50 Chicago tech CEOs, founders, designers & hackers you should follow on Twitter

Written by Garrett Reim
Published on Jan. 18, 2015
50 Chicago tech CEOs, founders, designers & hackers you should follow on Twitter

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Troy Henikoff

Follow @TroyHenikoff

Techstars Chicago

Managing Director


Twitter profile: 

"Serial Entrepreneur, Managing Director, TechStars-Chicago. Loves technology, startups, bicycles and interesting people..."

Considering starting a new company? Some great advice from @davidschonthal and Carter Cast on the first step… http://t.co/8TsAv5YOxM

— TroyHenikoff (@TroyHenikoff) December 21, 2014



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Eric Lefkofsky

Follow @lefkofsky //

Groupon and LightBank

CEO and co-founder


Twitter profile: 

"CEO of Groupon, Co-founder of LightBank, President of Blue Media, Co-founder of Lefkofsky Family Foundation"

Financing a disruptive new business idea is like completing a renovation project on a house. It almost never, ever comes in on budget.

— Eric Lefkofsky (@lefkofsky) January 12, 2015



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Rishad Tobaccowala

Follow @rishad //

Publicis Groupe

Chief Strategist


Twitter profile:

"Chief Strategist, Publicis Groupe. Chairman. The Tobaccowala Foundation."

"Technology itself is not good or bad but it enables people to leverage goodness or badness." #TEDGlobal http://t.co/NxD2Ze50Ul

— Rishad Tobaccowala (@rishad) October 21, 2014



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Shawn Riegsecker

Follow @ShawnRiegsecker //


CEO and co-founder


Twitter profile:

"CEO and Founder of Centro."

A/B testing is so yesterday--and so's your MBA @tullman http://t.co/EcRbKEOhqJ via @Inc

— Shawn Riegsecker (@ShawnRiegsecker) January 6, 2015



IB ImageStuart Frankel

Follow @stuartfrankel //

Narrative Science


Automated Writing Software

Twitter profile:

"CEO of Narrative Science @narrativesci"

Just heard: answer to big data prob = data scientist + 'intuition.' What??? No way that machine-scale data + people will ever work.

— Stuart Frankel (@stuartfrankel) January 7, 2015


IB ImageJustin Massa

Follow @justinmassa //

Food Genius

CEO and founder

Big Data

Twitter profile:

"founder & ceo of @foodgenius | spouse of @atorg | dad of @marlowenola | NOLA transplant | maker of bitters"

third and final installation on pricing. The Cost of Outdated Pricing Strategies: Part 3 http://t.co/h1hh1g127H cc @foodgenius @qsqmagazine

— justinmassa (@justinmassa) November 21, 2014


IB ImageHoward Tullman

Follow @tullman

1871 and g2t3v

CEO and Managing Partner

Incubation, co-working and investing

Twitter profile:

"CEO - 1871 & General Managing Partner - G2T3V, LLC"

Fence It and Forget It : http://t.co/ebafe4gH3V via @BuiltInChicago

— Howard Tullman (@tullman) January 2, 2015


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Daniela Anavitarte Bolzmann

Follow @DanielaBolzmann //


CMO and co-founder


Twitter profile:

"CMO & CoFounder @WeDelivr @LocallyChi • @TechStars 14' • Passionate entrepreneur & Jill of all trades. #startuplife #mstech"

— Daniela @WeDelivr (@DanielaBolzmann) December 9, 2014



IB ImageDavid Kadavy

Follow @kadavy //

Design for Hackers

Author and designer


Twitter profile:

"Wrote Design for Hackers, which debuted at #18 on Amazon. Take my free email course..."

Start 2015 right and finally understand what makes beautiful design. Sign up for my free course: http://t.co/AIA9C1FWOs

— David Kadavy (@kadavy) January 2, 2015



IB ImageShanon Marks

Follow @madebyshanon


Chief Innovation Officer


Twitter profile:

"Chief Innovation Officer at MU/DAI. Producing intended effects."

Data all day long. The 33 weirdest charts from the 538. https://t.co/nfITtUHG0F

— Shanon Marks (@madebyshanon) December 31, 2014



IB ImageJeff Judge

Follow @jjudge //

Signal (now Signal Engage)

Co-founder and former CEO

Digital Marketing

Twitter profile:

"I am pretty excited about a lot of things"


— Jeff Judge (@jjudge) January 6, 2015



IB ImageDave Hoover

Follow @davehoover //

Dev Bootcamp

Founder and angel investor

Education and investing

Twitter Profile:

"Latent human potential pisses me off. @DevBootcamp co-founder. @apprenticeshipp co-author. Angel investor. Squirrel."

