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The May Report: 11/15/2013: The May Report, bringing you the latest in Technology Community News, Information, Opinions, Scoop,and Events. Rebirth, Rebooted.

The May Report: The May Report, bringing you the latest in Technology Community News, Information, Opinions, Scoop, and Events.

The May Report Supported by:

William D. Anthony
Experience and Sophisticated Business and Start-Up Law

Attorney at Law
Anthony Law Office,
29 South La Salle Street
Suite 850
Chicago, Illinois 60603

Ph. (312) 332-6405 ext. 267
Cell (630) 854-0009
Fax (312) 332-2657


Paul May

Editor: Steve Fisher
If you missed an article: check the archives

Planning Chicago: Jon B. DeVries, D. Bradford Hunt, and John McCarron
7th Annual Herb & Eileen Franks Seminar

Thursday, November 21, 2013
11:30 AM Reception
12:00 PM Luncheon

Maggiano’s  Banquets
111 W. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL
Register Here

This is an event Ron would not have missed for the world.  So many to interview, highly relevant topic for investments in Chicago’s civic, business and tech future.

See article on investments in real estate and McCormick place as international destination. Chicago in Plan: An Insiders’ Discourse on City’s History, Challenges Ahead

I will be attending.

Best regards, Layton



Technori Pitch Chicago, Nov/Dec 2013 – Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM (CST)

Chicago, United States




Briefly Noted Section: — Paul May
The Scoop section:
— Steve Fisher

TMR Section:

— Join The May Report on LinkedIn for the latest topics

— Looking for people to cover events

— Send your events to or post your event at



— Built In Chicago Write-up – Kelley Cormack


The Startups and Entrepreneur section:

— Unified Solutions Start-Ups
— Blackline Review – David Carmen
— Chicago Venture Magazine – John Jonelis
— Layton E. Olson
— Dawn Geras – Save the Babies – A grassroots Chicago based Not For Profit serving us for over 13 years


Education Section: — KnightLab – Northwestern Blogs – Ryan Graff


The From The Archives Section: — One year ago from TMR – lessons learned


The Events section:

— Planning Chicago: Jon B. DeVries, D. Bradford Hunt, and John McCarron,   7th Annual Herb & Eileen Franks Seminar
— Technori
— Your Event Here Post your event here. Sponsor a report.

Ron May Celebration of Life Pictures at the Mart

From Tom Wrona

Anyone else at the memorial that has pictures, please send them to or text to 312.925.1294


Your Sponsorship Ad here:

Join Impact Engine this fall for a full-day seminar highlighting the ins and outs of angel investing. This angel bootcamp, led by John May, managing partner of New Vantage Group, is a great primer for anyone interested in the angel investing or impact investing process. November 14, 2013
This ad proudly sponsored by The May Report


Briefly Noted:

Briefly noted, NOT By Ron May We’re Kicking off, Rebooting, Rebirthing, The May Report
by Paul May


On a truly sad note, Harriet May, passed in her sleep, Nov 11, 2013. She just was not able to get past the complications with her heart surgery in June. She was feeling so good over the weekend and was surrounded by family. She had the spirit to keep on going but her body just finally gave out.

Mom became a stay-at-home mom while Fred taught marketing at University of Missouri at St. Louis. She loved socializing, playing bridge, golfing (a hole-in-one at Ruth Park), hiking, tennis, reading and was an avid Cardinal Baseball fan.

Harriet was sincere, caring and welcomed all to her kitchen table. She was very inquisitive, had endless curiosities and wonderful talker and listener. So Dad, Mom and Ron, are now all kibbitzing around the kitchen table.

Private vs. Public. To be honest, I would not have mentioned Mom’s passing if it were not for the fact Ron wrote about my Mom’s Heart surgery. All of us have Mom’s and Dad’s and this is part of our lifecycle. I’m no different than anyone else and yes it’s sad for my family and friends. Many of us have had to deal with the loss of parents. I’m not looking for sympathy here, just really wanted to let you to know. This is what made TMR interesting. Ron wrote about news and also was also part of the news.
Our family put together a Always and Forever Tribute page for Harriet on the American Diabetes website.

Harriet May Tribute:


So, This Report must go on. Too many folks want to see the spirit of this report continued. Yes I know there are some folks, who would rather see this report go away but it’s our technology history in Chicago, our dot-com period and beyond, all blogged. The who, what, where, when how in our community with a lot of extra thrown in.
There’s Potomac Tech Wire in Washington DC , , Valley Wag in Silicon Valley and The May Report in Chicago

Countless users have benefited, and countless (including me) have been ‘Ron May’d’. If you haven’t been Ron May’d, in this report, you haven’t been MADE in Chicago. And there’s much more that can still be accomplished.
My brother Ron had an encyclopedic knowledge of, and interest in, people and places, history and the technology revolution in Chicago. Many of his recollections showed up in the May Report and its massive archives. Ron had his own unique, snarky, acerbic, to-the-point style. His mind was Google-like before Google. He could tell you when, where, how much or how little.

