Spring Tech Watch 2024: 7 Chicago Companies Poised for Growth

These Chicago tech companies are ready for the superbloom that comes with warmer days. Here are the ones to watch.
Written by Conlan Carter
March 21, 2024Updated: April 2, 2024

Thawing ice, budding greenery and the promise of warmer days ahead — there’s a sparkling optimism in the Chicago spring air.  

As Chicagoans start strolling along Lake Shore Drive and early beach-goers step onto the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago’s tech scene blossoms. Built In Chicago has curated a list of seven noteworthy companies gearing up for a superbloom.  

These Chicago companies each have a distinct vision for the future, but what all seven have in common is a curated crop of people-first benefits. Before your next afternoon stroll, take a moment to learn more about what Chicago’s top tech companies have to offer: a breath of fresh air. 

 

What Reverb does: Reverb is an e-commerce music marketplace on a mission to make the world more musical. Working together, the Reverb team helps music makers all over the world and sellers of all sizes connect over the perfect piece of music gear.

 

CORE VALUES

  • Lead with enthusiasm by producing high-quality work
  • Learn and teach by staying curious
  • Work in harmony by coming together and collaborating as one team
  • Embrace creativity in all forms by balancing ideas, intuition, and insights
  • Own our performance by taking the initiative to positively impact our marketplace and community


 

Investing in diversity, equity and inclusion: Reverb has made an ongoing commitment to DEI with intentional dei hiring efforts, better pay transparency and equity, targeted mentorship and career development and seven employee resource groups. Last year, Built In Chicago spoke with Data Engineer Tammy Tian about her experience co-leading the company’s mental health and wellness ERG. “I feel I have resources and insights that I can share with my colleagues to make work work for them and help ensure Reverb remains a joyful and people-first place to work,” said Tian.

 

 

What McDonald’s does: McDonald’s is the world’s leading global food service retailer with over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. It  feeds 68 million people every day and, along with its franchisees, employs 1.9 million people worldwide.

 

THE PERKS

  • 401(K) matching and equity option
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff
  • Generous parental leave, adoption assistance and childcare benefits

 

Breaking barriers for youth opportunity: One way McDonald’s gives back to its communities is through the Youth Opportunity Program, which provides job readiness training, workplace development programs and job opportunities to young people, especially those in underserved communities.

 

 

What Buildout does: Buildout is a family of corporate real estate software products and services that help the best brokers find, win, market and transact properties to maximize their deal efforts and maximize wins.

 

THE PERKS

  • 401(K) matching
  • Job training, continuing education stipend and a bias to promote from within
  • Unlimited PTO

 

A more holistic approach to hiring: When Built In Chicago asked hiring managers to share remote interview advice, Senior Business Partner Olivia Mackay encouraged interviewees to come as their authentic selves to the hiring process. “At Buildout, we pride ourselves on our quirkiness and we want to surround ourselves with people who are going to push us forward and be genuine in what they do.

 

 

What Walgreens does: Walgreens sells prescription and over-the-counter drugs, beauty and personal care items, household products, convenience and fresh foods and photofinishing products through multiple channels, including its mobile app and in-store clinics.

 

THE PERKS

  • Hybrid and remote work programs
  • 401(K) and equity option
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff and mandated unconscious bias training

 

Supporting women in tech: In a recent conversation with Built In Chicago, Motolani Alimi shared her experience joining Walgreens as an associate data scientist after applying on a “leap of faith” after completing her master's and growing with the support of her team. “I have cherished the opportunity to collaborate with remarkable team members; facing different projects with openness, a willingness to learn and fostering valuable connections I encounter daily have helped to transform my career and reputation at Walgreens.”

 

 

What Getty Images does: Getty Images is a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace, creating and distributing award-winning still imagery, video, music, and multimedia products.
 

THE PERKS

  • 401(K) matching
  • Job training, mentorship program and a bias to promote from within
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff and mandated unconscious bias training

 

Building community through career growth: When sharing his best practices for career progression with Built In Chicago, Senior Software Engineer Jacob Gulotta mentioned that Getty Images provides many opportunities for learning and team-building as part of their company culture. “Getty Images fosters a culture of learning and sharing knowledge through conference attendance, internal programs and company-led hackathon events, all of which I highly value and appreciate as a member of the technology team.”

 

 

What Ascendco Health does: Ascendco Health is a health tech company that is devoted to empowering surgical teams with the tools and information they need to create a better work-life and ultimately deliver the highest levels of patient care, providing the first surgical asset management platform built for operational efficiency and quality across every department.

 

THE PERKS

  • Remote and hybrid work programs
  • 401(K) and performance bonuses
  • Job training and a bias to promote from within

 

Making medical data accessible: Using modern data technology, Ascendco Health is helping medical providers understand and act on medical information faster. In an article on the digital transformation in modern healthcare from Healthcare Purchasing News, CEO Brian Reed explained how the surgical asset management platform cleans up data. “Ascendco Health’s platform works around its own instrument tracking system and legacy tracking systems to ‘fix that complicated data problem that hospitals can’t fix on their own.’”

 

 

What CPI OpenFox does: Computer Projects of Illinois, Inc., or CPI, is a privately held corporation that delivers market-leading software solutions to the law enforcement industry with its OpenFox Product Suite.

 

THE PERKS

  • Remote work program
  • 401(K) matching and equity option
  • Documented equal pay policy

 

Contributing as a team: The company culture at CPI provides an encouraging environment for all team members to share their ideas and feedback. Built In Chicago asked Technical Lead Manager Eric Clevenger about the collaborative culture at CPI. “We strive to make sure that every team member listens to each other, and when they commit to a decision or an idea, they follow up. Everyone knows their contributions are important, and they rely on one another to hold their weight.”

 

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