Category Archives: MITEF

THE SECRET WORLD OF 3D PRINTING

IMG_9570 bJohn 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.

Sound like sci-fi to you? Well, you can do it right now. Some say it’s the next industrial revolution and the structural changes it promises are staggering.

  1. No factory
  2. No warehouse
  3. No shipping

That’s the future promised by 3D printing.

I’m at the MIT Enterprise Forum’s 3D Printing event, listening to Mike Vasquez PhD of 3D PRINTING REPORTS and Julie Friedman Steele of THE 3D PRINTER EXPERIENCE, both right here in Chicago. Julie’s the gal who’s writing the Encyclopaedia Britannica section on the subject.  And yes, you can go to her place and experience it for yourself.

Julie Friedman Steele portrait

Julie Friedman Steele

I’ll brief you on the whole thing, then show some videos for those who want to dig deeper.

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What’s Different About It?

The idea of printing rather than machining a bolt or a gear may seem counterintuitive. We’re accustomed to the SUBTRACTIVE process—starting with a block of material and whittling it down to the desired shape. 3D printing is ADDITIVE. Layer upon layer is added till the product is built up to its full shape. Almost no waste. Complexity is free. Users enjoy huge amounts of geometric freedom and can build designs once thought impossible.

3-Gears that Don't Work - Henry Segerman - YouTube

For example, here’s a drawing of three gears that can’t move in the real world. They bind each other.  The design is just as impossible as the slogan printed on the graphic.

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Triple Gear - Henry Segerman - YouTube

Triple Gear – Henry Segerman – YouTube

In contrast, the Triple Gear is printed in one piece and actually moves as a unit—something entirely impossible in the recent past. A video on this design is posted below.

Prototyping is where the industry got its start because it’s such a simple way to create complex one-of-a-kind machines. You design your product using software then print it like a letter off a word processor. But instead of paper and ink, 3D printers work with materials from plastics to ceramics to bronze, copper, gold, and stainless steel alloys, to human biological tissue.

Hospitals use the printers to create titanium hip replacements. Bio-printing is another exciting prospect—printing with human cells that the body won’t reject. One burn victim received a new ear copied and inverted from the other side. Cartilage can be built—dental implants are already routinely made.

There’s even a competition to print edible meat.

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Who Uses it Now?

NASA, GE, Boing, Ford, BMW, Caterpillar, Nike, and Reebok are all working with this technology.

IMG_9552

Burton Snowboard invented the winter alternative to skiing in the ‘70s. Now they constantly improve their products using 3D printing. Under the old design standard, prototypes cost tens of thousands of dollars and took months to complete. Using 3D printers, the process goes from months to days. They iterate prototypes the way they used to iterate sketches. They print out products and test them under actual conditions.

Early adopters are already bringing 3D printers into their homes. Even the Chicago Public Library boasts one. But according to Steele, if you want to operate one, you’d better be capable of building one. “This is a robot with a lot of moving parts that all need service…Unless you’re capable of building a printer, don’t own one…Low-end models melt plastic and that causes bad things in the air—similar to smoking plus hydrogen cyanide…Filtration and a lot more research is needed.” The message is clear: Don’t try this at home—this is for professionals. But don’t despair. Steele suggests that you bring your project to a service provider that keeps up their own printers and takes jobs on contract. Dozens of these exist in Illinois alone.

3D is huge for restoration. Jay Leno, prints hard-to-find parts for his antique cars.

Tiffany and other jewelers are already using it to reduce inventory and create product. But it also brings fear to the industry. It’s now possible to design and produce wedding rings to the match each happy couple’s whim. How many jewelers can afford the equipment?

A high-end laser sintering machine can print within tolerances of 100 microns and produce stronger parts than traditional manufacturing. Such machines cost from $250K to over $1M. Low-end machines can be had for under $5K but their utility is nowhere near the high-end equipment. There’s an active government initiative to create an invent space with less expensive machines.

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Who Knows the Technology?

According to Steele, “By and large, the general public knows nothing about it. You actually have to make something to understand the process. The purpose of THE 3D PRINTER EXPERIENCE is education. That’s how to get mass adoption. Education is the least profitable but the most important.”

Mike Vasquez PhD

Mike Vasquez PhD

During his talk, Dr. Vasquez shows a video of Markus Kayser, an artist who built his own 3D printer for a few thousand dollars. In the Egyptian desert, he used the sun and a huge Fresnel lens in place of a laser. For material, he took what he found—the plentiful and entirely free sand of the desert. Kayser’s video is posted below as well as his talk at TEDx.

Markus Kayser - Solar Sinter Explained - TEDx YouTube

Markus Kayser – Solar Sinter Explained – TEDx YouTube

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The Hackers

One of the great things about the MIT Enterprise Forum is the chance to meet extraordinary people. It turns out that a thriving community exists just for the love of creation—creation of the complex products only possible with 3D printers.  These are the hackers.  Hackers are the early adopters.

I talked at length with Keith Earl Weber II of DRAGON R&D. He uses 3D printers for research and his company takes in jobs. This could be a way to get your project off the ground.

