During the first two weeks of the new site, while Google is indexing it, you may find it easier to use the search function on the old site at www.tmronline.com
The May Report: 5/20/2013: Acquity Group has been bought by Accenture for $316MM — not sure how the Chris Dalton gang fared in this because years ago, they were bought out by a Hong Kong based investment group; that deal was announced late Friday afternoon and the Acquity Group stock (AQ) jumped quite a bit this morning, up $6.89 to $12.85 or up 115% http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/05/20/stocks-to-watch-yahoo-websense-acquity-group/ ; if you look at the history of the firm, they went from back-end retail e-commerce to design to now both back and front end, sort of like Duo Consulting http://www.duoconsulting.com/ ; Michael and Sonny, this may be a case where the Irish beat the Jews; now for something really important: Ray Markman made it through 90 minutes on Saturday morning at the Joe Levy group in Skokie without falling asleep! :-) Open the report here….
The May Report: 5/20/2013: Acquity Group has been bought by Accenture for $316MM — not sure how the Chris Dalton gang fared in this because years ago, they were bought out by a Hong Kong based investment group; that deal was announced late Friday afternoon and the Acquity Group stock (AQ) jumped quite a bit…Read Full Report
The May Report: 5/15/2013: Maria Christopoulos Katris, you never responded to my email asking about why you left out TechCocktail and Frank Gruber in your comments to Michigan Avenue Magazine http://michiganavemag.com/living/articles/chicago-startup-businesses and now you will have to spend two reports in the TMR Stockade because Frank Gruber has just raised $2.5MM from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project!! Maria, do you think your buddy Matt Moog could do that for Built in Chicago? Congrats, Frank and all the people at TechCocktail! Don’t even think of going there. I have had lot of problems since April 22nd when for the first time I fell in the shower and the CFD had to come and get me up and on April 27th when the elevator was out and I had to climb 42 stairs but made it 41 stairs up before glide landing on the 4th floor and even though Burt and Marty (fellow tenants) were helping me and we had chairs on each landing for me to rest at, we still called the CFD; the elevator has been going out intermittently since April 27th which caused me to miss Technori’s After Party (4/30) and LES (5/2), but I was able to make Anna Agata Bilinska’s graduation from Loyola with two majors last Friday morning, May 10th, and that school is literally on the lake — walk ten feet east of the student center and you’re deep in Lake Michigan!; the speaker at the evening graduation was the woman from Twitter who taught Pope Benedict how to tweet; I did hang out under the south side overhang at Union Station Thursday night while it rained until 12:20am when I went home; I also went to the Driehaus Foundation Awards for investigative journalism event on May 7th put on by the BGA (this year they gave awards of $10K, $5K, and $3K) and there are some interesting things to say about that including that Steve Miller is on their board and a Gold Sponsor and Jan Grayson, former head of DCCA, is also a board member; Joe Mansueto, JB, Bruce Rauner, Chris Kennedy, John A. Canning, Jr., Ronald Gidwitz, Lester Crown, Brenda Russell, Christie Heffner, and my old buddy Brenda Russell from UIC are on the Civic Leadership Committee; then there were my two trips to the ER at St. Joseph’s Hospital, one for epistaxis http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/863220-overview and one for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otitis_externa for which I am taking antibiotic drops, but it still bothers me and either hurts or itches but I can’t scratch it; but don’t pre-judge my productivity Ann Flood from www.meetFOAF.com or Glen Andrianov of http://onlyadate.com/ and others from the April 17th BiC event at Rockit, including Jay Gustafson of http://loclean.com/ or Keira Sagner at http://krsagner.com/; today I got sidetracked by going over previous years of the nominees and winners of the ITA City LIGHTS Awards and have been finding some interesting things; Doug Stukel and Mike Profita continue to be up to no good and owe big money to consultants, plus they’ve changed their nane to https://www.affluenceconnect.com/ and this is taking place largely in Europe
The May Report: 5/15/2013: Maria Christopoulos Katris, you never responded to my email asking about why you left out TechCocktail and Frank Gruber in your comments to Michigan Avenue Magazine michiganavemag.com/living/articles/chicago-startup-businesses and now you will have to spend two reports in the TMR Stockade because Frank Gruber has just raised $2.5MM from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown…Read Full Report
The May Report: 5/9/2013: The Annual Rites of May: Handicapping the City Lights program Editor and publisher: Ron May, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org,www.themayreport.com , 773-525-3944. If you missed an article, go here: www.tmronline.com/A55951/tmrarticles.nsf/vwFullNewsletter _______________________________ The Annual Rites of May: Handicapping the City Lights program One of the things that I look forward to every year is handicapping…Read Full Report
