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The May Report: 8/24/2012: 19 people shot in one night in Chicago, 8 on one street, as in last night! The party’s over! By year end the bloom will be…


The May Report: 8/24/2012: 19 people shot in one night in Chicago, 8 on one street, as in last night! The party’s over! By year end the bloom will be off the rose on Built in Chicago and 1871: You want proof? Gov. Quinn has established yet another commission called the Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force and at the inaugural meeting– btw, Linda Darragh is on the board, as is Marc Lane who is tied to Chicago Community Trust and the MacArthur Foundation, so right away we know it is a kiss up to the establishment, not a shake things up crowd — some guy stood up and told the group of self admirers that unbeknownst to Chicago, we’re becoming a laughing stock for the rest of the country; The upcoming Merrick Ventures Momentum Awards: Honorees: Entrepreneurial Champion: Michael Ferro — Hey, what good is having money if you can’t buy the award ceremony and give yourself an award? It would be sad if it weren’t so funny; Michael Ferro, you don’t like poseurs, so prove it. Don’t be a hypocrite. Turn down the award because by accepting it, you become a poster child for narcissistic self-dealing, a finely tuned art in Chicago, and Michael you have real responsibility now, not like the old days at Click Commerce where what you did stayed at Click — don’t get me started; in fact, if the CEC as a whole is even interested in legitimacy how about a policy that bans board members from being eligible for awards?; But let’s talk turkey, so open the report for the rest of the rant: 1871 only exists because of Groupon, and boy did the panel get huffy on May 2nd when I shouted at one panel that in 45 minutes NO ONE one had even mentioned Groupon which is undeniably the 80 lb. gorilla in the room! — does anyone believe for a nano-second that 1871 would exist were it not for Groupon?; The entire 1871 enterprise may have been conceived as a pre-emptive strike, so that when Groupon flames out, as marchFIRST and divine did years ago, they can say, “Wait, wait, we have Craig Ulliott (Logan, I’ll tell your story soon), GrubHub, Braintree, Trunk Club, Narrative Science, Belly, Bench Prep, Analyte Health, Cleversafe and much more…”; More to the point, what 1871 company has come up with truly disruptive technology?; btw, kudos to Chuck Templeton for smacking Kevin Willer and Matt Moog on the chops and actually funding, albeit for only $20K each, companies that are NOT in the digital startup and social media world and his Impact Engine is at 1871; it’s a real issue since Chicago high tech is not just digital startups or IT, it’s bio, life sciences, nano, materials, energy, logistics, transportation, and a plethora of other things; speaking of self dealing, I’m looking into Cakestyle’s chairman Millie Tadewaldt, who also just happens to be part of the Sandbox Industries Sandbox Advantage Fund — hey, isn’t that the Chicago way?; As Mike S. commented in Crain’s about Cakestyle, “Trading in that total experience for the thrill of opening a $3000 box, watching a video, and sending back the stuff you don’t want will leave Cakestyle with the ‘wealthy, tasteful, fashionable but too busy to shop’ niche (and also the well-to-do and fashionable but homebound), and that’s a pretty narrow base. But good luck. If the clients are also too busy (or too homebound) to return their rejects, then maybe you’ve got a business.” May again. Can’t we make the same argument about Trunk Club?; Do you have a minute for a quick story the moral of which is that how we act does have an impact on how we’re perceived nationally, and we’re rapidly slipping back to the bad old days of Flip on the cover of Red Herring Magazine: last night, a truly dedicated wait staff person at Rivers (30 S. Wacker on the river) named Sara Bernardini rolled me in my wheelchair to the corner of Madison and Wacker on the north west side by the Civic Opera building where we encountered several rude cabbies who pretended that they would pick me up, but then suddenly drove off, and one of these cab drivers did so just as a tourist, a middle-aged gray haired woman from Kentucky, camera in hand, looked aghast at the behavior she’d just witnessed — my thought was why is this surprising? After all, Rahm, our mayor, is rude; Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black? :-) Do you see my point Michael Ferro about setting an example and leading by example? Let’s call a three month moratorium on the Chicago Digital Technology Society of Mutual Admiration before we really do become the laughing stock the guy at the inaugural meeting of the Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force was talking about; and Lightbank also would not exist were it not for Groupon which did put this town on the map, although DD believes it was funded by money B&E stole from earlier enterprises (echoes of HA-LO and Starbelly) and Steve Hamkins of http://www.aderati.com/ — his friend is Darren Schwartz, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/darren-schwartz/5/377/905, a sales VP at Groupon– told me that Media Ocean http://www.mediaocean.com/, formerly known as Media Bank, is a cash cow from which the rest of Lightbank feeds; Andrew Taylor –a few of you may remember him –told me that Groupon freed up the cash from which Lightbank emanated, so here’s a case where conflation makes sense or is that word too big for you Iain Shovlin? :-) ; last night at the ACG Networking event at Rivers in the CME building, btw, Currents, a restaurant 2 blocks south of there, suddenly closed down, out of biz!, Craig Miller told me it went poof, just gone, no notice whatsoever; there were about 200+ people, lots of lawyers, bankers, investment bankers, PE people, recruiters, accountants, and then there was Ada Nielsen, Art Mertes, Sanford Volgel (a food industry tech commercialization consultant who actually does tech deals), Vish Visvabharathy of www.solarmicronics.co, so precious few entrepreneurs were there and kudos to Ada for leaving BP and advising entrepreneurs at The Peregrine Maven Group, ada@peregrinemaven.com, and Kison Patel and Rick McCaffrey are working on an investment platform, https://www.fiexe.com/ at 123 W. Madison St. and at they have a desk at 1871; Craig Miller who runs ACG Chicago is a garrulous, very affable guy (Fred Hoch could take lessons in being likeable from Craig), even if Craig does live in Kennilworth, but he did buy a fixer upper 17 years ago, and he hails from the 4 color printing biz in Cleveland; Craig said I’m preaching to the choir about entrepreneurs not being represented enough at ACG, so his Nov. 14th event focusing on them will be in the west loop; the best line of the night came from a guy who told me his firm had lent $150MM so far this year, and of course I said “You’re a banker” to which he promptly quipped, “I said I lend money.” Touche!

Editor and publisher: Ron May, ron@192.168.1.100/tmr, ronaldmay@aol.com, www.192.168.1.100/tmr, 773-525-3944.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Scoop section:

– Groupon senior sales executive Lee Brown leaving
– CEC Announces Honorees and Finalists for 2012 Momentum Awards Dinner to be held on October 24 at Millennium Park
– Groupon is not a tech company. Why was it valued like one?
– Alexandra Zaporozec: How Long Has Marengo Hampshire Partners Been In Business? Why In-Kind Sponsorships?? — Alexandra, as is often the case, my timing is horrendous. Please give my condolences to Andrea. She told me in early July that her mom was quite ill.
– Lawsuit claims online travel sites, hotels fix prices to staunch competition [May here. This story is getting a lot of play. CBS Morning News, The Today Show, and more. Peter Greenberg of CBS said that the entire room inventory is not on the internet, and he suggests bypassing 800 numbers and standard routes to registration by going directly to a hotel manager since an un-rented room is lost revenue forever, and hotels do have last minute and unexpected cancellations.]
– Governor Quinn’s Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force
– Martin L. O’Shield: Mr. May, I created a New Meetup group in Chicago [May here. Sometimes, I feel like a detective when doing this report. Martin, by any chance, were you the guy I heard about at the Quinn task force meeting?]
– Goran Rajsic and jail
– SpotHero, already parked at Excelerate, snares 500 Startups investment of between $50K and $100K — congrats Mark and Jeremy
– With $950,000 in new funding, DealsGoRound is rebranding itself and expanding its mission
– Pritzker-backed BrightTag buys digital rival — [May here. There you go again, Crain's editors. JB would prefer, I'm quite sure, that it be New World Ventures backed...]
– Braintree, a Payments Company, Buys Venmo for $26.2 Million [May here. Why do we have to go to the
NYT to learn this?]
– Chicago’s Excelerate named one of top 15 tech incubators [May here. John Pletz, you probably haven't been around long enough to remember this but years ago, circa 2000, the WSJ ranked Chicago as the 15th city in tech in the country and the chattering classes including Darcy, Dever, and others went bezerk.]
– Skokie’s Backlot Bash August 24 – 26 — Invite for Digital Literacy and App Expo Parties
– International Manufacturing Technology Show 2012 – September 10-15 McCormick Place
– Doejo designs winged Twinkie bling for The Snackpot | Doejo – We fuel ideas that grow
– Bow Truss Coffee Roasters announces sponsorship of BMX rider Kevin Porter | Doejo
– Human Practice Launch Party at Bow Truss | Doejo
– IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Glam Meets Gadget
– Dave Baeckelandt: Chicago’s Financial Firsts – PPT
– While Rahm fiddles with Sara Lee and McGladrey, Indiana brings in real tech jobs: INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from Appirio, a global technology-enabled cloud service provider, today to announce the company’s plans to open a new office and cloud computing development center here, creating up to 300 high-wage jobs by 2015
– CEC Weekly Startup: FunRaising Events USA
– Doejo designs winged Twinkie bling for The Snackpot
– It’s Irv being Irv: Watch the 6 minute 48 second video in which Eddie Arruza of Chicago Tonight interviews web developers at Sears downtown, and Irv Shapiro of http://public.ifbyphone.com/ who was forced to move from the Bronx building in Skokie to downtown to attract urban talent (Irv said people did not like having to change trains at Howard in the winter) and Jeremy Allons who lives in Logan Square said that the move was a pre-condition of his taking the job, plus Irv, as usual, polishes the media knob by telling Eddie Arruza that interviews like this one didn’t happen 10 years ago — really, Irv?

