During a jam-packed first day of Techweek Chicago 2015, speakers, vendors, and more than 100 entrepreneurs and startup companies engaged with each other, learned about others’ projects, and presented their own innovations.
Tech food startups
A large section of the conference hall was dedicated to the Techweek Launch Competition, which featured over 100 startup companies competing to win more than $250,000 in cash and prizes. Of the more than 100 companies in industries like food, fitness, fashion, and workspace creation, sixteen made it to the finals on Friday, June 26.
One of the most successful Chicago startups in attendance at Techweek was Avant, founded by entrepreneur Al Goldstein. In less than 3 years, the company has become the leader in providing online credit lending services for middle income people. Avant have created over 700 jobs for Chicagoans. Chicago Business reported in 2014 that Avant raised $225 million in one of the largest venture rounds for a Chicago startup history.
Two startup companies in the growing technology-based food service industry showcased their innovative meal options to conference attendee were Sprig from San Francisco and Chefmade from Chicago.
Chefmade prepares healthy meals that is delivered chilled and only requires reheating. All their meals are prepared by a chef who uses locally sourced ingredients. Users can order from their menu that changes weekly.
Sprig provides healthy, organic food delivery on demand. The Sprig app allows users to order healthy food and get it delivered within 15- 20 minutes for only $10-12 per meal. Sprig recently raised $45 million in funding and entered the Chicago market.
Fit Hero, FitPairs, and FitnFair all competed in the Techweek Launch Competition at Techweek Chicago. Each company created applications that to help people meet their fitness goals
Fit Hero provides on demand personal trainers delivered within 30 minutes or less. They used the Uber business model to provide individuals personal training. “We want affordable fitness for everybody,” said Gabe, personal trainer and founder of Fit Hero.
FitPairs provides opportunity pair people with similar fitness goals to work out and create accountability and team building. Users can find people nearby, schedule time and location to workout.
Fit ‘N Fair, aims to solve lack of motivation and procrastination within fitness market. They help users navigate gym memberships, equipment, and fitness tools that helps them reach their goals.
With the recent launch of the Apple Watch, there is a lot of excitement around wearable tech and fashion. At Techweek Chicago, three companies that focus on creating fashion applications in technology were Pyazza, Fad Channel, and FashionMe.
Pyazza allows users to purchase clothes from other members on the app. Users interact face to face during the transaction. Pyazza aims to build community around fashion.
Fad Channel is a interactive television network for fashion combines shopping and fashion into one channel. They make fashion and design more accessible to viewers of their content. FAD Channel empowers users to interact with our content, e-commerce, and local and national promotional events.
FashionMe app allows users to create new outfits from their own clothes.Users can add as many clothes and share their styles with friends in social media.
Creating workspaces that best suit startups companies are important. Two companies providing workspace solutions are Gallerique and SpaceHq.
Gallerique gallerique.com is a marketplace finding unique decor items from fine arts to antiques for workspaces. They provide consultation for clients to find the best items for their workspaces.
SpaceHq www.spacehq.co provides an online platform where small companies build out their space within weeks rather than months. They do the work to ensure clients find the best solutions for their workspace needs and culture.