Jessica is the cofounder and head of design of Packback. Packback is the first company to offer on-demand one-day eTextbook rentals for $5 or less per day, allowing college students to rent and pay for their books only when they actually need to read.
Seeking a way to bridge a highly technical product -- OK Labs provides "open source defense-grade, virtualization software" for the mobile and automotive information systems -- with an accessible brand, they landed on the iguana.
Excelerate has been very successful in finding, funding and supporting young Chicago companies. With the announcement its third class, I'm applying data-driven comparison to the largest startup incubator in the second city.
What brought our startup back to Chicago? Talent. That's right -- we had to leave Silicon Valley and come to Chicago to find talent. Popular wisdom says that the talent is all out in the Valley, but my experience suggests otherwise.
Entrepreneurs Unpluggd is a relatively new speaking series that currently takes place each quarter. Each event features several entrepreneurs discussing a particular facet of corporate and start-up life.
Chicago will never and should never try to compare itself to Silicon Valley, Seattle or any of the other alleged "tech centers" throughout North America. The city's diversified economy is comprised of a completely different kind of DNA.