Summer Tech Watch: 30 Chicago Companies to Know

As summer is heating up, so too is Chicago’s tech scene. Check out 30 companies that reward their employees with standout perks and benefits.

Written by Kimberly Valentine
Published on Jun. 30, 2022
Summer Tech Watch: 30 Chicago Companies to Know
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Summer is finally here. Whether you’re working on a tan, biking all 18 miles of the Lakefront Trail or restaurant-hopping through the West Loop’s outdoor dining scene, it might also be a good time to catch up on the movers and shakers in your local tech scene — and Built In Chicago has curated 30 noteworthy companies to get you started.

With $1.4 billion raised by Chicago startups in Q1, many of the city’s tech employers are unveiling upgrades to the breadth, depth and inclusion of their culture and perks.

The Chicago-based companies featured here are unique in many ways, but all 30 have one thing in common: They are exciting, people-first organizations worth keeping on your radar in the summer ahead.


Businessman using fingerprint indentification to access personal financial data



What they do: TransUnion taps into credit and public records data to provide transparency for decision-making. Services range from credit checks and identity proofing to data breach and debt recovery. 


The perks:

  • Adoption assistance
  • Post-parental leave return-to-work plan 
  • Backup childcare and eldercare services through Care@Work
  • Nonprofit partners such as Child Rescue Coalition and Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE)
  • Paid volunteer time as well as up to $2,000 per year matching contributions of each employee’s donations 


Investing in long-term development: We’ve established a culture of ongoing education, and invest in our associates because we recognize the value of their active partnership,” said Deepika Duggirala, senior vice president of global technology platforms. “We’re continually expanding the training opportunities and development programs we offer to empower them with new skill sets and prepare them to become future change agents at TransUnion.” 




What they do: Motorola Solutions develops communication, video and security technology solutions to keep communities and businesses safe. Its command center software provides both enterprises and public safety institutions with real-time intelligence and engagement capabilities. 


The perks:

  • Company-sponsored industry certification courses 
  • Paid online course subscriptions 
  • Employees can allot time to learning
  • Adoption assistance 
  • Up to 12 weeks of family medical leave for employees who have been with the company for at least 12 months 


Supporting one another professionally: We have several employee-led business councils, which provide professional and personal growth opportunities, impact business results and ensure diversity and inclusion are woven into the DNA of our company culture,” Kristin Kruska, corporate VP, transactions, corporate and securities law and secretary, told Built In Chicago last year. As a sponsor of the Women’s Business Council, Kruska said it was “created to help empower, develop and support the continued success of Motorola Solutions’ female employees through programming, mentorship, networking and philanthropic opportunities.”




What they do: CNA insures companies ranging from technology to life sciences, real estate and healthcare, protecting their physical and digital assets as well as defending against cyber and information risk. Each business is analyzed in order to curate the best solutions for full protection. 


The perks:

  • Ability to enroll in healthcare benefits from day one of employment (dependents, too)
  • Adoption assistance program 
  • Relocation assistance for those who prefer to work from the office
  • Company equity 
  • Employee stock options


Diverse perspectives: “I enjoy working with an extremely talented team. This data science group has diverse backgrounds, from actuaries to teachers to linguists, which enables us to get different points of view on our projects,” Bill Stergiou, AVP of data science, told Built In Chicago in April. “Our team is lucky to be able to work on interesting challenges that require out-of-the-box thinking.”



HR manager using a computer to search and select job applicants



What they do: Paylocity unifies HR and payroll onto one platform that’s customizable for companies of different sizes and in different industries. Its platform ensures everything from recruiting and onboarding to employee recognition and engagement is accomplishable. 


The perks:

  • Mentorship program customized to meet individual career development goals (options include one-to-one, cross-departmental and leadership mentoring)
  • Employee resource groups to promote inclusion 
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion team
  • Documented equal pay policy
  • Flexible schedule


A trove of local talent: “We’ve really found [Illinois] to be a great place to be able to draw people with a wide level of diversity, both in experience and background,” CEO Steve Beauchamp told Built In Chicago. “I think the more diverse your workforce, the better results you can get. It doesn’t surprise me that so many Illinois companies are having success.” 