The May Report: 5/7/2013: No time for a long header this morning as we begin an event filled week Editor and publisher: Ron May, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org,www.themayreport.com , 773-525-3944. If you missed an article, go here: www.tmronline.com/A55951/tmrarticles.nsf/vwFullNewsletter ____________________________ ****************************** The May Report Stockade 1. Brian Cody of www.scholasticahq.com for not sending me an email as he…Read Full Report
The May Report: 5/6/2013: A special report on Michael Kurgan, Servicewing Healthcare and whether a leopard changes its spots Editor and publisher: Ron May, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org,www.themayreport.com , 773-525-3944. If you missed an article, go here: www.tmronline.com/A55951/tmrarticles.nsf/vwFullNewsletter ____________________________ ****************************** The May Report Stockade 1. Brian Cody of www.scholasticahq.com for not sending me an email as he…Read Full Report
The May Report: 5/4/2013: My buddy Bill Anthony (lawyer) has started a hedge fund with some smart guys, including Bill Ziemba who is a quant http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/quant with a Ph.D in finance from Berkeley; Bill Anthony’s vouching for Ziemba means nothing to me but Willard I. Zangwill’s opinion does matter. He’s been at ChicagoBooth forever and was supposed to go, but he lent them his SUV and stayed home to nurse a very recent foot infection. http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/busecon/busfac/Zangwill.html , Selected Bibliography for Willard I. Zangwill, Professor of Management Science — so if I’m not getting this out too late, here are Bill Ziemba’s picks, if you can make heads or tails out of it.
The May Report: 5/4/2013: My buddy Bill Anthony (lawyer) has started a hedge fund with some smart guys, including Bill Ziemba who is a quant dictionary.reference.com/browse/quant with a Ph.D in finance from Berkeley; Bill Anthony’s vouching for Ziemba means nothing to me but Willard I. Zangwill’s opinion does matter. He’s been at ChicagoBooth forever and…Read Full Report
The May Report: 4/30/2013: The IMSA presenters “were better than the contenders on Shark Tank” said judge Tyler Spalding (from www.styleseek.com ) and Josh Metnick, Bob Geras and Jose de Francisco made similar comments: The top honors and $3,000 went to a functioning business WikiRoster started by Jason Lin, Kendrick Lau and Jung Oh; the 2nd place award and $2,000 went to Ethan Gordan’s BEND, and third place went to David Park’s tunesketch for $1,000. When the awards were announced, we were told that the judges were tied on 2nd and 3rd place, and they broke the tie by giving the judges real dollar bills
The May Report: 4/30/2013: The IMSA presenters “were better than the contenders on Shark Tank” said judge Tyler Spalding (from www.styleseek.com ) and Josh Metnick, Bob Geras and Jose de Francisco made similar comments: The top honors and $3,000 went to a functioning business WikiRoster started by Jason Lin, Kendrick Lau and Jung Oh; the…Read Full Report
The May Report: 4/29/2013: Here’s the Uber story in a nutshell. As you may know, I take a lot of cabs and talk to a lot of cabbies. Uber https://www.uber.com/cities/chicago# cabs are not just limos. They can be and often are just regular cabs like Flash that are Uber-enabled with Uber iPhone and Android apps phones. As you may know, when you’re an Uber customer you don’t pay cash. Payment is pre-set when you sign up through your iPhone or Android and credit card. The typical driver takes 5 or 6 Uber calls a week, mostly during rush hour. An Uber fare is 20% higher than a regular fare and that money gets divided between the driver and Uber. So, what’s the story? The story is that while when Uber first appeared in Chicago, the limo companies and the cab companies were furious. They wanted to sue Uber and they tried to get the city to stop Uber through regulations. But I see what’s happening on the ground and in the trenches. What’s happened is this: Uber has now had an impact on how the regular cab companies operate. I take Flash a lot. About two months ago, Flash changed its automated voice message. It used to be “Your taxi has arrived. Press 1 if you want the taxi to wait and 3 if you want to cancel.” Then the customer is prompted to enter the number of minutes he or she wants the taxi to wait. That number is between 1 and 5. But all that’s changed now, in my view because of Uber. Now the message says “Your taxi has arrived. The taxi can wait only 3 minutes.” The reason for that change is that one of the biggest beefs that cab drivers have is customers who keep the drivers waiting for 20 or 25 minutes and then either don’t show or cancel. Uber customers don’t do that to the drivers for one simple reason: Uber charges them $5 automatically if the waiting time exceeds 3 minutes, I’ve been told by drivers. Uber customers who are generally in a hurry are strongly discouraged from keeping the cab waiting. Flash and probably other regular cab companies, feeling the ‘waiting time heat’ from Uber, have cracked down on their customers who keep cabbies waiting to help stave off more drainage of business to Uber. Uber has had a spillover effect on the way the regular cab companies operate. What fascinates me is that these are business process changes for the legacy cab companies brought about by a competing technology — it’s cross fertilization right under my nose!
