Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FROM WORLD BUSINESS CHICAGO TO CBRE: THE JOURNEY OF DAN LYNE

FROM WORLD BUSINESS CHICAGO TO CBRE: THE JOURNEY OF DAN LYNE

Few are as responsible for today’s Chicago tech office real estate landscape as Dan Lyne, SVP with CBRE’s Global Tech & Media team and one of our featured panelists at Bisnow’s 6th Annual State of Office event, 7am June 21, at 222 South Riverside. Dan’s guidance was felt throughout Chicago’s tech scene long before he entered commercial real estate.
Before joining CBRE, Dan Lyne was director of technology and development at World Business Chicago.
Before Dan joined CBRE in 2013, he spent over a decade at World Business Chicago as the director of technology and development. While championing notable relocation projects such as BoeingMiller-Coors and NAVTEQ, Dan focused most of his efforts on what it takes to build a world-class urban tech environment, rolling his sleeves up to assist lesser known companies (at the time) like BraintreeOrbitzThreadless and GrubHub.
Dan was also part of the original team that created 1871 (pictured below), the now-140k SF tech incubator at the Merchandise Mart that helped establish the Mart as the epicenter of Chicago’s tech scene. And as co-founder and former executive director of ChicagoNEXT, Dan worked with local industry leaders to bring visibility across Chicago’s growing mobilecleantech and bioscience communities.
Inside 1871, Chicago's tech incubator located at Merchandise Mart
Dan’s tenure at WBC prepared him well for the transition to real estate. He helped CEOs through bureaucratic red tape and dealing with construction issues like transportation challenges and talent shortages, which he continues to do at CBRE. But Dan's job doesn’t end once he secures office space for a firm. He’s always searching for ways to build bridges between startups and more traditional businesses; he believes each has something to teach the other and usually only positive things can result. Playing a small role as that connective layer between groups adds value that can never be realized on a lease agreement, he tells us.
Dan says one tried-and-true practice carried over to his real estate career: the importance of personal relationships and connecting others. Dan says we simply can’t overestimate the value that can be created by using our own networks for the betterment of others.
A look inside Cards Against Humanity's Elston Street offices, Chicago.
Dan says time, talent and culture are major driving forces behind today’s office leasing market. Just a few of the ways companies can touch that employee reflex are through wellness and fitness programscollaborative environments, soulful design and art in the workplace.
Dan finds the employers that best attract and retain talent are authentic in their goals. Even with the advances in technology, the foundation for an employer/employee relationship is the same. Companies want hard workers; employees want recognition for their work. So employers are getting smarter about workplace efficiencies. But Dan also believes the market may have swung too far left on open workplace environments and density algorithms. There’s a reality returning to the market on what the most productive workplaces look like. Dan says companies can design a workspace, but they can’t manufacture soul. Talent is bred by a nurturing culture and if it isn’t set early, it will be adversely reflected down the line.
As for the next big tech office markets in town, Dan is high on Goose Islandand the Clybourn/Elston industrial corridor, in large part because they are right in the middle of the neighborhoods where young workers already live. Dan sees a resurgence of office opportunities and sophisticated developments in these submarkets. One example: CBRE client Cards Against Humanity. Dan and his partners, Kyle Kamin and Jarrett Annenberg, worked with CAH founder Max Temkin on the company’s space at Elston and Cortland, where CAH is now attracting some of the most creative minds in the industry, by invitation.
To learn more, please attend Bisnow's 6th Annual State of Office event, 7am June 21, at 222 South RiversideRegister here.

New INC. Magazine Blog Post by 1871 CEO Howard Tullman - Fireside Chat with JB Pritzker

READ IT ALL HERE: http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/startup-wisdom-from-jb-pritzker466519308.html



READ IT ALL HERE: http://www.inc.com/howard-tullman/startup-wisdom-from-jb-pritzker466519308.html

