More than 7,000 Tech Companies Call Chicago Home: These Are the 20 You Should Know

From logistics startups to corporate icons that are launching innovation labs, these companies show how diverse Chicago’s tech scene really is.

Written by Michael Hines
Published on Sep. 28, 2023
More than 7,000 Tech Companies Call Chicago Home: These Are the 20 You Should Know
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Chicago is home to more than 7,000 tech companies, and fewer than 1 percent of them are featured on this list here. Even with a small sample size, this list paints a rich picture of the city’s tech ecosystem.

Unlike other cities, there is no industry that defines Chicago tech. Logistics and fintech are still strongly represented here, but there are also gaming, food and edtech companies on this list, too. In terms of size, there are younger companies that have secured a round or two of funding and are gaining momentum, tech darlings that have grown rapidly in recent years and opened up shop in Chicago and iconic American corporations going all-in innovation.

Despite being home to thousands of companies, you only need to check out the 20 featured here to understand just how diverse Chicago’s tech ecosystem is.

 

 

We're located in the Aon Center, steps from Millennium Park, the CTA, & great restaurants. Our office boasts 360-degree views of the Loop & the lake.

What Kraft Heinz does: Kraft Heinz is a global food company whose brands include Capri Sun, Lunchables and Velveeta.
 

The perks:

  • A remote policy that allows North American employees to work from anywhere for up to six weeks per year
  • Fertility and adoption assistance benefits
  • A generous PTO plan and paid volunteer days
  • Tuition reimbursement and subscriptions to online education courses

 

In the lab: In a recent interview with Tech Brew, Dafne Guisard, chief strategy and transformation officer, shed a bit of light on Kraft Heinz’s latest tech investment. 

“We are moving fast to deliver on many emerging tech projects as a team right now, and one I’m proud of is the recent launch of our tech innovation lab,” Guisard said. “Our goal is to create an ecosystem connecting all our digital products to give Kraft Heinz the ability to react in real-time to any new signal impacting logistics, supply chain, operations, sales and marketing.”

 


 

A photo of a Walgreens pharmacy
Shutterstock

 

Our new office space at the former US Postal Office on Van Buren in downtown Chicago is the ultimate office space. With an open work environment, inspiring local artwork and many amenities - it makes coming into the office a breeze. We also offer hybrid (part in office and part remote) opportunities

What Walgreens does: Walgreens operates a national chain of drug stores and pharmacies.

 

The perks:

  • A discounted stock purchase program offering eligible employees 10 percent off shares
  • An unlimited vacation policy
  • Generous parental leave and childcare benefits
  • Performance bonuses for eligible employees


Impactful work: In December of 2021, the Center for Disease Control came to Walgreens for assistance with a tech project related to the Covid-19 omicron outbreak. Surekha Durvasula, VP of analytics platform and data engineering, told Built In Chicago how her team worked feverishly to deliver the CDC project.

“We were approached by our clinical research team to create an omicron dashboard that would inform the Center for Disease Control, our patients, hospitals, research organizations and community healthcare centers about the spread of omicron,” Durvasula said. “My team worked nonstop to deliver it by December 25. They moved and enriched data and delivered the dashboards that enabled visualization of omicron’s spread across the United States.”

 

 

ZS has 13,000+ professionals in 35 offices worldwide. Our global headquarters are located in Evanston, IL. Our offices in the US include: NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Princeton, N.J., and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

What ZS does: ZS is a management consulting and technology firm that works in the healthcare, tech and telecommunications industries.

 

The perks:

  • A parental leave and return-to-work programs
  • A charitable contribution match
  • Support for continuing education in the form of course stipends and tuition reimbursements
  • Generous PTO and paid time off to volunteer

 

Supporting women in tech: Kristina Sambucci joined ZS in 2015 as a UX designer. She’s since been promoted three times and is currently a senior UX design lead. Sambucci told Built In Chicago that in addition to growing as a professional, ZS has also supported the growth of her family during her tenure.