Editor’s note: May here. I got five articles bin this report from Technori’s most recent newsletter which aggregates articles from Crain’s, the Trib., the NYT, etc. So thanks Technori.]
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The Scoop section:
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Groupon senior sales executive Lee Brown leaving

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120823/NEWS07/120829872/groupon-senior-sales-executive-leaving
Groupon senior sales executive leaving
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August 23, 2012
(Reuters) — Groupon Inc.’s Lee Brown, who oversees the daily deal company’s national sales, has decided to leave, following other senior executives who left the company this year, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
Brown, who was senior vice president of national sales and joined in 2010 from Yahoo Inc., will be replaced by Raj Ruparell, the memo from Groupon’s operations chief Kal Raman said.
A Groupon spokesman confirmed the changes and the accuracy of the memo.
Chicago-based Groupon has lost about three quarters of its market value since the company’s IPO last year on concern that the growth of its main daily deal business is slowing.
There have also been reports of staff departures in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Jayna Cooke, another top salesperson at Groupon, had left the company.
Brown was credited with the creation of Groupon’s National Sales team, which arranges nationwide deals, rather than local offers.
“Under Lee’s management, the team has secured a number of key customers, and I’d like to personally thank Lee for his contributions and wish him the best in his next opportunity,” Raman wrote in the memo.
Ruparell, who is taking over the National Sales team, previously headed Groupon Goods, the company’s fast-growing consumer products business, Raman added.
“Raj will report to Chris Muhr, SVP of Sales, and will be immediately focused on getting to know the team and delivering on our Q3 forecast,” Raman added.

Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120823/NEWS07/120829872/groupon-senior-sales-executive-leaving#ixzz24T7sZbgP
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CEC Announces Honorees and Finalists for 2012 Momentum Awards Dinner to be held on October 24 at Millennium Park

CEC Announces Honorees and Finalists for 2012 Momentum Awards Dinner
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Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center caity@chicagolandec.org via auth.ccsend.com
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Honorees and Finalists announced for CEC 2012 Momentum Awards Dinner
Greetings!
The CEC is proud to announce this years Honorees and Finalists for the 2012 Momentum Awards Dinner. The CEC’s Fifth Annual Momentum Awards Dinner will be held on October 24 at Millennium Park.
Merrick Momentum Award Finalists

Braintree
A payment platform that enables businesses to accept online and mobile payments by providing a merchant account, payment gateway, and recurring billing and credit card storage.
Narrative Science
A data analytics startup that automatically transforms vast amounts of data into stories in plain English, helping companies understand and communicate the insight they need to improve decision-making, create new products and optimize customer interactions.
Trunk Club
A technology-powered, personalized high-end shopping service designed specifically for busy guys who want to look good but don’t have time to upgrade their wardrobes. Personal stylists handpick trunks of clothing and ship them directly to customers’ doorsteps free of charge.

Honorees
Entrepreneurial Champion: Michael Ferro
At the event, Michael Ferro, Chairman and CEO of Merrick Ventures LLC, will be honored with the CEC’s 2012 Entrepreneurial Champion Award. The Entrepreneurial Champion Award honors a prominent member of the business and entrepreneurial community who not only is successful in their own business ventures, but is also concerned with the success of their surrounding entrepreneurial community.
Corporate Champion: JP Morgan Chase, Glenn Tilton
JP Morgan Chase will be honored as the CEC’s inaugural Corporate Champion with Glenn Tilton, the financial institution’s Midwest Chairman and Chairman of United Continental Holdings, Inc. accepting the award on its behalf. The Corporate Champion Award is presented to a leader of one of Chicago’s great, established companies. Once mere startups themselves, these companies today are success stories of American industry. The Corporate Champion is selected for demonstrating exceptional vision and business outcomes in leading landmark Chicago companies while maintaining a commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation.
The CEC is co-chaired by Jim O’Connor, Jr., Managing Director of MVC Capital, and Bryant Keil, Chairman and Founder of Potbelly Sandwich Works. The Momentum Awards Dinner is presented by Title Sponsor JPMorgan Chase and Official Media Sponsor the Chicago Sun-Times.

For more information or to register, visit www.CECMomentumAwards.org.

Best,

CEC Team

chicagolandec.org
cecmomentumawards.org
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Groupon is not a tech company. Why was it valued like one?

Subject: Groupon is not a tech company. Why was it valued like one?
Date: 8/23/2012 11:34:51 A.M. Central Daylight Time
From: tatvshow@yahoo.com
To: ron@192.168.1.100/tmr
CC: RONALDMAY@aol.com

Groupon is not a tech company. Why was it valued like one?
BY Om Malik
38 Comments
Groupon’s precipitous stock decline since its public offering in November 2011 has turned the local commerce company from a web hero to a piñata. The problem is that of false expectations and lofty valuations from a company that was never really a tech-company.The summer of discontent — well, that’s what it seems to be from the perspective of the not-so-new web darlings — might be coming to an end, but months (perhaps years) of misery awaits these erstwhile rocket ships. The news reports of late have reserved particular vitriol for Groupon, the company that has seen its market valuation decline almost 82 percent since its went public.

Over the weekend, The New York Times columnist James Stewart blamed network effects going into reverse for the declining fortunes of the new web companies, though I don’t think his argument applies to Groupon, which has its own unique set of challenges and isn’t in the same class of companies as Facebook.

Today, Wall Street Journal reports that investors like Kleiner Perkins and T. Rowe Price have taken it on the chin with their Groupon investment, but for now they remain believers in Andrew Mason and rest of the team.
The Groupon debacle is particularly telling about Silicon Valley and investors. Why? Because I don’t think it belongs in same category as Facebook and even Zynga. I am not sure it even belongs in the basket of technology stocks. Let me explain:
Some deals are too good to be true
From the day it emerged out of anonymity, Groupon was hailed as the messiah of local commerce, a company that was going to revolutionize retail and advertising. I tried very hard to understand the company and figure out its technology edge. When I saw Groupon, I saw a company that was essentially using e-mails to conduct what was essentially a coupon-clipper business. (Even Groupon Goods, the new discount goods service, reminds me of QVC more than anything else.)

Nevertheless, the company kept getting valued at nosebleed valuations by private investors. Some of the smartest people on the planet were extolling virtues of the company. Google offered to buy if for $6 billion. Maybe I was too old fashioned to label the company as a “technology company.” So, I abstained from writing and tuned out GroupOn. That didn’t stop the company from going public and getting valued at around $12.8 billion, making it the biggest U.S. web IPO since Google. Nothing really changed after the IPO. The more time went by, the more evident it became, at least to me, that Groupon was no technology company. That is the most crucial point of the Groupon saga.
The momentum players
Of course, the problem with Groupon is not entirely of its making. In order for a company like Groupon to get valuations befitting a high-growth technology company instead of a coupon-clipper business, there need to be compliant and willing investors. Many have their own personal compulsions. Kleiner Perkins, having lost its shirt on clean tech and energy investments, decided to double down on social and web investments — price be damned. No one can fault them trying to remake their franchise, which as PE Hub’s Connie Loizos pointed out has been under attack from Marc Andreessen’s investment outfit, A16z.

Other late-stage investors in the company felt the heat from late stage investor DST Global, a relatively new and aggressive investor with faint regard for valuation. For others, it was merely a way to play the momentum, make a quick buck and show a win, so that they can go on and raise yet another big fund.

And then there are the likes of T.Rowe Price, a giant mutual fund that was hoping that it could get a piece of these fast growers and make a killing at the IPO. Well, that plan didn’t work out, but they are still holding onto the stock. [By the way, it is the same fund that bought into Slide at a rumored $500 million valuation. Slide was sold to Google for $250 million.]

Many of these late-stage investors were trying to time the market. And as someone really smart once said — you can’t really time the market. More importantly, it doesn’t matter who you are or how fast you grow, at some point in time companies — both big and small — have to grow into their valuation. Groupon’s late stage investors are living through that harsh reality.
If it quacks like a duck….
Photo of Ducks by Daniel Alvarez via ShutterStockGroupon isn’t the only company that uses technology but isn’t really a technology company, nonetheless enjoying investors’ decision to value it as a technology company. Just because a company uses the web and uses social networks (instead of real estate and old media) to sell things and find new audiences doesn’t mean that it should be put in the same bucket as, say, a company offering storage services to large companies, or even running world’s biggest social identity platform.

Andreessen once famously said that software will eat everything. I totally agree — but that also means that the software should make things more efficient. That makes the companies that are using software to replace the physical infrastructure (and its limitations) more profitable.

Yes, the Internet, mobile devices and social networks make it easy for these companies to grow their businesses — really really fast — but at the end of the day, if you are selling shoes, you are selling shoes. If anything, the higher growth, efficiency of infrastructure and ability to narrowly and rightfully target your customers should mean that you as a business should have higher margins than a competitive retailer. And if you do, then you should be valued higher than an offline competitor.

However, we continue to see the online-equivalents of retailers and fashion brands being accorded valuations typically reserved for high-growth technology companies. How is a company selling subscription for shoes or underwear a technology company? Many of these online companies might seem special because of there new models, but in the end they aren’t. Like ShoeDazzle that started the whole retail-as-a-subscription madness and is now selling discounted shoes, Groupon is a rude reminder of that reality.

The fact is that the very idea of what is a technology company is starting to morph. The traditional tools of valuing technology startups might not be applicable to companies like Groupon, which are like shooting stars – they grow fast and they fade faster. It means, the venture investors have to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to value the online equivalents of old-line businesses.

Bruce Eric Montgomery
Founder, Producer & Host
Technology Access Television
200 S. Wacker Drive, 15th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606-5865
(312) 725-8601
tatvshow@yahoo.com
www.TechAccessTV.com
www.twitter.com/TechAccessTV
www.facebook.com/TechAccessTV
www.YouTube.com/TechAccessTV
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Alexandra Zaporozec: How Long Has Marengo Hampshire Partners Been In Business? Why In-Kind Sponsorships?? — Alexandra, as is often the case, my timing is horrendous. Please give my condolences to Andrea. She told me in early July that her mom was quite ill.

How Long Has Marengo Hampshire Partners Been In Business? Why In-Kind Sponsorships??
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Alexandra Zaporozec alexandra@marengohampshire.com
4:12 PM (13 hours ago)
to me, ronaldmay, Andrea
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Hi Ron,

I’m writing you back this time, instead of Andrea: her mother passed on Friday and she is out of pocket for the next few weeks as she and her family hold gatherings here in Chicago and at her parents’ home in Santa Fe. Instead of sending flowers or other gifts, for anyone inclined to do so, they would be honored for you to donate to Imerman Angels, www.imermanangels.org, a one-on-one cancer support organization.

Down to business: honestly Ron, though some may get annoyed with being in your crosshairs front and center in The May Report, we genuinely appreciate your interest! And as you know we’ll correct you when the facts aren’t straight, and you’re the first to circle back and correct appropriately. I’ve known you since my days at Blair-backed Clear Communications (optical network management) and that has always been the case.

“How long has Marengo Hampshire Partners really been in business?” Since 2006, when RR Donnelley bought Banta Corporation!