The May Report: 4/29/2013: Here’s the Uber story in a nutshell. As you may know, I take a lot of cabs and talk to a lot of cabbies. Uber www.uber.com/cities/chicago# cabs are not just limos. They can be and often are just regular cabs like Flash that are Uber-enabled with Uber iPhone and Android apps…Read Full Report
The May Report: 4/25/2013 [sic: 26]: * I have so much stuff, it’s coming out of my ears. I just got off the phone (about 8am) with Ron Kirschner who has been one busy beaver. Open the report here. First, BIO had their national and international conference here just this week! Attendance was 17,000 to 19,000 and Ron attended receptions for France at Baker McKenzie and Flanders (that’s in Belgium), plus he went to the governors’ meeting. Many locals were there of course, and no time today, but Ron promises me a full report. (847-675-3057). (Gee, I wonder if Thornton was there?) Ron said that BIO will be here again in 2016 and this was BIO’s third time here.Last night, Heartland Angels http://www.heartlandangels.com/site-map held a meeting where 15 people saw Solublend Technologies out of Frankfurt, IL present http://www.bevnet.com/news/supplier-news/2011/solublend-technologies-receives-2011-frost-sullivan-award/ (fat vitamins soluble in water) and this morning (Friday) he is headed down to IIT (where he also teaches venture in the business school) for iPRO which is a student competition and he’s a judge. * My call to Ron Kirschner was because of two things. 1. I have more than 200 phone numbers on my iPhone now so making a call is right at my fingertips, and yes my call list does not discriminate: even Hoch and Howerton are on it. 2. That ‘genius’ John Jonelis (815-561-1545) is the other reason I called Ron. Jonelis attended the DuPage meeting of Heartland Angels last night, which he did tell me, but he would not say the name of the firm that presented. Thank you for your silence John. Your secretiveness got me back in touch with Kirschner. Jonelis (hey Bob Geras, he’s Lithuanian as are you, not Greek) also tells me that his “strategic partner,” an unnecessarily fancy word for source — as Jonelis points out ‘strategic’ partner as opposed to just a regular business partner — is Terry Flanagan. “Does Flanagan write stories?,” I asked. No, but he gives info. such as his notes from meetings to John and John writes them up, so at some level Flanagan is a ghost writer. Is there a revenue model for www.chicagoventuremagazine.com ? Flanagan says no. Too bad since if there were, I’d like to steal it. I also told both John and Terry that they need to improve the site navigation by making the route to the magazine section more direct. * Craig Miller who runs the ACG lives in Kenilworth, has rehabbed his house, hails from Cleveland where he made his money in the printing biz (?) and drives a seven year old Prius (which needs a good wash) but it does get 47 miles per gallon; * At the ACG meeting on 4/16/13 Wayne Breitbarth, www.powerformula.net , 414-313-7785, a CPA from Milwaukee, who has made a small biz out of giving advice on LinkedIn spoke. Wayne is an energetic speaker and sure makes the Rollysons and Willingers of the world look amateur. Craig says that usually they have a 50:50 split in meeting attendance between members and non-members, but on Tuesday the 16th, they got a more tilted split with 86 members and 70 non-members (Craig calls them future members). BTW, Craig told me that they got 300 people for the M&A conference. Here are five quick take aways from Wayne’s talk. 1. Most people think the list of people who looked at their profile is interesting, and that’s generally as far as it goes, but Wayne says if you just think it’s interesting, you’re missing the boat. That list is a very valuable networking and sales tool. By all means, check out their profiles, contact them and find out what they’re interested in about you. 2. Wayne says he would pay for that feature, but it’s free, so his general rule is that you don’t need to pay for premium service; 3. Most people think of a profile as a resume, but Wayne argues that you’re missing the point if you think that. It’s not about a boring recitation of every job you’ve had. It’s about key words and doing Google-style searches to raise your visibility and rankings. Set up your profile in accordance with key word principles and test it for efficacy. 4. To test it. you should re-engineer your profile, Wayne says. Try different combinations of key words and see how that effects your rankings. 