This was a labor of love for Ron. He got giddy like a kid getting scoops, gossip, and tweaking people. It’s what kept him going. To really know Ron, you had to love Ron on his terms. The report fit his character and personality. We can’t and don’t want to recreate his voice, but we can carry on his work in a constructive manner.
Ron got me into the recruiting business, (He never let me forget it too) and I’ve done recruiting for over twenty years, I’ve been part of the Chicago Technology scene since the mid 80’s. I’m President and Owner of Paul May and Associates, a successful Recruiting, Staffing, Talent finding Machine since 1987. Full time, contract or contract to hire positions with a focus predominately Information Technology, Marketing, Accounting, Operations, and Sales backgrounds.

Who’s Paul May. I’m a very social inquisitive individual. Guess that runs in the family. I’ve combined my love of recruiting and networking to help others get great jobs or companies find the right talent.
As a facilitator, connector, having placed hundreds of people over the years, I staff small, mid and large companies.
A passion of mine has been recruiting and staffing for startups. I worked with a number of Divine companies in the heyday and most recently a number of trading, software development, and ecommerce startups, two of which have recently gone public. I’m a huge proponent of giving back to the community and TMR can continue to works it magic by giving back to you and others.

I’ll continue to run Paul May Associates and oversee The May Report with a help from others. This report was not only Ron. He had a cadre of people to help him out. In some sense we were his keeper. Many people supported Ron and have come forward to help continue and carry on the heavy lifting.

Our direction. He’s left us a gift. Check out the Who’s Ron May as a tribute to Ron’s Legacy. Let’s use it for the right intentions. Taking the positives from TMR and build on them, so we can all continue to benefit our businesses, careers and connections. Yes this site will be a work in progress.

The May Report includes contributions from among those who have provided information about events and stories on the Chicago technology revolution, from the 20th Century’s land and air crossroads to the 21st Century’s Internet Catalog and Great Lakes crossroads of North America and the world.

We hope to provide a range of coverage from technology Access, Tools and Arts, to History and Archiving of people, enterprises, civic institutions and the sustainability of our planet and the galaxy’s creation. The report will have a new look and so will the website so others can communicate more effectively and verify stories better. We’re embracing social media platforms utilizing Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, RSS feeds, Video Stories and commentaries, open up comments I think with the bright minds we bring together, TMR can continue to give back to the community.

If we can help one VC fund a startup, one person find a job, one company find a solution, it’s reason enough to continue our mission. There are so many underserved pockets of businesses and people that deserve to get noticed. How many of you heard Braintree, a Chicago home grown company, was bought by Paypal? How did the deal happen? Who won on that deal?

The May Report will be covering those stories and getting those scoops. So I needed to find the right talent to help continue to run and operate The May Report. The new TMR editor, is Steven Fisher, of The Fisher Media Group, . He knows technology, media, marketing, Ron would talk to him for hours on end about a variety of topics. I’ve known Steve for years. He’s a mensch, smart, has an edge and I know will be a big contributor.
I had several conversations with many of you, took some of the ideas, compiled we have what we think will be a continuation of helping the community stay in touch.

Our website will have Google authorship, “Google Authorship is a solution Google came up with to connect a piece of content with the Google Plus profile of its author.

Steven Fisher, Steve Lundin, Jeff Meredith, John Jonelis, David Carmen, Northwestern University Knight’s Lab and Kelley Cormack are just a few of the people that have offered to contribute content.
You’ll be able to login with LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter if you want to comment or contribute.

Join us online. Check out the website. Leave you’re footprint. If you want to be involved with start-ups, post events, be a part of the community, TMR is opening that ability.

I’ve reached out to other writers who will cover stories and events. To support their work, we need Sponsors to keep this going. The May Report is already viewed by thousands and with over 7000 emails we can grow the list and website to continue reaching the community.
This is a grassroots effort. If the report can sustain itself financially, all the better. This is a challenge for all of us, not just me and a few others. There are enough folks out there who want and will help this report. Sure there are the detractors, nay-sayers and thousands of different opinions. That’s the beauty of this report. Let it out and get it out there. By Big Frontier’s just running one ad for an event, 10 to 15% additional folks turned out due to The May Report advertising.
As Woody Allen said “90% of success is showing up.”

We look forward to seeing you – young and old – and learning-by-participating and learning-by-doing, producing goods and services. And, strengthening the resiliency of the Chicago, Southern Lake Michigan.

I can not say enough about the number of people who have come forward to offer up support and the drive to keep this going. Thank you everyone.
I need your help and support.

Check out the website. Be an active participant. Share news, information.

We have more reports coming out.

I’m excited to introduce Steven Fisher to help continue to carry on Ron’s vision.

Ron’s gone, but his legacy and work will continue on…

Paul May

The Scoop section:
Steve Fisher comments: One and all,

My name is Steven Fisher and I am the new Editor in Chief of The May Report. Once this was announced, I received call after call with people asking the same questions, why? Why did you take the job? Why do we need the May Report? And my personal favorite, “what have you been smoking and why have you been withholding?”