3-D Printer in action - Barnacules Nerdgasm - YouTube

Barnacule Nerdgasm’s Printing Project

I came across a video that demonstrates the practical potential of this technology with great clarity. It’s from an individual that goes by the internet handle of Barnacules Nerdgasm, but don’t let that deter you. His video is posted below.

So, are you ready for a 3D world?  Check out The 3D Printer Experience and find out.

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Contacts

THE 3D PRINTER EXPERIENCE

Julie Friedman Steele on Wikipedia

Julie@The3dPrinterExperience.com

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3D PRINTING REPORTS 

Mike Vasquez PhD

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DRAGON R&D

Contact Keith Earl Weber II  – Kewiiq2@gmail.com

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MIT ENTERPRISE FORUM, CHICAGO

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Video

THE 3D PRINTER EXPERIENCE

Our speaker, Julie Friedman-Steele

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BARNACULES NERDGASM

A hacker prints a transmission.

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HENRY SEGERMAN

First example of a triple gear, as shown at tonight’s event.

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MARKUS KAYSER

Homemade printer using the sun and sand to create products, as shown at event.

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MARKUS KAYSER AT TEDx

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Photo credits – You Tube, The 3D Printer Experience, 3D Printing Reports, Julie Friedman Steele, Mike Vasquez PhD, Markus Kayser, Henry Segerman, Barnacules Nerdgasm,

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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IF WE BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

BANANASMoises Goldman PhD – Resident Scientist

EDITOR’S NOTE–Everybody’s familiar with the phrase.  But is there a genuine application in industry for IF WE BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME?  Here’s one offered by a highly respected source:

Many in industry believe that logistics is now THE important field of study. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Logistics is simply a natural process that is part of any enterprise. It is inherent in any enterprise trying to minimize cost, maximize profits, or simply optimize its performance. (I am not talking about probabilistic or statistical studies.)

Moises Goldman 2

Let me clarify with an example: When Dole Foods or Chiquita Banana initially found that better fruit was grown in Latin America; they initially went down there, picked the fruit, and brought it back to the U.S. for processing.

Low Hanging FruitUltimately, common-sense logistics influenced their thinking and they moved their processing plants close to the source. This not only made economic sense but also being close to the fruit allowed them to be first in picking the best.

By moving industry to the source, it will remain close the best fruit it can pick. If we break ground close to the source, I am certain that: IF WE BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME.

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GO BACK TO PART 1

Contacts

This article was adapted from a paper for the Institute for Work and the Economy by Moises Goldman PhD. www.workandeconomy.org

Moises Goldman—Moises6@comcast.net

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

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Copyright © 2013 Moises Goldman – All Rights Reserved

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MIT WHITEBOARD CHALLENGE

Mark T Wayne BOTTOMJohn Jonelis

From special correspondent – Mark T Wayne

Five minutes, a marker, and a whiteboard. That’s all you get with this jaded crowd of critics, skeptics and swarming humanity.

You’ve come here to bare the greatest idea of your life and all the dreams that go with it. You competed for a chance at this grueling event against near a hundred early-stage teams. You’re one of only ten to make the finals.

Now they give the signal and you start like a runner off the blocks. And when your five minutes are up, it’s “NEXT!” No excuse will answer, sir! You are not permitted to utter another word so you sit down to bite your nails.

I can barely credit how fast ten contenders go by without a break in the action. .

Whiteboard Competitor

The Competition

This is the main event for the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago. No tricked out slide show or video allowed here. You must draw while you talk. The whiteboard is blank and indeed frightening to behold.

You swallow your fear and draw stick figures, perhaps, with a fat electronic pen. AnotherMITEF logo device projects your illegible scrawl onto a big video monitor so the WHOLE crowd can watch you make a fool of yourself. And use it you must—oh yes, you can’t ignore the whiteboard. It’s the only tool you get to express your idea, besides flapping your jaw.

I see you fidget and turn pale like some of the other folk as you try to explain your complex technology to a disgruntled audience of frowning faces while under the gun of the timer. Was that a nervous tick I just saw? Control yourself, sir!

Mark T WayneThis ain’t the typical pitch contest. You competed with scores of other teams on the value and marketability of your idea. That means all ten of you show up here tonight with something worthwhile. Now you get judged again on merit, but also on communication and use of the whiteboard.

Why do you do it? It’s not the $3,000 first prize—that only amounts to party money. No, the real goal is exposure. A chance to round up some angel capital from those sitting among this distinguished crowd and maybe push your idea to the next level. That and the simple satisfaction of coming out on top.

MITEF Chicago has been putting on this competition for some time. I consider it a premier event. To give you the flavor of it, here is a wonderful short video created in a previous season:

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This Year’s Winners

SIRAGO— Deniz Alpay—First Place

MIT White Board ChallengeUnfortunate patients are going straight from Stage 1 to Stage 4 cancer right in the hospital as a direct result of an innocuous and ubiquitous procedure called the biopsy. The problem is rampant in some cancers.

Gentlemen take note: If the oncologist suspects testicular cancer, no biopsy will be done. No sir! The surgeon removes the offending testicles forthwith! This is execrable sir! I wince to hear such words!

