FEATURE STORIES

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FROM ZERO TO HERO

by John Ortbal – 40% of venture backed companies fail. 40% yield moderate returns. 20% or less produce high returns. That small percentage is responsible for the venture capital industry consistently performing above the public markets. So what separates the zeroes from the heroes?

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THINK LIKE A ZOMBIE

by John Jonelis – A highly experienced instructor on a training mission forgets his own parachute. (True story) How can that happen to a seasoned instructor? What caused the fatal mistake?

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THINK FAST

by John Jonelis – “I must’ve walked down that alley 100 times, but for some reason something told me I shouldn’t go down there.” But the Marine dismisses the thought and carries on with his mission. Next, he gets blown up.

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CHECKBOXES FOR FUNDING

by John Jonelis – Daniel DiLorenzo comes up with a concise list of what’s needed to succeed in fund raising.  He fills in all the blanks before approaching venture capital. He’s highly successful at gaining great gobs money.

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WHAT MAKES INNOVATION?

by John Jonelis – This guy gives insights that I find both lucid and striking—insights on innovation that clear away the cobwebs—that make you sit up straight and say, “Yes!”

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HOW TO CHOOSE AN ANGEL GROUP

by John Jonelis – It’s crucial for an Angel Investor to leverage the strengths of a group. Great groups are out there but how do you identify them? Here are three key questions:

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GOODBYE DR ALZHEIMER

by John Jonelis – ADMdx has pioneered a new science to help big pharma wipe out Alzheimer’s disease. With a mission that huge, they can pivot and adjust, yet never stray from their course. I’m talking to their CEO, Dawn Matthews and her first statement knocks my socks off.

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TOUGH LOVE

by John Jonelis – This is a story about raw love. Tough. Rugged. Unashamed. “I think that at the end of the day,” She says, “there are three things that you should know about us: We’re an opportunity, not a charity. Rather than exploit our interns, we exploit our CIOs. We’re funded by the technology industry—not the government.”

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HIGH TECH HIGH TEA

by John Jonelis – “As the tea makes its rounds, I hear well-crafted introductions. Mannerly. In-depth. Heartfelt. Spoken by people who have known each other during months of intense struggle. It’s more like introducing family than a business meeting. You can’t help but be moved by the way they describe each other.

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THE APPRENTICE MEETS DIGITAL BOOT CAMP

by John Jonelis – “Technology is a tool of transformation. We teach technology because it’s creative. It doesn’t know what you look like but at the end of the day you can be a rock star. We’re searching for people who are fighting for something bigger than themselves. Our whole program is built on the premise that people who have overcome adversity have developed resiliency. Resiliency is the number one thing.”

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GIVING BACK

by Loop Lonagan – Christmas is all about givin’ to other people and I say we keep it that way. There’s an outfit right here in Chicago that keeps the spirit o’ giving alive all the yearlong. They find people with talent, creativity, intelligence, hard knocks ‘n’ plenty o’ moxey. Then they pay ‘em to train fer big-time jobs. That’s one o’ the nicest gifts you can give a person with them kinda attributes—a chance to use what they got inside themselves. Think about it—all that potential just waitin’ to burst out so bad a guy could explode.

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TALENT HIDES

by Loop Lonagan – I ain’t never seen no event like TechBash before. Right away, I gets hit with pounding music, flashing lights and maybe a couple thousand er more people. Place is fulla bigshots—I never seen so many C-level execs at one party—mosta them CIOs o’ big corporations. And the food and open flowing bar. I mean, this is a HUGE party that puts Dennis Koslowski and Tyco to shame—but this one’s legit. Lemme tell you about it:

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SHORT ON MARKETING

by John Ortbal – What most start-ups don’t realize is that when you position yourself, you’ve repositioned everyone else, i.e. your competition. So there has to be a strong element of conflict in your positioning and maybe even a bit of controversy. Playing it safe just doesn’t cut it.

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FOUNDER’S PROCLAMATION

by George Washington – Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

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TEAM – A CASE STUDY

by Terry Flanagan – Your next opportunity may be right under your nose. When people with common values and objectives—coachable individuals with unique expertise come together, they can deliver value in a very short timeframe.

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FEAR OF FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION

by Tom Lemanski – If we can agree that innovation is critical to success. and acknowledge that failures are a critical components for success, allow me to ask: How does your organization reward failures?

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GAS FOR THE MASSES

by Bill Blaire – So lemme tell you ‘bout somethin’s been botherin’ me a long time. Mosta what we see at these events around town is high tech or mobile apps. It’s like all the mechanical engineers curled up ‘n’ died. But c’mon—doncha think there’s more to life than apps? I wanna hear about some solid stuff fer a change. Stuff made outa steel with big bolts.

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30 SECONDS OVER CHICAGO

From the City’s Hardest Rocking Startup

by Jeff Segal – What’s your favorite place to hear live music in Chicago? What makes it rock? Don’t tell me—tell Gigity.TV, a Chicago startup that live streams concerts from local venues.

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THE SECRET WORLD OF 3D PRINTING

John Jonelis – What happens when, instead of manufacturing a product with cheap labor overseas, you can select a design from the internet and download it the same way you purchase music and then create the product at the point of sale? Good-bye supply chain. Hello customization.

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