The simple fact of the matter is that our community needs The May Report. Personality issues aside, what Ron did better than anyone else was report on what was happening in the Chicago and Midwest tech communities. We learned more than we wanted about the inner workings and hidden mechanics of organizations and back-end deals. Nobody did this better than Ron. One of my favorites was when he had the goods on the Groupon CEO before anyone knew there was a problem.

I am not Ron May. I will not hound you to the ends of the earth, but what am doing is assembling a team from our community to report on scoop, events, technology news and information that is relevant to our business, and give you our perspective as well as welcome yours. Many on our team are top-notch investigative journalists like Jon Jonelis from Chicago Venture Magazine and David Carmen from the Blackline Review and they will keep you on your toes.

What you can expect from the May Report going forward is fair and balanced journalism where every single article will carry a byline, coming events, reports on past events, and contributions from the community on everything from branding to building to startups to financing.

One of my personal projects is to start an interview series with people that have started from an idea and turned it into a stellar product. The first one of these will be with Randi Zuckerberg, yes that Randi Zuckerberg, the former Marketing Director for Facebook among other things. In the issue following that, we will interview the founders of Barefoot Winery. This husband and wife team started Barefoot Wines in their laundry room and now Barefoot is the top selling wine brand in the United States. The point is that great ideas can come from anywhere at any time and sometimes all you need to succeed is desire, determination and a “never give up” attitude.

If you have ideas that would make good articles or interviews or you would like to write one for The May Report, please email me. If we use your article, we will credit you, provide links to your site, as well as post it and put in on the May Report.

Until the next one, may you always be funded and receive the exact right hits to your website.

Steven M. Fisher Editor in Chief The May Report

In this issue we feature:



TMR Section:

Sign up for the report if this email was forwarded. You can always unsubscribe:

— Join The May Report on LinkedIn for the latest topics

— Looking for people to cover events: We need content and you can be a provider. Let us know what’s going on. Send a short video, photos, or commentary to or post to our website Be a contributor.

