The “#Chicago School of #Technology” #startups

Great article, definitely worth the read.  A couple of key points, quoted below:

The Chicago School of Technology can be broken down into two facets: what we do, and how we do it…

Our tech ecosystem grew from the industries that have been here for decades, centuries even. Transportation, finance, manufacturing: These are the infrastructure industries that transformed Chicago into an urban center throughout the 20th century, and as we’ve moved into the 21st century, our most robust and innovative technical practices stem directly from these foundational industries…

The Chicago School of Tech emphasizes pragmatic, workmanlike practice, and a focus on customer collaboration and satisfaction over self-promotion.

Source: ITA

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#Google’s path to mobile payments runs through #Chicago

From John Pletz Technology Blog…..

Google’s latest move in mobile payments has the help of some Chicago partners, including:

  • Braintree
  • Groupon
  • GrubHub
  • McDonald’s
  • Walgreens

According to the article:

The inclusion by Google and Apple shows that Chicago companies such as Braintree, which makes credit-card payment software, and deal provider Groupon are becoming big players in mobile commerce.

via Google’s path to mobile payments runs through Chicago – John Pletz Technology Blog – Crain’s Chicago Business.

Great day of brainstorming, learning and sharing at the UIC #Innovation Center #d3labinnovation @lezota @jspanjol

I was invited to participate in an innovation workshop down at UIC’s Innovation Center today, exploring methodologies for creating sustained breakthrough innovation in the enterprise.  Great set of folks there, including from Caterpillar, Con Agra, ITW, SRAM and many others.

A couple of interesting nuggets:

  • One research study across about 22,000 new product launches, showed that only about 7% of them were “breakthrough”
  • However, breakthrough innovations yield 50x the returns of incremental innovations

Running out of gas tonight – more info to follow in a future post.

Innovation Center | UIC Innovation Center.

Chicago Startups to Watch: 15 Tech Companies Growing in Chicago | Chicago Inno

Some of the top Chicago-area start-ups to keep an eye on in the new year:

  • Opternative:  My 2nd favorite.  Eye exams + lens prescriptions online, from comfort of your home (& your webcam).
  • Lyteshot:  Sounds like real-world/online/augmented reality gaming hybrid.
  • ReliefWatch:  allows multinational NGOs to report inventory records and disease cases via text and automated voice calls, getting around spotty internet coverage in much of the world
  • Innoblative:  Alternative to radiation treatment.
  • Outernet: Repurpose satellite TV equipment into wifi hotspots, for areas with limited internet coverage, or government content blocking.
  • Raise:  marketplace for buying and selling gift cards
  • Breakwater: $23 million floating island in Lake Michigan.
  • Anarchist: My personal favorite.  Virtual reality to improve productivity and collaboration.,
  • Fan Pay: proposes using crowdfunding to collect donations and pay players, with the idea being that pages would be created for athletes where friends, family, and yes, fans, could donate money
  • Keeper Security: a zero knowledge security provider that stores your passwords and digital files in a military grade encrypted vault.
  • SiNode: develops advanced materials for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries.
  • 640 Labs: The company uses analytics and cloud computing to collect massive amounts of agricultural information and deliver the data to farmers’ mobile devices
  • SpiderSense: Another one of my favs – I’d previously heard about this from a professor close to the project.  Sensors tell you, physically, when you’re close to an object, etc.  It’s a perfect device for the blind, but the company says it could also be effective when used by firefighters or other officials who work in low-visibility environments.
  • LifeLine Response:   an app that immediately alerts authorities when you’re in danger, and it hopes to soon deploy drones to those same people.
  • AMPY: a handheld device that captures your kinetic energy as you move and stores it so you can charge your phone, smartwatch, fitness tracker, or any other USB-powered device.  (kicking myself for this one – had similar idea it’s got to be almost 15 years ago ……)

via Chicago Startups to Watch: 15 Tech Companies Growing in Chicago | Chicago Inno.