How is that an answer? Banta Global Turnkey, the wholly-owned Irish subsidiary where I was Global VP of Strategic Marketing was the gem at the heart of the 2006 RR Donnelley acquisition… and my severance package. Enter Andrea Moran, a career Human Capital professional, longtime friend, fellow philanthropist, and Chair of the Evening Associates Board at the Art Institute of Chicago. That is in fact how we came to meet many years prior: Andrea and I were both Directors and she eventually became Chairman of the Board.

One day in late 2006, while I was contemplating my next career move, Andrea came over to my house under the auspices of sharing a bottle of wine. We sat down on my sofa, and instead of launching into conversation, she pulled out her laptop and launched into a formal PowerPoint pitch! She detailed a full market assessment, opportunity map and closed with why we should pool our complimentary skill sets to form an executive search firm that would help start-up, emerging, and technology-driven companies (we both have multiple venture-backed startups under our belts and I am a former angel and VC-round investor).

The biggest problem with executive search (perhaps the second oldest profession) is its transactional, short-term nature. While profitable for many, it’s often not clear to clients that their search firm’s interests dovetail with their own. Some firms just want to get a person in the role and issue an invoice…whether that person truly ends up being the right fit is not an accountability most firms choose to own. We decided that the way to innovate in the search market would be to align our long term interests with those of our clients: we guarantee every role, for the life of the role.

Back to your question: in 2006 we developed our value proposition, honed an intensive best practice process leveraging Andrea’s deep expertise from her career in executive search, and also decided that we would help our clients with roles from Board and CEO level down to the front line sales roles that drive revenue directly. We find the talent our clients need, regardless of the level. I am proud to say we also earned our fist clients in late 2006! So though we say 2006, you can indeed correct it to “late 2006”.

Your next point: LLC in 2010. No correction required. We built organically, as sole proprietors working together (as Managing Partners, we are still 1099 to our own LLC). In May of 2009 we changed our structure to a partnership and filed that with the State of Illinois. On October 13, 2010, we filed for LLC status. So your sleuthing is correct!

On to your last point: sponsorships. You are spot on, we never do cash sponsorships. Two reasons: 1) ROI is good, but we don’t invest in outbound marketing per se, 2) our “in kind” sponsorships go directly to benefit start-ups who otherwise might not be able to hire a firm to source the right talent. Not unlike an original stock offering, where cash invested in the stock goes straight to company capital, as opposed to the secondary market, where it simply goes to the last investor who held the stock. This isn’t an exercise in philanthropy. We do get visibility, but start-ups benefit directly. So when you see our name in lights, assume it’s in-kind!

And if you would like the story of how we named our company, we can cover that in another installment.

Best regards,
Alexandra

Alexandra Zaporozec / Managing Partner
(O) 773.404.7026 (C) 773.251.6406

We guarantee every role we fill. For the life of the role.
Executive Search – redefined, reinvented, 100% aligned with your business.
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Lawsuit claims online travel sites, hotels fix prices to staunch competition [May here. This story is getting a lot of play. CBS Morning News, The Today Show, and more. Peter Greenberg of CBS said that the entire room inventory is not on the internet, and he suggests bypassing 800 numbers and standard routes to registration by going directly to a hotel manager since an un-rented room is lost revenue forever, and hotels do have last minute and unexpected cancellations.]

http://kpbj.com/business_daily/2012-08-23/lawsuit_claims_online_travel_sites_hotels_fix_prices_to_staunch_competitio
Lawsuit claims online travel sites, hotels fix prices to staunch competition
AUGUST 23, 2012 @ 12:05AM | THE KPBJ
Globe Newswire
Consumers have filed a class-action lawsuit against several online travel sites including Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq:EXPE), Travelocity, Booking.com, a subsidiary of Priceline.com (Nasdaq:PCLN), and the nation’s largest hotel operators including Hilton Hotel, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, a subsidiary of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT), and Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), claiming the two groups conspired to use their market dominance to fix prices on hotel rooms across the country.
The lawsuit, filed August 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of hotel-room purchasers nationally, alleges that the online hotel retailers conspired with major hotel defendants to secretly create and enforce Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) agreements to thwart competition on hotel room prices, especially from price-cutting online retailers.
The complaint contends that the defendants’ unlawful conduct caused plaintiffs and other class members to overpay for their purchases of room reservations and seeks to represent all consumers who have purchased hotel rooms from the online retailer defendants.
“The large online travel sites, working with hotel chains, have created the illusion that savvy consumers can spend time researching hotel rates online to find good deals,” said Steve Berman, managing partner and co-founder of Hagens Berman, the Seattle law firm representing the plaintiffs. “The reality is that these illegal price-parity agreements mean consumers see nothing but cosmetic differences and the same prices on every site.”
According to the complaint, online travel sites account for as much as 50 percent of hotel bookings in the United States and traditionally operate under one of two models. Under the agency model, online retailers charge a service fee to a hotel operator on a transaction basis for booking customers, and that customer pays the hotel directly at a rate set by the hotel.
Under the merchant model, online retailers purchase rooms outright at a negotiated rate from the hotel, and then resell the rooms to consumers at a higher price, increasing or decreasing margins depending on competitive influences.
More recently, a new model has emerged that has cut into the traditional online retailers’ profits, the complaint contends, and has led to the creation of the RPM agreements. In this model, known as the Wholesale Model, third-party companies buy up unsold blocks of rooms at the last minute and resell them to smaller price-cutting online retailers, eroding the profits of the traditional online retailers.
Knowing hotels cannot afford to lose access to online distribution networks, online retailers devised an illegal scheme, extracting agreements from the hotels that online retailers may not sell rooms below the RPM rates — even through the wholesale model — on penalty of termination and as a condition of doing business through the online retailers, the lawsuit contends.
The complaint states that the online retailer defendants often use terms like “best price guarantee” to create the impression of a competitive market, but in truth these are nothing more than a cover for the price-fixing conspiracy.
“The cold fact is that there are no ‘best prices’ but instead there is only a fixed price that all the defendant online retailers tout in unison,” Berman added.
“We have abundant information that points to the existence of written or verbal agreements between the online retailers and hotel companies about the existence and enforcement of RPM agreements,” Berman noted. For example, in published statements, a spokesperson for Sabre Holdings, which operates Travelocity, admitted it uses RPM agreements “so that the customer can have the confidence that they will get the best rate and they don’t have to go on 18 different sites.”
The suit alleges that the defendants’ activities violate both the federal antitrust laws, as well as California’s Cartwright Act. A complete list of the defendant online retailers and hotels is available at www.hbsslaw.com/HotelAntitrust.
Hagens Berman is continuing to investigate these allegations. Individuals with additional information, or consumers who purchased a hotel room from an online travel company, can contact Hagens Berman by calling (206) 623-7292 or by emailing hotelantitrust@hbsslaw.com.
Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP represents workers, whistleblowers, investors and consumers in complex litigation. The firm has offices in Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
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Governor Quinn’s Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force

http://appointments.illinois.gov/appointmentsDetail.cfm?id=432
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Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force
Function
The purpose of the Task Force is to make recommendations on how to strengthen the capacity of Illinois to work cooperatively to create, scale, and sustain innovative social programs;
build the capacity of nonprofit organizations and government to pursue entrepreneurial ventures;
and attract funding to Illinois to support these ventures. The Task Force shall advise the General Assembly, the Governor, and agency heads and have the following duties:
a. To gather information on social innovation, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise;
and b. To receive and consider reports and testimony from individuals, government departments, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, foundations, and other public and private organizations statewide and of national significance about how social innovation and entrepreneurship can accelerate progress on social issues, work cross-sector, and advance social and economic development goals;
and c. To identify promising strategies that have been used in other communities and states to encourage cross-sector collaboration on social issues;
and d. To identify promising strategies to educate and train citizens, nonprofit organizations, governments, students, and businesses on entrepreneurial concepts as applied in the social sector;
and e. To complete a statewide comprehensive strategic plan to the general public, State and local officials, various public and private organizations and associations, businesses and industries, agencies, potential funders, and other community resources. The Task Force shall submit preliminary reports to the General Assembly and the Governor within six months of its first meetings and within one year of its first meetings, and shall submit a final report within two years of its first meeting. The reports shall address the plans, actions, and resources needed to achieve the Task Force’s goals and progress as identified in the Plan. The reports shall include an accounting of funds expended, funds received from grants, and anticipated funding needs and related cost savings for full implementation of recommended plans and programs.
Senate Confirmation
No
Qualifications
See Composition.
Composition
Members of the Task Force shall represent the diversity of Illinois, shall be appointed by the Governor, and shall include the following individuals:
1) Two executives of nonprofit organizations that operate at least one social enterprise. 2) One representative from a statewide or regional nonprofit management support organization. 3) One university representative who has an established track record in social entrepreneurship or tracking the economic impact of social sector issues. 4) The Secretary of Human Services, or his or her designee. 5) the Director of Children and Family Services, or his or her designee. 6) Two representatives from the private sector whose companies have a track record of support for social entrepreneurship. 7) One representative from a foundation or venture philanthropies which have an established track record in funding social entrepreneurs. 8) Two other individuals who have expertise that would be valuable to the task force, including a representative from the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. The Governor shall appoint a Chairman, and the Chairman will set meeting dates for the Task Force. Administrative support to the Task Force shall be provided by the agencies appointed to the Task Force.
Authority
Executive Order 11-05

Member Names
Name (Last, First)
Member Since
Appointed By
Position
County
Cargie, Nora Moreno
05/03/2012
Governor
Member, Representative from private sector whose company has a strong commitment to the community and track record of support for social entrepreneurship
Cook
Darragh, Linda
05/03/2012
Governor
Member, University Representative who has an established track record in social entrepreneurship or tracking the economic impact of social sector issues
Cook
Lane, Marc
01/24/2012
Governor
Chair
Cook
Schwartz, Debra
05/03/2012
Governor
Member, Exeutive of nonprofit organization that operates at least one social enterprise
Cook
Vacant
Governor
Member, Secretary of Human Services, or his or her designee
None
Vacant
Governor
Member, Representative from private sector whose company has a strong commitment to the community and track record of support for social entrepreneurship
None
Vacant
Governor
Member, Director of Children and Family Services, or his or her designee
None
Vacant
Governor
Member, Representative from foundation or venture philanthropies that have an established track record in funding social entrepreneurs

None
Vacant
Governor
Member
Cook
Vacant
Governor
Member, representative from the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service
None
Weinheimer, Ericq
05/03/2012
Governor
Member, Executive of nonprofit organization that operates at least one social enterprise
Cook
Zelechowski, Elise
05/03/2012
Governor
Member, Representative from statewide or regional nonprofit management support organization
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Martin L. O’Shield: Mr. May, I created a New Meetup group in Chicago [May here. Sometimes, I feel like a detective when doing this report. Martin, by any chance, were you the guy I heard about at the Quinn task force meeting?]