— Want to get your event noticed? Send your events to or post your event at


Built In Chicago – Write-Up Kelley or

Hello all, let me introduce myself. I was one of the original Internet pioneers here in Chicago and a good friend of Ron’s until I moved to Arizona in 2000 and lost touch. Since then, I’ve been deep in r&d and planning of an awesome new business that’s finally ready to start-up. We’ll produce amazing new products and will have a lot of fun in business! Check out my profile on LinkedIn to know more.  Now I’ve volunteered to pitch in on TMR and will write columns here to deliver some industry news.  You can expect me to attend some events and cover new business happenings.
This first article is focused on the BiC Halloween Launch party. Networking started in the ladies bathroom with Kaley and Brooke from Level incubator ( ) and I want to visit it! While my heart is set on starting my business in 1871, now I see the great potential for companies using multiple spaces for workgroups, meetings and networking. Then I met Gina Ferrazzuolo and we reconnected upstairs and I chatted with her and her son  Anthony. Their business sounds great! They have a concept to open Italian fast food restaurants. They have a business now creating recipes and products for Marianos, Whole Foods and other companies. It sounds like a wonderful new endeavor to me and I can’t wait to taste their sauces and see them succeed! They’re looking to connect with investors and other partners.  Contact Anthony at
Since I’ll always love Sesame Street I absolutely had to meet Kermit the Frog, Niko Zistakis, who is an architect and entrepreneur who designs iPad applications and his buddy Stefanos Gaglos. I was excited to see Big Bird, who turned out to be Carlos Penaval  from Deloitte dressed as a chicken.  The presentations were all good. Instead of detailing them here, check out BiC’s site about the presenters and I’ll cover attendees. It looked like the presenters were all getting some action talking with people.  The best brief meetings for my own business development potential were with venture capitalists Hung Tran of TransX Systems and David Culver of Funding Feeding Frenzy. Also, I’m looking forward to meeting Michael Moceri of The 3D Printer Experience again to see demonstrations of technologies I want for my business. I made a special connection with John Fetsh of New York Life, a very nice man who provides insurance, benefits, financial planning and who is friends with Heather Way, the Executive Director of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. Heather and I first met when she was just a little baby and later I was her babysitter.  Heather popped up on LinkedIn shared connections with Samantha Borland, Executive Director at A Breath of Fresh Air with Herb Tanzer, who jumped right on it to reconnect us last month. Thanks Sam and I’ll let’s get together soon girls!  Funny how the older we get the years between our ages doesn’t seem so large… John showed me a great app that Heather developed for Lakeview- everyone should check it out and request your own Chambers of Commerce to produce apps for your neighborhoods. It feels so good now to be making efforts and connections to help get our Chicago business scene happening more, because people we need to bail our state of Illinois and our nation out of bankruptcy and get our economy back on track!
The biggest success story of the night was Matt Gorniak of G2 Crowd who sold his company for $400million to Oracle the day before! Eric Metelka of Matt’s new venture Big Machines filled me in on everything they’re up to now, while Matt talked long with some clown. That guy was wearing a red white and blue clown wig. Wouldn’t it be fun to have costume contests at every BiC Launch event and those people dressed up get to say some words?! I was dressed as a leopard but had no idea that I’d have to say something into a microphone and chickened out on speaking. Sudden unexpected spotlight moments like that my throat chokes up and I practically go blind- I really don’t enjoy public speaking and need some public speakers for my company so that I can just clap and cheer and have a good time without stress. If I had realized before I would have prepared to say a few words to say. It was a blast to see Dave Culver from FFF dressed as Zeus and to hear him shout “Release the Kraken!”  Afterwards I had ideas for BiC and emailed them suggestions, including making it a theme to have ongoing costume parties. If we dress up in costume, it’s because we have something to announce. Another thing I suggested are color coded name badges to distinguish entrepreneurs, VCs and service providers to help people make connections. People were there who didn’t have the chance to meet.  What do you think? Matt Gorniak , how your Big Machine become a sponsor  BiC launch events, so that we can get enough food and drinks at the events?! That night I only enjoyed a shot glass of delicious squash soup and one tiny little appetizer, to most minimally be called “apps”.
Granted I was talking a lot but can events please put out a buffet or more food servers to provide people with enough at dinnertime so that we don’t go hungry? Then the total buzz kill happened, when apparently the manager said last call at 8:30 that no one I spoke with had heard. Thus, I only had 2 glasses of wine and 3 would have done it right for me. I don’t support bait and switch tactics, since I was trained at the beginning of my career to know it’s wrong and technically  unlawful. The bartender was nice when I asked to speak with Mike the manager but he was in hiding somewhere until after I left.  Sorry that I didn’t chat with the BiC organizers that night.  Like I said, it was my first industry event in years, first time as a reporter, multi-tasking entrepreneur with an 8:30 start at my day job at NU and was a little tired from the lack of enough to eat and drink. The event wrapped up for me at 9 with a convo with Rob, NU Kellogg alumni and a founder of   that’ll help you find parking places, who was dressed as a Wizard. Then to my happy surprise John Fetsh and I hooked up again on the red line platform and a minute later we were at Belmont. Then I started talking with the guy to my left named Mike, whom I want to work for my company. Overall for what it’s worth it was an overall good night. People should check out BiC events for good times with business development potential happening.  Heads up now people who enjoy libations, drink up early at launch parties. BiC has the best events calendar in town I’ve seen.  If you think there are other calendars and events this good, please let us know!
Please email me at  with your stories, hot tips, scoop! Ron was a huge gossip and ruffled people’s feathers sometimes. The man was an entirely unique character who always made me laugh and I love him.   I’ll carry a torch for Ron May. He could spark things up, inform and entertain us.  I want to connect with other friends of Ron and TMR new friends to keep his spirit and the best parts of his life’s work. I miss my old friend and want to honor him by helping to keep TMR going. Hoping that you’ll help too! I’ll be happy to know and share your news and gossip that’s good to publish and will work more on the humorous spins. We have opportunities now get together on TMR and have a lot of fun and spark up business. We need your participation!  Email your notes with either public or anonymous source comments to us. We’ll do our best to convey good content.  Anyone who can help, we’ll be reformatting from a solo to collaborative effort here. We all have fulltime day jobs.  There was only one Ron May. We can keep the best of the values of TMR going, together.  Please pitch in and send us notes. Readers keep reading and submit suggestions because content will improve. We have a situation with rebuilding TMR LinkedIn, which delayed this issue and we really need your help on it!  Hope you’ll be in contact to help create a really good forum here and that we’ll see you out there!


The Startups and Entrepreneur section:


A new company named Unified Solutions (US) seeks start-up investors. It’s a C-Corp with private stocks fixed valued at $1.00, which will pay 25% interest in annual dividends to start-up investors. Special terms may be negotiated for business development and with investor partners. The products of the company are brand new, innovative, awesome, exciting and super important for the world! We’ll start manufacturing the products in Chicago. Our expertise in e-commerce, branding and marketing is outstanding. International sales forecasts are enormous! Profit margins are high and we only need funds to start and expect to be very profitable short-term and long-term. This is a most dynamic and fantastic new business, prepared to scale up rapidly to meet demand for our products. The company is ready to initially start-up in the 1871 Chicago Merchandise Mart incubator. It will be a most exciting and awesome success!
Our motto is: We will positively change the world! If you or someone you know may be interested in potentially investing in a most exciting new business, please contact Paul May at , 708.478.1111 who will refer you to the CIO.

Blackline Review – David Carmen BLACKLINE REVIEW is the digital news source about emerging companies. We connect Chicago’s community of entrepreneurs and investors through original stories and objective reviews of promising high-growth startups.

