Zero Funding & 20,000 Fliers Ascended Sittercity to the Top of Chicago’s Business Ecosystem

“There were a million babies born to Millennials last year, and that number’s growing,” says Elizabeth Harz, CEO of Sittercity. (I happen to know this firsthand). “Digital natives are used to running everything from their phones and expect a data-centric, efficient, beautiful user experience to manage their whole lives.   “There’s also a sense of…

Startup Peanut Butter Helps Employers Offer Student Loan Repayment As a Benefit

  “We literally had somebody tell us that after she paid off her loans, she was going to Walt Disney World,” says Peanut Butter founder and CEO David Aronson. “That’s how excited people get.”   It’s understandable: American college grads, and Millennials in particular, are up to their eyeballs in student debt –– on average,…

From DevMynd to Tandem: Three Ways Founder JC Grubbs Made His Rebrand Look Easy

“The pitch is ‘reinvent yourself or die’,” says JC Grubbs, founder and CEO of digital product studio Tandem, formerly known as DevMynd. “When we first started, we were really focused on startups –– how they can be very nimble, quickly identifying a new market and pivoting without the weight of a large organization.”   With…

Retail Platform Pixavo Delivers a Unique Digital Concierge Experience

  “If you ask any retailer, 80 percent of their profitable revenue comes from the top 20 percent of of your customer base,” says MaryLiz Lehman, CEO and co-founder of concierge retail technology platform Pixavo.   “What are you doing to differentiate –– personalize, retain, inspire, engage with them? I think that’s where the downfall…

GuardianVets Offers Around-the-clock, Dependable Veterinary Care

  Like many successful startups, this one began with a problem that needed solving.   “Three years ago, I adopted my puppy, Patrick,” says John Dillon, founder and CEO of GuardianVets. “My guy’s a boxer-bloodhound mix. Boxers are super energetic, and bloodhounds are super stubborn.”   Although he’s adorable, Patrick’s particular combo of puppy traits…

Improve Your Sales: How to Lead With Transparency and Vulnerability to Win Customers’ Trust

“Our brains are wired to resist being influenced,” says Todd Caponi, author of the new book The Transparency Sale. “You walk into a room as a salesperson, even if you’re charming and engaging, the customer is thinking, ‘all right, when’s Johnny Salesperson coming out?’”   Salespeople, too, tend to think this way, Todd says. “B2B…

Ultra Hot: How a New Blockchain-Based Platform Could Democratize Gaming

Gaming is about to get a lot more interesting.   Ultra, a blockchain-based gaming platform, is set for its public launch by mid-2019.   Through its publishing platform and marketplace, the company is hoping to put “an end to the current distribution monopoly by providing new opportunities to game developers, players, and influencers,” according to…