What they do: Wintrust Financial Corporation is a financial services holding company operating a family of community banks. The financial firm also specializes in wealth management and lending services for businesses in the Chicago area. 


The perks:

  • Promote-from-within culture enhanced by cross-functional training opportunities
  • Mentorship program
  • 401(k) matching
  • Performance bonuses 
  • Employee stock purchase plans 


A positive impact on the community: While a focus on the bottom line usually creates wealth for an individual, it also offers an individual the opportunity, and I believe the obligation, to give back to society. If you impact the bottom line for an organization, management will typically reward you with super cool projects, more resources and ultimately more money, which you can then use to better society,” Jennifer Morris, chief marketing officer, told Built In Chicago in January. “Wintrust consistently gives directly back to the communities it serves. It is one of the many reasons I joined the company.”




What they do: GoHealth is a health insurance marketplace that makes it simpler to compare plans. With sights set on improving access to healthcare in the United States, the marketplace supports streamlined Medicare enrollment.


The perks:

  • Employees have opportunities to join supportive ERGs
  • Interest-driven employee groups that participate in activities such as running and volleyball
  • Home office stipend to set up comfortable at-home workspaces
  • LinkedIn Learning subscription
  • Cross-departmental mentorship program 


One ERG to note: Women@TeamGoHealth is a group of employees dedicated to supporting and mentoring women in the workplace,” Lauren Blackburn, director of corporate communication, told Built In Chicago last year. “Our goal is to build friendships, develop careers and foster support among women employees. This may include providing social opportunities for women, creating opportunities for mentorship and establishing a forum for discussion of women’s issues in the workplace.”



Image gallery on a smartphone



What they do: Getty Images delivers compelling visual content to publishers, brands and creatives. Company-operated photo sources include, and 


The perks:

  • Health benefits (for employees who work at least 25 hours per week)
  • Flexible vacation time for salaried employees
  • Up to 27 days of vacation per year for hourly employees
  • Reimbursement of up to $10,000 in eligible expenses for employees starting a family through adoption or surrogacy
  • Employee Assistance Program that provides three free counseling visits and life coaching sessions


A caring team environment: “At Getty Images, people genuinely care about each other. There is always a chance for you to find a good friend here that truly cares about your well-being and your development — and how that all falls into the context of the company,” said Anis Zarei, senior manager of development, marketing operations. 




What they do: Inspira Financial is a fintech firm that educates and prepares clients for retirement readiness. With experts in specialized custody solutions, clients include institutions, advisors and individuals. 


The perks:

  • Full range of healthcare benefits, including pet insurance
  • 401(k) matching
  • Well-being portal with articles and videos 
  • On-site gym
  • Company-sponsored volunteer events


The best solutions come from anyone: “Everyone rallies around initiatives and changes — we want to get things done,” Sirisha Gorjala, chief product officer, told Built In Chicago last year. “Here, you are empowered to make a change and see it reflected in the company’s overall growth.” 




What they do: Pricefx is a software company that provides a pricing software solution. The native cloud and SaaS platform helps both B2B and B2C clients optimize pricing and increase profits. 


The perks:

  • Flexible schedules outside of the core working hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m
  • Stipend of $240 per month to support remote work needs
  • Twelve weeks of paid parental leave, with the option to take an additional 12 weeks
  • Employees choose from three healthcare plans, including options that are fully paid for by Pricefx 
  • Sponsored race teams and a Strava membership to compete with global employees in running and biking


Taking ownership: I trust my team to do the job I hired them to do without the need to micromanage,” Randy Spal, head of global business development, told Built In Chicago last year. “That’s a huge part of the Pricefx culture: Everyone’s empowered to try their best and do their job to their fullest ability. And if there is something that might need a little fine-tuning, your manager is there to help carry you over that finish line.”