Incubators/accelerators are starting to play a key role in the development of startup ecosystems throughout the U.S. and world. According to David Cohen, co-founder and head of TechStars, the #2 accelerator in the U.S. as ranked by Forbes, about one accelerator a day launches in the U.S. These programs provide resources that are critical to the success of any startup such as mentorship, connections, and capital.   Unfortunately, despite the rapid growth in incubators/accelerators over the past few years, the number of startups seeking help far exceeds the supply of spaces. Getting accepted into an incubator/accelerator can be more difficult than gaining admission into an Ivy League School. In 2013, TechStars Chicago, formerly Excelerate Labs, received more than 900 applications for 10 coveted spots. Overall, TechStars accepted less than 1% of the 4000 startups that applied to participate in one of their accelerator programs which are also located in Austin, Boston, Boulder, London, NYC, and Seattle. The “chosen few” receive valuable resources but where do the thousands of startups, that are rejected, go for help?

In response to this problem, a new kind of model has begun to emerge to jumpstart startups: the “excubator.” Unlike an accelerator, which typically lasts for just three months of the year, the excubator is designed to support startups from the very beginning with ideation to the very end of what hopes to be a successful exit.

This new model has already found a home in Chicago. Recently, five of Chicago’s award-winning digital service providers — Red Rocket Ventures (startup consulting & financial advisory), Ora Interactive (software development), SocialKaty (social media), Loud Interactive (SEO), and Walker Sands(public relations) — joined forces to launch the excubator “Ensemble.” Ensemble is a ‘one-stop-shop’ and brings together six key services under one roof: startup consulting, capital-raising, software development, SEO, social media marketing, and public relations.

“We felt that there was a big hole in the marketplace and the startup incubators are focused on cherry-picking ten or 12 companies from hundreds of thousands of applicants and running them through a program,” says George Deeb, managing partner of Ensemble. “And from our perspective we want to take care of everybody else that has not had a chance to get through a program.”

In addition to acting as a major source of support for startups, that are unable to gain admission to an incubator/accelerator, Ensemble and other excubators offer the following advantages: 1.SUPPORT. An excubator can offer critical life-support to startups that were incubated, too. Studies show that most startups do not survive six months after graduating from the standard three-month program at an incubator/accelerator. Excubators can provide six months of additional support or more that can make all the difference in the world between success and failure. 2.SAVES TIME. Excubators offer a variety of services under one roof. A startup doesn’t have to waste time shopping around for quality providers. 3.SAVES MONEY. Excubators can bundle services and offer significant cash discounts. Ensemble, for example, offers either a 20% or 40% cash discount for their services depending on the offer and acceptance of equity. 4.COLLABORATION. Participating companies in an excubator can share best practices and strategies that both they and their clients use. 5.NETWORKING. Collectively, participating companies have a very large base of valuable contacts and can make personal introductions to key personnel and mentors.

There is one catch to the excubator, however. It’s not free. Most startups are on a shoestring budget and can’t afford to purchase their services. However, a number of companies that apply for admission to an incubator/accelerator have already raised capital and are in a position to pay for a comprehensive suite of services that can help to accelerate the growth of their new venture. In addition, a large number of startups that graduate from an incubator/accelerator raise capital and require ongoing support and mentorship. The basic Ensemble package will cost a startup about five-thousand dollars per month.

“It’s market rate for the services we’re providing,” says Deeb. “It takes a team of people to make [results] happen and we’re charging a nominal fee to cover the costs of those services.”

Only time will tell if the excubator proves to be a viable, complimentary model to incubators/accelerators. For now, the excubator is a new, unproven concept that addresses an unmet need and offers hope to the vast majority of startups that are seeking help and unable to gain access to incubators/accelerators.  Hopefully, the excubator succeeds and proves invaluable in further developing startup ecosystems everywhere and helping to drive innovation and economic growth.

Read More on Blacklinereview:


Chicago Venture Magazine – John Jonelis

Techweek Part 4 –

Two Points by storied business consultant, Joe Perogi,

as told to John Jonelis –

Been hearin’ complaints ‘n’ controversy about Techweek this year. People gripe so you figure there’s gotta be a good reason, right? Yeah, I hear you. Yer sayin’, where there’s smoke there’s fire. But all them critics completely miss THE HIDDEN ROOM that you and me stumple upon—the hidden room that makes this thing truly amazing. Now the dust is settled, lemme take you on a tour o’ what I seen.

First, permit me t’ introduce myself. Name’s J. P. Pierogiczikowski, but you can call me Joe Perogi. Everybody else does. They say I have way too much fun. Maybe they’re right. Confidentially, there’s alotta money in it, too.

Da Speakers

We meet at the office in the backroom o’ Ludditis Shots & Beer.

Ludditis Shots and Beer 3

It’s just a good stretch o’ the legs from here to the Chicago Merchandise Mart and we get there in fifteen minutes easy. This event takes up a whole floor and gets a special elevator.

On this tour, you and me start in a room packed with chairs and people eager to hear Sal Khan of Khan Academy—one o’ da featured speakers. I wanna hear this guy. His company solves problems in education. Uses technology to help the kids learn ‘n’ helps the teachers make better use o’ their time. That’s huge. I’m figure this is gonna be good.

Khan Academy’s gonna partner with big business—a move that’ll give ‘em a longer reach. None of us know about that at the time—all we wanna do is hear the guy talk.

