Tech roundup: SpotHero heads to Hollywood, ReviewTrackers' new round, & more

by James Risley
July 21, 2016

ReviewTrackers lands $4 million to fund new product development

ReviewTrackers this week announced a $4 million funding round to boost development of its customer feedback platform. The funding, led by American Family Insurance’s venture arm, brings ReviewTrackers’ total funding to $6.1 million. American Family Ventures also contributed to the company’s initial funding round back in 2014. Since that time, ReviewTrackers has tripled its revenue and headcount. [Built In Chicago]

RedWave raises $5.5M for heat-to-energy tech

RedWave Energy closed a $5.5 million Series B to bring its energy tech to the grid. The company harvests waste heat and turns it into electricity with microscopic antennas. The Wheaton-based startup was founded in 2011 and has raised more than $12 million to date. This new round of funding will help it developing a film of the nanoantennas that can be used everywhere from manufacturing plants to traditional power plants, producing energy from otherwise wasted heat. [Chicago Tribune]

SpotHero expands to LA

Parking reservation service SpotHero launched in Los Angeles this week, with 150 locations around LAX, downtown LA and more. With an estimated 30 percent of downtown traffic looking for parking, SpotHero hopes to reduce traffic in the notoriously gridlocked city. The Chicago company also offers parking spaces in New York, San Francisco, Boston and other major cities. [Press release]

Capital One brings cafe atmosphere to the bank

Many banks have a little urn of coffee for customers, but Capital One is flipping the script. The company opened two new bank cafes in Chicago, where customers can get barista-brewed coffee, fresh pastries and access to a professional banker or ATM. The two new locations, in Lincoln Park and the Southport Corridor, join the existing Gold Coast bank cafe. [Chicago Inno]

Northwestern launches coding boot camp for non-students

Northwestern University is jumping into the world of coding bootcamps with a 24 week class starting in September. Students will learn the basics of coding, along with languages like MySQL and node.js. The bootcamp, created in conjunction with Trilogy Education Services, includes two three-hour weekday evening classes and a four-hour Saturday class for $9,500. The program is open to anyone, but alumni get a $500 discount. [Chicago Tribune]

VISANOW hires head of global immigration

Immigration tech firm VISANOW hired Sarah Maxwell to lead global immigration. At her previous employer, Vedder Price, she worked on developing and executing immigration policies for Fortune 500 companies. That understanding of international immigration rules will help the company provide a diverse workforce for global clients. [Press release]

Narrative Science predicts enterprise AI revolution

Artificial intelligence may seem like a far-off future, but a survey of executives by Narrative Science shows that more than 60 percent of businesses will be using AI by 2018. Predictive analytics are already huge across the enterprise, but data science talent is holding back many companies from using AI on their big data. [Press release]

DePaul enrolls in 1871’s University Row

DePaul University is joining 1871, giving students and faculty access to lectures, workshops and networking opportunities at the tech hub. Additionally, faculty members will be able to serve as mentors and hold workshops in 1871 facilities. DePaul joins University of Chicago, Northwestern and Loyola, among others, in the tech hub’s University Row. [Press release]

DialogTech categorizes calls with Dialog Analytics

Emails and browsing sessions are full of information for marketers, but phone calls also contain a wealth of actionable insights that remain untapped because they aren’t properly sorted. DialogTech’s new Dialog Analytics sorts phone calls, powered by their Conversation Insights platform. This allows companies to efficiently follow up on calls without relying on tedious and unreliable human-entered data. [Press release]

Images via featured companies, Shutterstock

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