Making a Real Impact: Chicago’s Mission-Driven Companies of the Month

These nine organizations are redefining business and technology to make their goals a reality.
Written by Conlan Carter
March 29, 2024Updated: March 29, 2024

“Put your money where your mouth is.”

In the Chicago tech scene, it is rare to see a company that doesn’t encapsulate this well-worn idiom — backing up its mission with real commitments, business goals and culture initiatives. Mission-centered companies signal to their customers that they follow through on their promises, and they inspire employees with goal-driven work.

According to research from Imperative, purpose-oriented employees are 54 percent more likely to stay at their company for over five years and 30 percent more likely to perform better. In the modern, information-driven era, companies that build and maintain trust with customers and employees are a step ahead to long-term success.

This month, Built In Chicago is featuring nine standout, mission-driven companies that truly aim to make a difference, from improving healthcare data to making snack time a bit more eco-friendly. Chicago professionals looking to land a role at a company that inspires them should take a moment to browse our March featured companies.

 

 

What they do: HealthJoy’s AI-powered app guides customers to affordable, high-quality healthcare in one unified digital experience.

 

THE PERKS

  • Remote work program
  • 401(K) matching and equity option
  • Job training, paid industry certifications and a preference to promote from within
  • Documented equal pay policy and identity-focused ERGs.

 

Harnessing data for accessible healthcare: On a mission to transform healthcare into a simplified, convenient experience for customers seeking benefits, HealthJoy combines data-driven technology with human concierge services to deliver the right information at the right time. In a recent product update, HealthJoy announced its Find Care search tool is now powered by Ribbon Health, a data network that encompasses 99.9 percent of providers in the United States.

 

 

What they do: Morningstar provides an extensive line of products and services for research-backed investment.

 

THE PERKS

  • 401(K) matching and equity option
  • Job training, mentorship program, tuition reimbursement and a preference for promotion from within
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff and mandated unconscious bias training
  • Generous parental leave, childcare benefits and adoption assistance

 

Staying on top of tech trends: Inspiration and education are the foundation of the Morningstar team’s mission to empower investor success. In a recent conversation with Built In Chicago, Senior Software Engineer Shivangi Bansal shared that she takes courses on Udemy, Coursera and LinkedIn to stay on top of the latest updates in tech — all supported by Morningstar’s educational stipend.

 

 

What they do: Grubhub provides a global online food delivery platform connecting diners to the local food they love.

 

THE PERKS

  • 401(K) matching and equity option
  • Job training, mentorship program, education stipend and a preference to promote from within
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff and mandated unconscious bias training
  • Weekly meal credit and half-day Fridays

 

A culture of celebration: With a mission to champion restaurants and the communities they serve, Grubhub has built a healthy internal culture of frequent celebrations, winning as a team and finding creative ways to build community together — even for remote employees. In a recent article highlighting sales team culture, Built In Chicago learned that the Grubhub sales team stays active by focusing on employee engagement and fun as much as revenue goals.

 

 

What they do: Mondelēz International is an American multinational confectionery, food and beverage company based in Illinois leading the future of snacking around the world by offering the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.

 

THE PERKS

  • Hybrid work program
  • 401(K) matching and performance bonuses
  • Job training, mentorship program, tuition reimbursement and a preference to promote from within
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff and mandated unconscious bias training

 

The right food at the right time: As a snack company, Mondelēz International aims to empower its customers to never choose between snacking and eating the right foods. One of the ways Mondelēz International does so is by committing to sustainability across its supply chain. In a recent milestone update, Mondelēz International announced that its plan for zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and no deforestation by 2025 was moving forward on schedule. The team at Mondelēz International is using research-backed methodologies for this plan while leveraging the company’s influence to inspire more innovation in food sustainability.

 

A classroom of children looks at a digital display as their teacher indicates something on the board.
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What they do: Elevate K-12 brings equitable, high-quality learning and teaching opportunities to educators and students, regardless of zip code with high-quality online edtech.

 

THE PERKS

  • 401(K) and performance bonuses
  • Professional development training and a preference to promote from within
  • Generous PTO, paid holidays and sick days
  • Diversity-focused hiring practices

 

Accessible education through technology: Providing much-needed resources for the education field, Elevate K-12 strives to make a noticeable difference in the lives of its users. The Rockdale County Board of Education was recently given the Leading Edge Award by the Georgia School Boards Association and credited Elevate K-12 for its support. Additionally, Elevate K-12 is expanding, bringing on a Chief Sales Officer, growing its sales team and extending its customer base to new counties in Alaska and North Carolina.

 

 

What they do: Pangea Money Transfer offers a smarter way for people to move money around the world to friends and family.

 

THE PERKS

  • Hybrid work program
  • 401(K) matching and equity option
  • Job training, mentorship program, education stipend and a preference of promotion from within
  • Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff and mandated unconscious bias training

 

Making a real impact at a growing organization: As a fintech company, Pangea’s tech solutions have a tangible impact on the lives of its customers. At the Pangea office, employees feel the impact of their work every day. In a recent conversation with Built In Chicago, Strategy and Operations Manager Claire Moller shared her insight into how the company culture is thriving as the team grows: “It’s really exciting to be part of a growing company that is launching new products all while remaining lean enough that our daily work has a direct business impact.”

 

 

What they do: Founded in Chicago in 1987, SRAM, LLC has grown to be one of the world's largest bicycle component manufacturers. 

 

THE PERKS

  • 401(K) matching and performance bonuses
  • Relocation assistance and pet-friendly offices
  • Generous PTO

 

Advocating for cycling and a better planet: As part of its ongoing mission to improve infrastructure, access and inclusion for cyclists and the environment, SRAM released its corporate responsibility strategy in October of last year. Included as one of three pillars is the company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in its workplaces with support from key leadership forming the SRAM Diversity Council. With room to grow, the Chicago office just expanded to an additional floor to accommodate new members of the SRAM team.

 

Two medical professionals reference a tablet as they discuss their work.
Shutterstock

 

What they do: Avaneer Health is a member-based, secure and open network supporting utilities developed for and by the healthcare industry.

 

THE PERKS

  • Generous PTO and paid holidays and sick days
  • 401(K) matching and equity option
  • Generous parental leave and childcare benefits
  • Job training, paid certifications and continuing education 

 

Unlocking the full potential of healthcare: Founded to make healthcare communication and data sharing more convenient and accessible for patients and providers alike, there are many mission-focused announcements to look forward to in 2024 from Avaneer Health. In a conversation about the upcoming 2024 product goals, Senior Product Manager Adria Sherman told Built In Chicago that building Avaneer’s digital marketplace, enhancing collaboration services for developers contributing to the platform and strengthening security across the board are on the roadmap for this year. 

 

 

What they do: Geneva Trading is an international trading firm offering risk management, market enhancement, technology innovation and alpha generation solutions.

 

THE PERKS

  • Hybrid work program
  • Generous PTO, parental leave and paid volunteer time
  • 401(K) matching and performance bonuses
  • Job training, education stipend and a preference for promotion from within

 

Entrepreneurs with integrity: With a mission to assemble the right people, technology and strategies for the global trading market, Geneva Trading continues to expand with people and data driving its decision-making. Built In Chicago had the opportunity to check in with recent Partner and Chief Administrative Officer, Seth Thomson, to ask what convinced him to join the team in this moment of growth. “Our CEO Rob Creamer’s devotion to integrity, people-focused leadership, data-based decision making and entrepreneurial spirit was very inspiring and resonated with my own beliefs and goals,” said Thomson.

 

 

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