What they do: Devbridge develops custom software to enable smooth digital transformations. Working with businesses ranging from automotive to healthcare to financial services, individualized consulting defines the right strategy to lead organizational change. 


The perks:

  • Monthly company-sponsored team-building events
  • Companywide summer camp in Lithuania (when financial goals are met)
  • 401(k) matching
  • Employee referral bonus program
  • Monthly wellness stipend


Driven by growth: “Everyone here is very growth-minded and has an endless appetite for mastery,” May Cheng, product design lead, told Built In Chicago last year. “We’re all innately motivated, and I think that’s what collectively drives us.”



Busy female secretary at desk checks smart calendar



What they do: Instawork connects businesses with hourly workers through its staffing platform. Business owners in food and beverage, hospitality and warehousing are able to post available shifts and vet and accept staff members to fill them. 


The perks:

  • Commuter benefits for in-office employees
  • Stocked office kitchen
  • Home office stipend for remote employees
  • Flexible spending account benefits
  • Company equity program


Partnering with service members: This June, Instawork announced a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes organization, intended to support those who have served in the military as well as their families. Through this partnership, military-affiliated workers, such as military spouses, will be able to use the Instawork platform to create their work schedule of availability that fits around other life responsibilities. 




What they do: Founded in 2013, Home Chef is the leading meal solutions company with both a retail and online presence. Available online at and in retail at more than 2,100 Kroger grocery stores, Home Chef is committed to inspiring and enabling more people to cook simple, delicious meals, no matter how busy they are.


The perks:

  • Vision, dental and health insurance
  • 401(k) matching
  • Employee discount
  • Flexible paid time off
  • ERGs including CookOUT (LGTBQ+), Black ERG, Parents Group, Women's Group and Home Chef DEI Council


Creating a place people want to stay: We want Home Chef to be a great place for everyone to work — not just for our salaried teams or for one specific location. We want culture to take on a life of its own at each of our facilities,” Jasmine Primm, director of human resources and diversity, equity and inclusion, told Built In Chicago in March. “We’re constantly evaluating how and what we spend to grow and develop our people to retain them for longer.”




What they do: CoinFlip operates a network of Bitcoin ATMs across the United States, enabling users to buy and sell cryptocurrency on the spot. At the same time, these depositories are increasing access to cryptocurrency and accelerating the adoption of the digital currency.


The perks:

  • Commuter benefits
  • Stocked kitchen and free daily meals onsite
  • Open-door policy
  • Open-office plan
  • Company equity and performance-based incentives


A variety of interests: “We have an extremely diverse, yet like-minded group of people at CoinFlip, with backgrounds ranging from professional gamers and musical artists to drift car racers and 30-year veterans in finance,” said Marketing Lead Daniel Tremulis. “We don’t have a 9-5 policy, and working from home is always an option, so it’s always exciting to hear what people are doing outside the office.”




What they do: Cooler Screens is reinventing the consumer retail experience with IoT-enabled point-of-sale merchandising screens for cold products. The technology blends e-commerce with brick-and-mortar shopping to improve the customer experience while collecting valuable data insights for retailers. 


The perks:

  • Access to a 529 college savings plan that helps prepare and save for childrens’ college expenses
  • Remote work available
  • Commuter benefits
  • Four weeks of paid vacation 
  • Free breakfast onsite every Tuesday and lunch every Friday 


Who they’re hiring: The company has coolers in Walgreens and other stores nationwide, and as it looks to increase its presence, hiring top talent is a high priority. Data and analytics as well as engineering and development roles are available as well as operations positions to help the company scale its sales and logistics. 




What they do: VirtuSense develops AI sensors to provide predictive patient data to help inform physicians, caregivers and families. Sensors track movements and anomalies in chronically ill patients and can detect early warning signs of a serious health episode, leading to quicker intervention and care. 


