Tech roundup: Jai Shekhawat named Entrepreneurial Champion, this week's fundings and more

by James Risley
September 15, 2016

25N Coworking opens new suburban coworking space

Suburban coworking provider 25N Coworking is opening a new, 11,000 square-foot space in Arlington Heights. The venue offers both work and meeting spaces, with all the amenities one would find in a standard tech startup office. The new space comes as the original Geneva space is being quickly outgrown. 25N plans to move that space to another Geneva location later this year. [Press release]


Jai Shekhawat named Entrepreneurial Champion

Fieldglass founder Jai Shekhawat is set to be named the 2016 Entrepreneurial Champion at next month’s Momentum Awards. The title is a recognition of Shekhawat’s dedication to entrepreneurship in Chicago and beyond. He currently sits on the boards of Semantify, Signal and other Chicago companies. The award ceremony takes place Oct. 6 and will also include awards recognizing Chicago's most entrepreneurial companies. [Press release]


8th Light acquires Ruby community leader WisdomGroup

Software consultancy group 8th Light has acquired WisdomGroup. The deal will have WisdomGroup’s two employees, President Ray Hightower and designer Kevin Zolkiewicz, join 8th Light’s team. WisdomGroup, which is known for hosting Ruby meetups in Chicago, will expand its community leadership groups to 8th Light’s other markets, including London, LA and New York. [Press release]


Facebook’s first investor says talented people head to the coasts — while visiting Chicago

Gawker killer and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel stopped in Chicago to give a talk at the American Dream Reconsidered conference. But he didn’t come to praise the Windy City — instead, he told a crowd of Chicagoans, "If you are a very talented person, you have a choice: You either go to New York or you go to Silicon Valley," according to the Chicago Tribune. Obviously, we think he’s wrong. [Chicago Inno]


Prota Ventures launches tool for founders

Prota Ventures launched a tool to help founders through the startup process. Startup Rocket provides founders with expert resources, time-tested frameworks and collaboration ideas that will aid them in finding customers and land funding. The independent venture uses lessons learned at Prota Ventures and is specifically tuned to helping software companies make it big. [Press release]


Ensono acquires cloud services company Attenda

Acxiom Corp. IT services spinoff Ensono has acquired U.K.-based Attenda, which provides managed and cloud services. By combining operations, Downers Grove-based Ensono hopes to increase client offerings and streamline services internationally. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Attenda co-founder Mark Fowle will join the Ensono board. [Press release]


Chicago investment vet Richard Kiphart dies at 75

Legendary Chicago tech investor Richard Kiphart passed away at 75 this week. The founder of KGC Capital and KDWC Ventures had invested in Chicago startups like OfficeLuv, City Base, Rippleshot and Rithmio. He was also had a 50-year career at William Blair & Co., where he served in a range of executive roles. Many in the Chicago tech scene mourned his passing online [Crain’s Chicago Business]   


Three fundings help put Chicago’s tech funding over $20M for the week

There were three healthy fundings this week, with more than $20 million getting poured into local tech ventures. Here’s where that money went:

Images via Founders Fund, featured companies, Twitter, Shutterstock

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