Breast cancer is yet another prevalent victim to this culprit. But whatever the cancer, it happens in three ways:

  • When removing the biopsy needle, infected tissue gets dragged away from the site.
  • Sometimes infection spreads through the hole left by the needle.
  • At other times, the infection enters the bloodstream directly because of the needle wound.

Ugh! Horrible stuff! Ought not to be allowed! Could it be that a patient stands a chance of living longer without any test whatsoever?

Mark T Wayne

Pay close attention because the numbers do not favor you. 12.5 million Americans have cancer right now—and that’s expected to rise dramatically. During the span of a lifetime we are talking about one in every two men—one in every three women. I look around the room and wonder—does any man here still have the stones to remedy this injustice?

The young lady draws a clear picture on the whiteboard and presents a solution. It is a hollow needle. An agent is pumped into the needle to plug the opening. Then the biopsy needle follows. When the biopsy is extracted, any unwanted tissue cannot pass the plug.

Mark T WayneI let out a lungful of air. Whew! Such a simple solution. And having seen it described so well, there is no doubt in my mind that it will turn the trick. Something so easily incorporated into existing procedures will likely be widely adopted. In fact, hospitals already exhibit interest.

This young lady is articulate with an excellent command of the white board. I believe she well deserves her First Place finish. I vote for this one myself.

Later while writing my notes, it occurs to me to research the name Sirago. I find some USS Siragointeresting imagery here and wonder if it is intentional. Sirago is the namesake of a 1946 WWII American attack submarine that destroyed two German submarines. This is a boat that survived two major surgeries. It was modernized in 1949 and again in 1962, after which it continued operations until 1972—a good long life for a weapon of war. I see it lancing through the waves in triumph.  I let you draw your own mental image.

Sirago Check 2

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COUP $ITY— David Hazan—Second Place (It’s pronounce it “koop city.”)

This is a free mobile game concept where players generate coupons that increase in value based on game play. You must play the game to earn the reward. That is significant!

I am known to play a game of Whist or Poker. I imagine myself, ordinarily reluctant to Mark T Waynefool with coupons, now proudly presenting my prized ticket to the cashier with a flourish and a knowing smile. The coupon displays right on my smartphone and I keep that contraption in the pocket of my white vest.

There can be no doubt that a market exists. The Mobile App industry has grown from zero in 2007 to 25 billion today and game-based advertising is popular.

David came with his own enthusiastic cheering section, which never hurts.

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TRIBAL SCIENCE—Mike Vasquez—Third Place

Dr Mike VasquezThis PhD is an engineer as well as a sports nut. He calls the device a Rip Chip. It answers questions such as: “How fast? How high? How many revolutions?”

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you’re one of that peculiar brand of Tribal Sciencelunatic that lifts weights, hurdles down icy ski slopes, or performs tricks on a snowboard or skateboard. Now you can read precise statistics fed right to your smartphone. Why would you want to do that? It turns out there are a number of rational reasons:

  • You can improve your performance.
  • You can quantify what you did and compare it to other lunatics.
  • You can hold yourself accountable to another person—preferably your psychiatrist or surgeon.
  • You can directly compete with like-minded individuals in far-away places who also have Rip Chips installed on their devices of doom.

I have to admit, this may change the way athletes compete, play, share, and train. We are looking here at 50 million potential users. .

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EATERIA— Ola Ayeni—The Mark T Wayne Business Award

EateriaAll but one of the ten offerings have yet to go beyond the IDEA stage and form a REAL business. Therefore it is my duty to offer my own award. I hearby select Eateria, a company that helps restaurants induce people to come back and eat more food at their particular establishment. And they do it without weapons! Look at this ultra-professional video:

You will find six more videos posted on the Eateria website. They leave no doubt how Eateria Logothis offering works.

And they’re already generating press.

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GO TO – THE BEST CHALLENGE YET

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Notes & Links

Judges – This is an intimidating bunch if I ever saw one:

Jed AbernethyJed Abernethy

Big Idea Forum

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David BrownDavid Brown

Ungeretti & Harris LLP

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Moises GoldmanMoises Goldman PhD

M&J Acquisitions Moises6@comcast.net

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Steve SmithSteve Smith

Global Strategy Implementation

(He flew in from Amsterdam for the event.)

The Nameless RabbleThe Nameless Rabble

Yes, the audience votes too.

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Nancy MunroMODERATOR – Nancy Munro of KnowledgeShift pulls off this event with her usual aplomb. She’s the Chapter President of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago. And it ain’t at all boring for this old man to watch her erase the whiteboard ten times, either.

LOCATION – This is taking place at a hotbed of innovation, TechNexus, the home of the Illionois Technology Forum. The law firm of Ungaretti & Harris is also a sponsor.  Quartet IdeaShare makes the slick infrared and ultrasound whiteboard display tool that’s helping with all this suffering tonight.

MIT Enterprise Forum

THE TOP TEN COMBATANTS in alphabetical order:

The USS Sirago (SS-485) attack submarine from Wikipedia.

Photography Courtesy of: MITEF Chicago, Steve Smith, Moises Goldman, David Brown, Jed Abernethy, Nancy Munro, Mike Vasquez, Eateria, Wikipedia.

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GO TO – THE BEST CHALLENGE YET

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money. .Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved . .

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Filed under angel, angel capital, angel investor, App, big money, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, Internet, Internet Marketing, Invention, investor, Mark T Wayne, MIT, MIT Enterprise Forum, MITEF, Mobile, Mobile App, Mobile Marketing, pitch, Software

THE TWO LAWS

IMSA Kids at MIT Enterprise Forum

From a special correspondent – Mark T. Wayne,

as told to John Jonelis

Mark T Wayne Frankly sir, I am flabbergasted! This is something beyond my experience! Think of it. High school students turned serious entrepreneurs. These are children in suit and tie—teams of them politely waiting to speak in turn without interrupting the others. Not so much as a spit wad—do you hear me? Not one! That in itself is cause for more than casual interest. And no fluff here, sir!  These kids seek equity funding without so much as a blush. And they do it with such aplomb.

One by one they each give a compelling presentation before a swarm of serious investors and businessmen. Each offers a new venture—a real venture with a plausible business plan. Yes, I witnessed it myself. Something astounding is taking place among those students and I want to put my finger on just what it is.

Let’s look at one example. Jason Lin is on stage to confront the audience at the MIT Enterprise Forum, Chicago—

Jason Lin

Jason Lin – WikiRoster

This is a crowd of competitive peers, cynical investors, critical business people, and a panel of jaded judges. Young Jason stands before this daunting mob, tricked out in his tailored suit, relaxed, poised, and glib. He calmly and professionally convinces us that his company is number one. His is not a pipe dream.  NO – IT’S A FULLY OPERATING BUSINESS, SIR!  And remember, this is high school.

I talked to Kendrick Lau from his team while waiting for the judge’s decision. We traded letters after that. Every encounter tells me of sincerity, intelligence, and good breeding.

Judge Bob Geras

Judge Bob Geras

Does this surprise you? Everyone knows that our public schools are the laughing stock of the world. Today, a faithful teacher invests all her hopes and struggles to graduate just a few students that can read, write, and comprehend the rudiments of the English language.

And this has been the way of it for at least 150 years. Take the well-known example of a boy named Tom who I know from my own youth. Not a model student but not unusual, either. He hates school with his whole heart. In class he starts a quarrel with the first boy that comes handy. Then he pulls a boy’s hair in the next bench. Next he sticks a pin in another boy, in order to hear him say “Ouch!”

And Tom is not unique. No sir! His whole class is of a pattern—restless, noisy, and troublesome. Fidgetings and whisperings extend far and wide. Soon the classroom air is thick with paper wads.

Can you conceive of building a serious business venture in such chaos?

David Park

David Park – tunesketch

IMSA – the Illinois Math and Science Academy has teamed with other high schools in the region.  As a result, these children might very well be the best-of-the-best.  But can that explain this wonderful performance? Rubbage! That does not answer. Kids are kids wherever you go. There must be some fundamental law at work.

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Two Laws

As I cogitate on that a while, I actually come up with two fundamental laws:

  • Law #1—Misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises. It does not matter if the enterprise is puckering the lips and successfully whistling for the first time or a more complex pursuit such as playing a tuba or starting a business. When the thing is achieved, exultation takes over.
  • Law #2—Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do. Play consists of whatever a body is NOT OBLIGED to do. Entrepreneurship—at the fundamental level—is pure play. Folks will work harder at play than at any other activity under the sun.

Mark T Wayne

I recall these same two laws driving a boy to engage in private enterprise about 150 years ago. Everybody here is familiar with Tom’s brush with whitewashing his Aunt Polly’s fence. The story has been around long enough to suggest universality.

For a boy, painting a fence is a daunting task and one sure to bring the scorn of other boys who are setting off on interesting Saturday expeditions. Permit me to dwell for a few moments upon the manner in which Tom turns a hated task into a profitable venture.

Kendrick Lau

Kendrick Lau – WikiRoster

With his bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush, he surveys the fence in genuine anguish. A quick accounting of the resources in his pockets makes it clear that he cannot hire boys to do the work—he must find other means. So he brushes on the whitewash and stands back critically, then dabs at the fence and again surveys his work. When his friend Ben comes by, Tom convinces him he’s having the time of his life (Law #2). After eager negotiation, Ben gives up a juicy apple for the honor of painting that fence and he sets to it with enthusiasm (Law #1).

Boys happen along to jeer but remain to whitewash. Tom trades the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite in good repair.

Ethan Gordon

Ethan Gordon – Bend

Then Johnny Miller buys in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with. When the middle of the afternoon comes, Tom is literally rolling in wealth. He has twelve marbles, a piece of blue bottle glass, a spool cannon, a key that won’t unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, the glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar, the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash.

His enterprising spirit does not stop there.  The next day at Sunday School, he trades these treasures for yellow and blue tickets earned by diligent students that meticulously memorized Scripture. He turns in those tickets in one big pile and wins the honor of the faculty and a girl’s heart – at least until he is questioned more closely.  It seems the most boastful are the first to get found out.  We will draw the curtain on that scene.