Subject: Mr. May, I created a New Meetup group in Chicago: http://www.meetup.com/Software-Radio/
Date: 8/23/2012 1:48:34 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: martin@windycitysdr.com
To: ron@192.168.1.100/tmr, ronaldmay@aol.com, caroldavids@comcast.net, EGraubins@nwsec.com, pfeiffer@iit.edu
Mr. May,
Software Radio / Software Defined Radio is:
A software radio is a wireless communications device that performs all of its signal processing in portable, application level software. By simply running a different program, a software radio can become a cell phone, wireless LAN, cordless phones, garage door opener or walkie-talkie. The flexibility enabled by software radio also enables faster technology tracking, since standards upgrade are simply software downloads.

http://www.meetup.com/Software-Radio/

When I schedule the first event/meeting, I welcome you to attend as I will be inviting the News Media to this DISRUPTIVE Technology.

Here is a MIT Video demonstration of Software Radio / Software Defined Radio:

http://www.sds.lcs.mit.edu/SpectrumWare/mpeg/lcs35lo.MPG

I, Martin L. O’Shield of WindyCitySDR, shall be bringing this technology to Chicago, Illinois since entities like 1871 @ the Merchandise Mart contribute to this following fact:
http://bit.ly/RGPCMn
1871 & the above fact about Chicago ” Lagging ” in technology was addresses to the staff last night by multiple people at:

Illinois Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship … – Meetup
www.meetup.com/SE-Alliance-Chicago/events/76926752
But the “Illinois Task Force” doesn’t even have $ to convene/organize/operate.

Chicago is in trouble with the current cast of ” Experts/Best of the Best “:
(READ THE 1871 “Experts/Best of the Best” in the comments section at the bottom of the page = EMBARASSING CHICAGO)
http://www.meetup.com/TechinMotion/events/56027172/
Its known throughout the USA now as a ” good old boy network ” whom exclude people like me, while posing to society as being
technologically supeior to all Chicagoians!
Embarrassing!

Sincerely,

Martin L. O’Shield
___________________________
Goran Rajsic and jail

Subject: Goran Rajsic
Date: 8/22/2012 12:34:40 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: Name withheld upon request
To: RONALDMAY@aol.com

Ron – please keep my identity confidential on this message.

You can find a Goran Rajsic on the IDOC Inmate Search page here:

http://www2.illinois.gov/idoc/Offender/Pages/InmateSearch.aspx

If this is the guy you referred to in today’s post then it looks like he’s in Vandalia Correctional Center until next spring. Then parole for another year.

[Name withheld upon request]
_________________________
SpotHero, already parked at Excelerate, snares 500 Startups investment of between $50K and $100K — congrats Mark and Jeremy

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120823/BLOGS06/120829883/spothero-already-parked-at-excelerate-snares-500-startups-investment

SpotHero, already parked at Excelerate, snares 500 Startups investment
August 23, 2012

Print | Email | 1 comment
44 33 1
By Steve Hendershot
The ten companies participating in Chicago-based tech accelerator Excelerate Labs get to make their formal pitches to investors next Wednesday. That hasn’t stopped one of the participating companies, parking-reservations startup SpotHero, from securing an initial round of funding beforehand from Silicon Valley venture-capital firm 500 Startups.
SpotHero met with 500 Startups founder Dave McClure when Mr. McClure visited Excelerate last month, and finalized the deal shortly thereafter. SpotHero will receive an undisclosed sum between $50,000 and $100,000 and become a 500 Startups portfolio company — and not a participant in the 500 Startups accelerator, which would force SpotHero to relocate to California. SpotHero will remain based in Chicago.

Mr. McClure met with each Excelerate company, but SpotHero’s introduction was made easier because of some additional connections. SpotHero cofounder Mark Lawrence worked out of 500 Startups’ Bay Area offices while visiting an entrepreneur friend earlier this year, SafeShepherd’s Robert Leshner. Mr. Leshner, who moved his company (formerly called MelonCard) to California from Chicago in 2011 to participate in the 500 Startups accelerator, had also told Mr. McClure about SpotHero. “There was already kind of this warm feeling,” Mr. Lawrence says of his first meeting with Mr. McClure.

SpotHero is still figuring out how much money it will seek at Excelerate’s investor presentation “Demo Day” next week. But Mr. Lawrence figures the pitch will go down easier now that SpotHero carries a 500 Startups endorsement.

“Having their name on something is a pretty good mark,” Mr. Lawrence says. “That’s In addition to Excelerate. Together, I think it will definitely make it easier” (to raise money).

That’s in addition to the connections that come from befriending Mr. McClure and the entrepreneurs from, well, 500 startups. “We can bounce off both the (500 Startups and Excelerate Labs) networks for introductions, so it’s nice to have backing from both,” Mr. Lawrence says.
Steve Hendershot writes “Silicon City,” Crain’s weekly post on Chicago tech news and newsmakers. Check it out every Tuesday on Crain’s blog for Chicago entrepreneurs.

Follow Steve on Twitter: @stevehendershot.

Follow Ann on Twitter at @AnnDwyer_Crains.

Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120823/BLOGS06/120829883/spothero-already-parked-at-excelerate-snares-500-startups-investment#ixzz24TLXLQ00
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_____________________
With $950,000 in new funding, DealsGoRound is rebranding itself and expanding its mission

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-dealsgoround-rebrands-expands-daily-deals-services-20120822,0,2656253.story

With $950,000 in new funding, DealsGoRound is rebranding itself and expanding its mission. (Handout)
Ads by GoogleBy Wailin Wong

Tribune reporter

9:00 a.m. CDT, August 23, 2012
DealsGoRound, a two-year-old Chicago startup, has raised $950,000 in new funding and reshaped itself into a company called MyCabbage that allows members to store and share daily deal vouchers, coupons and gift cards.
Founder and Chief Executive Kris Petersen created DealsGoRound as a Craigslist-like service for consumers to sell daily deal vouchers they had purchased but would not be redeeming. As the online platform evolved, users were able to upload their vouchers from multiple providers into a central repository and marketplace. The company also raised $300,000 in seed funding from Chicago-based venture capital firm Lightbank, whose founders were also early backers of Groupon.
The $950,000 in new funding comes from Lightbank, I2A Fund and New World Ventures, all local firms. A handful of Chicago angel investors also participated, Petersen said. DealsGoRound has amassed a “couple hundred thousand” users that will be migrated to MyCabbage, the new company.
MyCabbage will still have an online marketplace for members to buy and sell their unredeemed daily deal vouchers, but it has a broader mission of organizing all types of cash equivalents such as gift cards and coupons. Users can upload electronic gift cards to their accounts or take a picture or a paper coupon to create a digital version and redeem the vouchers via their mobile phone at stores. The technology should work at any merchant that can scan a coupon bar code, Petersen said.
The revamped company has also added social features so that friends can share coupons. And MyCabbage is making a foray into providing deals. It has signed up nearly 50 merchants, including Macy’s and Anthropologie, signed up as partners to offer exclusive deals to users. Members can browse a curated list of these offers and download them. Petersen said MyCabbage “focused on the brands that (users) would be patronizing and focused on the higher end. We don’t want it to come across as we’re dumping coupons on a page.” Nearly 70 percent of DealsGoRound users are females age 25 to 40 who live in urban areas, Petersen said.
DealsGoRound previously made money by taking a 10 percent fee from each transaction conducted through its site. It’s now scrapping that revenue model in favor of affiliate relationships with the merchants that offer deals through its platform.
As for the name, Petersen said he liked “cabbage” because it’s a lesser-known slang term for money.
“We’re simplifying deals, gift cards, coupons,” he said. “That’s all cabbage.”
wawong@tribune.com | Twitter @VelocityWong
Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune
_________________________
Pritzker-backed BrightTag buys digital rival — [May here. There you go again, Crain's editors. JB would prefer, I'm quite sure, that it be New World Ventures backed...]

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120822/NEWS08/120829942/pritzker-backed-brighttag-buys-digital-rival

Pritzker-backed BrightTag buys digital rival
143 23 11 9
Print | Email | 0 comments

By John PletzAugust 22, 2012

(Crain’s) — BrightTag Inc. is taking on a European flavor.
The advertising-technology startup used some of the $15 million it recently raised from J.B. Pritzker and other venture capitalists to buy SiteTagger, a U.K.-based competitor.
It’s part of a broader push into Europe, where BrightTag’s business is growing fast, despite the continent’s wobbly economy.
CEO Mike Sands declined to disclose BrightTag’s financials but said the deal will boost revenue from Europe to 25 to 33 percent of total sales. A year ago, it was less than 10 percent. BrightTag was on its way to doubling that amount before the acquisition, Mr. Sands said.
Both BrightTag and SiteTagger make software that allows website owners to manage tags, or bits of software that advertisers place on their sites to collect data from users. He estimated that just one in 10 e-commerce sites use tag-management tools.
BrightTag’s expansion was driven by customers such as Chicago-based Orbitz Worldwide Inc. that do business in Europe. (Mr. Sands is a former Orbitz exec.) SiteTagger’s clients include British Gas, apparel retailer Marks & Spencer PLC and TimeOut.
“We need to do business in multiple time zones,” Mr. Sands said in an interview.
Mr. Sands wouldn’t say how much he spent to buy SiteTagger. BrightTag raised $15 million from Baird Venture Partners in April, bringing total investment to $23 million. Other investors, besides Mr. Pritzker’s New World Ventures, included I2A Fund, Silicon Valley Bank, Epic Ventures and Tomorrow Ventures, the investment fund of Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt.
BrightTag, which already has grown to 50 from 35 workers this year, will add another 11 people in the transaction.
Mr. Sands said the deal makes BrightTag the largest player in its space. One factor fueling its rise overseas is that Europe is leading the way in setting privacy rules governing how much data can be collected from Internet users without their permission. BrightTag added technology that allows users to “opt in” to data collection.

Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120822/NEWS08/120829942/pritzker-backed-brighttag-buys-digital-rival#ixzz24TMhQFP5
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______________________________
Braintree, a Payments Company, Buys Venmo for $26.2 Million [May here. Why do we have to go to the NYT to learn this?]

