This month, Built In Chicago is highlighting four local companies that are scaling up, focusing on sustainability and putting employees first — all while delivering products to make their customers’ lives easier.
At Catsy that means unifying product information in one management hub. At Label Insight, it looks like sharing food sourcing and packaging intel with the public. At Fast Radius and Ocient, teams are providing customers with manufacturing solutions and data management, respectively.
To see what makes team members at each organization want to come to work every day and where their employers are headed this year, read on.
What they do: Ocient is a venture-funded, data analytics startup working to build a SQL-compliant platform that processes huge amounts of data.
Scaling up: Earlier this month, Ocient announced a $40 million Series B funding round. A recent Built In article reported that leadership is planning to use the new funding to help Ocient grow its team from a current headcount of about 75 employees to 150 team members by the end of 2021.
Looking toward a greener future: Processing the amount of data that Ocient stores requires massive amounts of energy. In fact, according to a company blog post, a typical Ocient database consumes “approximately the same amount of power as two American households.” To mitigate the situation, the company partnered with crowdfunding platform Cool Effect for carbon sequestration, a process that involves capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
What they do: Label Insight helps consumer packaged goods companies like Clorox and Dole develop agile, data-driven strategies while sharing in-depth product information with customers.
The way of the future: Label Insight employees have their eyes on automation tools like computer vision and natural language processing to help them further categorize their database containing product information. “We are also planning to use this technology to make our e-commerce solutions more scalable,” Senior Data Scientist James Buban recently told Built In.
What’s in a label: Label Insight’s mission? To create transparency within the food, personal care and pet food industries. That means giving customers insight into what they are putting in their bodies with ingredient definitions, country of origin and farming practices. “We’re driven by a desire for more transparency, and that impacts everything we do, from the products we create to the way we run our business,” VP of Marketing Kira Karapetian previously told Built In.
What they do: Fast Radius is a manufacturing company that provides automotive, medical devices and consumer goods businesses with the tools they need to scale.
Pivoting when it matters most: Before the pandemic hit, Fast Radius partnered with researchers to explore the potential of 3D-printed microfluidic cartridges used in medical diagnostics. That same team was able to shift their research to optimize the technology for COVID-19 testing as needs quickly expanded.
Talking tech: Engineers at Fast Radius work in React, Python and SQL. Designers utilize Sketch and InVision, as well as various photo editors. “My favorite tool is Whimsical right now,” UX Designer Mo Komperda previously told Built In. “It’s worked really well here since our industry is so complex.”
What they do: Catsy helps e-commerce brands unify product information management, digital management and digital asset management through a single dashboard.
Keeping customers informed: Thanks to a new workflow that Customer Success Manager Michael Krynski developed, users can stay up to date on product team features as they are released, which can be as frequent as twice a week. “Now they know what the new features are, and that has cut down on the support we need to provide,” Krynski previously told Built In.
Putting employees first: Catsy’s employee assistance program provides team members with confidential access to professional counseling to ensure each individual prioritizes their mental health and maintains a healthy work-life balance.