Take Note: 18 Chicago Companies to Watch in Spring

Built In Chicago spotlighted 18 local companies, the cultures that unify employees and the perks and benefits that support team members.
Written by Lucas Dean
March 29, 2023Updated: April 11, 2023

Chicago Companies to Watch in Spring 2023

 

Spring has sprung in Chicago. Whether you’re enjoying Garfield Park Conservatory’s Spring Flower Show, breaking out a t-shirt for balmy 50-degree weather or taking a stroll on the lakefront, this season is also a great time to keep up with the ins and outs of local tech companies and their innovative teams. 

In February, Built In Chicago reported that Chicago tech companies took in over $121.5 million in funding in the five largest rounds, powering their growth and creativity. This year is off to a lively start, and in the coming months, the following companies will work to achieve ambitious goals made possible by their talented employees and notable company cultures. 

 

 

What Motorola Solutions does: Motorola Solutions is a public safety and enterprise security company with solutions for mobile radio communications, video security and access control.

 

People-first culture: In January, Manager of DEI Stakeholder Engagement Richard Nelson spoke to Built In Chicago about what sets the company culture apart: “Our business councils played a vital role in introducing me to different people, as well as opportunities to learn, grow and lead. Additionally, the company’s culture is rich in knowledge-sharing, allowing me to learn from folks across multiple cities and disciplines.”

 

Supporting women: Built In interviewed Senior Director of Mergers and Acquisitions and Supply Chains Katie Philpott about how Motorola champions women: “In addition to our Women’s Business Council, which engages women from different locations, backgrounds and cultures to help empower and support them, Motorola Solutions has several programs that help women further grow their impact in the organization.”

 

 

 

What JPMorgan Chase does: JPMorgan Chase is a financial services firm with $3.7 trillion in assets and worldwide operations. 

 

Upskilling opportunities: Programs like Ignite Community of Practice play a significant role in team members’ continuous education and knowledge-sharing. “With Ignite, anyone can start a community. Sometimes you’re teaching, sometimes you’re learning, sometimes you’re practicing new technologies,” explained Lauren Kucic, head of culture change and engagement for global technology and digital and platform services, in a 2022 interview with Built In Chicago. 

 

Inside the tech: JPMorgan Chase’s tech team leverages tools like responsible AI to stay on the cutting edge of fintech. “The dynamic nature of data, use cases and constraints require applied scientists like me to adapt the latest state-of-the-art methods and often invent innovative techniques,” an applied machine learning lead told Built In Chicago

 

 

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What KeHE Distributors does: KeHE Distributors is an employee-owned food distribution company focused on innovative and organic products. 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Mentorship program
  • Charitable contributions matching 
  • Company-paid life insurance policy 1.5 x annualized salary
  • Gender-neutral paid parental leave

 

Employee-owned: In 2022, Retirement Plans Manager Jessica VanDyke provided details on how KeHE Distributors’ employee-owned structure works, saying, “Shares are deposited into your account on an annual basis, and these contributions are entirely company-funded — the employees don’t contribute anything from their earnings. The shares remain in your account and grow in value. When you’re ready to retire, you’ll be able to cash in your shares for retirement income.”

 

 

 

What Citadel does: Citadel is an investment firm with three decades of experience capturing undiscovered market opportunities. 

 

Professional growth: Mentorship and career development opportunities are bountiful at Citadel. Take it from Head of Fixed Income Engineering Dan H., who has been promoted four times in 11 years: “At Citadel, you’re given a lot of responsibility and autonomy, which means you can have a huge impact and you can see the results of that impact instantly,” he told Built In Chicago

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Tuition reimbursement
  • 401(k) matching 
  • Partnerships with nonprofits 
  • Free daily meals 

 

 

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What Double Good does: Individuals and organizations rely on Double Good’s tasty popcorn and easy-to-use software to boost fundraising initiatives and keep 50 percent of proceeds.

