Archive for October, 2011


Jason Fried
CEO & Co-founder

“Buzzwords, lingo, and sensationalized sales-and-marketing-speak have no place at 37signals. We communicate clearly and honestly.”

—Jason Fried, CEO and co-founder, with Carlos Segura and Ernest Kim, of Chicago-based 37signals, which morphed from a web design firm in 1999 into a provider of online collaborative tools.


Howard Tullman
President and CEO
Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy
Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy

“Great education isn’t about filling an empty vessel. It’s about lighting a fire and sustaining the passion that we all have to make a difference in the lives of others.”

—Howard A. Tullman, President and CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy in Chicago, which made its debut in 2007.

Touch Taste Technologies

Rhon Daguro
Co-founder and CEO
Touch Taste Technologies
TouchLife Interactive Tables

“We didn’t have to come up with the idea; the consumer already wanted it. The challenge was not whether there was a market for this, but if we could do it cleaner, better, faster, and simpler than everybody else.”

—Rhon Daguro, Co-founder and CEO of Touch Taste Technologies, maker of interactive service products for the hospitality, entertainment, night life, and gaming industries.


Adrienne White
Vice President of Health Initiatives and Advocacy
American Cancer Society, Illinois Division, Inc.
Patient Navigation Services

“We designed a program that, regardless of social or economic status or geography, patients can enter from multiple portals: telephone, face-to-face, online. No matter where they enter, they all have access to the same system of a myriad of services, resources, and information.”

—Adrienne White, Vice President of Health Initiatives and Advocacy, American Cancer Society, Illinois Division, Inc.



Andrew Mason
Founder and CEO

“We cracked the code for local business ecommerce.”

—Andrew Mason, Founder and CEO of Groupon, social ecommerce daily deal phenomenon and the fastest-growing company ever.


Qiang Yu
Senior Research Associate
SHEETROCK® Brand UltraLight Panels

“In our industry, energy is two-sided. On one side, people exert energy when transporting and installing wallboard. On another side, processes consume energy in making the product. If we can reduce the amount of materials, we reduce the overall energy needed in the entire system.”

—Qiang Yu, Senior Research Associate at USG, a leading manufacturer of building and construction materials.


Jake Nickell

“A big difference is how involved our customers are in our whole process. We were way ahead of crowdsourcing.”

—Jake Nickell, Co-founder, Threadless, an online t-shirt vendor and creative hub featuring new designs submitted and rated by the Threadless community each week.



Paula Fasseas
Founder and Chairman
PAWS Chicago
Lurie Family Spay/Neuter Clinic

“I want Chicago to be a No Kill city! We tackle pet overpopulation in two ways: through affordable sterilization of owned pets and adoption of homeless animals. This results in a dramatic reduction of euthanasia.”

—Paula Fasseas, Founder and Chair of PAWS Chicago and the Lurie Family Spay/Neuter Clinic, which aims to make Chicago a No Kill city through a progressive approach to animal welfare.


Adrian Holovaty

“Open government data is a big thing we rely on. We were doing open data way before it got trendy.”

—Adrian Holovaty, Founder of EveryBlock, an online community for following neighborhood news and connecting with your neighbors; later acquired by


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