— Dave Hoover (@davehoover) January 5, 2015



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Neal Sales-Griffin

Follow @nealsales //

Starter League

Founder and CEO

Twitter profile:

"Co-Founder of @StarterLeague, launching @StarterSchool. I like video games. I build things. Would you kindly follow my twitter?"


— Neal Sales-Griffin (@nealsales) September 4, 2014




IB ImageJayna Cooke

Follow @JaynaCooke //



Event Website

Twitter profile:

"CEO & Founder @EVENTup | Former VP @Groupon | Founder of @Closet_Angels |  jaynacooke.com

— Jayna Cooke (@JaynaCooke) January 5, 2015


IB ImageSharon Schneider

Follow @sharonschneider //

Moxie Jean

CEO and founder

Clothing retail

Twitter profile:

"Be part of the solution! Taking resale mainstream with @moxiejeankids #collcons #mom #resalerockstars"

Thanks! RT @doughtrading: @sharonschneider, You made our list of 10 women impacting Chicago's tech & startup scene! http://t.co/ab39105RtP

— sharonschneider (@sharonschneider) October 30, 2014



IB ImagePaul Lee

Follow @iPaulLee //

CEO and co-founder

Company is in stealth mode


Twitter profile:

"Co-founder & CEO Stealth Co, former GP at @Lightbank, former founding Partner at NBC's Peacock Equity, Lecturer at..."

— Paul Lee (@iPaulLee) November 17, 2014


IB ImageShawn Carpenter

Follow @shawncarpenter


CEO and co-founder


Twitter profile:

"CEO / http://YCharts.com , Xoogler"


— Shawn Carpenter (@shawncarpenter) January 13, 2015



IB ImageMatt Maloney

Follow @M3aloney //


CEO and co-founder

Food delivery

Twitter profile:

"I founded GrubHub, I know who delivers."


— Matt Maloney (@M3aloney) September 10, 2013


IB ImageAdam Robinson

Follow @adrobins //



Human Resources

Twitter profile:

"Entrepreneur and pathological optimist. Our product helps managers make better hiring decisions and build great teams."

— Adam Robinson (@adrobins) August 12, 2014



IB ImageAdam Koopersmith

Follow @AKoopersmith //

Pritzker Group



Twitter profile: 

"Venture capital investor based in Chi, originally from the E. Coast. Still trying to get my kids to call them 'sneakers', but losing out..."

— Adam Koopersmith (@AKoopersmith) November 19, 2014



IB ImageGuy Turner

Follow @guyhturner //

Hyde Park Venture Partners

General Manager


Twitter profile:

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

— Guy Turner (@guyhturner) January 7, 2015



IB ImageJ.B. Pritzker

Follow @JBPritzker //

Pritzker Group 

Managing Partner


Twitter profile:

"Culture that breeds nimbleness and yields excellence. Values matter too. See also @PritzkerVC"


— J.B. Pritzker (@JBPritzker) August 22, 2014


IB ImageJeffrey Carter

Follow @pointsnfigures //

Hyde Park Angels

Managing Partner


Twitter profile:

"Former trader, angel investor Co-Founded Hyde Park Angels,  West Loop Ventures, Trustee @wwiimuseum"

— Jeffrey Carter (@pointsnfigures) January 8, 2015



IB ImageKevin Willer

Follow @kwiller //

Chicago Ventures, 1871



Twitter profile:

Twitter profile: "husband, dad, VC, Xoogler, 1871'er, angel, @ChicagoVentures @1871Chicago"

— kevin willer (@kwiller) December 5, 2014



IB ImageSean Johnson

Follow @intentionally //

Founder Equity

Founder and partner


Twitter profile:

"Sean Johnson is a partner @founderequity. Professor @KelloggSchool. Very pale."


