Chicago is known for dominating the manufacturing, publishing and insurance industries, but they might be the new home for “most tech startup companies”. Based on new statistical research done by Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015, Chicago ranks as the number one city for women startup companies. (That’s exciting for a Chicago native like myself and just makes Chicago’s economy stronger all around.) With so much change occurring within the development sector of technology, I wanted to shine some light on a few Chicago Tech startups that are developing in Chicago’s backyard arena, that are making major moves.
Shradha Agarwal, President Context Media & Co-Founder, Jump Start Capital
Context Media is a digital media technology that was developed to service organizations with their health information services and to deliver lifestyle education to their patients. The end result, to improve patients health outcomes and engage physicians with a technology tool that is user friendly. Agarwal, also is passionate about the startup scene, which prompted her to be a co founder of Chicago tech venture capitalist firm Jumpstart Capital. She has actively invested in Chicago tech startups WeDeliver, and Packback Books.
Coco Meers, Founder CEO Pretty Quick
Meers is one of the key leaders in the tech industry in Chicago, with the success of recently selling her beauty concierge app Pretty Quick to Chicago based Groupon. The app is a instant success with users, which allows for you to find your service, book your appointment and enjoy cashless payments as you walk in. A brilliant idea for users that are eager to get in and out. Meers’ inspiration behind starting the tech startup, “ As I discovered the creativity and determination of the startup culture here in Chicago, I knew I wanted to start my own company. Next step, what problem needed solving?”. After, moving to Chicago in 2009, Meers left her career in brand management to pursue her MBA at University of Chicago, that helped develop her entrepreneurship spirit. After working long hours for major brand L’Oreal Paris, she had very little time for herself and decided to pursue her dream.
Genevieve Thiers, Founder SitterCity
Sitter City was launched in 2001 after Thiers saw a young pregnant woman posting help wanted flyers for a babysitter. She ended up taking the job and eventually went on the launch SitterCity after securing backing from a Venture Capitalist firm. Her idea to connect families and babysitters worked well with the online platform and has been successful every since. Based out of Chicago, her startup now services major cities such as New York and Atlanta.
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