“ZS provides women the opportunity to thrive in their careers while also raising a family,” Sambucci said. “Being supported by the women in leadership roles at ZS empowers me to grow not only as a UX practitioner but as a parent balancing work and family.”

 

 

What Rewards Network does: Rewards Network helps drive diners to restaurants by partnering with airline, hotel and retail brands to offer rewards points.

 

The perks:

  • Generous parental leave and childcare benefits
  • A 401(k) match and available performance bonuses
  • A fitness stipend and commuter benefits
  • Opportunities to volunteer in the local community

 

Heavy hitters: Rewards Network was founded in 1984 and has cultivated some incredibly strong partnerships during its almost 40-year history. American Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy and Delta are just a few of the companies it works with, and non-travel partners include Shell, Rakuten and T-Mobile.

 

 

What Alliant Credit Union does: Alliant Credit Union offers consumer banking products, loans, investment services and more to its members.
 

The perks:

  • Up to six weeks of paid parental leave for primary and secondary caregivers
  • Eight hours of paid time off to volunteer annually
  • A 401(k) program with a 5 percent match and available performance bonuses
  • A tuition reimbursement program offering up to $5,250 annually for continuing education expenses

 

30, 60, 90: Alliant Credit Union is currently hiring, and Sarah Hussain, senior product manager, offered Built In Chicago insight into what new hires can expect in an interview back in March.

“One of the early memories I have of Alliant and its culture is the people, the collaboration and the opportunities to take on new challenges,” said Hussain. “For instance, I was asked to lead a project and was able to quickly pull in the right people to improve a process for both our internal teams and customers. I was impressed by everyone’s commitment to doing quality work, embracing change and bringing our values to life.”
 

 

We are located in the historic Old Post Office building.

What Cisco Meraki does: Companies use Cisco Meraki’s platform to manage, monitor and optimize distributed remote networks.

 

The perks:

  • Adoption assistance, generous parental leave and a return-to-work program for new parents
  • Free breakfast and lunch weekly
  • Tuition reimbursement and funding to attend job trainings and conferences
  • A generous PTO plan, paid time off to volunteer and a sabbatical program

 

Experienced engineers wanted: Cisco Meraki is currently recruiting experienced engineers for a handful of open roles. These include three openings for full-stack engineers, two of which are senior roles, and a principal front-end engineer position.

 

A John Deere tractor plowing a field
Shutterstock

 

 

What John Deere does: John Deere manufactures farm and construction equipment, ATVs, mowers and more.
 

The perks:

  • A reimbursement for adoption expenses and eight weeks of fully paid parental leave
  • Commuter benefits of up to $280 per month for Chicago-based employees
  • A yearly charitable donation match of up to $3,500
  • A 401(k) program offering up to a 6 percent company match

A smart acquisition: In July, John Deere announced the acquisition of Smart Apply, a company that develops upgrade kits for sprayers. Smart Apply’s kits are designed to make crop spraying more precise, which in turn reduces the amount of chemicals and water used in the process. 

“This is a natural progression of the two companies’ working relationship,” said Mike Bailey, director, small tractor and HVC production system at John Deere. “It's a continuation of our commitment to high-value crop customers and dealers, further expanding a portfolio of solutions to help growers address their biggest challenges around labor, input costs and regulatory requirements and achieve environmental goals.”

 

 

Our HQ is 22 miles from the Loop; near Belmont station, BNSF line. Plenty of places to eat & shop!

What Ensono does: Ensono is a managed services provider and technology consultancy whose specialties include the cloud, mainframes and cybersecurity.
 

The perks:

  • A 401(k) match program, available performance bonuses and company equity
  • Support for attending job training and conferences and tuition reimbursement
  • Generous PTO, paid time off to volunteer and a sabbatical program
  • Generous parental leave and adoption assistance

 

Walking the walk: In a July interview with Human Resource Executive, Meredith Graham, chief people officer, spoke about the tangible efforts Ensono is making to diversify its team, which includes a program targeted at inner-city youth in Chicago.

