Techstars Chicago 2017 Recap

Techstars Chicago is intensely founder focused — and luckily, this year, the incredible people running the cohort companies made that very easy. I’m proud to be associated with these founders in my first year as Managing Director of Techstars Chicago, and eager to fulfill #TechstarsForLife in continuing to support their journey. In recruiting, we targeted “Themes & Teams” — seeking founders with audacious vision, and teams inspired enough to pull it off. This week, we presented across 3 separate Demo Days, attracting over 200 investors to our invite-only investor events at 1871, and hundreds more at our Community Demo Day at Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law & live stream. Now, without further ado, I present to you, Techstars Chicago 2017.

If you’d like to contact a company, please see below, or feel free to ping me.

Techstars Chicago 2017 Cohort


We help you manage your most important asset — your relationships. Our product identifies the right people to contact, helps strengthen those relationships, and recommends ways to accomplish goals through your network. We achieve this by working with your email, calendar, and other data sources — and fusing that with our algorithms and the practices of the world’s best relationship builders. In doing so, we empower you to develop your most powerful source of opportunity — knowing the right people.

For more, please visit

Ablorde Ashigbi, CEO
David Vandegrift, CTO


Abode redefines residential real estate with an all-inclusive home buying experience. Leaving one-dimensional real estate search engines behind, we simplify the home buying headache by packaging all services in one user-friendly location and guiding consumers through the step-by-step process with ease. Abode uses analytics to match buyers with top real estate professionals, such as Realtors and lenders while offering data-driven insights on local housing markets. We also provide client management tools for professionals, making it easier for them to collaborate on transaction details all in one place. Abode is free for consumers and we receive a portion of the broker’s commission on each transaction in addition to other fees.

For more, please visit

Kyle Stoner, CEO
Carson Junginger, CTO


Allie helps companies build inclusive culture. We make diversity and inclusion accessible for everyone, integrating with messaging platforms like Slack so employees can provide instant feedback and receive personalized coaching. Our customers receive aggregated insights to surface hidden bias that they never would have seen before, proactively identifying attrition risks and even potential lawsuits. Companies can see which employees feel included, engaged, and most importantly, belong.

For more, please visit

Emilie Hsieh, CEO
Simon Tam, CTO


Elemetric is a marketplace for data, powering the future of blockchain applications beyond cryptocurrencies. Sellers in the marketplace are companies with valuable data that can create new revenue streams by plugging into the platform. Buyers get a simple way to securely access needed data sources, reducing time to market and enabling powerful blockchain applications across a breadth of industries. In addition to facilitating transactions, Elemetric’s technology will be a critical data and infrastructure layer powering the next generation of the web.

Daniel Mason, CEO
Paul Cowgill, CTO


Futury helps engineers to make insightful career decisions.The most influential factor for millennials engineers to accept a job offer is the opportunity for professional development. However, engineers today don’t know which path to follow to better their career. By combining artificial intelligence and real-time market data, we enable engineers to predict what will be the best move for their career, and ultimately, maximize their market value. We charge companies to be in the place where their future employees make decisions.

For more, please visit

Maor Idan, CEO
Stav Sitnikov, CTO
Amit Hacohen, CMO
David Ben Shushan, VP of Engineering


Harbor’s technology makes high-quality retirement planning accessible and free. Today, people are not equipped to make the smart decisions about their retirement planning. The result: over 65% of near-retirees risk running out of money in retirement. Harbor is here to fix that. We break down planning into simple building blocks that transform financial complexity into clear, simple decisions anyone can make for themselves, while being confident in doing so. The result is a deeper understanding of their finances, and a plan that they understand and trust, because they built it themselves.

For more, please visit

William Rueter, CEO
Nicholas Moy, COO
Colin Sidoti, CTO


Immersed is helping distributed teams maximize productivity by immersing them into a VR workspace. Remote work is on the rise, yet remote collaboration tools have failed to provide an in-person experience, leaving teams disconnected and disengaged. Immersed uses AI, Computer Vision, and a laptop’s webcam to track users’ joints, enabling them to interact with their virtual workstation and remote co-workers using their own hands and body.

For more, please visit

Renji Bijoy, CEO


Omelas develops tools to understand and undermine online terrorist recruitment. We quantify and automate the labor-intensive, subjective process of understanding radicalization, allowing our clients to understand terrorist recruitment better than the terrorists. We’ve foiled an ISIS attack, presented before four national intelligence chiefs, and booked $2.1M in contracts from the State Department and a non-disclosed private contractor.

Evanna Hu, CEO
Ben Dubow


Paladin is building a first-to-market global pro bono platform. Lawyers across Fortune 500s, law firms, law schools, and governments have a professional responsibility to do 50 hours/year of pro bono work, costing employers billions. Our global software is the first to allow Fortune 500s, law firms, law schools, and governments to streamline and centralize their pro bono programs, and leverage their workforce to close the justice gap.

For more, please visit

Felicity Conrad, CEO
Kristen Sonday, COO is the best place for companies to buy promotional swag that people will actually want to keep. 95% of the products that we tested didn’t make the cut. Our streamlined ecommerce experience significantly cuts the time it takes for customers to find, design and buy quality swag. We work with 100’s of companies including Facebook, Google, WeWork, Bravo, Virgin, Jolly Ranchers, Harry’s and Evernote.

Jeremy Parker, CEO
Joshua Orbach, COO

A special thank you goes to the entire Techstars Chicago community and our local team. The program wouldn’t be possible without our Mentors, Speakers, LPs, & Sponsors — THANK YOU.

If you would like to meet any of these companies or have any feedback please let me know by emailing me at or DM’ing me at @loganlahive.

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