— Sean Johnson (@intentionally) April 17, 2013


IB ImageDan Sinker

Follow @dansinker //

Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Project



Twitter profile:

"I make stuff. Heading up the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, author of @MayorEmanuel, founder of Punk Planet magazine"

— dan sinker (@dansinker) January 9, 2015



IB ImageAmanda Lannert

Follow @AmandaLannert //




Twitter profile:

“CEO of @JellyvisionLab... My personal twitter account. Thoughts on biz/start ups/marketing/tech and random hilarity ensue.”
— Amanda Lannert (@AmandaLannert) December 18, 2014



IB ImageAndy Crestondina

Follow @crestodina //

Orbit Web Design

Co-founder and Strategic Director


Twitter profile:

"Web strategist and co-founder of Orbit Media (@orbiteers). Speaker, content marketer, environmentalist and author"

— Andy Crestodina (@crestodina) June 25, 2014



IB ImageEric Lunt

Follow @elunt //

Signal (formerly BrightTag)

CTO and co-founder


Twitter profile:

"Signal CTO (formerly BrightTag), FeedBurner co-founder & CTO"


My mind kept going to this throughout the Apple announcements today. Anyone else? http://t.co/UIJpTQ4hgP

— Eric Lunt (@elunt) June 2, 2014



IB ImageShannon Downey

Follow @ShannonDowney //

Pivotal Chicago

CEO and founder


Twitter profile:

"Founder @PivotalChicago, DePaul Faculty, Advisor @GeekBarChicago. Globe Trekker, Geek, Whiskey Drinker, Feminist..."

— Shannon Downey (@ShannonDowney) October 29, 2014



IB ImageRishi Shah

Follow @RishiShah //

Context Media

CEO and founder


Twitter profile:

“Founder : Operator : Investor”



Anything honest enough, beautifully made, whether music, art or even a pair of shoes will ignite a following round' the world. @BucketFeet

— Rishi Shah (@RishiShah) October 22, 2014



IB ImageRoss Kimbarovsky

Follow @rosskimbarovsky //

Startup Foundry

CEO and founder


Twitter profile:

"Founder & CEO at Startup Foundry. Founder @crowdSPRING, contributor@EntMagazine, mentor @TechStars..."

Well written by @ev on how media (and people) abuse/misuse metrics ... A mile wide, an inch deep - http://t.co/ZCzXEWATxt

— Ross Kimbarovsky (@rosskimbarovsky) January 6, 2015


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Shradha Agarwal

Follow @shr4dha //

Context Media

President and co-founder


Twitter profile:

"Love building w/ purpose and people & designing from passion and experience. Co-Founder of ContextMedia & JumpStart Ventures."

Whoever wonders if entrepreneurship is execution business, or strategy... No "pivots" at @contextmediainc since 2006 pic.twitter.com/tDQaxVEhj3

— Shradha Agarwal (@shr4dha) November 6, 2014



IB ImageKaty Lynch

Follow @thekatylynch //

Manifest Digital

Portfolio Director

Media Agency

Twitter profile:

"Founder of SocialKaty, Inc. (now @ManifestDigital). Creator of #TravelTuesday. Named @CrainsChicago Top Tech 50..."

Super interesting stat! "89% of 18-29 year-olds are active on social media, as are 43% of adults 65 & older." - Jeff Bullas #socialmedia

— Katy Lynch (@thekatylynch) December 11, 2014



IB ImageJ Schwan

Follow @jschwan //

Solstice Mobile

CEO and founder

Mobile Apps

Twitter profile:

"My mission is to usher enterprises into the era of contextual computing. Founder, Solstice Mobile."

"The problem with the CurrentC system is that it’s based more around solving the retailers’ credit card fee problems…http://t.co/fYnruzxLut

— J Schwan (@jschwan) October 28, 2014



IB ImageWilliam Ready

Follow @williamready //


Braintree and Venmo

Digital payments

Twitter profile:

"CEO of @Braintree/@Venmo. Creating the easiest way to pay or get paid - online or on mobile."


Some of my thoughts on the future of commerce and mobile via @pandodaily "Hello, smart commerce" http://t.co/ctBBKkntcZ @braintree @venmo

— William Ready (@williamready) January 23, 2014



IB ImageDesiree Vargas

Follow @DesireeGF //



Online fundraising

Twitter profile:

"CEO GiveForward  (fundraising for medical expenses), zumba aficionado, stepmom, chicago social entrepreneur..."

I just published “The Best Ways to Give on #GivingTuesdayhttps://t.co/HImKd8gLB6

— Desiree Vargas W. (@DesireeGF) December 1, 2014



IB ImageJared McKiernan

Follow @jaredmckiernan //



Parking App

Twitter profile:

"I love the Internet, search marketing, analytics, math/stats, freestyle rhyme flow, craft beer & helping startups..."

Yahoo does seem to have picked up a decent amount of search traffic due to the Firefox deal. From 4.2% of our traffic LY to 7.6% TY dec-jan.