 

Design-driven culture: Built In Chicago spoke to VP of UX and Design Bos Alvertos in 2022 about working to create great customer experiences. “Our product development cycle is driven by user feedback. Building prototypes, testing, talking to customers, not being afraid to hear something sucks, looking at data, learning from failures and successes, getting more feedback and iterating.”

 

Doing good: Double Good’s team members have the opportunity to make positive impacts in their communities and work with many of the nonprofit organizations the company partners with. Read what other unique perks and benefits Double Good provides employees here

 

 

 

What DFIN does: Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN) is a leader in risk and compliance solutions, providing insightful technology, industry expertise and data insights to clients across the globe. We help our clients make smarter decisions with insightful technology, industry expertise and data insights at every stage of their business and investment lifecycles.

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Fully Flex / Remote work options
  • Flexible Paid Time Off policy
  • Generous Parental Leave
  • 401(k) matching

 

Now hiring: As DFIN grows, here’s what interested jobseekers can expect from the company’s team: “This team includes a lot of newer folks — one to three years — and a bunch in the 10- to 15-year range. This is an ideal mix of new and old, and we work hard to cultivate a culture of respect for others’ ideas, backgrounds and who they are,” said SVP and Global Head of Engineering Stephen Rylander in a recent interview with Built In Chicago. 

 

 

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What Atmosphere does: Atmosphere is a streaming platform that provides over 65 audio-optional channels tailored to business spaces. 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Flexible work schedule 
  • Generous parental leave
  • Customized development tracks
  • Company equity

 

Growing sales team: Atmosphere is hiring several remote and in-person sales positions, including account managers and account executives. Check out their complete slate of listings on Built In Chicago to learn more. 

 

 

 

What tastytrade does: Fintech company tastytrade empowers do-it-yourself investors with technology, rates and support to control their own money. 

 

Mutual respect: The fintech world can be intimidating, but Recruiter Annie Rix said tastytrade’s team is inviting and inclusive. “What I love most about our culture is that no questions are off limits. Whether you are speaking with our talented engineers, trade desk experts or fearless leadership, you are always treated with respect and as an equal,” said Rix in a 2022 interview with Built In Chicago. 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Employee stock purchase plan
  • Paid volunteer time 
  • Generous parental leave
  • Diversity ERGs 

 

 

A medical professional interacts with health tech.
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What Avaneer Health does: Avaneer Health is focused on removing administrative barriers and other inefficiencies to enable healthcare professionals to deliver better care. 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • 401(k) with 6 percent company match
  • Hybrid or fully remote work options
  • Child care benefits 
  • Customized development tracks 

 

Work-life balance: Program Director Jessica Willoughby spoke to Built In Chicago about how team members are encouraged to unplug and recoup. “Leadership emphasizes the importance of disconnecting with time away and prioritizing families over work when needed,” Willoughby said. Read what else employees say makes Avaneer Health’s culture stand out from the crowd. 

 

 

 

What RedShelf does: Edtech company RedShelf delivers dynamic and affordable digital educational content. 

 

New Funding: RedShelf recently raised $15 million in funding, and the company aims to expand the reach of its e-book marketplace in higher education. “There’s so much growth in edtech. We’re going to be using the funding to take our newly released version of our platform and get it in as many campuses as we can,” CEO Greg Fenton told Built In

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Continuing education stipend 
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Generous parental leave
  • Frequent off-site and on-site events 

 

 

A person interacts with a data management platform.
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What Pricefx does: Pricefx is a cloud-based price management and CPQ software focused on B2B and B2C companies. 

 

Flexible work arrangements: Employees are free to choose when and if they want to come into the office. “I prefer staying home when I’m concentrating. In the office, I enjoy meeting colleagues, working together with the team, solving cross-departmental issues or connecting personally with others,” SVP of People and Culture Daniela Hylmarová told Built In Chicago in 2022. 

 

Engaged employees: When Built In Chicago asked VP Of Revenue Generation and Enablement Kelly Pronek how she would describe her colleagues, she said, “My colleagues are genuinely engaged and curious — not just about their own work but about the way in which their work impacts those around them.”