“We’re bringing kids into the company as interns when they’re 16 or 17 and helping them see this path before they go to college,” said Graham. “We also go out and find people who don’t necessarily have a tech background or a degree, who are at a young or mid-career level, and we train them. The focus then is how to promote up. We have a strong women mentorship program and we also offer leadership development for women.”

 

 

In the vibrant Fulton Market District, Asana Chicago is building a better way to work, driven by transparency, inclusion, and technology. We’re a home base to support customer-facing teams that are dedicated to Sales, Customer Success, and People Operations.

What Asana does: Asana’s cloud-based project management tool is designed to help teams better organize, track and manage their work.
 

The perks:

  • Sixteen weeks of paid parental leave paired with a return-to-work program 
  • A 401(k) program and employee stock purchase plan
  • A monthly $100 stipend for fitness membership and a home office stipend for remote employees
  • A generous PTO program and a sabbatical program

 

Revving up revenue: In August, Asana announced the arrival of a new chief revenue officer, Ed McDonnell. McDonnell joined the company from Salesforce where he most recently served as executive vice president of sales. “Asana is at the forefront of this new era of work and I’m looking forward to helping the team move fast to deliver the very best experiences for our customers,” McDonnell said in a press release.

 

 

From Chicago, with love! Screencastify HQ is in the Fulton Market neighborhood. When we're not in the office, you can find us grabbing lunch from the myriad of nearby restaurants, taking an afternoon fitness class at the in-building gym, or clinking glasses at a team happy hour.

What Screencastify does: Businesses and educators use Screencastify’s browser-based software for screen recording and video editing.

 

The perks:

  • Generous parental leave, a return-to-work program for new parents and childcare benefits
  • A 401(k) program with a 4 percent match
  • A minimum vacation policy with all employees required to take at least 15 days off per year
  • Health insurance with 100 percent of employee medical premiums covered by the company

 

Earn your coffee: Screencastify currently has several openings on its sales team. The majority of roles require one-to-two years of experience as a salesperson or sales development representative. The open account executive position asks for the most experience, specifically three-to-four years of sales experience, ideally with a SaaS product.

 

 

We’re on Michigan and Wacker—in the heart of the city—near an abundance of lunch spots, shops, public transit, and striking river views.

What Cooler Screens does: Cooler Screens provides stores with smart screens for coolers, refrigerators and displays that provide product information.
 

The perks:

  • Four weeks of paid time off
  • Pre-tax commuter benefits, an office with an onsite gym and company-sponsored outings
  • Free breakfast every Tuesday and free lunch every other Friday
  • A 401(k) program, performance bonuses and company equity

 

Making health cooler: In June, Cooler Screens announced it will expand into healthcare and bring its smart screens to pharmacies and clinics. According to Medical Marketing & Media, which covered the announcement, potential usages for the screens include providing information on the differences between similar medicines and whether a product is covered under an FSA/HSA or Medicare.

 

 

A screenshot from a Level Ex video game
Level Ex

 

Downtown Loop, right across the street from a major CTA hub at the James Thompson Center, plus 10-15 minutes from Metra.

What Level Ex does: Level Ex makes medical video games for cardiologists, dermatologists, anesthesiologists and many other medical professionals.

 

The perks:

  • An office with an onsite gym and cold brew coffee, breakfast options and healthy snacks
  • Online course subscriptions and support for enrolling in job training and attending conferences
  • Four weeks of PTO per year and paid time off to volunteer
  • Generous parental leave and available family medical leave

 

Game jams > hackathons: Level Ex is in the business of gaming, and rather than holding hackathons the company runs what CEO Sam Glassenberg has dubbed “game jams.”

“We hold companywide ‘game jams’ where we assemble into small teams that each quickly build a new game from scratch,” said Glassenberg. “In a two-to-three-day period, each team chooses and tackles a problem in medicine, from infection control to diabetes. This is one of many ways we fuel cross-disciplinary collaboration and creativity between art, dev and design.”
 

