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.