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October 2, 2015

This Drone Video Shows Amazing Views Of Chicago

Filmmakers Rick Wayne and Brad Johnson left Chicago last month to take their film company Underscore Films to Los Angeles. Before they left, though, they decided to create one last film of their home city: a beautiful drone-captured video called Homesick for Chicago.

“It’s hard to say goodbye to someone you love but nothing can prepare you to say goodbye to your city,” the filmmakers wrote on YouTube. “We were born here, had our hearts broken then mended and we grew up into business men. Chicago is something you have to let into your soul to understand. Although our careers lead us out west to Los Angeles, our hearts will forever remain in the Windy [...]

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October 1, 2015

Tailgater Concierge Takes The Work Out Of Your Football Tailgating Experience

Chicago startup Tailgater Concierge is a new service that aims to offer college football fans an easier way to tailgate. It provides amenities including tents, tables, chairs, ice-filled coolers, and even BBQs and TVs.

Behind the company are co-founders Jennie LaGrow and Neil Golden. Jennie is a businesswoman from the financial world who has worked for companies like The Walt Disney Company and Computershare. Neil previously worked as Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s USA where he oversaw the national marketing efforts for nearly 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S.

“Tailgater Concierge makes it easier for fans to enjoy their time with [...]

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September 4, 2015

Say Hello To Maestro: The Keurig Of Fresh Food

Keurig has changed the way people think about coffee, streamlining the experience to make it simpler than ever before. Just pop in a coffee pod, press a button, and within minutes you’ve got a perfect cup of Joe. But what if the same principles could be applied to food?

Chicago startup Maestro is taking on that challenge with a new countertop appliance that turns raw ingredients into a complete meal, all by itself. Using it is actually quite similar to using a Keurig coffee maker: you buy ingredient pods called M-Pots, which contain fresh, raw ingredients; drop each pod into one of Maestro’s three compartments; and after 10–30 minutes, enjoy a delicious, perfectly [...]

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September 3, 2015

ChariPick Makes Charitable Giving Simple And Awesome

Chicago startup ChariPick is re-imagining the way charitable giving works. Its new app makes it super easy for people to donate to a curated selection of “small, interesting charities,” using a simple giving model that starts at just $1 a day. The goal is to help charities make a difference while giving donors the satisfaction of supporting causes they’re passionate about.

ChariPick was founded by Stephen Lee, who has 15 years’ experience at the intersection of technology and finance as a partner for a hedge fund, director for a technology division of a Fortune 500 company, and a strategy consultant for private equity and Fortune 500 firms. ChariPick is [...]

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September 2, 2015

Hooks Will Send You Alerts About Anything You Care About

Chicago startup Hooks has developed a comprehensive platform to help people stay updated on things they care about. You can use the app to get alerts about almost anything—news, weather, sports, stocks, tweets (by author or keyword), new movies, software vulnerabilities, and more.

Currently, the notifications you care about are driven by a ton of different apps and services. Hooks simplifies this by bringing all sorts of notifications into a single central location.

Behind Hooks are co-founders Oleg Kozynenko, José Luis Pérez, and Miguel Ángel Ortuño. Kozynenko and Pérez also co-founded B2B white label travel guide platform Guiomatic, and Ortuño is a lead iOS developer [...]

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August 30, 2015

Raise Is A Marketplace For Buying And Selling Gift Cards

Have you ever gotten a gift card and wished you could turn it into cash? That’s precisely what Chicago startup Raise allows you to do. It’s a marketplace for gift cards: sellers get cash for unwanted cards, and buyers can purchase gift cards for less than their total value.

Raise allows you to sell gift cards from any brand or restaurant at the price of your choice. Just enter the gift card details and choose the selling price, and your listing will be featured in front of thousands of shoppers. You get paid when the card sells. All cards are free to list, but Raise takes a 15 percent commission from the final selling price. For physical cards, the greater of $1.00 [...]

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August 19, 2015

Chicago Startup AptAmigo Launches Apartment Search Tool Based On Real Resident Reviews

AptAmigo, the first free apartment search tool that uses real, comprehensive resident reviews to help potential renters choose their ideal apartment, launched today in Chicago. The website offers detailed descriptions of Chicago neighborhoods and already contains thousands of reviews written by current and former residents.

Each building has an overall rating based on a five-star system, as well as individual ratings for for the community, in-unit experience, building amenities, security, and management. You can also find detailed feedback on things like nearby restaurants and stores, building safety, Internet quality, and shower pressure.

“It can be overwhelming [...]

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July 30, 2015

Dining Discovery App Savoir Launches In Chicago

Last week, Savoir announced the launch of its free iOS app that helps foodies discover a curated selection of nearby restaurants. Now live with 600+ Chicagoland restaurants, the app offers each user a personalized set of recommendations, reviews, and promotions.

Savoir listings include Yelp ratings and up-to-date, complete menus. Beyond that, the service offers three exclusive perks to enhance users’ experience:

FitLens: food reviews from credentialed health and fitness professionals to help customers dine out while adhering to their diet and fitness goals. InnerCircle: reliable reviews from people you trust, like friends and family. Promos: special promotions from [...]
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June 3, 2015

FourKites Raises $1.2 Million For Real-Time Logistics Tracking Platform

FourKites, a logistics tracking platform that aims to provide visibility and real-time location tracking for shippers, third-party logistics providers, and freight brokers, today announced that it has closed a $1.25 million seed round led by Hyde Park Venture Partners.

Other participants in the round include Hyde Park Angels, Harvard Business School Angels, Bluestein & Associates, and Otter Consulting.

FourKites exists to reinvent the complex communications systems in the logistics industry by providing a cloud-based SaaS platform that enables seamless communication and collaboration across the various entities in the logistics landscape. It enables shippers, [...]

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March 5, 2015

Geofeedia Raises Another $3 Million For Its Location-Based Social Media Intelligence Platform

Geofeedia today announced that it has closed another $3 million in a Series A4 funding round led by Hyde Park Venture Partners. Also participating in the round are Tim Kopp, former CMO of ExactTarget; David Gupta, founder and CEO of SDI Enterprises; and Gene Delaney, former president at Motorola.

Geofeedia provides location-based social media monitoring, intelligence, and analysis for corporate security, public safety, media, and marketing teams. The platform allows organizations to filter and analyze public, geo-tagged social media content across multiple sources to understand what’s going on within the areas that matter to them.

The round, which bring’s [...]

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