Built in Chicago Weekly Update: TechWeek, Spotlight on University Startups and Blogs To Read

July 14, 2011
Dear Built in Chicago Members,

TechWeek is only two weeks away--don't forget to purchase your TechWeek pass today using the Built in Chicago discount code (twBIC11_vip) and register to attend any of the 30+ independently held events throughout the week. Keynote speakers include: Aneesh Chopra, Jason Fried, Matt Moog, Craig Newmark and Penelope Trunk. Below are a few highlighted events you want to attend:

July 22: Entrepreneurs Unpluggd .  Featuring Cary Chessick (Restaurants.com), Michael Farah (Founder of Berry Chill), Matt Moog (Viewpoints Network) and Penelope Trunk (Founder of Brazen Careerist).

July 23: TiE Midwest/Technori Bootstrapped Entrepreneurs Panel Event :  Featuring moderator Shawn Riegsecker (Centro), and panelists Brandon Cruz (Norvax), Ed Scanlan (Total Attorneys), Andrew Sieja (kCura) and Arvind Singh (Utopia). 

July 24: Kissmetrics Hiten Shah at Chicago Lean Startup Circle : Featuring Hiten Shah, Founder and CEO of KissMetrics.

Spotlight on University Startups 

As we cover our ground through the digital ecosystem we cannot miss the amazing initiatives underway at the world class universities in our backyard.  Today's spotlight is dedicated to the academic institutions for their contributions to digital technology, entrepreneurship and Built in Chicago.  Classes, mentoring, incubation, funding and more-- these academic institutions are vital to the ecosystem.   And yes, the featured members this week represent some of our finest institutions.  Please reach out and introduce yourself to

Linda Darragh and Ellen Rudnick (Chicago Booth), Raman Chadha (DePaul Coleman Center),  Swathy Prathivi (Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at NU), Nik Rokop and  Daniel Krieglstein (IIT Knapp Center). 

Linda  Ellen  Raman  Swathy  Nik  Daniel
Crain's recently reported (blog post featured below) that 11 companies tied to the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and the very popular New Venture Challenge have raised $85 million in the past year. GrubHubBraintree  and BenchPrep are just three recent examples of the success stories spinning out of the school. In addition, the Polsky Center provides incubation space to a number of early stage companies including Smarteys, started by two Booth alumni who met while attending Booth.  

DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is thrilled to recognize Commuter Advertising, which closed its Series A round with Draper Triangle Ventures this spring, opened its Chicago office, and is up to 22 employees. Also a congratulations to [email protected] for their amazing first year revenue growth. And kudos to alumni-founded CloudBot, which was selected to pitch to AngelPad in Silicon Valley this spring and has built a strong management team. Watch out for new programs from the Coleman Center to help startups locate and hire tech talent, as well as the inaugural DePaul entrepreneurship conference Spring 2012. 
The Farley Center recently hosted the [email protected] Conference which was attended by over 350 students, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs from the Chicago area and featured Jim Sutter from the Valley, Jeff Busgang from the East Coast and Kevin Willer and Mike Evans of GrubHub from Chicago. NUvention: Web, one of Inc. magazine's best entrepreneurial courses in America, graduated a successful class of 8 startups. And finally, the Farley Center has an inaugural summer incubator class of 9 companies including Groovebug, a personalized iPad music magazine, Sweet Perk, custom apps for local shopping districts and AccuFlow Diagnostics, a low-cost non-invasive cervical cancer test. 

IIT Knapp Center
Among a number of initiatives, most exciting this week is PhD candidate Daniel Krieglstein's launch of JournalWiki, a cloud-based web service.  JournalWiki is designed to accelerate business, academic, and government research by changing the way researchers share and find each other’s work. The database moves away from the algorithmic search engine to empower researchers with a new social media tool that allows them to organize the research around their own projects. This new tool, called a Webline, acts as a sustained organization of the research around any given topic, organized by the researchers who best know the literature. The launch date is Tuesday, July 19, at 1pm Eastern Time. At launch you will be able to search the PubMed dataset.  

Startup City


Vibes Hosted the First Built in Chicago Mobile MeetupThank you to Vibes and to the 50+ members who attended.

Vibes  Vibes  Vibes

Interesting Job Opportunities

KoalaDeal definitely needs smart developers. Python, Django, RoR, you name it. Anyone who can help us keep up with all the growth we're having. Contact Erik Severinghaus if interested.

BrightTag is seeking another brainy, inventive and detail-obsessed client services manager to effortlessly coordinate implementations for new clients, provide on-going service and build awesome client relationships. Our future BrightTagger has previous account management and digital marketing chops and values collaboration and organizational culture in looking for their next role.  Contact Lisa O'Keefe if interested.

Thanks and have a great weekend,


Maria Christopoulos Katris
Executive Director
Built in Chicago I www.builtinchicago.org