ML - Michigan Avenue

Michigan Avenue - 2016 - Issue 2 - Late Spring - Anna Chlumsky

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 69 of 191

68 MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF 1871 AND CLOUDSPOTTER OPTERNATIVE The pitch: Glasses and contacts prescriptions determined by a digital eye exam from the comfort of your home. Key players: Cofounders Aaron Du llek and Dr. Steven Lee met at a party. Lee was an optometrist with a simple but brilliant idea, and Dullek was a tech-focused entrepre- neur who helps turn ideas into products. Latest success: "In February we raised $6 million in Series-A funding from Jump Capital, the Pritzker Group, and other Chicago investors," Dullek says, "and we just hit 40,000 signups on the website." MRELIEF The pitch: Showing Chicagoans in need whether they qualify for social services through the Web and text messaging. Key players: This all-female team is led by Rose Abriyie (who came face to face with poverty while working in the 2008 election) and Genevieve Nelson (who helped rebuild New Orleans after Katrina). Latest success: "We were recently funded by the Knight Foundation," Abriyie says. "And we launched tailored screening, a feature that enables Chicagoans to combine programs that meet their needs and find out if they qualify for multiple programs at once." JELLYVISION LAB The pitch: A virtual coach named ALEX helps navigate tough decisions (health insurance, financial management, retirement) using behavioral science and humor. Key players: Founder Harry Gottlieb (creator of console game You Don't Know Jack) and Amanda Lannert (2015 Moxie Awards CEO of the Year). Latest success: "We've had some biggies lately, I'm proud to say," Lannert offers. "As of last year, 5 million employ- ees at more than 500 companies, including 70 in the Fortune 500, used ALEX." . CHICAGO'S TECH SCENE BOOM CONTINUES— AND THESE ARE THE THREE LATEST DARLINGS OF THE MARKETPLACE. BY SETH PUTNAM STELLAR START-UPS Tech company mRelief currently works out of the Merchandise Mart in start-up hub 1871. SCENE DIGITAL

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