The perks:

  • Flexible schedules 
  • Remote work program 
  • Promote-from-within culture
  • Access to cross-functional training
  • Allotted time for learning 


Rising to the challenge: “VST offers an incredible amount of experience and involvement across multiple departments,” said J.D. Hasler, director of client success. “Being the manager of a large-scale, high-profile launch of our product, there has been a lot of knowledge gained that challenges our teams, creating an environment that promotes continual education of the senior healthcare spectrum.” 




What they do: SilkRoad delivers HR software solutions to streamline and simplify the recruiting and onboarding process. Clients are better able to support their employees through transitions, provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities, and set and track performance goals.  


The perks:

  • Twelve weeks of paid parental leave plus an additional four weeks of unpaid leave
  • Back-to-work transition program following parental leave
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Internal learning platform
  • 401(k) matching


Bringing mental health into focus:We expanded wellness benefits to include a mental fitness app and increased communication on mental health topics to enhance self-awareness and destigmatize the subject,” Lisa Matuszek, director of people success and total rewards, told Built In Chicago last month. “We recently offered a program on building resilience during challenging times and streamed sessions on similar topics.”  



Virtual Video Conference Webinar Call.



What they do: SpotMe powers a B2B event marketing platform that helps businesses produce seamless virtual and hybrid events. Clients have access to proven event-building templates, tools for increasing engagement and interaction, and features to optimize audience insights and lead generation. 


The perks:

  • In addition to a company computer, new employees are provided with an $800 stipend to set up their home office
  • Work-from-anywhere policy 
  • Company-paid premiums for employees’ vision, disability and life insurance
  • Performance bonuses
  • 401(k) matching


Common bonds: Working in a company filled with people from diverse backgrounds means there will always be unique outlooks and different approaches to solving problems,” said Alex Schneider, sales engineering manager. “It’s so great to see that we all share the same concerns when you strip everything away.”




What they do: OppFi is a fintech platform that helps customers rebuild financial health through credit and savings access. The company offers a quick application process for consumers and alternative data underwriting algorithms for banking partners. 


The perks:

  • Downtown Chicago office with free shuttle passes to Metra stations
  • Fully stocked kitchen with healthy snacks and drinks 
  • On-site state-of-the-art fitness center
  • Intramural sports leagues
  • Flexible paid vacation policy


Wellness matters: We recently implemented wellness days, which are planned days for intentional self-care. It’s often easier to prioritize time off for vacations, however, it’s just as important to take time off to intentionally care for your own well-being,” Leila El-Badawi, lead of employee benefits and well-being, told Built In Chicago last month. “Through wellness days, employees are empowered to proactively prioritize their well-being by taking one self-care day each month, in addition to regular time off.”




What they do: Crisp Thinking empowers customers with real-time risk intelligence. The AI tech solution helps to protect people and brands from reputational damage and online threats. 


The perks:

  • Access to an in-house clinical psychologist 
  • Subsidized gym membership
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion team
  • Diverse hiring practices (21 nationalities represented)
  • Documented equal pay policy 


Open doors: I like to be an empathetic, approachable and collaborative leader, not just within the people function but across all teams,” said Kirsten Brumfitt, VP of people. “Although we’re hybrid working, the door is always open for a quick hangout chat, although nothing beats a face-to-face catch up over a coffee or strong cup of tea.”




What they do: A digital business consulting and technology solutions company, Productive Edge helps organizations and their leaders transform their businesses with digital technologies. Productive Edge’s clients include Fortune 1000 companies in the healthcare, retail, financial services, sports and entertainment industries.


The perks:

  • Quarterly outings, weekly events and informal get-togethers after work
  • Nonprofit partners including the UIC Black Tech Scholars Program, TechGirlz, Lincoln Park Conservancy and The Birthday Project
  • Matching charitable contributions
  • Special interest groups
  • Full suite of health insurance, including pet insurance and mental health benefits


Community work:PE Cares is a program dedicated to giving back to the local community, and we do so in a variety of ways that are reflective of the Productive Edge culture,” Client Director Tim Arnold told Built In Chicago. “We’ve worked with animal shelters to assist in creating materials they need for homeless pets, and we help to attack the homeless problem in Chicago by partnering with the Chicago Food Depository.”