Look at that outrageously pretty lady on stage. Now she’s tellin’ us how great the speaker is. Now she points out the big screen. Hey, Sal Khan ain’t even here. You’re here. I’m here. We paid to be here. All these other people are here, too. But no Sal. He’s on Skype. So I’m a little bit offended, but whaddaya gonna do? They call it Techweek, so I figure we’ll give it our best shot.

All the computers crash at Sal’s office out in California or wherever he really is. But Sal’s no quitter. He carries on—with his smartphone. Ever notice how people believe them smartphones can do anything? Maybe it’s ‘cause they call ‘em smart when they’re really just pocket-size computers waitin’ to go wrong.

THE MERCHANDISE MART We look at the big screen and see this faded picture of Sal Kahn. You can tell he’s holdin’ the phone too close to his face. That’s why he looks kinda distorted. And he’s got a lousy connection—maybe one bar, tops. Truth be told, none of us can get our phones working here in the Chicago Merchandise Mart. Too much concrete. But apparently the organizers think smart phones is a smart move. So we sit through snips and swipes o’ Sal’s voice, cutting in and out. Nobody knows what the hell he’s saying. It creates a feeling of suspense, doncha think? I mean, the way that distorted face skips and jerks across the faded auditorium screen.

Why don’t anybody get up and walk out? Easy. It’s that gorgeous gal on stage—she’s really somethin’. Class. Intelligent-looking. Businesslike. She apologizes. Now she’s promising they’s gonna fix the problem. Now she’s watching that big screen with such intense interest—like she can understand what he’s sayin’ and she’s hangin’ on every word. She creates in us what they call a sense of suspended belief. (I read that somewhere.) And it keeps everybody in their seats.

Sal keeps cutting in and out till his battery dies and that means, lecture over. It teaches me a lesson: It’s usually more about marketing than technology. But you don’t know that till the technology breaks down.

Did I mention that the Blackhawk’s rally is going on downtown today?Blackhawk logo You don’t wanna go? Hey—they won the Stanley Cup. It’s a big deal. Okay then, let’s crash a few more presentations.

So we take in summore lectures. Seems like every speaker talks in some important-sounding corporate lingo. It’s all meaningful stuff, right? Maybe it’s what they call high-elf—I dunno. I’m wishin’ I can be with the Blackhawk fans. So you and me ditch the lectures and hit the booths.

Da Booths

There’s rows ‘n’ rows o’ these little islands o’ commerce packed side-by-side, with all sortsa people plugging up the floor and it all seems to go on forever. Pretty soon I get turned around and confused and everything’s a blur. Don’t it hit you that way, too? This place is so big, a guy can get lost in here real fast

Look around. Everywhere it’s corporations hawking their wares. (There’s that word Hawk again.) Notice how most people just mill past the booths. Except fer that one—the one serving free booze. We stop there for a while. Pretty good, huh?


So I learn a second lesson, but it don’t hit me till later: Big corporations waste lots of money. But they help an event pay the bills.

Then, just when I’m about to give up and say goodbye, we find the hidden room.

startup city logo

Da Hidden Room

See that wall with the huge Startup City logo painted on it? Looks like a dead end, don’t it? We walk up and take a closer look at the artwork. There’s a small door on our right. We go through there and WHAM! It’s a whole ‘nother room packed with booths ‘n’ people ‘n’ lotsa noise. These is all startup companies. Seventy of ‘em. Ambitious entrepreneurs, brilliant inventors and gutsy financiers ready to take a risk on a new idea. This is where the action is. So let’s do the rounds. Hey, I know summa these people! I like this place!

And whaddaya know—they got a competition goin’. The judges go from booth to booth and try to pick out the five best startups. Which o’ these folks is the judges? I can’t tell. It’s kinda like a benched dog show.

Now we find out the winners are gonna get announced at a special event with the mayor. Our tickets ain’t good enough to get in—those tickets musta cost thousands! No problemo. We crash it.

We’re in and now the mayor’s up there giving a speech:

“…I think the city of Chicago will become the mecca of the Midwest in startup cities,” he says. IMG_9067“The city of Chicago is building the digital economy as the fifth pillar…” I gotta ask you: Where’d he get all that mecca and fifth pillar stuff? I mean I like the guy but them terms don’t feel right coming outa him. Maybe if he wore a keffiyeh or a turban er somethin’. Naw, that ain’t never gonna happen.

Photos courtesy Techweek, The Chicago Blackhawks, John Jonelis.  Logos courtesy companies.

read more here:



From: Layton E. Olson
Subject: (2) Steps along the way a communication world — Tullman, Keywell take aim at health care Date Sent: Mon 9/23/2013 3:20:55 PM Date Read: Mon 9/30/2013 4:30:28 PM
Colleagues and Leaders of Learning Communities, Thought you would be interested in this recent Melissa Harris column on the topic of consumer information health care applications, including important elements to be accessed in a digital health card in every pocket, mobile phone devices, and other health application tools. It was estimated in June 2013, that consumer interface electronic health records under the Affordable Care act may be available at scale as early as 2015, according to HHS persons attending the US Ignite Applications Summit in Chicago. Thus, Americans accessing health care via providers, insurers and others in communities will be entering into important user-interface relations in communities, including in many currently underinvested communities.

