Summer Tech Watch 2024: 15 Chicago Companies to Know

Summer is heating up — and so is the city’s tech scene. Here are the companies to watch.

Written by Mia Goulart
Published on Jun. 18, 2024
Summer Tech Watch 2024: 15 Chicago Companies to Know
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Sizzling temperatures, lively music festivals, the unmistakable hum of creativity —there’s an electric vibe in the summer air of Chicago. As locals and visitors alike take to Lake Michigan and Grant Park, the city pulses with life.

To celebrate the dynamic season, Built In Chicago has spotlighted 15 companies poised for a summer of innovation, each with a unique vision for the future and an array of people-first benefits. Dive in to discover why these top tech companies are at the heart of Chicago’s thriving tech scene.

 

 

Focus: tastytrade is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA, NFA and SIPC, offering self-directed brokerage accounts to its customers.

 

The Perks

  • 401(k)
  • Employee stock purchase plan
  • Fitness stipend
  • Mental health benefits

 

Newsworthy: At tastytrade, growth thrives within each individual. Elizabeth Staab’s journey from customer support to future chief compliance officer is a perfect example. Offered a chance by CEO Scott Sheridan, she seized the opportunity, excelled on the Trade Desk, and now is instrumental in building tastytrade Canada, benefiting from ample opportunities for internal advancement and support from leaders.

 

 

Focus: Chime’s easy-to-use tools and intuitive platforms give members the ability to have more control over their money and to take action toward achieving their financial goals.

 

Tech Stack

  • C++
  • Java
  • Asana
  • MailChimp

 

Newsworthy: Chime has launched a new financial service called MyPay, which is designed to change how people access their earnings. MyPay allows eligible Chime members to access up to $500 of their pay, including government benefits, before their scheduled payday. 

 

 

Two professionals looks at trading stats on a screen. 
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Focus: Headquartered in Chicago, Belvedere Trading is a proprietary trading firm specializing in equity index and commodity derivatives, utilizing collaborative efforts between technology and trading experts to develop and enhance high-performance, low-latency proprietary technology.

 

The Perks

  • Performance bonus
  • Commuter benefits
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Team workouts

 

Newsworthy: In recent years, Belvedere Trading has intentionally shifted its approach to hiring, implementing strategies to broaden our candidate pool. This includes revising job descriptions for gender-neutrality and inclusivity, adjusting interview process barriers and forming partnerships with diverse student and professional groups.

 

 

Focus: Bridge Legal’s software platform, Bridgify, automates marketing, intake, casework  and business intelligence for consumer law firms and their funders. 

 

The Perks

  • Docker
  • MySQL
  • Trello
  • HubSpot

 

Newsworthy: Bridge Legal recently launched its Fund Management System as part of the Bridgify SaaS platform, transforming how litigation funders manage legal investments. Using sophisticated algorithms, it provides predictive analytics, detects anomalies and enables direct communication with stakeholders, all within the platform.

 

 

Focus: Jellyvision reduces benefits confusion for employers and their employees.

 

The Perks

  • Adoption assistance
  • Home-office stipend for remote employees
  • Continuing education stipend
  • Transgender healthcare benefits

 

Newsworthy: Jellyvision’s latest innovation, ALEX Medicare, was named a winner of the 22nd annual Chicago Innovation Awards. Honored in the “Innovations for Older Adults” category, ALEX Medicare is a cloud-based platform designed to alleviate confusion and dispel misinformation.

 

 

Focus: Cisco Meraki’s out-of-band cloud architecture creates secure, scalable and easy-to-deploy networks that can be managed from anywhere.

 

Tech Stack

  • Angular
  • GitHub
  • GraphQL
  • jQuery

 

Newsworthy: Cisco aims to achieve net zero emissions across its value chain by 2040, a goal endorsed by the Science Based Targets Initiative's Net-Zero Standard. Aligned with the imperative to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, this commitment makes Cisco one of the pioneering technology hardware and equipment firms validated under this standard.

 

 

Rendering of cloud technology.
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Focus: Beyond Finance is a debt consolidation company that helps clients get out of debt and achieve financial freedom. 

 

The Perks

  • Company-sponsored happy hours
  • Wellness programs
  • Generous parental leave
  • Bereavement leave benefits

 

Newsworthy: Beyond Finance recently received a Silver Stevie Award for “Achievement in Finance” at the 22nd Annual American Business Awards. In a press release, Beyond Finance Chief Operations Officer Lou Antonelli attributed the win to the team’s dedication and innovation in facilitating growth and empowering clients to overcome debt and achieve financial freedom.

