Technori takes equity investment to launch Technori Co-op, a non-traditional startup incubator, focused on disrupting how startups are launched and funded.


DV Partners, led by SMS Assist Founder and Chairman Mike Rothman, today announced a seven figure investment in Chicago’s largest and most active startup platform, Technori. The funds will be used to expand its successful podcast show and event series, and to launch Technori Co-op, an entirely new startup incubator and investment platform.


Technori helps startups gain traction by engaging with thousands of would-be investors, customers, and commercial partners such as, MB Real Estate, Bank of America, and Salesforce, through highly curated events and media. The Startup Showcase is one of the largest quarterly tech events in the U.S, and the first ever to allow attendees to invest directly in the presenting startups, via an exclusive partnership with Title III equity crowdfunding platform, Republic. Technori is also the creator of Chicago’s most popular tech podcast and live radio show, hosted by its CEO Scott Kitun on WGN Radio.


To date, Technori has helped hundreds of companies raise more than $1 billion in venture capital and connect with thousands of first employees and customers by featuring founders on-stage at Showcase events, and in-studio at WGN Radio.


“Scott has been one of the most important, consistent and valuable contributors to the tech scene in more ways and for more years than he’s willing to admit and it’s a big part of Chicago’s success.”      –Howard Tullman


“Nothing is more important to the growth and health of a startup community than the people who work tirelessly to identify, connect and positively promote the key players,” former 1871 CEO and current Illinois Tech Kaplan Institute Executive Director Howard Tullman said. “Scott has been one of the most important, consistent and valuable contributors to the tech scene in more ways and for more years than he’s willing to admit and it’s a big part of Chicago’s success.”


Rothman’s investment in Technori is about accelerating and supporting Technori’s mission of building the largest and most diverse tech community in the world, but it’s also about helping startups gain access to strategic capital and connections – something Rothman has plenty of experience with.


As former CEO of SMS Assist, Mike Rothman raised several hundred million dollars for the company – at over a billion dollar valuation – from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Chicago-based Pritzker Group, among others.


“Technori has done an incredible job of providing founders like myself with exposure. But, there’s a huge opportunity to make an even bigger impact on the startup community,” Rothman said. “That’s why I’ve partnered with Scott to extend the Technori services model to introduce the most innovative early stage incubation tool, called Technori Co-op.”


Technori Co-op is an investment model that provides early-stage companies access to capital, board support and strategic advisory while enabling the founders to own a stake in the portfolio.


“We work to democratize how startups are launched and funded by allowing founders to use our exposure to equity crowdfund,” says Technori CEO Scott Kitun. “The Co-op takes the best of those founders and gives them access to some of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors our tech community has to offer.”


Initial Co-op advisors include, Lightbank Managing Partner Vic Pascucci, Blue1647 founder Emile Cambry, and Fanatics VP of Engineering Nate Lyman, among other influential tech leaders.


“Scott and Mike are visionaries. How this democratizes the startup process is incredible and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Pascucci.


“DV Partners has already made significant investments in tech startups, such as Dumbstruck, Residential Homes Group (RHG), and Theron Technology Solutions (TTS). And I’m sure whether we invest through DVP or launch a Technori Fund; we plan to deploy a lot more capital into disruptive technology companies,” said Rothman. “But, speaking as a founder, the most valuable commodity is information – and we plan to use that to grow the value of our Co-op companies immediately.”


TTS builds enterprise technology solutions that identify and improve operational efficiencies; founded by former SMS Assist Chief Product Officer Alex Rothman, Theron will also be participating in the Technori Co-op to provide portfolio companies with tech support.


“I learned very early on at SMS, it’s not how fast you can build something, but how accurately you align it with a Go-To-Market strategy,” said Alex Rothman. “Theron is here to share our industry expertise and offer founders what they’ll need to build at scale.”


According to Kitun, “this investment not only enables us to enter new markets and introduce the Technori Co-op, but also significantly grow our team, and develop the technology necessary to better reach our growing target audience.”


For more information about applying for Technori Co-op, visit, or follow and message directly through Facebook.


Download the podcast on Spotify, or wherever you get your audio fix.



Technori will now host its premier Startup Showcase events quarterly, with monthly lunch and learn workshops and founder’s dinners – with an eye on expanding into new markets with pop-up events in 2019.