1871 Welcomes Advance Team from London for Mayor's Visit


Meeting of Governor Rauner's Transformation and Innovation Group




New Pencil Drawing by Artist Keith More


1871 Hosts Good Food Business Accelerator Program





1871 Hosts TechUp Diversity Hiring Event





How 1871's PartySlate is breaking into the $112B events industry

How 1871's PartySlate is breaking into the $112B events industry

Sam Dewey


In a crowded events industry generating about $112 billion in the U.S. alone, it can be hard to stand out as the life of the party.
But that’s exactly what Chicago’s PartySlate has its sights set on: if not the life of the party, then, at least, bringing some life back to the party.
The company aims to arm part-time event planners with the inspiration and resources they need to plan and execute a larger-scale event, be it a wedding, corporate holiday party, gala or bar/bat mitzvah.
“The vision was to build an inspiration engine,” said PartySlate CEO and co-founder Julie Novack.
Today, PartySlate acts as a marketplace for anyone looking for big, fresh ideas to plan an outstanding event. Here’s how it works: the platform relies heavily on high-quality visuals from local event professionals (think venues, caterers, photographers, designers) to inspire planners with ideas that can help make their event a success.
It may sound a bit like Pinterest or a host of other competitors, but where PartySlate thrives is in its attribution of these event-themed photos. All images on the platform link directly to a local event professional’s PartySlate profile. So, instead of finding a floral arrangement online and scouting out a florist with enough skill to replicate it, PartySlate connects users directly to the people who came up with creative ideas and designs in the first place.
For instance — if a user came upon the header image of this article on PartySlate’s website, they would see the following catalogue of credits for the event in the photo: Event Planner: Paulette Wolf Events, Photographer: Sheri Whitko Photography, Decor: Preston Bailey Designs, Lighting: Lightswitch and Caterer: J&L Catering.
Profiles are free for event professionals to set up, but Novack said they can pay for a $400/month subscription service to elevate their presence.
The company launched in 2015 after being invited to the first cohort of 1871’s woman-centered WiSTEM entrepreneurial program — before the Party Slate team even had a website. It’s since got the site up and running and set up shop out of 1871’s 2.0 expansion.
Novack credits many of the company’s wins to the its participation in the program — and 1871 in general.
“The connection to a like-minded group of women who are putting everything on the line to follow their dreams and start their own businesses [makes it] a really great community to be apart of,” Novack said of the two-year old initiative to support women-led businesses in Chicago.
In addition, Novak said the PartySlate team has grown into a team made up of six full-timers and five summer interns. With $1 million in venture capital under their belt, she said they’re already expanding to four additional markets — starting first with Dallas, and taking on Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco shortly thereafter.
It’s fairly fast-paced growth. But Novack, a former Razorfish exec, attributes their early success to what she called having a team (including co-founder John Haro and executive creative director Mark Semon) of “startup professionals.”
“We’re in our forties — we’ve all run big businesses. With our experience and our networks, we were able to raise money faster because they believe in our team,” she said. “Between the three of us, we have over 60 years of digital experience and a lot of connections ... With that experience, I think we have a little bit of an advantage over those who haven’t seen as much in the business world that really is working to our advantage.”
Images via PartySlate/Sheri Whitko Photography. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Options Away taking off, adding new fare alert


Options Away taking off, adding new fare alert

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options-away.jpg
Rob and Heidi Brown
Options Away is taking its next step in reinventing how consumers shop for travel.
Two years ago, trading industry veterans Rob and Heidi Brown launched a service that allowed people to buy an option to hold a flight at a particular price while they decided whether to follow through with a trip.
Now they're testing a new product called Trip Watch, an alert for low fares on specific flights. Unlike most alerts, Options Away will automatically lock in an option on a particular fare and offer you the chance to purchase it.
“We lock it in and alert you, rather than just giving you an alert to a fare that may be gone by the time you act,” Rob Brown said. “Only if they decide to book will we charge them a fee.”
Options Away customers typically pay about $14 to hold a flight anywhere from 24 hours to 21 days.
Options Away, one of the largest companies based at the 1871 startup incubator inside the Merchandise Mart, is starting to show some real traction. The company has signed up several of the big players, including Kayak, Expedia and its subsidiaries Orbitz and Travelocity, Hipmunk and Cheaptickets. Combined, they account for about 60 percent of airline bookings.
Rob Brown estimates Options Away covers more than 90 percent of U.S. routes and international routes that start in the U.S. It's working with 40 airlines and is offering options on flights involving 518 airports with 134 origin and destination cities in the United States and overseas, up from 27 when it started. Headcount has more than doubled to 23 from about 10 a year ago. Options Away has raised more than $5 million in funding.
The company is looking to expand internationally and likely will have to raise more money to fund its growth. Currently it offers overseas flights but only to customers whose travel starts in the U.S. It also wants to add packages.
Rob Brown says Options Away customers also purchase hotels earlier than normal. Seventy-five percent of people who buy travel online purchase their hotels within 30 days of their travel date. He says 63 percent of hotels sold to Options Away customers are booked more than 30 days from the date of travel.
"We're generating new revenue through options,” Rob Brown said. “What's more important is we're engaging with the customer earlier than anybody else.”
It's a compelling proposition. We'll see whether partners and investors buy in.

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