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/payments-start-up-braintree-buys-venmo-for-26-2-million/

August 16, 2012, 2:02 pm1 Comment
Braintree, a Payments Company, Buys Venmo for $26.2 Million

By JENNA WORTHAM
The mobile payments war continues to escalate.
Braintree, a payments company that supplies technology to process credit card transactions on a mobile phone, said it purchased Venmo, a start-up that lets people send to and receive money from their friends. The company paid $26.2 million for Venmo which was first announced in 2009. Venmo’s founders have said that the company processes around $10 million in payments monthly, a figure that has grown by 30 percent each month. They expected to be processing $250 million annually by the end of 2012.
Braintree’s technology is used to process credit cards on more than 3,000 e-commerce sites, including Fab.com, Airbnb, Uber, Hotel Tonight, LivingSocial and the Angry Birds games. Executives say they plan to integrate Venmo’s technology into their own software, so that anyone with a Venmo account will be able to pay for items and transitions on the Web and on a mobile phone using their existing Venmo account. Braintree, which is headquartered in Chicago, will not relocate the 23-member Venmo team, which is based in New York. Instead, the small start-up will continue its operations on the East Coast and keep its text-based payment system up and running.
Bill Ready, the chief executive of Braintree, says the company is preparing for the coming wave of mobile commerce. Of the $4.5 billion in sales that the company processes each year, $1 billion of those are on mobile phones. Mr. Ready expects that folding Venmo into Braintree will help it take on larger, more established rivals in the online payments industry, including PayPal, as well as other companies, like Google, that are looking to gain traction with their own version of a digital wallet.
“PayPal was built 10 years ago for Web browsers,” said Mr. Ready. “It hasn’t really updated the way people take payments.”
Braintree currently has 30 million users registered through its site. Mr. Ready hopes that Venmo’s small, but dedicated footing among the early-adopter tech crowd will help it gain an edge against other payment processing start-ups, such as Stripe and Dashlane.
“The shift to mobile is coming and it is coming very quickly,” he said.
________________________________
Chicago’s Excelerate named one of top 15 tech incubators [May here. John Pletz, you probably haven't been around long enough to remember this but years ago, circa 2000, the WSJ ranked Chicago as the 15th city in tech in the country and the chattering classes including Darcy, Dever, and others went bezerk.]

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120822/BLOGS06/120829906/chicagos-excelerate-named-one-of-top-15-tech-incubators
Chicago’s Excelerate named one of top 15 tech incubators
August 22, 2012
By John Pletz
It’s no wonder Excelerate Labs attracts startups from around the globe, even though it’s just three years old.
The Chicago-based tech incubator ranked fifth among the top 15 accelerators in the country in a new study by researchers at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

YCombinator, based in Silicon Valley, topped the list, published by Chicago-based tech organizer TechCocktail. Boulder, Colo.-based TechStars was ranked second, followed by KickLabs and I/O Labs, both based in San Francisco, and Excelerate.
While it’s easy to think Excelerate might have benefited from a little hometown bias, this is second time founders Sam Yagan and Troy Henikoff have been singled out as a success. Forbes named Excelerate No. 6 on its top 10 list of incubators.

In both cases, the rankings are based largely on how many companies get funding and/or an exit, such as a sale. Eleven of 20 companies in the first two Excelerate classes got funding, and two have been acquired. The ranking was done by MBA student Kristen Kamath and professor Yael Hochberg, both of Kellogg.
Incubator programs, which try to coach entrepreneurs from an idea to investment-worthy company in just 90 days, have taken off in the past few years. Entrepreneurs, who typically give up a small stake in their companies, receive extensive input from mentors and the chance to pitch their ideas to a crowd of investors.
The current Excelerate class, which features teams from France, India and China, takes the stage for Demo Day on Wednesday at House of Blues.

Follow Ann on Twitter at @AnnDwyer_Crains.

Read more: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120822/BLOGS06/120829906/chicagos-excelerate-named-one-of-top-15-tech-incubators#ixzz24TNjrEbN
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__________________________
Skokie’s Backlot Bash August 24 – 26 — Invite for Digital Literacy and App Expo Parties

Subject: Skokie’s Backlot Bash August 24 – 26 — Invite for Digital Literacy and App Expo Parties
Date: 8/23/2012 4:17:50 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: leo@howehutton.com
Reply To:
To: johnowrey@gmail.com, field@iit.edu, computoon1@aol.com, pincon@digibridge.org, oshc@live.com, stephen.lastowski@gmail.com, ernest.sanders@broadbandillinois.org, bmuhammad@ntginc.net, DSSA310@aol.com, valeriefleonard@msn.com, pierreaclark@gmail.com, victor@idpl.org, Gaston.Armour@illinois.gov, ccc@digibridge.org, kkennedy@lumity.org, rbsteeleassociates@yahoo.com, l.fujitani.13@gmail.com, cwu@ippay.com, Fernando.Chavarria@illinois.gov
CC: FRoehm@skokielibrary.info, cbenton@benton.org, chuck.sherwood@verizon.net, ernest.sanders@broadbandillinois.org, thom@newstips.org, bpopovic@cantv.org, Dcdobmeyer@aol.com, RONALDMAY@aol.com, tfigel@lake-effect.com, andy@andyvass.com, isiglobal@gmail.com, friendofoaks@aol.com, james.carlini@sbcglobal.net
Digital Literacy and Community Application (so-called Killer App) Expo Enthusiasts,
Frances Roehm invites you all to come visit Skokie Public Library’s Backlot Bash this weekend, when the library will be open all day, including 6-10 Friday. http://www.backlotbash.com/ I’ve not checked for the weekend, but Skokie Public Library has had a community media sites (perhaps now linked with Evanston) which may be covering activities.
Whether you are able to attend or not, this is an example of the kind of community-wide and library-area wide Events or Expos that have Tech Expo elements. Such institutions may look to join community and business and community college parties in preparing local innovation Mobile App and Community Literacy Network applications due September 11. There may be partner relation-building with Smart Chicago communities, such as in the big Renaissance event coming up in Englewood/Auburn Gresham in September.
These kinds of Community Expo events are similar to county fair events in the other 101 counties of Illinois. Cook County is the only county without a county fair.
Layton
_____________________________
International Manufacturing Technology Show 2012 – September 10-15 McCormick Place

Subject: International Manufacturing Technology Show 2012 – September 10-15 McCormick Place
Date: 8/23/2012 1:58:43 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: leo@howehutton.com
To: RONALDMAY@aol.com
CC: field@iit.edu
Ron,
Saw your promo info on the October HR IT convention today.
It made me think of the upcoming IMTS September 10-15, including the Clean Tech day on the 12th.
http://www.imts.com/
I don’t know if you have any contacts with these people (back in DC suburbs), but wanted to call it to your attention.
Jerry Field via IIT has worked with them for 20 years, quite a bureaucracy.
Have you ever attended and covered it? Note — this year they will have a start-to-finish assembly of a leading edge US automobile, some company in AZ I think.) With his interest in Advanced Manufacturing, City’s CTO John Tolva may attend. I presume the Mayor and state elected officials will show up for the receptions/photo ops, since there will be 80,000 to 90,000 in attendance, including 8-9000 in Student Summit for high demand-tech career entry/training/apprenticeship programs.
This has always been an amazingly undercovered story by Chicago business press, probably because they can’t visualize a tool & die making piece of equipment, even if each one costs $500,000 to $1 million, and they need skilled operators. In 2000 they had a Cut Out Section of a Dreamliner, very large, but just a small part of the 9 pavilions, each with its own kind of manufacturing equipment, CAD CAM, metal working, abrasive/cutting, quality control, you name it.
In any event, best regards and FYI if the event is of interest (I will be away next week)
Layton
______________________________
Doejo designs winged Twinkie bling for The Snackpot | Doejo – We fuel ideas that grow

Doejo designs winged Twinkie bling for The Snackpot | Doejo – We fuel ideas that grow
Inbox
x

Philip Tadros phil@doejo.com
11:46 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
http://doejo.com/blog/doejo-designs-winged-twinkie-bling-for-the-snackpot
_____________________________
Bow Truss Coffee Roasters announces sponsorship of BMX rider Kevin Porter | Doejo

Bow Truss Coffee Roasters announces sponsorship of BMX rider Kevin Porter | Doejo – We fuel ideas that grow
Inbox
x

Philip Tadros phil@doejo.com
11:45 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
http://doejo.com/blog/bow-truss-coffee-roasters-announces-sponsorship-of-bmx-rider-kevin-porter
__________________________
Human Practice Launch Party at Bow Truss | Doejo

Human Practice Launch Party at Bow Truss | Doejo – We fuel ideas that grow
Inbox
x

Philip Tadros phil@doejo.com
11:46 AM (1 hour ago)
to me
http://doejo.com/blog/human-practice-launch-party-at-bow-truss
______________________________
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Glam Meets Gadget

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Glam Meets Gadget
Inbox
x

Jana McDonough jana.raphael@gmail.com
9:02 AM (4 hours ago)
to me
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information: Jana Raphael-McDonough 516-673-6322
Jana.Raphael@gmail.com
Glam Meets Gadget

Introducing a New Luxury Tech Accessory for Smartphones
and Tablets
Chicago, IL (August 22nd, 2012)–There are cases and covers in every color to personalize cell phones and now jewelry is the newest accessory for high tech gadgets as consumers look for more stylish ways to personalize their devices. The latest “jewelry” collection for smartphones and devices is from Kirsten Goede, a long-time jewelry designer and creator of the new JackGems line of tech jewelry.

As an experienced jewelry designer, Kirsten was looking for a way to combine Swarovski and her iPhone. A JackGem is a Swarovski crystal-encrusted plug that adds a chic pop of color to any smartphone or tablet. It is a brand new way to personalize your phone with your favorite hue. It is perfect for fashionistas, girl geeks, anyone with a cell phone.

The collection of JackGems features 10 saturated colors and one patriotic stripe: red, white and blue in honor of the Olympics and the upcoming political conventions. Your favorite tech device can now be accessorized with any color you like, keeping you ahead of the curve in tech style.

