The finals of the 2014 Chicago Lean Startup Challenge were held October 16th at Chicago's entrepreneurial hub for digital startups, 1871. This competition started with over 40 companies and concepts. Through 10 weeks of coaching and education on using lean methodology, all the companies were transformed, but four finalists exhibited the best use of lean and also demonstrated the transformative power of “getting out of the building” and speaking directly with customers. Congratulations to all the finalists on all their hard work and their overall brilliant presentations!
- Homeology (www.homeologychicago.com) - A community focused, data driven approach to helping families find their ideal neighborhood and home. Karla Thomas, Tammy Rucker, Emil Sabado, Chuck Brown
- GroupTally (www.grouptally.com) - Collects and connects information so associations can know and grow their membership. Alex Goldman, Bryan Kapicka, Greg Becker
- On Demand Dietitian (www.ondemanddietitian.com) - Improves affordable access to registered dietitians. Sidonia Rose Swarm
- Sant (www.idrinksant.com) - Introduces a healthy superfruit beverage - Kim LaPaglia and Erica Michie
Each team gave a ten-minute presentation, then answered five minutes of question from the judges and the audience using conferences IO http://www.conferences.io/
The winner of the 2014 Chicago Lean Startup Challenge was Homeology!
Homeology takes a community focused approach to finding families a new home. They work primarily with people relocating to the Chicago area and families moving from the city to the suburbs to understand their lifestyle, preference and goals, and help match them to their ideal community. Once a community is chosen, Homeology connects families with top agents who live and work in that community. In the span of the 12 week competition, Homeology went from concept to cash and generated over $10,000 in revenue.
Co-Founder of Homeology, Karla Thomas said “Winning means a lot to our team amongst such touch competitors. It validates that we are on the right track with Homeology, but there is so much work ahead.” Tammy Rucker another Co-Founder at Homeology said “I am so pleased that we got involved in the Challenge. Lean has really helped us hone in on our target market…now we are excited to apply all we have learned on growth.”
The Chicago Startup Challenge extends special thanks to the panel of judges from the Pathfinder team, Tom Stevens from Stevens & Associates and local entrepreneurial leaders, Joe Sheahan and Samer Saab. Also thanks to Troy Henikoff for working with the finalists on their pitches over the course of the last 4 weeks.
Good luck to all of the 2014 Chicago Lean Startup Challengers in their successful business ventures! Learn more about the Chicago Lean Startup Challenge by visiting our website http://chicagoleanchallenge.com/ and following us on Twitter at @ChicagoLean