Thursday, November 29, 2012


                                         WATCH THE ENTIRE PRESENTATION HERE:


Built In Chicago Turns 2 Yrs Old and Announces Advisory Board, Growth Plans

Built In Chicago Turns 2 Yrs Old and Announces Advisory Board, Growth Plans

I couldn’t be happier to announce that Built In Chicago recently turned two years old. This anniversary comes at an exciting time for us, marking significant progress since we first began bringing digital entrepreneurs together in Chicago.  And to make our two-year anniversary sweeter, Built In Chicago was recently named one of “The Best Organizations for Entrepreneurs” by Forbes. The local and national spotlight is shining brighter than it ever has on Chicago, and with a digital startup launching every 48 hours, we are dedicated to continuing this growth trajectory.
So I figured there is no better time than today to announce our recently created Advisory Board and share some exciting news about the growth of Built In Chicago.
Each of the advisors below has had a deep personal connection to Built In Chicago since its inception and has provided our team with incredible guidance, time and support. I would be remiss if I did not specifically mention our awesome founder, Matt Moog, who without his vision, determination and support none of this would exist. 
A collective commitment to support what Troy Henikoff calls “the glue of Chicago’s digital technology community” is what truly defines this advisory board. Each member brings a unique background and is deeply dedicated to our mission of connecting, educating and promoting digital entrepreneurs and innovators.
The Advisory Board
File 20689Board Chair, Matt Moog (Founder, Built In Chicago and Founder & CEO, Viewpoints)
File 20690Troy Henikoff (Co-Founder & CEO, Excelerate Labs)
File 20691Eric Lunt (CTO, BrightTag and Co-Founder & Former CTO, Feedburner)
File 20692Matt McCall (Partner, New World Ventures)
File 20693Howard Tullman (Founder & CEO, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy)
File 20694Sam Yagan (CEO, Match, Inc., and Co-Founder, Excelerate Labs)
“Built In Chicago has been essential in bringing unity and clarity to all parts of the Chicago ecosystem ranging from entrepreneurs to corporations to students to investors,” said Matt McCall. “New World Ventures, and I, look forward to providing the guidance and support necessary to continue this exciting growth.”
“Lots of cities talk a good game – we’ve shown that real metrics matter,” Howard Tullman said. “The Built In Chicago team has really connected the movers and shakers in the Chicago digital revolution with each other in powerful ways that are unique and well-suited to the new digital economy. There’s absolutely no question that Built In Chicago has made the players in the rest of the country sit up and take notice of what’s going on here.”
While everyone has been working together on this mission, our site has shown enormous growth – now boasting more than 11,000 registered members and receiving nearly 70,000 visits per month – which we’re confident will continue well into the future.
“As an entrepreneur, I have seen firsthand the importance of data and how it can be used to create, communicate and empower. I hope my experience can aid in the creation of future success for Built In Chicago and the digital community and am thrilled to invest in the mission,” said Sam Yagan.
Although the data can only begin to reflect all that Built In Chicago has become, here are a few stats to give you the gist:
  • The job board receives nearly 40,000 visits/month and has served as an invaluable resource for successful companies, including BrightTag, Belly, GrubHub, Orbitz, Walgreens, redbox and Braintree, to hire talent. 
  • Together with the CEC (Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center), we’ve had 45 companies pitch at our monthly Launch events this year and have had more than 4,000 people attend.
  • In partnership with New World Ventures, our first annual Moxie Awards (who could forget the Best Beard Award?) welcomed 900 attendees, attracted 70,000 votes across 21 award categories, received media coverage from our partners NBC5 and Fast Company and welcomed incredible speakers such as Mayor Rahm Emanuel and J.B. Pritzker.
  • The D Conference showcased the incredible design talent we have here in Chicago and attracted several leading design thinkers from the West Coast to a great day at the Morningstar Theater for a thought-provoking discussion about Design as the Competitive Advantage for digital companies. Forbes contributor Kelly Reid wrote an incredible piece on the conference.
  • Our quarterly data reports have garnered local and national media for Chicago-based companies from the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the New York Times, Fast Company and more.
“I think everyone in the Chicago tech scene has been able to feel the energy and excitement building over the past couple of years. Nothing typifies this momentum better than the Built In Chicago community. I believe that Built In Chicago can grow and become more ambitious, transitioning from a chronicle of the activity going on to becoming a true catalyst. I look forward to playing a part in this mission,” said Eric Lunt.
The Built In expansion
In addition to all the activity happening here in Chicago, and as a direct result of the success of Built In Chicago, we are excited to announce the launch of several new sites in Denver (Built In Denver) and Los Angeles (Built In L.A. (coming soon!)). We have partnered with some awesome entrepreneurs to launch both of these sites and are thrilled they’ve agreed to join the Built In movement and build their respective digital communities. We look forward to more sites launching in 2013 and adding Built In to the long list of great digital startup success stories coming out of Chicago.
“The formation of the advisory board is an important milestone in the growth of both Built In Chicago and our growing digital community,” said Matt Moog. “Thank you to Troy, Eric, Matt, Howard and Sam for agreeing to serve, and congratulations to Maria for being a true entrepreneur and bringing the idea for Built In to life.  As we expand in Chicago and around the country, it is gratifying to know that the Chicago community has helped to launch a successful startup that will serve as a catalyst for a global entrepreneurial movement in cities around the world.”
As one of Built In Chicago’s earliest and biggest supporters, and now as CEO, I’ve had the opportunity to witness the growth of the site and the incredible community we call home. Plus, I’ve had the honor to work with a great team to make it all happen: Adam Calica, the Lechleider Mitchell development team and freelancers/contributors such as Amina Elahi, Branson Pierce, Carlin Sack, Alexxandra Miles and more.
This growth has been no easy feat, but the many startup enthusiasts that inhabit Chicago (read: YOU) make every minute worthwhile and rewarding. We want to thank you all, sincerely, for working fearlessly and tirelessly each day to build your companies and support the digital ecosystem now forming in Chicago. You inspire us, motivate us and challenge us to keep building each and every day.
Happy Holidays,
Maria Katris

Thursday, November 22, 2012


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