, 2016
 

Note that this list contains only people, not organizations — many of which are great to follow on Twitter, too. Of course, there are many more techies out there worth following, and we welcome your suggestions here

If you're more of a Twitter list fan, subscribe to our 50 to Follow Twitter list — and be sure to follow us, too: @builtinchicago.

This list was sponsored by Marketwired.