Tech Specs
• Fits any universal 3.5mm phone jack in most smart phones
• Fit is comfortable, not too snug so it won’t get stuck.
• For use in cell phones or tablets: iPhone, iPod, Android, iPad, Blackberry
• Use caution with use in Blackberry (side jack) and iPod (bottom jack)
• NOT recommended for use with iPod Shuffle and the Samsung Galaxy
• Made with genuine Swarovski crystals
• Does not activate the sound mechanism
• It will protect the jack from dust and dirt
• You can talk on the phone with the handset while the JackGem is installed

 

About Objets d’Envy and JackGems
Objets d’Envy is a handcrafted jewelry line created by designer Kirsten Goede. Goede exclusively uses Swarovski crystals to create striking designs with extraordinary color and shine. The company was launched in October 2004 with the signature Rock Candy bracelet made with oversized clusters of crystals. The collection was an instant hit with fashionistas and celebrities including Gayle King, Stacy London, Michelle Branch, Paula Deen, Kyle Richards and stylist Robert Verdi. Objets d’Envy is available at http://www.objetsdenvy.com. JackGems is the newest collection from Objets d’Envy—a Swarovski crystal embellished accessory line for smartphones and tablets. You can view the full color spectrum of JackGems at http://www.jackgems.com.
__________________________
Dave Baeckelandt: Chicago’s Financial Firsts – PPT

Subject: Chicago’s Financial Firsts – PPT
Date: 8/22/2012 3:25:29 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: debendevan@hotmail.com
To: ron@192.168.1.100/tmr, ronaldmay@aol.com

Dear Ron,

Thank you again for your call. I’m pressed on deliverables so I cannot call back today.

The presentation went off quite well. I am just now getting a chance to send out the powerpoint (Compliance had to review it).

Just FYI, the link to download the powerpoint presentation is here:
http://tinyurl.com/ce8tdwt

Needless to say, I am grateful for any suggestions/changes/corrections.

Unfortunately there is no video of the presentation. But as soon as I have a chance I will call.

Thanks again and

Best regards,

Dave Baeckelandt
_____________________________
While Rahm fiddles with Sara Lee and McGladrey, Indiana brings in real tech jobs: INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from Appirio, a global technology-enabled cloud service provider, today to announce the company’s plans to open a new office and cloud computing development center here, creating up to 300 high-wage jobs by 2015

August 22, 2012
News Release
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from Appirio, a global technology-enabled cloud service provider, today to announce the company’s plans to open a new office and cloud computing development center here, creating up to 300 high-wage jobs by 2015.
The San Francisco-based company, which has offices spanning the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific, plans to invest more than $2 million to grow its team and presence in Indianapolis, including leasing, renovating and equipping 12,500 square feet of space in the Pan American Office Tower in Indianapolis. The new office, which is expected to open its doors in October, will be the company’s second U.S. office and a key location for training and developing its cloud architects.
“For the second time in three days, we see a surge in central Indiana’s burgeoning information technology sector,” Daniels said. “We welcome this great company to its new home, where high-tech comes at a low cost.”
Appirio, which already has 20 employees on the ground in Indianapolis, is actively recruiting for a number of positions to join its team of more than 500 cloud experts across the globe. Interested applicants can apply at www.careers.appirio.com.
“Opening an office and cloud development center in Indianapolis gives Appirio access to a large, highly educated talent base with close proximity to customers and partners. It also provides a great career opportunity for those looking to join a company that’s changing an industry,” said Chris Barbin, chief executive officer of Appirio. “We’re looking forward to a great relationship with the state and city of Indianapolis.”
Started in 2006 with the goal of helping medium to large enterprises power their business with cloud-based solutions, Appirio has grown to more than 500 cloud experts in offices spanning five countries, supported by CloudSpokes, a more than 40,000 person-strong global cloud developer community. The company has moved more than 2 million users from more than 350 enterprises to cloud platforms like Salesforce, Google Apps and Amazon Web Services.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Appirio, Inc. up to $5,600,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Indianapolis will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of Develop Indy. Also, the Indy Partnership provided site selection assistance and data analysis.
“Indianapolis is leading the charge for innovation in information technology and competitively working to attract companies eager to draw from our skilled workforce,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Appirio’s decision to expand its business in Indianapolis is a testament to our pro-growth economic environment and strong IT sector.”
Appirio joins the ranks of Central Indiana’s growing community of high-tech, high-growth companies that are finding the resources and talent they need for success. According to the 2011 Best Places for High Tech Growth study by EMSI and the Praxis Strategy Group, the Indianapolis metropolitan area ranked 11th in the nation for high-tech growth, industry concentration and growth momentum.
About Appirio
Appirio accelerates the cloud-powered business, helping enterprises achieve real results from cloud applications and platforms like salesforce.com, Google and Workday. Appirio has worked with more than 300 enterprise customers including organizations like City of Los Angeles, Facebook, Flextronics, Home Depot, International Hotels Group, Japan Post Network, Ltd., L’Oreal, NetApp, NYU, Starbucks, Thomson Reuters and VMware. Appirio’s technology-enabled professional services are supported by a team of nearly 500 cloud experts and CloudSpokes, a more than 40,000 person-strong global cloud developer community. The company’s expertise and innovative brokerage technology have been recognized by organizations such as the World Economic Forum, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, InformationWeek, Gartner, and IDC. Appirio has offices that span the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific, and is backed by Sequoia Capital, GGV Capital and General Atlantic.
About IEDC
Created by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Daniels. Dan Hasler serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. The IEDC oversees programs enacted by the General Assembly including tax credits, workforce training grants and public infrastructure assistance. All tax credits are performance-based. Therefore, companies must first invest in Indiana through job creation or capital investment before incentives are paid. A company who does not meet its full projections only receives a percentage of the incentives proportional to its actual investment. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.
Source: The Indiana Economic Development Corp.
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CEC Weekly Startup: FunRaising Events USA

CEC Weekly Startup: FunRaising Events USA
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CEC Startup of the Week: FunRaising Events USA
Check out what’s going on at 1871
100 Days of 1871

Events at 1871
8/28
Talks @ 1871: LinkedIn

9/7
Code Academy Demo Day

9/27
NFTE’s Back to School

9/28-9/29
Chicago Health 2.0 Conference
Community Events
8/23
Potluck!

8/28
Technori Pitch August

9/3
Mobile Makers Academy Application Deadline

9/5
Chicago Innovation Awards Nominee Reception

9/6-9/7
Windy City Rails 2012

9/10-9/12
IIT RTC Conference and Expo
9/20
26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference
9/24-9/28
Social Media Week Chicago 2012
9/29
App Challenge Chicago
Greetings!

The Mobile Makers Academy is a 10 week training program, focused solely on mobile development technologies. The inaugural program, iOS Development Intensive, begins October 1 with applications due by September 3, 2012. Classes are twice a week, five hours each day, instructed by industry expert, Don Bora. Students will also have access to one-on-one training with experienced iOS developers throughout the week.
When the class concludes, students will have the skills and experience to build elegant, native iOS applications from scratch.
For more information visit, http://mobilemakers.co/ or email Adam Haun, adam@mobilemakers.co.
What does FunRaising Events USA do?

FunRaising Events USA is a full-service, no-risk silent auction company that utilizes bidding technology at events in order to create a fun, interactive experience for guests and maximize proceeds for charities.
Why do you care?
FunRaising Events USA customizes each auction to meet the you needs and can provide additional guidance on auction when needed. They can provide many different services including general auction consulting, supplying auction items, running the entire auction, help with designing displays, provide bidding technology and much more.

The proprietary bidding technology of FunRaising Events USA allows guests to bid via cell phone, iPads which they provide, or with any of the auction team. Guests can bid conventionally or can utilize their “max” bidding and “buy it now” bidding options. In each case bidders are notified by text if they have been outbid or if they have won the item.
More Information
For more information, check out frusa.org or contact louise@frusa.org.
Best,
The CEC Team
Chicagolandec.org
1871.com
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Doejo designs winged Twinkie bling for The Snackpot

Doejo designs winged Twinkie bling for The Snackpot | Doejo – We fuel ideas that grow
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Philip Tadros phil@doejo.com
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http://doejo.com/blog/doejo-designs-winged-twinkie-bling-for-the-snackpot
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It’s Irv being Irv: Watch the 6 minute 48 second video in which Eddie Arruza of Chicago Tonight interviews web developers at Sears downtown, and Irv Shapiro of http://public.ifbyphone.com/ who was forced to move from the Bronx building in Skokie to downtown to attract urban talent (Irv said people did not like having to change trains at Howard in the winter) and Jeremy Allons who lives in Logan Square said that the move was a pre-condition of his taking the job, plus Irv, as usual, polishes the media knob by telling Eddie Arruza that interviews like this one didn’t happen 10 years ago — really, Irv?