What they do: Hologram powers a global cellular platform, connecting any device to the internet. The IoT dashboard enables management of agricultural sensors, medicine-delivering drones, shipping containers, payment terminals and more. 


The perks:

  • Unlimited PTO policy with an expectation to take at least two weeks off
  • No tracking of sick days so employees can take the time they need to mend
  • Volunteer time off
  • Parental leave of 14 weeks for both primary and secondary parents 
  • Flexible schedules 


A new hub: Hologram continues to operate as a remote-first company, but following a $65 million Series B funding round last year, it opened up an office at 167 North Green Street in Fulton Market to provide employees a meeting and training hub. The collaborative space boasts a rooftop terrace, gym and basketball court. 



group of people fishing in a river



What they do: Catch Co. builds communities that enjoy fishing. The company’s digitally based fishing brands are centered on customer experience and aim to inspire people to get outdoors. 


The perks:

  • Opportunities to volunteer at company-organized events such as waterfront clean-ups in the Chicago area
  • Two four-day company retreats each year
  • Robust healthcare options, including 100 percent coverage of employees’ basic dental, vision and disability insurance plans
  • Pet insurance 
  • Dog-friendly office 


Boosting the energy: “Catch Co. has its very own spirit week where all of the employees are split into houses and compete in all sorts of digital games, trivia, bingo, tackle rigging competition and even photo scavenger hunts,” said Allie Klawitter, in-house multimedia associate. “Nothing like some friendly competition with your coworkers.”




What they do: Machinio powers a platform for coordinating the buying and selling of heavy equipment. Used construction, agricultural, printing and processing equipment is listed by category and location so that buyers can quickly connect with sellers. 


The perks:

  • Quarterly outings, holiday parties, trivia nights and happy hours
  • Remote work options
  • Unlimited vacation policy
  • Excellent range of healthcare plans
  • Flexible spending accounts for things like commuter costs and dependent care


A place to develop careers: “Machinio was one of my first jobs and it has taught me a ton,” said Sam Mulkey, head of U.S. auctions. “I have learned several new selling and communication techniques throughout my four years of employment. Management is dedicated to helping their employees improve.”




What they do: CraftJack powers a platform that connects home service professionals with homeowners who need their services. Contractors are able to manage their leads and jobs as well as customer reviews and brand reputation. 


The perks:

  • Pair programming and daily syncs for engineers
  • Access to job training and conferences
  • Company-sponsored volunteer projects with organizations including Habitat for Humanity
  • Remote work program for all full-time positions
  • Unlimited vacation time


Working smarter, not longer: “Our ethos on work-life balance and productivity today is all about performance and delivering results — less about the hours and more about the quality of the work itself,” said Noah Mishkin, founder and VP of operations. “We prefer working smarter than working longer, often resulting in individuals curating their own day with enough overlap for collaboration while affording personal flexibility.”



person holding a credit card paying on a credit card machine



What they do: CardX provides businesses with the ability to accept credit cards with no cost. The company offers technology-automated compliance with surcharging rules, allowing businesses to keep their payments acceptance simple while providing their customers the option to pay by card.


The perks:

  • Paid industry certifications and online courses
  • Paid conference attendance 
  • Cross-functional training
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Performance bonuses 


Growing together: Openness to ideas is a major driver of CardX’s continued expansion. “The engineering team’s dynamics at CardX are the best I have ever seen in my career,” Jay Patrick De Guzman, lead software engineer, told Built In Chicago last year. “This is a team that is open to new ideas and is constantly learning and growing. We take pride in the fact that every engineer can make a big difference in the codebase, no matter how long they have been at the company.”




What they do: Black Spectacles is an edtech company that powers a learning platform for architects. Its study materials and resources help to prepare people for licensing exams and learn the latest software tools.  


