News

Helping Fight Against disruption--Zipwhip Avoids The "Uber Syndrome"

When I talk about the disruptive impact of new technology approaches, it is often couched in terms of a new entrant disrupting an existing player. But disruption also occurs from within and it is sometimes even more interesting to hear of technologies that enable this kind of “intrapreneurship” to occur. I recently sat down with Zipwhip, a Seattle-based company that allows existing landline phones to send and receive text messages. The company, which recently raised a $5 million venture funding round, portrays itself as something of a hero of legacy businesses – it lets companies fight back against the threat of disruptors.

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Bill Stephenson joins ScrollMotion as Chief Revenue Officer

ScrollMotion, the company transforming how enterprises communicate through interactive sales, marketing and training applications for iPads and iPhones, announces the appointment of Bill Stephenson as Chief Revenue Officer.   Stephenson joins ScrollMotion from Facebook, where he led global sales and client management for the highest performing team within Facebook’s automotive vertical.

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Six venture capitalists reveal the best pitch of 2014

Winning pitch: Chicago-based NuCurrent (NuCurrent.com) develops high-efficiency antennas for wireless power applications, eliminating the need to plug chargers into outlets. The company's antenna technology, which can apply to everything from cellphones to office furniture, is being incorporated into products made by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Gill Electronics. Co-founded by Jacob Babcock, 32, and Vinit Singh, 35, NuCurrent was named a finalist for the 2014 Chicago Innovation Awards.

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NuCurrent, Molex announce deal on wireless charging technology

NuCurrent, Molex announce deal on wireless charging technology

Chicago-based wireless charging startup NuCurrent is teaming with Molex, looking to embed its antenna technology into a growing portfolio of platforms for mobile devices, the company announced Wednesday.

NuCurrent, which grew out of Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said the deal will broaden its reach and boost its engineering power.

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Is this the cheapest price yet for college textbooks?

Is this the cheapest price yet for college textbooks?

You don't need to be a math major to know that spending $5 for a college textbook is less than spending $45 and way less than spending $187. In this story problem, the prices are real. A new edition of “Professional Feature Writing” by Bruce Garrison goes for $187 on Amazon.com, while the cheapest used copy is listed at $45. That bargain-basement $5 version? It's a 24-hour e-book rental from Chicago startup Packback Inc.

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Food Genius Expands Client Roster With the Addition of Hormel and The Coca-Cola Co.


Food Genius has also announced that Hormel Foods, a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of high-quality, brand name food and meat products, has chosen Food Genius as a new analytics and insights provider. Hormel will utilize the Food Genius Reports platform, consisting of the most comprehensive restaurant menu analytics dashboard available, off-the-shelf industry research and custom reporting services through Food Genius' Engage!

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Another Gener8tor grad closes $1M-plus fundraising round

Gener8tor alumni and Madison startup Abodo.com said Wednesday it has closed a $1.25 million Series A financing round.

The hyperlocal online rental marketplace's main backing came from Madison-based American Family Ventures, with additional support from Chicago's Lakewest Venture Partners and 4490 Ventures, a Madison-based information technology venture capital fund that launched earlier this year.

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Art-Inspired Shoes Take BucketFeet to Next Level

Art-Inspired Shoes Take BucketFeet to Next Level

Footwear Maker Aims to Build a Brand and a Community

In his low-top sneakers with hand-drawn red, pink, yellow and brown block designs, Raaja Nemani attracted attention during a backpacking trip overseas while on a break from his finance career.

The attention inspired Mr. Nemani to team up with fellow traveler Aaron Firestein, who drew the splashy designs, in 2011 to launch BucketFeet, a Chicago startup that now has 16 full-time employees and has raised nearly $6 million in venture capital.

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Packback lands $1M from Cuban, Tullman and host of angels

Packback, which came up with an on-demand, digital solution to beat the high cost of college textbook rentals, has raised $1 million in seed funding from a high-profile group of investors.

The startup, launched in Chicago by a trio of Illinois State University students, did much of its fundraising in public, and landed Mark Cuban as an investor after appearing in the spring on ABC's “Shark Tank.”

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