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2012/08/22/chicagos-tech-boom
Chicago’s Tech Boom
Eddie Arruza | August 22, 2012 10:00 am
17Walgreens, Motorola Mobility and Google are three of the bigger names that have — or are about to — move some of their high-tech operations to downtown Chicago. And there are a number of other lesser-known companies that are creating a high-tech boom in the Loop. It’s a phenomenon that some city boosters would like to believe is transforming Chicago into the Silicon Valley of the Midwest. Whether it is or not is up for debate. But what it is generating is a vibrant community of mostly young workers in the Loop — and their numbers are growing.
Like many people in today’s workforce, the employees at Sears eCommerce Development Center in downtown Chicago spend their day staring at computer screens and entering data. They’re the ones who develop, design, write copy for, and even analyze the famous retailer’s online catalog. These mostly young people are part of an exploding workforce in the Loop.
“When I got here, there was about 25 people in my organization. I’m about 200 people right now. So I’ve grown very quickly in four years, and we continue to grow and we continue to recruit,” said Andrew Daniel, Divisional VP of Creative Sears eCommerce. “We actually just leased space in another building. We’re going to take over an entire floor that’s going to be decked out for my organization specifically.”
Sears is one of a number of well-known and not-so-well-known companies that have located or relocated their eCommerce business to downtown Chicago. The reason they’ve been lured to the Loop is because of people like 32–year-old Vizente Freeman.
“I prefer to be in the city, because this is where all the action really happens,” said Freeman, Web Developer for Sears. “In addition to my selfish reason: having a shorter commute. But being amongst everything that’s happening, and the type of community, downtown is really the place to be.”
Like many of his colleagues, Freeman is young, lives in the city and has the high-tech skills that more and more companies require.
But there’s another reason that companies like Hoffman Estates-based Sears are shifting their high-tech operations downtown; and the reason is cultural.
“Culturally, there’s a bit of a difference between downtown versus out in the suburbs. I try to allow for and craft a very comfortable environment where everyone can be creative and be themselves,” said Daniel. “Sometimes corporate headquarters tend to be a little bit more conservative. The executives are there and things are a little more mellow. Downtown where there’s a lot more energy, there’s a lot more vibrancy, especially within the peoples’ environment that they craft for themselves, as well as for what we try to do for them downtown.”
A few blocks away from Sears is a lesser-known company called Ifbyphone. It helps companies with voice-based interactions with their customers. It sounds high-tech, and it is. The company was started by entrepreneur Irv Shapiro about seven years ago in Skokie, but was forced to move downtown to tap into the talent pool that he wanted.
“When we said to someone in their early 20s, who was living in Wrigleyville or Lakeview or the West Side of the Loop, we said, ‘come to Skokie, it’s easy. You can take the El.’ They said, ‘Well, I have to transfer at Howard. It’s really cold in the winter here.’ And so, it was very hard to attract people, and impossible to attract people from the western suburbs,” said Shapiro.
One of Ifbyphone’s employees, who wanted no part of a commute to the suburbs, is the company’s manager of technical operations. Jeremy Alons lives in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood.
“When I started at Ifbyphone, they actually were in the Skokie office. I worked out there a few months with the stipulation that we move downtown as fast as possible,” said Alons. “Tech in downtown Chicago is growing leaps and bounds from what I can tell. The number of meet-ups that are announced each week, the number of tech people that attend these different meetings, the different options available as far as the different companies are just astronomical, especially compared to what they were just a few years ago.”
While location and salary may be important factors in attracting the best of the high-tech workforce, there’s also something else many companies are providing: the business culture young people want. Whether it’s a game room where employees can slip away for a fast game of Pinball, or providing scooters to let workers have some fun getting around a vast workspace, or even fostering an atmosphere that allows techies to bring in their favorite sci-fi and superhero figurines, it’s all part of the modern, high-tech workplace.
“There’s a great deal of competition for this type of talent,” said Daniel. “I’m competing against interactive agencies, I’m competing against Fortune 500 companies. Even some of the schools are recruiting this type of talent, so it’s very challenging to recruit and maintain, and keep the workforce happy.”
While some members of Chicago’s tech community would like to think the city is becoming the next Silicon Valley, Chicago is still a long way from having the likes of Apple, Google, or Facebook here. However, one expert says Chicago does have some advantages over the famed West Coast community.

“The city itself, the culture is very friendly. There’s a helpful attitude that you have in the entrepreneurship community here that’s a little bit different than what one finds on the coasts,” said Patrick J. Murphy, Associate Professor of Management at DePaul University. “Probably the worst thing for an entrepreneurial movement is a culture of celebrity. In the mid-90s, for instance, if you put an “e” in front of something, like e-training or e-development, it suddenly became hot. A similar phenomenon happened with the dot-com boom. We don’t have that little trend creator yet here, and I hope we don’t get it.”
Entrepreneurs also give city officials credit, saying over the last decade they’ve helped generate the buzz that’s making Chicago a high-tech mecca. Even the media is being given some credit.
“One of the challenges historically, for us, is interviews like this didn’t take place. Yet if I was in Silicon Valley, historically, there’s always coverage of high-tech there,” said Shapiro. “So, you folks, as members of the media, are an important ingredient. Why? Because once again, when that graduate from a great university here in the Midwest sees that high-tech companies are getting coverage, and that there are a lot of them, then they’ll stay here.”
Silicon Valley, watch out.
Any fears that the tech boom could turn into a bust may have to wait. Ifbyphone alone says it plans to double its workforce in the next 18 months. Walgreens also says its recently relocated downtown eCommerce division will continue to grow.
Science/Technology
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“Tech Boom”? Really?
Submitted by Neal (not verified) on Thu, 2012-08-23 04:32
Neighborhood/City: Arlington Heights (Suburbs)A herd of kids in mundane, low-paid, dead-end jobs at Sears Roebuck “entering data” for its catalog hardly comes close to Silicon Valley with its knowledge, culture, environment, infrastructure, engineering skills and creativity. The Sears jobs appear to be just the kind of ordinary, run-of-the-mill IT support positions that have existed in Chicago area companies since the first computers were installed in the 1960′s. And Sears has employed armies of workers to maintain its catalog for a long time. Like since 1894. Further, the continued viability of Sears/Kmart as a going concern is in some serious doubt. The Sears and Groupon ships may sink together.
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I am one of these IT people
Submitted by downtownguy (not verified) on Thu, 2012-08-23 10:08
Neighborhood/City: Loop (Chicago)Having worked at both the Sears and Walgreens locations downtown, I can assure you the article has misrepresented the type of work being done. These companies are focusing on the be user experience (UX), information architecture (IA), mobile UX (iPhone, iPad, Android, m web, etc.). Everything from design, building and testing is being done downtown for a number of tech companies – both major league and minor league teams. Data entry is a thing of the past – we automate those types of tasks these days. The young professionals being described in this article are very educated, highly paid, in-demand, and at the forefront of trendy technologies and creativity.
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That’s not it at all
Submitted by n (not verified) on Thu, 2012-08-23 10:34
Neighborhood/City: Lakeview (Chicago)You’ve got it all backwards. These jobs are not dead-end, low-paid nor mundane. These are the types of workers who are not having trouble finding work in this economy because their roles are very much in-demand, even more so in economic downturns as companies look to make what they already have better and more efficient. To be fair, the article certainly does give the impression you stated. “Data-entry” is not a very accurate way to describe these jobs, unless by data entry they mean designing, building, testing, deploying, and improving high-traffic and successful websites.
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mundane
Submitted by mark (not verified) on Thu, 2012-08-23 11:51
@Neal… not kids, not mundane, not low-paid, and not at all dead end. These are first rate (highly sought after) UX professionals looking to push the eCommerce envelope. Come down and see for yourself.
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Stuff you can’t see…
Submitted by Silicon Valley … (not verified) on Fri, 2012-08-24 16:06
Neighborhood/City: South Loop (Chicago)A bunch of us are here at Sears now from some of the most elite places in Silicon Valley because we see what you can’t. What we are finding here is that the talent pool is rich and the passion is high. You might want to stay tuned, and when you eat those words, let me know if you’d like ketchup.
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Kudos WTTW Chicago Tonight
Submitted by Patrick (not verified) on Thu, 2012-08-23 11:09
Neighborhood/City: Loop (Chicago)Great work Chicago Tonight. Stories like this one are interesting and help support the city’s entrepreneurial community and its entrepreneurs. Happy to be involved.
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This 40-year old wants to be one of these IT people AGAIN
Submitted by NotFreshEnoughGuy (not verified) on Thu, 2012-08-23 11:43
Neighborhood/City: Edgewater (Chicago)I totally agree with what is stated in this article. It also highlights one of the biggest issues that is taking place in the current job market. Employers feel that only the “fresh” out of college age group can add value to their organizations, and it’s not the wage issue that many currently not looking for work tend to believe. The 20-somethings are stereotyped as a group as being more energetic, having fresh ideas (which larger organizatons never listen to anyway), and more likely to jump on bandwagons (i.e., less likely to “talk back”). Well, let’s talk about some of the other differences between this group and the now-thought-of-as-ancient 35+ year olds. We don’t have to be constantly connected to Facebook. We know how to verbally communicate with teammates since we were taught growing up that we had to learn how to get along with others; we did not sit in isolation and come to learn that texting and instant messaging are the best (and only) means to talk to others. When that — take a deep sigh — group project is taking place, we will strip things up, hash things out, and get things done instead of acting like it’s some type of faux paus to open your mouth to say something to someone else in public. We also tend not to say “no way” to hopping on the train or getting into our cars — yes, I said cars — to head to the forbidden boring suburbs to attend seminars or meet with customers or clients. Age 40 has come to be regarded as the new 60 in the workplace. It’s as if we’re ready to hit the nursing homes. This 40-year-old IT “veteran” was one of a handful in the field — across all age groups — who took it upon himself to stay current in his profession by taking college — not 2- or 3-day coffee-and-donut field trip seminars — coursework in the newer technologies and programming languages. He also re-took (after 20 years) engineering-based calculus and physics courses in order to be admitted to a master’s degree program. I find it to be rather ironic when I’m assumed to be an old and stale IT guy and told that I should “refresh” my skils while seeking new employment. How many of workers have trouble working with simple fractions? The answer is usually, “We don’t need those types of skills for these positions.” You would think that the supposed analytical skills that are always stated as job requirements would be applied in the hiring process, and that these characteristics and accomplishments would be viewed as possessing analytical skills. No, this is not the case. Instead, being “hip” with a condo or loft that you rent and are able to leave town for another hot job on a moment’s notice, sporting great looking hair, having a Droid or i-phone glued to your hand, and not being willing to yell “help” if your life depended on it, are the sought after traits of today’s employers.
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Only scratching the surface
Submitted by DPSmith (not verified) on Fri, 2012-08-24 10:19
Neighborhood/City: Edison Park (Chicago)I commend Chicago Tonight for shining a light on high-tech movement in Chicago, but this piece only scratches the surface. How does a piece like this not introduce/mention 1871, the tech start-up collective based in the Merchandise Mart? How does it not pull in voices from Northwestern’s Kellogg School or U of C’s Booth School, two of world’s leading business schools who have a focus on entrepreneurship? How does it not talk about the investing landscape? How does it not talk about the importance of Groupon’s success to Chicago’s credibility as the “Silicon Valley of the Midwest” or the critical challenges Chicago faces to earn that title? There’s so much more to explore here and so much more attention this topic deserves. As a city, we’re in the driver’s seat to become the Midwest’s Silicon Valley, but that edge can quickly disappear if we don’t act — and act quickly and collectively with purpose. I applaud Chicago Tonight for taking a first step (and the Ifbyphone founder’s comment about the importance of media attention couldn’t be more accurate), but there’s far more engaging and compelling discussion to take place here. Chicago Tonight — there’s your challenge.
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Economic Engine
Submitted by Nicholas (not verified) on Fri, 2012-08-24 15:50
Neighborhood/City: Andersonville (Chicago)I am in a corporate e-commerce organization downtown, as well as in 1871. And, I’m all too quickly nearing 47. My company is W.W. Grainger, and the it has also built a new space downtown. My particular area of expertise is mobile, and I previously worked at Walgreens’ downtown location. These are highly paid positions. The companies are moving downtown, because many people, both young and old, want to be in the city and near transportation. I always have to travel to the burbs for meetings. The Economist ranks Chicago as the fourth largest urban economy in the world. It may not be glamorous selling products to companies keeping their micro-breweries running, but alas it is enormous business. The start-ups here are mostly different, and they should be, because the opportunities are different.
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_______________________________
END LOF REPORT