I thought you’d like this: Tullman, Keywell take aim at health care

Two of Chicago’s most prominent entrepreneurs, Brad Keywell and Glen Tullman, are going into business together. Now is the time to plan for and building “safe and healthy community” communication tool partnerships. Community service anchor institutions are exploring what kinds of roles they might play in partnering with one or more health care or social service parties, or health care training parties, to assist in community health fairs and other awareness to clients and others, to assist in sign-up adoptions and use of digital health applications and cards, train health technology user interface and electronic records staff, including the kinds of staff who will be helping patients use health records technology and smart health cards when visiting a health office, or communicating by telephone and online, providing email signup and community networking services for connections to Safety, Health, Education, Energy, Mobility and other services and community calendars of events providing digital literacy training and computer access support to prepare youth, seniors, small businesses and special populations to enable 95% of the population and 100% of businesses and community institutions to eventually adopt and use such tools, providing tech, people and cultural supports for special audiences, such as youth, seniors, small businesses and persons with assistive technology needs and multi-lingual capacities.
For background, see June 2011 article on Healthcare and A Digital Card in Every Pocket. Layton Olson Facilitator, Leaders for Learning Communities, Safe and Healthy Communities Project/Internet Public Trust Howe & Hutton, Ltd. 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 4200 Chicago, IL 60606 312-263-3001 312-372-6685f

Save Abandoned Babies Foundation
Donation Questions: email
Thanks Dawn Geras and to your Save Abandoned Babies Foundation organization for over 13 years of contribution.

“To Save One Life Is To Save The World.”  The Torah

The Save Abandoned Babies Foundation  is a not-for-profit volunteer group dedicated to saving babies from being abandoned in dumpsters and other unsafe places. Our only mission is to save the lives of newborns that might otherwise be abandoned unsafely in Illinois.
Our grassroots effort began in March of 2000 when one of our members read a newspaper article about a baby found in a Chicago dumpster. We quickly learned that other states were addressing this horrible and growing problem with “safe haven laws.”

We went to work, calling on anyone willing to help. The Save Abandoned Babies volunteers drafted a safe haven law and lobbied for its passage. The resulting Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act unanimously passed both the Illinois House and Senate and was signed into Illinois law in August of 2001. Please refer to “Timeline” for a detailed look at our efforts. To review our summary of the Safe Haven Law available in both English and Spanish.
The Save Abandoned Babies Foundation is now focused on telling desperate girls and women that this option exists. Making information about the law available to those who need it will save innocent new lives. If you would like information on how to help either in Illinois, or on the national level, please contact us!

Save Abandoned Babies Foundation
Tel: (312) 440-0229

Fax: (312) 440-0805 55 E. Erie Street #2905 Chicago, IL 60611 Donations Make a Donation Online with PayPal Alternatively, mail your donation to:
Save Abandoned Babies Foundation
c/o Diane Jannetto 152 Inner Circle Dr. Des Plaines, IL 60016
Checks should be made payable to Save Abandoned Babies Foundation Donation Questions: email Save Abandoned Babies Foundation | phone 312.440.0229 | email


The Education Section: KnightLab – Northwestern comments: – Offering up content from their blog to #Themayreport . Not familiar with KnightLab – Northwestern University Knight Lab is a team of technologists, journalists, designers and educators working to advance news media innovation through exploration and experimentation. Straddling the sciences and the humanities, we agree that there has never been a more exciting time to be working at the intersection of media and technology. Every bit of what it means to be a journalist is being reassessed, redefined. While traditional news outlets are cutting back, many leading companies, digital-first organizations and startups are inventing the future of journalism. As an industry, we are witnessing a rebirth. As the Knight Lab, we are participating in a revolution.

Lab projects | October 9, 2013

What’s next for twXplorer? Help us decide. Posted by Ryan Graff
Just over two weeks ago we launched twXplorer, a tool to help people make sense of searches and find interesting conversations on Twitter. When we launched the tool we didn’t know how it would be received or what use people would find for it. So far, we’ve been pretty happy to have more than 13,000 people use twXplorer and to get a few kind words from The Atlantic (“control your own little battalion of news-finding bots”), The Buttry Diary (“Twitter search just got waaaay better”), All Twitter, and Spain’s RedAssociales. Kind words are great, of course, but nothing beats honest feedback. If you’ve used the tool and have some ideas or special use cases that twXplorer might address, we’d love to hear from you. We’re likely to make a few tweaks to twXplorer and your feedback will help us determine which direction to take. Drop us a line at

In the meantime, a few of the features requested so far: Search date or time range. This is a common request, but unfortunately it’s not something we can implement for the simple reason that Twitter’s API doesn’t support it. A common related question had to do with the number of tweets examined. For now twXplorer looks the most recent 500 tweets that contain the term you searched for.