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The Winners

Winners of the MITEF / IMSA Power Pitch with IMSA Faculty

The Winners

So what have these young folk at MITEF to offer? Here are the winners:

  • WikiRoster – Jason Lin, Jung Oh and Kendrick Lau operate a website that answers the question, “Who is in my class?” This is the first question a student asks. It’s already changing the way high schools interact and the way marketers do business. It facilitates collaboration on homework, notes, tutoring, sale of textbooks. There is almost no competition in the high school market. And it’s a going venture!
  • Bend – Ethan Gordon has developed a way to generate electricity from undersea currents. This is in the far depths and does not interfere with commerce or recreation. And it’s clean!
  • Tunesketch – David Park offers software that lets you write beautiful music by the simple act of making a rough sketch. I can think of many folks who will buy that!
Judges

Judges

And these are high school age children! All of them give us a peek at their business plans and answer the important questions: Why will folks buy it? How does the company make money? How does the investor make money? In my imagination, Tom and Billy Fisher and Johnny Miller and all the other fence painters want to buy in. And well they should. I do too!

powerpitch logoAllow me to bestow credit to Jim Gerry of IMSA and Moises Goldman of MITEF for bringing inspiration to us in in the midst of all the chaos we call education.  Tonight we have seen it as it never appeared in our fondest dreams.

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ContactsT MITEF

Moises Goldman PhD – MITEF – M&J Acquisitions –  Moises6@comcast.net

Jim Gerry – Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director at IMSA – jgerry@imsa.edu

IMSA – Illinois Math and Science Academy – www.imsa.eduT IMSA

MITEF Chicagowww.mitefchicago.org

WikiRosterWikiRoster.com

tunesketchtunesketch.com

Photographs courtesy IMSA Student Productions  www.imsastudentproductions.com/view.php?id=128

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GO TO PART 2 – SIX KIDS PUT TECH COMMUNITY TO SHAME

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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UNWIRED

VERBATIM from special correspondent – Donatas Ludditis,

as told to John Jonelis 

Albert EinsteinDonatas Ludditis reporting but you can call me Don. Today I hop train to Chicago Ogilvie station and take elevator to meeting way up in tall skyscraper. Is raining hard outside but I no care. I no go out in rain. I just get off train and take elevator to meeting.  It is in same building!

And they treat me like king here! You should eat such food! Maybe they think Einstein come back from the grave—I dunno. People say I look just like him. As a young man I yusta hate people calling me that and I break some noses. Some legs too, maybe. Now I smile. Carry his picture in wallet.  Tell them he is my big brother.

But I get down to business. I am here at MIT Enterprise Forum. It is their Wireless Innovation event. That mean smartphone gizmos.

I like these smartphones. No computer—I too old for that now. No desk—I hate desk. No lug briefcase—use cloud instead. Hey, is progress. A man cannot fight such things. So what you want I should do? I carry a cute little iPhone and big Samsung Galaxy in pockets and trousers not fall down!  Life is good!

Photo courtesy Heartland Mobile Council

Photo courtesy Heartland Mobile Council

Listen, I tell you good stuff only. I say these things once:

Einstein with Cap

Is it Me or Albert?

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Three Speakers

  • First one show us that mobile Internet just tipped world upside down while nobody is looking.
  • Second one teach us easy way to figure it all out.
  • Third one work amazing electro-gizmo. Is like magic show. I like magic!

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Ken Jones—Verge

Ken JonesKen, he tell about big change that already happen in marketing world. Smartphone owners now at 50 percent. It is—what you call—tipping point. Everything turns upside-down because of this.

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Companies yusta get message to people in this order:

  1. First in Print. Data
  2. Then Radio, TV.
  3. Then Internet.
  4. Then Mobile Internet

All changed now. Now is mobile first. Everybody always know this will happen. Well, now it happens.

Important thing, he say, is nail down ROI of your idea. So I check his website. Whoa—look at that software! Such beautiful pictures and numbers! But you must see this for yourself so click link at bottom.

Then we have Q&A.  Terrible racket come from back of crowd and I recognize the harsh voice of Rong Mayhem howling at our speaker. Somebody up front asked a question and Rong is griping that he cannot hear.  Then he shouts same thing again when next question is asked.  Then a third time.  Is enough!  “Nutilk!” I say—shut up! But he keep hollering. Pretty soon I holler too: “Prikąsk liežuvį! Užsičiaupk!” Don’t he understand what I say?—shut up, SHUT UP! But he keeps it going. In old country we know how to handle people like this. No, I take that back—I cannot remember any person like this in old country.

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Steve Zielke—Horizon Matrix

Steven ZielkeSteve says that technology take us back to basics because of mobile. No more marketspeak mumbo jumbo. Most important thing is get customers—plain and simple. Customer acquisition, he call this. You must first ask, “Who will pay for what you got?” This I like. This is what keeps business going and growing. The company that cracks this question is the company I invest money in.

He gives this great case study: Company XXX, they come up with terrific software. It fights child pornography. Is $30 billion industry, this filth.  But if perverts don’t watch it, industry just dries up. So how do you keep these depraved people from watching porn?

  1. Turns out deviates view this junk mostly at work. At home, wife and kiddies might see. So companies gotta stop it ON THE JOB.
  2. And yes! The businesses agree! Child porn is horrible stuff! But law don’t punish employers. It’s not their problem.  Why should they spend any money?
  3. In the end, you got great product nobody will buy.

