6 Members of the Tech Community Make Chicago Magazine's 'Power 100'
Alice Zhang - Editorial Intern
02/25/15 @9:29am in Tech
Chicago Magazine just released the 2015 list of the top hundred most dynamic figures in the city. Some things changed, some things didn’t: Governor Bruce Rauner soared straight to #2 after his winning bid, House Speaker Mike Madigan took third, and Rahm Emanuel is still in the top spot (with some tactful scrutiny on the where-he’s-been, where-he-is and where-he-should-be’s).
But in tech, he’s still Chicago’s guy. At a press conference hosted this month by ContextMedia, CEO Rishi Shah introduced the mayor as the Chicago tech community’s “greatest partner and champion.” The rest of the list? We did the sifting and boiled it down to the tech heads with the most clout.
#4 J.B. Pritzker
Cofounder and managing partner, Pritzker Group
Mega-investor J.B. Pritzker came in fourth, with a record of 1.6 billion funding raised in 2014 as he continues to funnel funds in cloud-computing companies. As the managing partner of the largest venture firm in the Midwest, Pritzker also chairs ChicagoNEXT, founded 1871, and was integral in funding Techstars Chicago and Built in Chicago. Sitting on the boards of almost all Chicago associations (the Field Museum, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Northwestern investment committee, and Illinois Human Rights Commission), it’s no surprise he comes in fourth.
#25 Joe Mansueto
Founder, chairman, and CEO, Morningstar
Joe Mansueto is CEO of investment research firm Morningstar, which provides data on investment offerings, stocks, and real-time global market data. Owner of Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, the billionaire is looking for ways to make Morningstar a household item among investors. Despite the 22 percent plunge in market value, the firm has been bullish in funneling millions into tech investments, including of ByAllAccounts, an account aggregation service, and HelloWallet, a personalized finance guide for consumers. Morningstar is also the second largest digital company in Chicago in terms of employment.
#42 Eric Lefkofsky
CEO, Groupon; cofounder, Lightbank
Lefkofsky falls a little further on the Power 100 list because of Groupon’s 30 percent stock plunge in 2014. Although Groupon revenues are rising for the most part, Groupon has been losing money in all four quarters and pushing shares down. Still, Lefkofsky has been planting new investment seeds into the historic Wrigley Building, and backing his co-founded venture capital firm Lightbank.
#46 Brad Keywell
Cofounder and managing partner, Lightbank
Keywell also has his piggy bank in Lightbank with Lefkofsky, and as co-founder of Groupon and Echo, his reputation in Chitown holds strong. As founder of Chicago Ideas Week, Keywell has been instrumental in bringing together an impressive roll of speakers, change agents, leaders and doers from around the world to spark local thought.
#87 Howard Tullman
CEO, 1871; venture capitalist
Tullman has an accolade wall of serious startups totaling twelve: he’s been CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, Tunes.com, Imagination Pilots, CCC Information Services, and many others over his four decades. He brings his expertise to 1871 as current CEO of the nonprofit startup hub, since doubling the Merchandise Mart area and creating niche incubator spaces such as The Bunker for veteran entrepreneurs.
#94 Nick Kokonas
Co-owner, Alinea, Next, and Aviary; CEO, Tock
Hometown restaurateur of molecular gastronomy fame, Nick Kokonas is reinventing the food industry from ingredients to service. With a three-star Michelin rating tucked inside his coat, Kokonas is next venturing into his restaurant ticketing system startup, Tock, which has nabbed investors from Twitter’s Dick Costolo to Thomas Keller of The French Laundry fame.