Search by location. CurrentlytwXplorer collects tweets that contain the term you searched for without regard for location. We’ve learned from other projects – specifically NeighborhoodBuzz – that relatively few people geotag tweets, which makes a meaningful analysis difficult. On top of that the search API only supports search by a radius around a point, which is not how most people think about doing searches.

An API. There’s some interest in an API. No word on what aspect of twXplorer is most intriguing, but we’re reaching out to folks who use the tool and will learn more as we do. Integration with Storify. Some people want to Storify tweets directly from twXplorer. Sentiment analysis. Read more here:


From the Archives of TheMayReport section:

This article was from Oct 2012. What was going on one year ago in Chicago with TMR? Read the full article here:

A shorter version of the report here:
Bob Geras Lives, Ron picks a winning stock #workday that doubles in a year and Ron’s sage advice to Chris Gantz when you are at events. Ask questions and more questions and probably more questions to get the story.
The May Report: 10/15/2012: Bob Geras lives! — by the time I called NMH on Saturday, he had already been discharged; “You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” Third_Man I should write an essay extolling the virtues of corruption, war, and conflict in history, using “the Chicago way” as a prime example — hey, I don’t hear much about the great cities of Minneapolis or Boise these days as centers of tech or of any other creative endeavor for that matter; I missed the HR Tech Conference last week and overall had a lousy week, (and now I do have an iPhone 4), but two readers came through, so thanks to Chris Gantz, an entrepreneur who takes products from ideation to development in the mobile audio and accessories arena (we met six months ago at MoMo), and his firm has done work with Motorola and one anonymous reader; (btw, I’ll try to avoid using vacuous words such as like, really, actually and literally): The standout company at the conference was Workday [WRKD] which just went public last week as the stock jumped quite a lot,, and Workday is distinguished by having Co-CEOs, one of them being Dave Duffield, a founder of Peoplesoft; with the pop in stock, one could argue that unlike Facebook, the IBs didn’t do their job because they left a lot of money on the table that could have gone to investors; my anonymous source says that “VCs have over funded video interview sites, we need 5, not 300” concluding that there’s a major bubble in a very commoditized simple tech niche; this person also says that the conference was very busy but the booths were often too big and some companies had too many people; overall, this person believes there’s a bubble in HR technology investing; btw, I heard that Groupon is firing people by e-mail: Does anyone know if this is true?



The Scoop section: — Chris Gantz writes an excellent summary of the HR Technology Conference, held in Chicago last week
[Editor’s note: May here. I do have more e-mail notes to print, but no time right now.] ___________________________ The Scoop section: ______________________

In a message dated 10/12/2012 1:03:16 P.M. Central Daylight Time, writes:

Ron, I did go and glad to provide my assessment. Several interesting startups focused on niches and can send to you tomorrow. Chris Chris Gantz REACTIVE DEVICES T 847.412.0000 F 847.972.6366

On Oct 12, 2012, at 1:08 PM, wrote: Chris, that’s great. What was the attendance like? Number of vendors compared to past years? What hot startups as you mentioned? Chicago firms? What about that big party in Soldier Field? Ron

Subject: Re: Chris, please tell me what you thought of the HR Conf. if you went. Date: 10/14/2012 5:40:42 P.M. Central Daylight Time From: To: Ron, Sorry I could not do more and traveling all weekend. Here’s a quick overview of the HR Technology Conf, rough format and assume you will work your usual magic. Just consider this data for your writing and please no need for credits,… glad to help out. I tried to provide a format that you could easily adopt. I could not attend the soldier field event due to other commitments. Chris _______________________________

15th Annual HR Tech Conf and Expo, Chris Gantz REACTIVE DEVICES T 847.412.0000 F 847.972.6366


The Events Section:

Send us events you want posted or post right online at
Get you’re EVENT Noticed


An Event Ron May would not miss.

Planning Chicago: Jon B. DeVries, D. Bradford Hunt, and John McCarron
7th Annual Herb & Eileen Franks Seminar

Thursday, November 21, 2013
11:30 AM Reception
12:00 PM Luncheon

Maggiano’s  Banquets
111 W. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL
Register Here

This is an event Ron would not have missed for the world.  So many to interview, highly relevant topic for investments in Chicago’s civic, business and tech future.

See article on investments in real estate and McCormick place as international destination. Chicago in Plan: An Insiders’ Discourse on City’s History, Challenges Ahead


Technori Pitch Chicago, Nov/Dec 2013 – Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM (CST)
Chicago, United States


Technori Pitch Chicago, Nov/Dec 2013 – Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 7:00 PM (CST)

Chicago, United States


Ron May Celebration of Life Pictures at the Mart:

Tom Wrona a big Thank you for The Ron May Memorial Celebration of Life pictures.
Thomas J. Wrona . President
Talent ProFusion, Inc. (System TWO)
Phone: (630) 717-6500 .


This May Report Sponsored By:
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Contact us if your company needs talent or if your talent looking for a top company.
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