One comment on “The May Report: 8/24/2012: 19 people shot in one night in Chicago, 8 on one street, as in last night! The party’s over! By year end the bloom will be off the rose on Built in Chicago and 1871: You want proof? Gov. Quinn has established yet another commission called the Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force and at the inaugural meeting– btw, Linda Darragh is on the board, as is Marc Lane who is tied to Chicago Community Trust and the MacArthur Foundation, so right away we know it is a kiss up to the establishment, not a shake things up crowd — some guy stood up and told the group of self admirers that unbeknownst to Chicago, we’re becoming a laughing stock for the rest of the country; The upcoming Merrick Ventures Momentum Awards: Honorees: Entrepreneurial Champion: Michael Ferro — Hey, what good is having money if you can’t buy the award ceremony and give yourself an award? It would be sad if it weren’t so funny; Michael Ferro, you don’t like poseurs, so prove it. Don’t be a hypocrite. Turn down the award because by accepting it, you become a poster child for narcissistic self-dealing, a finely tuned art in Chicago, and Michael you have real responsibility now, not like the old days at Click Commerce where what you did stayed at Click — don’t get me started; in fact, if the CEC as a whole is even interested in legitimacy how about a policy that bans board members from being eligible for awards?; But let’s talk turkey, so open the report for the rest of the rant: 1871 only exists because of Groupon, and boy did the panel get huffy on May 2nd when I shouted at one panel that in 45 minutes NO ONE one had even mentioned Groupon which is undeniably the 80 lb. gorilla in the room! — does anyone believe for a nano-second that 1871 would exist were it not for Groupon?; The entire 1871 enterprise may have been conceived as a pre-emptive strike, so that when Groupon flames out, as marchFIRST and divine did years ago, they can say, “Wait, wait, we have Craig Ulliott (Logan, I’ll tell your story soon), GrubHub, Braintree, Trunk Club, Narrative Science, Belly, Bench Prep, Analyte Health, Cleversafe and much more…”; More to the point, what 1871 company has come up with truly disruptive technology?; btw, kudos to Chuck Templeton for smacking Kevin Willer and Matt Moog on the chops and actually funding, albeit for only $20K each, companies that are NOT in the digital startup and social media world and his Impact Engine is at 1871; it’s a real issue since Chicago high tech is not just digital startups or IT, it’s bio, life sciences, nano, materials, energy, logistics, transportation, and a plethora of other things; speaking of self dealing, I’m looking into Cakestyle’s chairman Millie Tadewaldt, who also just happens to be part of the Sandbox Industries Sandbox Advantage Fund — hey, isn’t that the Chicago way?; As Mike S. commented in Crain’s about Cakestyle, “Trading in that total experience for the thrill of opening a $3000 box, watching a video, and sending back the stuff you don’t want will leave Cakestyle with the ‘wealthy, tasteful, fashionable but too busy to shop’ niche (and also the well-to-do and fashionable but homebound), and that’s a pretty narrow base. But good luck. If the clients are also too busy (or too homebound) to return their rejects, then maybe you’ve got a business.” May again. Can’t we make the same argument about Trunk Club?; Do you have a minute for a quick story the moral of which is that how we act does have an impact on how we’re perceived nationally, and we’re rapidly slipping back to the bad old days of Flip on the cover of Red Herring Magazine: last night, a truly dedicated wait staff person at Rivers (30 S. Wacker on the river) named Sara Bernardini rolled me in my wheelchair to the corner of Madison and Wacker on the north west side by the Civic Opera building where we encountered several rude cabbies who pretended that they would pick me up, but then suddenly drove off, and one of these cab drivers did so just as a tourist, a middle-aged gray haired woman from Kentucky, camera in hand, looked aghast at the behavior she’d just witnessed — my thought was why is this surprising? After all, Rahm, our mayor, is rude; Ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black? :-) Do you see my point Michael Ferro about setting an example and leading by example? Let’s call a three month moratorium on the Chicago Digital Technology Society of Mutual Admiration before we really do become the laughing stock the guy at the inaugural meeting of the Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Task Force was talking about; and Lightbank also would not exist were it not for Groupon which did put this town on the map, although DD believes it was funded by money B&E stole from earlier enterprises (echoes of HA-LO and Starbelly) and Steve Hamkins of http://www.aderati.com/ — his friend is Darren Schwartz, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/darren-schwartz/5/377/905, a sales VP at Groupon– told me that Media Ocean http://www.mediaocean.com/, formerly known as Media Bank, is a cash cow from which the rest of Lightbank feeds; Andrew Taylor –a few of you may remember him –told me that Groupon freed up the cash from which Lightbank emanated, so here’s a case where conflation makes sense or is that word too big for you Iain Shovlin? :-); last night at the ACG Networking event at Rivers in the CME building, btw, Currents, a restaurant 2 blocks south of there, suddenly closed down, out of biz!, Craig Miller told me it went poof, just gone, no notice whatsoever; there were about 200+ people, lots of lawyers, bankers, investment bankers, PE people, recruiters, accountants, and then there was Ada Nielsen, Art Mertes, Sanford Volgel (a food industry tech commercialization consultant who actually does tech deals), Vish Visvabharathy of www.solarmicronics.co, so precious few entrepreneurs were there and kudos to Ada for leaving BP and advising entrepreneurs at The Peregrine Maven Group, ada@peregrinemaven.com, and Kison Patel and Rick McCaffrey are working on an investment platform, https://www.fiexe.com/ at 123 W. Madison St. and at they have a desk at 1871; Craig Miller who runs ACG Chicago is a garrulous, very affable guy (Fred Hoch could take lessons in being likeable from Craig), even if Craig does live in Kennilworth, but he did buy a fixer upper 17 years ago, and he hails from the 4 color printing biz in Cleveland; Craig said I’m preaching to the choir about entrepreneurs not being represented enough at ACG, so his Nov. 14th event focusing on them will be in the west loop; the best line of the night came from a guy who told me his firm had lent $150MM so far this year, and of course I said “You’re a banker” to which he promptly quipped, “I said I lend money.” Touche!

  1. Steve Hamkins

    Ron,

    Through a Google query of my name, I happened to find your 8/6/12 and 8/24/12 reports where you discuss the context of our random meeting at Argo Tea on the evening of July 28th. Boy, you sure stretched our discussion. Here is the context from your blog posts:

    “…and boy do I have much more for you like the over/under on the failure of Groupon mentioned by Steve Hamkins of http://www.aderati.com/whom I met at Argo Tea Saturday night, the 28th — he’s never heard of TMR, but he was in CIMA; Hamkins knows mucho and next time I’ll give you Steve’s theory and that of Andrew Taylor and DD on what made Lightbank possible: Kris Peterson was an EIR at Lightbank, and then he started running http://www.DealsGoRound.com which was subsequently funded by Lightbank; Hamkins knows the inside story of the $500K that Lightbank put into DealsGoRound, and the M&A guy who put it together, but he wouldn’t give me that guy’s name; a fellow frat brother of Steve’s from Michigan State where he majored in advertising is a VP at Groupon and the VP’s name is Darren Schwartz…”

    “…and Steve Hamkins of http://www.aderati.com/ — his friend is Darren Schwartz, http://www.linkedin.com/pub/darren-schwartz/5/377/905, a sales VP at Groupon– told me that Media Ocean http://www.mediaocean.com/, formerly known as Media Bank, is a cash cow from which the rest of Lightbank feeds…”

    You should have taken notes, because you have editorialized things I never said.

    I do not know the inside story of the funding of DealsGoRound by Lightbank. Kris’s wife used to work for me. I don’t know how funding came to be, but from Kris’s bio, I do know that he was in Lightbank’s entrepreneurial training program, briefly. In the press, it was reported at $500k. I do not know anybody associated with DGR’s funding. I do know an M&A guy who’s firm has done some work for Lightbank, but he did not work on anything related to Lightbank or DGR. I shared my opinion that the DGR business model was flawed and have been proven right by what seems to be a change in their branding and services. Your published account of this portion of our conversation is completely wrong and misrepresents our discussion.

    Regarding Groupon, I shared my outsider’s perspective, which by August 2012 everyone pretty much knew, that their model seems unsustainable. Mine is pure speculation from from review of their public financial statements around the IPO and after. At the IPO, I briefly considered buying stock but realized that was not wise, when at $400MM in revenue, they could not muster a profit. I also mentioned that a fraternity brother of mine, Darren Schwartz, served as VP, there. I haven’t spoken with Darren in 20+ years and I have no information regarding Groupon’s performance or condition beyond what is available in the press. Your representation that I know “mucho” or that I have a “theory” is not congruent with the context of our conversation. My theory is that they are slowing going out of business. About half of the professional investors in America have the same “theory”. Other than buying a couple of Groupons and knowing Darren from 20+ years ago, I know nothing of Groupon.

    Regarding MediaOcean, I have never done business with either Lightbank or MediaOcean and do not know the principals, the financials or have any information about the funding at either company. You have published something that is factually not true. I never stated that MediaOcean funds Lightbank. I did speculate that the principles of Lightbank have funded the firm based on their prior successes, including MediaOcean. To represent that I have any knowledge as to the funding of Lightbank is categorically false.

    Holy smokes! You sure got a lot more from our conversation than what was presented at its surface.

    I respectfully ask that you remove the above paragraphs and any other mentions of me from your blog. At minimum, edit your postings from August as they are full of innuendo that are not supported by facts. If you wish to publish factual points from our discussions, here they are:

    – I am of the opinion that Groupon is not a sustainable business and I have elected not to buy any shares of GRPN on the public markets.
    – Darren Schwartz and I were fraternity brothers at Michigan State.
    – From 2001 – 2005, I was a member of CIMA
    – I have a friend that works for a firm that does some M&A work for Lightbank
    – Kris Petersen’s wife worked for me briefly.
    – I own a small digital media firm; Aderati, LLC

    That night, as you were unable to access the store with your wheelchair, I was happy to help you get the attention of the server to place an order. I kindly offered my assistance and politely engaged you in a discussion regarding the Chicago digital scene. I didn’t expect that our conversation would be so distorted and then used a fodder for your gossip blog. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.

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