After the meeting I hear deep thinkers talk. They argue over what Steve said. But lesson is simple. You gotta find customer first and do it before you invest big money.

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Martin O’Shield—Windy City SDR

Martin O'ShieldMartin, he show us new revolution. But audience not understand it, so I translate in good English: SDR stand for Software Defined Radio.

Say you got an AT&T phone and can’t get your call thru ‘cause there is no tower near you. But the guy sitting next to you babbles away it seems like forever on his phone.  He’s got Verizon or something—no problem for him. Makes you want to clobber him! Am I right?

Martin's Device

Martin’s Device

I watch him set up his technostuff and show us. A member of audience makes call on AT&T phone. Martin catches it and sends it to other phone in room—Verizon phone. It rings. We see whole hookup happen on screen! Imagine you put it in every cell tower. Customer experience makes great leap!  Cost drops to basement!

He says defense department try to develop this and cannot do it. Then private industry makes one, but it turns out way too expensive. Martin, his cost is only 1,000 bucks—hand-made! I bet he can make it for $200 mass produce.

How so cheap?  Can you believe that inside your worn-out laptop computer is Intel chip or AMD chip—either one—and both got the guts to do this job?  He uses teeny-weeny circuit board, 100 dollar laptop, and USB thingamajig.  That is it!

SDR Device courtesy Forbes

SDR Device courtesy Forbes

So I pull Galaxy out of pocket and look this up. I find Forbes article that shows SDR is already used by hackers. That makes me wonder if I understand what I just hear.  I can see this technology is real. But is scary. Hacker can hurt you and you cannot shoot them. I give you link to article.

You think I make this stuff up? I see it happen! Come to my place and we talk summore. Ludditis Shots ‘n Beer. We got potato pancakes better than Lithuania. I not even charge for sixth beer. Sveikes!

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GO TO – THE AMAZING MobiU

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MIT Enterprise Forum
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Links

MITEF Chicago

www.mitefchicago.org
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Ken Jones

Verge

www.verge2.com

kenjones@verge2.com

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Steve Zielke

Matrix Horizon

SRZielke@ameritech.net

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Martin O’Shield

Windy City SDR

http://www.americainc.com/

Martin@WindyCitySDR.com

Forbes Article on SDR

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/10/19/darpa-funded-radio-hackrf-aims-to-be-a-300-wireless-swiss-army-knife-for-hackers/

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GO TO – THE AMAZING MobiU

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Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link . This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. It’s not our fault if you lose money.

.Copyright © 2013 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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Filed under angel capital, angel investor, App, big money, Characters, chicago, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Data, Donatas Ludditis, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Events, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Internet, Internet Marketing, Invention, investor, MIT Enterprise Forum, MITEF, Mobile, Mobile App, Mobile Marketing, vc, venture capital

WHO’S RUNNING THE ASYLUM?

VERBATIM by Loop Lonagan – Investor and man about town,

as told to John Jonelis

EMRLoop Lonagan here. This is a story about new tech that’s gonna clobber every one of us in our most secret and private worlds. And we can’t duck it. It’s already started and we’re gonna hafta live with whatever we get. Tonight I hear two highly placed speakers talk about how to do it the right way. The speakers figure there’s a big opportunity here, too.

I’m just outa the Chicago MIT Enterprise Forum meeting on EMR—that’s Electronic Medical Records. Yeah—all that super-personal stuff about YOU that’s gonna be there for any nurse to see. Now the foot doctor knows the ins and outs of yer sex life. You get the idea. And yeah—it’s all gonna be there for Big Brother too. Think about that a minute. Government employees. I don’t like it. But it’s the new reality so we’re gonna learn to live with it just like the rest of the stuff that hits the fan. Maybe it’ll do some good after all—I don’t know.

But I ain’t here to talk about everbody’s personal privacy problems or politics neither. Here’s the rub: Turns out, there’s a lotta friction in developing this new EMR technology. It’s complicated. There’s all sortsa human factors screwing up our quest for nirvana in healthcare. This old sage is perplexed. I guess you can say that all the forces pulling this technology in different directions flabbergasts me.

Dr. Lyle Berkowitz

Dr. Lyle Berkowitz

These are real impressive speakers here tonight – big time innovation names. Dr. Lyle Berkowitz MD, FACP, FHIMSS, and Marti Nyman. You probably heard of them. The audience seems to like ’em a lot. I end up in the back of the room and it’s hard to hear with this crowd but we’re gonna do the best we can.

The Industry

What we got here is a huge ubiquitous industry in turmoil. Everybody says, “I’m doing just fine. It’s the other four verticals in the industry that have to adapt to me, do it my way, and everything will be just hunky-dory.” And we all know that’s not the case.

Who’s running the asylum? The Technologist, the Provider, or the Patient? Are the technologists forcing the providers to adapt to their software? Are the providers forcing the technologist and the patient to adapt to the way that they deliver medicine? Or do we need to find ways to motivate better behaviors in the patients? Berkowitz says the primary driver of behavioral change in patients lies with the hospitals and doctors—and I agree. The patients can’t run the asylum.

