If you couldn’t score tickets to Technori Pitch before sell out, to be honest, you really did miss something special. With a keynote by one of the greatest influencers and mentors in the Chicago tech startup scene, as well as a full slate of young companies, Monday night was particularly abuzz.
Contributing to the energy was some open and clear wifi service, due to the diligence and networking prowess of Wifi Sponsor, Chicago Micro. They basically built and opened up the intertubes for our eager tweets, messages, and web-based Q&A to flow. Considering the Chase Auditorium is a veritable underground bunker, it was no easy feat.
The event also hooked up attendees with facilitated schmoozing via Shortilist, the web-based app that was being presented on the same night…. Talk about a live demo!
Here’s a rundown of the presentations.
There could not have been a more fitting keynote speaker for an event that celebrates Chicago startups than Troy Henikoff, CEO and Founder at Chicago’s own Top 3 ranked Accelerator Program, Excelerate Labs.
Born from the desire to make Chicago a place where businesses start and stay for the long haul, Excelerate endeavors to give promising young businesses a major boost towards profitability. To the audience of current and burgeoning entrepreneurs, Henikoff asked, “Would $75,000 help you take your great business idea to the next level? What about three months of intensive coaching and legal support”?
Even better, Henikoff was pleased to report that what once was a place where startups were created only to move away to other cities, Chicago is now a destination for startups to grow and become real businesses.
Think your business idea is ready for the next level? Applications for the Excelerate Summer 2012 Class are due March 16, 2012.
Tackling the hyper-local social networking space but specific to events, Shortlist provides a platform for event-goers to connect based on LinkedIn profiles. Attendees identify key people to meet before and during the event and are able to communicate securely, all within Shortlist.
Co-Founder Jason Goodrich, a frequenter of events and conferences, created the app to address the pain points he experienced when trying to network. To get the most out of events, he realized he needed to answer three basic questions: “Who is here? Who should I meet? And why should I care?” Shortlist answers those questions for you.
It’s “accelerated serendipity”, says Goodrich.
It also allows the creator of the event to monetize the event through sponsorship, which can be displayed on its striking event page.
Shortlist’s founding team consists of Gretchen Goodrich and Jason Goodrich.
This contract sharing and electronic signature web app provides a simple , streamlined, and trusted way to enter into an agreement with anybody.
Jarrett Colby and Andre Marques, the Founders of It’s Agreed, differentiated the product from the myriad other e-contract providers through design. When you send a client to a third party site that’s cluttered and complicated, it doesn’t speak well for you as a brand and may even erode your image.
Signing on the dotted line is arguably the most important stage in a deal, so why would you make it hard for them to accomplish just that? “This is great for our customers, not just because they’ll have an easier time signing contracts, but also because it will make life easier for their clients.”
This health-tech mobile application identifies and tracks the evolution of potentially cancerous moles. Inspired by her fiance’s experience with stage four melanoma, Mole Detective Founder Kristi Zuhlke decided to create and app that would provide easy detection and tracking capability for the average person.
“The focus is prevention.” says Zuhlke, “Mole Detective is not meant to diagnose but to warn the user of suspicious looking moles.”
We consulted with dermatologists to help build the app. Unlike similar products, Mole Detective factors in the five symptoms of melanoma and makes a judgment based off of those criteria.
Angling to be the destination of choice for consumers before making purchases, Viewpoints offers an independent and unbiased opinion on the products you use and buy.
Matt Moog, Founder of Viewpoints unveiled the newly released version of the site that provides “Product intelligence: for the consumer by the consumer”, conveniently and seamlessly on all devices – desktop, tablet and smartphone.
According to Moog, Viewpoints provides the veracity of Consumer Reports’ “men in white lab coats” with trusted user reviews.
5Degrees bills itself as “A mobile relationship manager.” It’s a deceptively simple and accurate description for an application with pretty huge user potential.
Jeb Ory, Co-Founder of 5Degrees saw a better way to manage your relationships on-the-go with a system that integrates with services across your existing communication platforms. From your mobile phone’s contact list, to email, to Facebook and Twitter, 5Degrees will integrate and make searchable those communications all in one place.
Currently 5Degrees is in beta, and functions more as an “Evernote for contacts”. More features will be rolled out according to beta-user demand. You can access a beta version of the application here: http://5dg.us/5islive
If you missed 5Degrees at Technori Pitch, you can still catch their launch at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival and the SXSW Accelerator competition in Austin, Texas.
5Degrees’ founding team consists of Jeb Ory, Kilton Hopkins, and Kelly Schwedland.