5. Endorsements are a hot topic in LinkedIn circles these days. They are quite simple. I’ve been deluged with endorsements for “skills and expertise.” That is the only thing one can endorse for. So, what’s the value? Wayne says don’t ignore endorsements because they have an effect on your rankings. He calls the LinkedIn endorsement system “The Yelping of people.” * Speaking of BIO, two things. I attended the LES talk (relegated to the basement at Maggiano’s and it took 20 minutes for staff to navigate through two buildings to get me there) on Tuesday, March 19, Anatomy of a Deal with John Flavin, Managing Director, Flavin Ventures and CEO, Cell Habitats and he walked through his version of why Advanced Life Sciences failed, and I’ll cover that in more detail later but for me one big take away was that an industry trend is that projects are funded, not companies. That trend can also be extended to explain the failure of NanoInk which was juggling a number of balls. * The other thing I heard recently is that Accretive Health http://www.accretivehealth.com/Home/tabid/54/Default.aspx has a new president and CEO, Stephen Schuckenbrock who comes from Dell and joined Accretive Health in April 2013. http://ir.accretivehealth.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=234481&p=irol-newsArticle&id=1802640 They are looking for a senior marketing strategy person since the company is effectively in a branding bind — they’re in the revenue collection efficiency biz and the problem is how you position and dress up the tax man. As one person said to me “up till now, they’ve been arms akimbo.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/akimbo or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akimbo . * This morning CBS News reported that 40% of Amazon’s revenue is through 3rd parties and Amazon wants to start charging those 3rd parties a fee to collect the taxes and they’ll make money on that. * After the LinkedIn talk on the 16th I ate lunch at Plymouth, where Binyon’s used to be and talked to two 1L students from John Marshall Law School. The school used to easy to get into, but hard to graduate from, so I asked them. For 1L, there is a 10% mandatory flunk out rate, and for 2L, the flunk out rate is less than 10%. They told me that 91% of JMLS grads are employed — but not all in law! Their list of the three most popular professors was Steven Schwinn (con law) and Susan Brody (civil procedure) http://www.jmls.edu/directory/profiles/schwinn-steven/ http://www.jmls.edu/directory/profiles/brody-susan/ and the third name they gave me, Lipschitz, I could not find and that professor who teaches theory of Holocaust something, but I called and the registrar is researching it right now for me; * Craig Miller struggles at ACG to bring in more entrepreneurs and he’s saddled with lots of IBs and lawyers — one of them even told me that there is no tech in Chicago, Groupon and Navteq notwithstanding. What?? No tech in Chicago? I have to go through the cards I collected to figure out who said that to me and then throw that man in the TMR stockade which is being reactivated now. Nevertheless, Jim O’Connor, Jr., the director of the CEC’s board called Craig and I gather that Kevin Willer’s job has not been filled.* Speaking of Groupon, Laura O’Connell (spelling ??) has joined Built in Chicago to work on the Moxie Awards (she’s not listed on their site) and she comes out of the sales intelligence analysts’ group at Groupon which has gone from 65 to 15 people as they recently cut 20 and have been automating the functions of the department. She told me what that group does in plain English but I’ve forgotten. i talked to her at Rockit on Wednesday, April 17th.* Laura Driscoll is taking it easy these days, since her company InterClick was sold to Yahoo! for $270MM and she was employee #31 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204394804577011732021925726.html. She liked LoClean http://loclean.com/ btw, but that’s the next report which will have much more from the last three BIC Launches at Rockit. I estimate that this is about 22% of the info. I have.for you.* Nu Mat won $1MM in the very well funded Rice University business plan competition, not this year but in the last year or two, and their site is under construction http://numat-tech.com/ . * Just to end on silliness, octogenarian Ray Markman took lawyer Bill Anthony out to lunch for Bill’s birthday on Monday, but Ray decided to go Dutch http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=going+dutch . Ray has sent out a common virus to people on his list. The book will be called ‘The Sorrows of Old Ray.’ He’s the Irv Kupcinet of Chicago high tech since since he sleeps through meetings, and he traded in his Lexus in for a Camry because the Lexus is a gas guzzler, he told me when he very kindly drove me home on April 9th and we almost got mugged in my driveway, plus he left his office and now has an office in some guy’s house inhighland Park, I believe. Next week is the one year anniversary of 1871. Time for a top to bottom independent assessment. I’ll do that rather than rely on Built in Chicago. * So, Dr. Diekevers, is this format easier for you to read? * BTW, Monday was nasty. I went four months one day and two hours, Dec. 21st to April 22nd, without falling and on Monday at 4pm, I fell in the shower. My helper Wyena tried and tried by could not pull me up to the level of the shower bench. She had to call 911 and the three firemen who came said that the mat in the shower is slippery and the next day we took their suggestion and got those suction pods. I still have not had the guts to take another shower, but before IMSA on the 29th, I will See ya Monday Bob Geras and Josh Metnick.
The May Report: 4/25/2013:[xic: 26] I have so much stuff, it’s coming out of my ears. I just got off the phone (about 8am) with Ron Kirschner who has been one busy beaver. Open the report here. Editor and publisher: Ron May, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org,www.themayreport.com , 773-525-3944. If you missed an article, go here: www.tmronline.com/A55951/tmrarticles.nsf/vwFullNewsletter _____________________________…Read Full Report
The May Report: 4/25/2013: I have a juicy 64 ounce steak for you, but it will only be eaten one bite at a time, so let’s get started and by 5pm Friday, we may be through. About 50 people attended the CCEA competition Monday, and the ten judges decided the top 5 companies which will be nominated for the GCCA Later Stage Award competition are: #5: Greenlight (out of Northwestern); #4. 101 Celsius; #3. Illinois Clean Fuels; #2. Sheer Wind; #1. inbalance . The winning company will also win a free exhibit booth at our October 16-17th Midwest Cleantech Open Innovation Summit. The 2nd – 3rd place winning companies will receive a 50% discount on the application fee. John Jonelis was there and he now has www.chicagoventuremagazine.com and that makes him about the tenth competitor to this report I’ve helped to launch. :-) Almost all have gone the way of the Dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus). Let’s be honest — we can’t have too many tech pubs in this town and soon there will be one in NYC called Made in NY but I don’t think it launched yet. Plus no one else does what TMR does. Where else can you learn that Ray Markman slept through much of meeting Monday night or that Sonr Labs www.sonrlabs.com at 1871 which has been there since August will probably move out soon because they’re hiring a 4th person and as Alex Kemmler explained to me, that would put the rent at $1,600 a month which is enough to justify having an office of their own; or where can you find out that Joe Flesh of www.purplebinder.com offered a woman a salary of $36K in February with 1% equity, and was decidedly turned down (sales and marketing position), but a year ago he offered another woman (Jennifer) $36K and 10% equity and was also turned down for a VP of Marketing job, or that they are now about 60% of the way to raising $600K, but Joe also told me that he and CTO Declan are also taking the same $36K and that they went a year taking no salary; or that http://furywing.com/ , a gaming startup, is looking for $90K in seed capital; or that in 2009 while her so-called resume says she was running Marengo Hampshire, Andrea Moran was working for Robin Copping who has an executive search firm in the food industry on a 1099 basis while she was collecting unemployment insurance after having been canned by Accolo and btw, Andrea is a trust fund child, Robin also told me; I ask you, where else in Chicago tech can you read these things?
The May Report: 4/25/2013: I have a juicy 64 ounce steak for you, but it will only be eaten one bite at a time, so let’s get started and by 5pm Friday, we may be through. About 50 people attended the CCEA competition Monday, and the ten judges decided the top 5 companies which will…Read Full Report