 

 

Focus: Vivid Seats is a ticket marketplace that has given fans the opportunity to buy and sell tickets to live events on the secondary market. 

 

Tech Stack

  • Elasticsearch
  • Kotlin
  • Figma
  • Looker

 

Newsworthy: At Vivid Seats, “not possible” is never the answer. The company encourages growth by pushing developers out of their comfort zones to learn new skills and share ideas through peer reviews and mentoring.

 

 

Focus: Discover is a direct banking and payment services company that helps clients achieve a brighter financial future. 

 

The Perks

  • Charitable contribution matching
  • Fertility benefits
  • Recreational clubs
  • Mentorship program

 

Newsworthy: Discover recently introduced the Discover Technology Academy, an internal learning platform created by engineers to boost skill development and innovation. This initiative grew further in February 2023 with the launch of the Discover Technology Experience, a public platform highlighting key technologies like open source, application development, agile and cloud, making knowledge sharing more accessible.

 

 

Focus: Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment  offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, debt securities and real-time global market data. 

 

Tech Stack

  • Python
  • Spring
  • D3JS
  • Node.js

 

Newsworthy: At the core of the Morningstar team’s mission lies inspiration and education. During a recent discussion with Built In Chicago, Senior Software Engineer Shivangi Bansal revealed her commitment to continuous learning by regularly taking courses on platforms like Udemy, Coursera and LinkedIn, made possible through Morningstar’s educational stipend.

 

 

Focus: Reverb is the largest online marketplace dedicated to buying and selling new, used and vintage musical instruments. 

 

The Perks

  • Childcare benefits
  • Fitness stipend
  • Transgender healthcare benefits
  • Hybrid work model

 

Newsworthy: Loren Velasquez’s path to finding fulfillment as a software engineer took a significant turn when she applied to Reverb, viewing it as her final shot after feeling undervalued in previous roles. Despite past challenges, her journey at Reverb has been transformative. She’ found stability, mental health support, respect, promotions and personal growth, and told Built In Chicago she felt proud and successful in her career for the first time.

 

 

Focus: McCain Foods is a family-owned company that produces and sells prepared potato and appetizer products.

 

Tech Stack

  • Django
  • dotnet
  • React
  • PHP

 

Newsworthy: McCain Foods is strengthening its partnership with Strong Roots, a Dublin-based frozen food producer. By expanding Strong Roots’ product offerings, McCain aims to provide more consumers with environmentally friendly, vegetable-focused options, in line with their commitment to revolutionize the freezer aisle and cater to the growing demand for healthier, tasty meals.

 

 

People smiling and eating french fries with toothpicks. 
Shutterstock

 

Focus: By providing end-to-end payments capabilities, data-driven insights and financial products in a single solution, Adyen helps businesses achieve their ambitions faster.

 

The Perks

  • Free daily meals
  • Return-to-work program post parental leave
  • Partners with nonprofits
  • Unlimited vacation policy

 

Newsworthy: To streamline financial management in healthcare, Adyen is teaming up with Nelly, a health and fintech company. This partnership allows medical practices to manage all payment processes through a unified system integrated into their practice software. With Nelly’s digital solution, medical practices can process digital payments efficiently and maintain a local bank account with an IBAN provided by Adyen’s banking license. 

 

 

Focus: CPI is a privately held corporation that delivers software solutions to the law enforcement industry.

 

Tech Stack

  • CakePHP
  • Perl
  • Oracle
  • JIRA

 

Newsworthy: To tackle communication challenges and engage new hires effectively, CPI’s CTO Ryan Sawatzky prioritizes open, honest communication within teams, advocates for respect and cooperation and encourages new hires to contribute from day one by participating in team exercises and interacting directly with customers.

 

 

Focus: Geneva is a leading global proprietary trading company, spanning dozens of markets from OTC energy trading to the most liquid and competitive equity index futures.

 

The Perks

  • Paid industry certifications
  • Mental health benefits
  • Quarterly engagement surveys
  • Generous PTO


Newsworthy: In reminiscing about Geneva Trading’s early days, CEO Rob Creamer emphasized the company’s hunger for success. In a conversation with Built In Chicago, Creamer attributed the company’s success to its strong emphasis on talent development and collaboration between engineering and trading experts, ensuring strength across all aspects of the business for the future.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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