It's a beautiful, cool, sunny day in Chicago and TechWeek is underway. Today, TechWeek hosted "Startup City" highlighting "the startup ecosystem’s creativity and variety." There are so many companies doing new and creative things impacting medicine, sports, fashion, education. Here are few highlights of my own.
With the recent explosion of educational innovation, Big Marker hits the scene with a web application designed for any community (schools, business, families, churches) that needs to stay connected. Features include unlimited video conferencing, cloud storage, document sharing, and a clean, logical dashboard. Try out their services for free by creating a public community.
Benevolent is an NFP startup that works with other NFP's to help individuals. At their website, you'll see photos of individuals along with their personal stories spelling out needs such as car repairs, glasses, carseats, and tuition. In order for these individuals to participate, they need to be "verified" or sponsored by a local NFP through a letter of recommendation. Your donations then go directly to the individual. The tiny amount taken out for operating costs is considerably low even for a NFP, so you can be assured that your donation is going directly toward meeting a need.
This tiny piece of hardware about the size of my fingernail was mind boggling. Any 360 degree movement on this device is sent to an iPhone app that tells you its velocity or tracks tilts, turns or other movement. The applications are endless: embedded in football helmets to measure impact, installed on the top of a bottle to monitor if a person remembered to take their medicine, or "proximity bracelets" for parents who want to know where their kids are.
This is just a fraction of what was at TechWeek Chicago. I also got to test drive a Chevy Volt which felt like a luxury car because of the complete and total silence inside - although I'm sure the leather interior helped too. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
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