— Jared McKiernan (@jaredmckiernan) January 8, 2015



IB ImageJason Fried

Follow @jasonfried


CEO and founder


Twitter profile:

"Founder & CEO at Basecamp (formerly known as 37signals). Co-author of Getting Real, Remote, and NYT Bestseller REWORK."

Great design touch from Google —> https://t.co/cLV1m5V1fa

— Jason Fried (@jasonfried) January 7, 2015



IB ImageDavid Hansson

Follow @dhh //

Ruby on Rails and Basecamp

Creator, CTO and founder


Twitter profile:

"Creator of Ruby on Rails, Founder & CTO at Basecamp (formerly 37signals), NYT Best-selling author of REWORK and REMOTE, and..."

Start With No: https://t.co/FDCjxbV7zH

— DHH (@dhh) January 7, 2015



IB ImageJosh Inglis

Follow @Propllrhead //


CEO and founder

Public Relations

Twitter profile:

"I connect reporters with innovative people and companies / @CatapultChi partner / @Moneythink advisor / @1871Chicago Mentor..."

3 Reasons to Hire a Startup PR Firm – or Not To (so sayeth me) http://t.co/xzDAqojbb5

— Josh Inglis (@Propllrhead) December 2, 2014



IB ImageMatt Moog

Follow @mattmoog //

Power Reviews & Built In Chicago

CEO and founder

Consumer Review Software

Twitter profile:

"CEO of @powerofreviews and founder of @builtinchicago"


The Art of the Amateur Online Review http://t.co/XSP4jtaakP "...found online reviews to be remarkably well written." cc: @powerofreviews

— Matt Moog (@mattmoog) December 1, 2014



IB ImageLogan LaHive

Follow @loganlahive //


CEO and founder


Twitter profile:

"Founder/CEO of @BellyCard. From the Bay, but firmly planted in Chicago. Love startups and the 49ers. Besides living life, those fill up my time."

Smart. RT "At @Quirky, we measure employees on impatience, ability to embrace conflict...& how much stuff to you get done." @BenKaufman

— Logan LaHive (@loganlahive) December 9, 2014



IB ImageHarper Reed

Follow @harper //

Obama for America & Modest

Former CTO, currently CEO

Social Media

Twitter profile:

"I am pretty awesome. Check out this simple guide to my tweets // former CTO @ Obama for America // founder of Modest"

brb. analyzing my .zsh_history file: https://t.co/XVFqMiczH8 Nice work @brandondamos

— harper (@harper) December 24, 2014



IB ImageJustyn Howard

Follow @Justyn //

Sprout Social

CEO and founder

Social Media

Twitter profile:

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

Decreasing customer churn and increasing customer retention are two very different efforts. A lot of co's focused on the wrong one.

— Justyn Howard (@Justyn) October 31, 2014



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Maria Katris

Follow @mariakatris

Built In


Tech jobs and news

Twitter profile:

"mother, wife, entrepreneur... advocate for digital tech cos @BuiltInChicago, @BuiltInLA, @BuiltInColorado, @BuiltInAustin"

The list is out! The 2014 Top 100 Digital Companies in Chicago: http://t.co/U6LyYX0PCB via @BuiltInChicago

— Maria Katris (@mariakatris) October 30, 2014

*full disclosure: Maria Katris is the CEO of Built In, which operates Built In Chicago. 



IB ImageDavid Rush

Follow @davidmrush //


CEO and founder

Social Media Advertising Software

Twitter profile:

"CEO and Co-Founder of @earshotinc"


Why Data Is the New 'Oil' http://t.co/OGBB3Ehuev

— David Rush (@davidmrush) October 29, 2014



IB ImageIrv Shapiro

Follow @irvshapiro




Twitter profile:

"I build technology companies."



— Irv Shapiro (@irvshapiro) November 10, 2014



IB ImageGolli Hashemian

Follow @golgolli //

UX designer, Startup Institute

UX researcher

User experience

Twitter profile:

"UX research and design strategist. Organize @chiDUXX & @ixdachicago. Teach @StartupInst..."

I think designers are overusing progressive disclosure for mobile and it will soon go the way of the carousel. #ux

— Golli Hashemian (@golgolli) April 4, 2014



IB ImageRob DeMento

Follow @RobDeMento //

Mira Fitness



Twitter profile:

"Chicago-based growth company enthusiast. Student of digital. Mira Fitness CEO. Proud canine/human dad & husband. Music fan..."


Interesting concept. Call it the Warby Parker of wearable fitness and sleep trackers: https://t.co/S1wakAAge5

— Rob DeMento (@RobDeMento) January 13, 2015


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