Archive for April 2012
Excelerate Labs announced its 2012 class early this morning. This set comes from all over—Texas, Florida, even two companies from overseas.
Here’s the link to my post this morning.
And here are links to the companies websites:
Today’s Silicon City Q&A doubles as breaking news. Northbrook-based MK Capital announced today that it led a $7 million Series B investment in Hollywood’s DataPop, a firm that processes search data and uses that info to help marketers tailor their search ad content for consumers. The Q&A features DataPop’s Jason Lehmbeck as well as MK Capital’s Mark Koulogeorge.
Here’s the article link.
What do Tellabs and MentorMob have in common? Until now, possibly nothing at all, other than being Chicago-area tech companies. (And considering one is a giant hardware company in Naperville and the other is a software startup in the city, that’s not much of a connection.) But I wrote about each company this week, and now they get to share a links post. That’s a special bond.
- The Tellabs story is a news piece prompted by the addition of two board members, whose arrival announces the influence of NYC hedge fund Dialectic Capital. Here’s the article link. Shareholder interventions and media access don’t always go hand in hand, so I’m grateful to Tellabs CEO Rob Pullen and Dialectic’s John Fichthorn for making themselves available for the piece, which benefited greatly by their participation.
- MentorMob CEO Kris Chinosorn was the subject of this week’s Silicon City Q&A. MentorMob was a winner of this Mozilla Foundation-sponsored competition. Here’s the article link.
- Speaking of Silicon City vets winning big prizes, the NuMat team cleaned up in Texas last week. Here’s the Q&A from a couple weeks back with NuMat’s Chris Wilmer and Ben Hernandez.
GrubHub inspired and anchored a piece I wrote for Crain’s this week. The food delivery facilitator is moving to a new office in the Loop, and the story looks at how those staid surroundings might affect the culture of a tech company like GrubHub.
The piece called for description of the GrubHub’s existing culture and staff. After exhausting every hipster stereotype I could think of (shy of organic gardening), I threw in a Portlandia reference. That has to be a first for Crain’s, right?
Here’s the article link.
This also seems like a fine time to post the 40-Under-40 profiles I wrote about GrubHub cofounder Matt Maloney and Mike Evans last fall. Here are those links: Mike | Matt. (There’s just one story, but separate videos for each of them.)
Lastly, in case the Portlandia reference makes no sense . . .
Social-travel site gtrot announced this week that, well, it isn’t really a social-travel site anymore. CEO Zach Smith determined that sites with a local focus such as Yelp are more useful in helping find restaurants while traveling than travel-specific sites. He also noticed his users making local weekend plans on the site. Those observations, coupled with the notion that people are likely to use a local site far more often than a travel site, spawned the latest iteration of gtrot.
I caught up with Zach on Tuesday afternoon, the day of the announcement, for a Q&A. Here’s the article link.
Also, here’s a link to an earlier Q&A I did with Brittany Laughlin, a gtrot co-founder who is still on the company’s board, but is now back on the east coast planning to launch another business.
Today’s Silicon City column features SwipeSense, an Evanston-based company that just completed a three-month accelerator program for healthcare businesses called Healthbox. (Here’s a post I did in December when Healthbox announced the companies in its inaugural class.)
Because this was Healthbox’s first class, the participating companies weren’t the only ones learning—the organizers were, as well. Software accelerators such as Chicago’s Excelerate Labs “have a formula that works for those businesses, but we found there’s a nuance to building a business in healthcare, and we had to evolve accordingly,” says Nina Nashif, Healthbox’s founder and a managing director of Sandbox Industries, which launched the accelerator. The Healthbox entrepreneurs varied widely in their ages, experience levels and the sorts of businesses they are building, and Nashif says Healthbox’s mentors and organizers learned “to tailor advice to companies tackling such different programs.”
Here’s the article link.
I visited 37signals’ Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson the day after they released Basecamp Next in March. The new Basecamp is a built-from-scratch re-envisioning of Basecamp, the project-management software that put 37signals on the map in 2004. (You know a product is cool when you accidentally create a second hit product while building it. That’s what happened here, as Hansson developed the framework Ruby on Rails over the course of coding Basecamp.
Two stories came out of this:
- First is the profile I wrote for the print edition of Crain’s; it ran yesterday. Here’s the article link.
- Second, in today’s Silicon City post I ran a much more extended version of the interview, in Q&A form. Here’s the article link.