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The Doctors

Dr Berkowitz comes from the camp that says EMR needs to focus on helping the physician jazz up his ROI insteada helping the bottom line for the technologists. His sore points are Cost, Quality, and Access. At first blush that rubs me the wrong way—I mean, doctors don’t need no financial help, right? They already make tons ‘o money.  It’s the innovators building the systems that take the risks and deserve the rewards.

But then I stop to think. Why should a doctor pay big bucks for something that eats into his precious time and gives no direct benefit to him? So Berkowitz wants the system to automate repeat tasks and make the doctor’s daily workflow a lot better. He’s got a point. Make it better for the docs and you might just make it better for everybody. He also makes a very good point that technology has to be useable.  I agree again.  Doctors are the worst Luddites on the planet.

He says EMR will create a new ecosystem within medical practices. Automation and improved daily workflow means docs do a better and more efficient job. They shuffle patients to the right kinda healthcare—sometimes cheaper healthcare. EMR is all about the providers using Big Data to save dollars and get their ducks in order. For more on Big Data go to https://chicagoventuremagazine.com/2012/10/19/the-story-behind-big-data/

Marit Nyman

Marit Nyman

Marti Nyman says he’s always worked in businesses where there’s what he calls “a convergence of crisis.” I find that an interesting turn of phrase. Within healthcare, he sees a huge, costly market that’s not easy to coordinate, control, or direct. There are so many different technologies that claim to have THE SOLUTION. It’s hard to build one platform across multiple silos.

Questions

In the end, I’m not sure anybody’s making any real progress. And I’m left with alotta questions. Nyman says “consumerization” of healthcare is gonna be important. I dunno what he means. Did he miss the election or what? Aren’t we gonna get socialized medicine now? But he says there’s all this opportunity. Everybody’s looking for ways where technology can solve the problem. I ask myself, whadda they gonna do—sell EMR systems to the government like fighter jets? So I don’t understand how that shakes out. Maybe it’ll help standardize it all but I wouldn’t bet the price of a beer on it.

Nyman gives the example of the way hospitals are at risk. If a patient comes back within 30 days, it’s on the hospital’s nickel. They didn’t handle the treatment well enough or maybe they discharged the patient too soon. They didn’t control the situation—didn’t understand it. He sees home monitoring systems and telemedicine improving the situation. Maybe that’s what he means by consumerism. But that assumes the risk will always be on the physician and the hospital. Those policies can change, especially with government in charge. So I’m left wondering if this kinda innovation will ever really happen.

Takeaways

Dr Berkowitz makes a big point of how valuable a physician’s time is. That’s a perplexing comment. Ain’t everybody’s time valuable? A doc is just a highly educated mechanic, right? What makes his time more valuable than yours or mine? As Stephen Potter sarcastically pointed out in his One Upmanship series, “The physician’s time is always more valuable than yours and in a more important way.”

But when I think about it further, this is actually a practical truth for a number of reasons. Physicians spend a big chunk o’ their lives in school, residency, and what not. That’s a big front load of capital expenditure. The years left for actual work are much more compressed than the rest of us. Surgeons need a steady hand and that’s hard to come by after you get past 50. So the career gets truncated even more. They gotta squeeze a lifetime of income outa a real short span of time. Maybe it’s not as short as football players but it’s plenty short. Then there’s the economic facts of life. Physicians are in short supply for all the reasons I just gave. And the demand is plenty high and about to get a lot higher under the National Health. The more efficient they work, the more patients they can cure. So, yeah—turns out their time is real valuable. Valuable to everybody. If tech can help that along, I’m all for it.

Speakers

One of the speakers is Lyle Berkowitz, a Primary Care Physician as well as the Chief of Medical Innovation at Northwestern Hospital, Director of IT and Innovation at another place, a serial entrepreneur, etc. etc.—the list is as long as yer arm. Maybe he’s triplets.

The other guy is Marti Nyman, Director of Innovation at UnitedHealthcare. He’s got allota VC and business development experience. Retail, Telecom, GE, Best Buy. His list goes on-and-on too.

Contacts

Find MITEF Chicago at http://www.mitefchicago.org/

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GO TO PART 2 – GOOD OUTCOMES

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Find Chicago Venture Magazine at www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts are welcomed and encouraged. This is not investment advice – do your own due diligence. I cannot guarantee accuracy but I give you my best.

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Copyright © 2012 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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Filed under Characters, Conflict, Data, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Politics, Events, Information, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Invention, MIT Enterprise Forum, MITEF, Northwestern

WORTHY OF AWARDS

The Chicago Innovation Awards – Part 3

John Jonelis

Time Share Gulfstream JetI’ve jumped aboard a Gulfstream G450 to interview the legendary Loren Bukkett. I want his take on the Chicago Innovation Awards. He finally puts away his phone and turns to me. “Okay, let’s talk,” he says.

I take that to mean he’s already finalized all the deals that peaked his interest. Nice to have a large staff to handle the details. But here in the jet cabin, it’s just Loren, his wife Aussy, and me.