 

 

 

What High Definition Vehicle Insurance does: HDVI combines telematics, software and data with commercial trucking insurance.

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Generous health, dental and vision insurance 
  • Pet insurance
  • Unlimited vacation policy 
  • Tuition reimbursement

 

Remote with in-office perks: The freedom and flexibility provided by remote work are unbeatable, but there is no replacement for in-person connections. While much of HDVI’s team is fully remote, they offer satellite offices around the country for collaboration and face-to-face meetings. 

 

 

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What SpotMe does: SpotMe is a B2B events marketing platform that helps brands drive demand, create connections and boost revenue. 

 

Innovative work: Operations Manager Michael Sherrillo spoke to Built In Chicago about why SpotMe culture is exciting and creative. “Between the constant new developments on our platform and all the work connecting with client systems, there is always something new and exciting happening,” said Sherrillo. Read more about SpotMe’s company culture here

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Remote work program 
  • A highly diverse management team
  • Home office stipend for remote employees 
  • A broad selection of 401(k) plans

 

 

 

What CraftJack does: CraftJack connects homeowners with home improvement professionals. 

 

Inside the product team: Last year, Senior Product Manager Mike Figueroa spoke to Built In Chicago about what it’s like to be a part of the product team. “Product will often bounce ideas off the customer success team to see how an end user might react to it. They also come to the product team with great feature request ideas that are typically representative of the needs of a large user base.” 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Participate in volunteer projects like Habitat for Humanity 
  • Fully remote work program 
  • Flexible work schedule 
  • Unlimited vacation policy

 

 

A healthcare professional assists a patient.
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What Higi does: Healthtech company Higi aims to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for consumers. 

 

The tech stack: Engineers at Higi work in frameworks like Angular.js and ASP.NET and write with JavaScript, Java, Swift and C#. Additionally, databases such as Microsoft SQL, Redis, Azure Table and Blob storage are used. 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Dental, vision, life, personal accident and disability insurance
  • Partners with nonprofits 
  • Tuition reimbursement 
  • Company equity

 

 

 

What Network Perception does: Network Perception was created by a government-funded research team and cybersecurity experts to protect mission-critical assets and infrastructure. 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Adoption assistance 
  • Continuing education stipend
  • Performance bonus
  • Paid volunteer time 

 

Impactful mission: Built In Chicago interviewed Business Development Representative Shanita Pearson about why Network Perception’s mission to protect power grids from cyber attacks is so important: “When I think about our mission — protecting critical assets — I think about our beautiful skyline in Chicago and imagine if that was down. Or I think about hospitals, those on life support and women in the middle of having babies. Those are the critical assets we protect.”

 

 

Hands presenting an icon of a car.
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What Root does: Root is an auto insurance company that leverages users’ cell phone data to provide good drivers with fair rates. 

 

Supportive company culture: Built In Chicago chatted with team members to hear more about what makes Root’s company culture unique. “In an industry rich with quantitative problems, our environment of collegiality supports career growth and continuous learning,” said Director of Data Science Annie Yang. Read what else employees had to say here

 

Remote work: Root’s remote work policy empowers team members to work from anywhere. “We believe that our team members should work where they work best, whether that is at home, in the office or somewhere new. Many team members have taken advantage of this new policy to work near the beach, in the mountains and even on the road,” Senior Employer Branding and Communications Partner Elizabeth Zamora told Built In during a 2022 interview

 

 

 

What Wonderlic does: Wonderlic leverages AI, machine learning and psychology research to help HR professionals find the right candidates. 

 

Notable perks and benefits

  • Premium, highly subsidized healthcare, dental, and vision plans
  • Generous parental leave
  • Promote from within
  • Four-day work week


Candidate experience: People Operations and Talent Acquisition Manager Erin Przybyl spoke to Built In Chicago in 2022 about how Wonderlic creates great candidate experiences. “Candidates should know that as a science-based company focused on how people do their best work, we bring our knowledge into our own work culture. We offer progressive benefits such as the four-day work week.”

 

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