What the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago does: The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of 12 regional reserve banks of the United States.
 

The perks:

  • Adoption assistance, generous parental leave and childcare benefits
  • Tuition reimbursement, paid industry certifications and a mentorship program
  • Generous PTO and paid volunteer time
  • Wellness programs, mental health benefits and pet insurance

 

Autonomy in engineering: According to Awais Asghar, software engineering manager, dev teams at The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago aren’t micromanaged. Instead, leaders like Asghar cultivate a culture of working autonomously.

“It’s important for a leader to empower their team to make their own decisions,” said Asghar. “I believe in empowering the how, to listen and guide the team and support them in building and fostering an inclusive environment where all team members feel valued and encouraged to contribute to the team’s success.”

 

 

At AllCampus, we’re committed to building a culture where people love what they do, feel supported to do their best work, which is why we are now Office Optional. There are times when our best days are collaborating in an office, and there will be days when our best work will be completed at home.

What AllCampus does: AllCampus provides a wide variety of services to educational institutions, from the design and development of new courses to marketing assistance.

 

The perks:

  • A 401(k) program with a 3 percent match and available performance bonuses
  • Up to $1,000 per year for continuing education expenses
  • An office gym with discounted memberships for employees\
  • Eighteen days of PTO per year and two paid volunteer days off per year

 

 

Earning a ‘B’: This past summer, AllCampus announced it had received B Corp certification. B Corp status is given to companies by the nonprofit organization B Lab, which assesses a company’s impact across five categories: governance, workers, community, environment and customers. Heather Shulick, EVP of human resources, commented on AllCampus attaining B Corp status in a press release.

“Our certification as a B Corp reinforces our commitment to using our business as a force for good,” said Shulick. “I’m so proud of each and every one of our employees for their hard work and dedication toward delivering on our mission, and I’m excited about our bright future as a B Corp-certified organization.”

 

 

Our company is located in the heart of downtown with great access to public transportation (both Metra & CTA), coffee shops, and restaurants. Currently our teams are working remotely for the foreseeable future.

What Braviant Holdings does: Braviant Holdings uses machine learning to streamline lending and enable access to credit for those who can’t secure loans through traditional means.
 

The perks:

  • Up to $1,500 available for adoption-related expenses and all new parents receive four weeks of parental leave and work a three-day schedule upon returning to work
  • An automatic 401(k) contribution of 3 percent that vests immediately
  • Up to $4,500 per year for continuing education and paid industry certification expenses
  • A sabbatical program where employees can take a paid month off after five years of work

 

An award-winning C-suite: This summer, Braviant Holdings CEO Stephanie Klein was named the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 Midwest Award winner by Ernst & Young. The award is given to entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies that show they can “build long-term value through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact” according to the press release announcing Klein’s win. 

“This award fuels our passion to revolutionize the industry and create positive impact,” said Klein in the press release. “I am immensely proud of our team and grateful to EY for this incredible honor.”
 

 

What CraftJack does: CraftJack connects homeowners with local contractors specializing in everything from roofing to solar panel installation and painting.

 

The perks:

  • An unlimited vacation policy and paid time off to volunteer
  • Tuition reimbursement and support for attending job training and conferences
  • A 401(k) match program
  • An employee perk discount program for Chicago-based employees

     

    The power of feedback: At CraftJack, leaders make an active effort to collect employee feedback in order to fine-tune processes. Noah Mishkin, founder and COO, shared an example of feedback driving change with Built In Chicago.

    “After receiving feedback and questions about certain projects, efforts, initiatives and how we prioritize product releases, it was clear we could use more information,” said Mishkin. “This launched a new internal video series called, ‘What Is That?!,’ 13-minute interviews explaining how efforts align with core values, corporate goals and customer-centric care.”

     

     

     

    What Sittercity does: Sittercity helps parents find local babysitters, nannies and tutors.
     