The perks:

  • Unlimited vacation time
  • Half-day Fridays year round
  • Virtual workouts
  • Work-from-wherever policy
  • Commuter benefits


What “purpose-driven” looks like: “Some companies focus on revenue first. And then there are companies who focus on a purpose first,” CEO and founder Marc Teer told Built In Chicago in an interview. “The ones that focus on a core purpose usually outperform — in many ways, not just financially. We’ve adopted that same approach. We’re a purpose-driven company that believes if we stay passionate about helping architects navigate their careers, everything else will fall in place.”




What they do: Bento for Business offers a financial operating platform that helps small and medium-sized businesses to manage daily expenses, virtual payments and cashless workflows. The company’s card-based platform and tools make it simple to consolidate what had been cumbersome tasks like reimbursing employees, cutting checks, reconciling receipts and managing petty cash.


The perks:

  • Flexible schedule
  • Ample health, vision and dental benefits
  • Onsite gym with new fitness equipment, classes and locker rooms
  • Casual attire
  • Unlimited vacation time 


Upgrading inside the box: “We use our own product to manage our everyday business expenses,” CTO Jonathan Su told Built In Chicago last year. “Having a distributed workforce ourselves that precedes the pandemic has led to continued improvements in the end-to-end customer experience. Our best product ideas come from our teams. Many features included in our recent product advancements in mobile, AI-powered receipts management, accounting and reconciliation originated from them.”




What they do: Carrum Health’s mission is to simplify the healthcare payment model. By directly connecting progressive self-insured employers to top-quality regional healthcare providers through a comprehensive bundled payment solution, Carrum Health is working to produce greater clarity and greater value for employers and their employees.


The perks:

  • Casually attired, pet-friendly office 
  • Dedicated DEI staff
  • Documented equal pay policies
  • Hiring practices that promote inclusion
  • Company equity and stock purchase plan, along with performance bonuses


An attractive purpose: In addition to competitive compensation, Carom Health offers its team members the chance to work toward a mission. “We have found in an extremely competitive job market that being proactive with candidates and audiences has really helped ensure we can stand out from the crowd,” Dan Nardi, chief operating officer, told Built In Chicago last year. “Not as many people are cruising job postings and applying on their own anymore; rather, they are looking for mission-driven companies that will allow them to solve big problems, have more of an impact and serve a higher purpose.”



File cabinets in a digital space.



What they do: TackleAI builds machine learning software integrations that convert unstructured documents into accessible data. The software helps healthcare, legal, finance and defense industries by not only scanning and storing critical data but also categorizing and managing it so that it’s immediately actionable.  


The perks:

  • Unlimited vacation policy requiring a minimum of 15 days
  • Flexible schedule
  • Three salary reviews each year
  • Performance bonuses
  • Stock purchase plans and company equity 


Growth, talent and teamwork: “My vision is that TackleAI will become the de facto gold standard for document deconstruction and data extraction,” said Eric Ginder, SVP of software engineering. “TackleAI’s proprietary technology will enable true AI autonomy where human involvement is no longer necessary. Rapid company growth, hiring the best talent and teamwork is the key to being the first to achieve this ambitious goal.”




What they do: Veritas Health is a health-focused publishing platform that connects people with reliable and accurate health information. The rigorous editorial process and regular reviews ensure trustworthy information on spine, arthritis and sports health topics. 


The perks:

  • Flexible schedule
  • Hybrid work model
  • Ergonomic in-office workspaces with standing desks and ball chairs
  • Kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and drinks
  • On-site gym


Thinking big and having fun: I always say to my team, ‘It’s a great day at work if we feel like we’ve played all day,’” Jeana Clark, director of creative media, told Built In Chicago in an interview. “Our team members are highly motivated and highly skilled. Tapping the best talent means we don’t need a lot of redundancy. We will have duplicate roles as we grow, but each employee is empowered to think big, take risks and bring new ideas back to the team.”



Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via Shutterstock.

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