    The perks:

    • Up to $2,500 for adoption expenses, 12 weeks of paid parental leave and a 50 percent discount on childcare services with Bright Horizons
    • Company equity, a 401(k) match program and available performance bonuses
    • A weekly $20 Grubhub credit available on Wednesdays
    • Tuition reimbursement and financial support for pursuing paid industry certifications

     

    Grow your own way: Sittercity offers customized development tracks that enable employees to take control of their careers. Justine Ussia, trust and safety manager, told Built In Chicago how this approach to growth enabled her to find her calling at the company.

    “Sittercity has allowed me to take on different projects and claim ownership in order to grow,” said Ussia. “They’ve supported my career decisions, like moving from operations to customer success. Every project I do matters and contributes to our overall success. Not only has Sittercity helped my career growth, they've helped me grow outside of work as well.”

     

     

    Our office is located in Chicago's vibrant River North area with convenient access to both the Red and Blue lines, countless busses, and a variety of restaurants & bars. We are in the heart of the city right on Michigan Ave, with views from inside the famous Chicago skyline.

    What oak9 does: Oak9 is a cybersecurity company whose software is designed to automatically find, analyze and close security gaps as changes are made to cloud-native apps. 

     

    The perks:

    • Employees who have been with oak9 for at least a year can take six weeks of paid parental leave for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child
    • A month long sabbatical program available to employees who’ve worked three years
    • Catered lunch each Thursday
    • An annual continuing education stipend of $1,000 for use on courses, conferences, certifications and more

     

    The impact of trust: Eyad Arafat has been with oak9 since 2020, and when asked by Built In Chicago what he’s learned since joining the company, he answered “the importance of trust.” Here’s why.

    “Leadership fully trusts teams to realize the company’s goals, and it allows every team to thrive and be creative,” said Arafat. “We have an awesome team at oak9: We’re collaborative and trust each other to do what is right for the company. We’re all headed the same way, and we’re all rowing in the same direction.”
     

     

    We are right next door to a large shopping center, Woodfield Mall. There are plenty of restaurants in the area.

    What Convr does: Commercial insurance underwriters use Convr’s artificial intelligence-powered platform to more quickly and accurately assess risk and make decisions.
     

    The perks:

    • An office with an onsite gym and a fully stocked kitchen
    • Generous parental leave
    • An unlimited vacation policy
    • A 401(k) program, company equity and available performance bonuses

     

    Decoding core values: Convr has five core values: success, convr-sation, integrity, responsibility and passion. In an interview this past spring, CMO Fanette Singer told Built In Chicago how these values make a real impact on employees.

    “Success: We’re obsessed with delivering successful outcomes and lasting world-class experiences,” Singer said. “Convr-sation: We foster a ‘best idea wins culture,’ inspiring continuous innovation and creativity. Integrity: We commit to the highest standards of integrity and ethics. Responsibility: We get it done together, as a team. Passion: We make it personal. We’re a smart, passionate and fearless team committed to leaving a legacy.”
     

     

    MVMNT is located in Chicago's Loop district near trendy restaurants, bustling city life, and amazing river views. Plus, the office is commuter-friendly with easy highway access and various train & bus stops being close by. Located within steps of Ogilvie Station, getting around is a breeze.

    What MVMNT does: MVMNT builds software for small and medium-sized freight brokers, which includes a transportation management system and payments solution.
     

    The perks:

    • A 401(k) program with a 3.5 percent match, company equity and available performance bonuses
    • Unlimited PTO and monthly mental health days
    • Medical, dental and vision insurance with no employee premiums
    • Generous parental leave

     

    The bigger picture: Logistics is a hot sector in tech, but Michael Colin didn’t found MVMNT in an attempt to ride a wave. Instead, he launched the company in 2020 with a specific mission in mind, which he shared with Built In Chicago.

    “At MVMNT, we’re focused on being the leader in providing equal access to the digital supply chain,” said Colin. “We believe that the downstream effects of a more connected logistics network benefit not only our customers but all stakeholders in the supply chain, from drivers to consumers and the environment.”

     

    Photos via Shutterstock and featured companies. All responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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