Aussy is doing some form of shorthand on a tablet computer. That woman hasn’t spoken since I climbed in the plane. Maybe Loren asked his wife to keep it buttoned. Maybe he wants to control what information gets out. At this point, I’m afraid to ask her a direct question. I even wonder if this is their secret strategy to keep outsiders off balance. If so, it’s working.

They give out so many honors at the Chicago Innovation Awards tonight that I can’t keep it all straight. So much glitz and pizzazz. Jumbo screen. Music. Entertainment. Applause. Streaming internet content. I appreciate the way they present a standardized set of videos to highlight the mission of each winner. A professional job and it moves things along nicely. With sponsors like Disney, Comcast, and Wrigley, they can afford to do it right.

Chicago Innovation Awards

Chicago Innovation Awards – jaj

I pull out my notes. “Let’s do the ‘Up-and-Comer’ category first.” I proceed to read off the list but Loren waves me to a halt.

“We’ll do it my way,” he says. And he goes on to tell me about every company that won an award at that event. He does it in depth. No notes. No prompts. At his age, that kind of memory astounds me.

“Now John, keep in mind that for twelve years, every company with an award from this group is a success. And there are a lot of them. That’s impressive and gives an old investor like me a feeling of confidence. Of course my people check out these companies in depth, but you can’t help but come away with some degree of certainty—a belief deep down that every one of them will find a way to make it.”

“You said they’ll break that perfect record this year.”

“That’s the awards to those two politicos, not the companies. No as I see it, what we have here is a large pool of opportunity. I already set some wheels in motion. Don’t ask me which ones.” He clasps his hands behind his neck and leans back. “When you get to be my age, you either turn into a curmudgeon or you win back some of that idealism you enjoyed as a youth. These days, a big part of my strategy includes companies that are doing-well-by-doing-good. I saw a few tonight. One of them is BriteSeed.

I nod. “I saw them pitch earlier in the year—at BNC I think. They made a big impression on me.” I splash three fingers of his excellent Hennessy into each of our snifters. Maybe the combination of spirits and altitude will keep him loose.

“It’s a hot sector,” he says. “Their SafeSnipstm technology could be life-saving. Imagine it on a large scale. No more surgical accidents. Billions of dollars saved.” He leans toward me and lowers his voice. “Keep your eye on Northwestern Global Health and their rapid HIV diagnosis. And Recall-Connect built an automated system to match defective medical implants with patients. No more wading through reams of paper files. Medline came out with an anti-viral face mask. Preventing disease is real attractive to me, but this one’s a family company, so…”

“No need for investors?”

“We’ll wait and see. My only concern with Feeding America is scalability. But they won the Social Innovator Award so people need to take that group seriously—very seriously. Any way we can fight hunger, we oughta do it.” He gingerly takes a tiny sip of his cognac as if he’s already had enough to drink. “I’m interested in the People’s Choice Awards winner,” he says. A little company, New Futura, wants to help Latinos achieve the American dream. Naturally I’m attracted to those kinda offerings. Then there’s Moneythink helping high school kids with their careers. That’s about it for the do-gooders.”

“What about Belly?”

He pauses a moment, pats his stomach, then grins. “That’s another hot sector. That company is off and running in 10 markets with half a million customers already. I’m sure they’ll do well. But I’m not in the mobile app or social media space.”

“Doesn’t that limit your exposure to startups?”

“That it does, John. That it does.” He takes another tiny sip of cognac. “Anymore,” he says, in his Midwestern idiom, “Anymore there’s so much money chasing mobile. So many new startups and only a few will pay off. The good ones get bid-up. Way too high for my liking. New York, Boston—all those great centers for venture capital are in love with mobile and social media. Maybe it’s good for Silicon Valley but it doesn’t fit my strategy. That’s why I come to Chicago. Of course I make exceptions.”

“Do you see a bubble?”

“Well, you always need to keep that in mind. For me it’s more a problem of value.”

Anybody that follows Loren Bukkett knows that deep value is his favorite strategy. Then he shifts gears. “Do you know anything about NuMat Technologies?

That catches me off-guard and I fumble over my words. “Some. I saw them present at another Chicago event–can’t recall where. Seemed like a winner to me but with so many great offerings, the judges at that event looked elsewhere. Do you think the technology is practical? Can they actually store and transport natural gas in bulk the way they suggest?”

“Keep your eye on them,” he says. And suddenly I wish my investment portfolio could stretch that far.

“And Coyote helps trucking avoid dead runs by sharing between companies. That’s the same thinking that put you and me on this beautiful jet. I like that business model.”

He takes more from his snifter and my hopes of getting him to comment on the awards to the governor and mayor are one step closer to reality. “1871,” he says. “That is without a doubt the most significant incubator I’ve come across. They made up their minds to do it right. 50,000 square feet with an option to double. Three universities keep offices there. Venture capitalists too. A successful startup from Northwestern keeps two big rooms to teach folks to code in new languages. Lots and lots of aspiring companies—and you gotta pass their standards to get in! This is one of the new hybrids—part incubator, part accelerator. Most of their companies are outside my investment horizons but every one of them is highly interesting. It must be a great resource for you.”

“Sure, I’ve been there a number of times. They run a lot of events and always invite the community. If they expand, I may take an office there. What’s your opinion on Options City?”

Loren lifts his feet back to the tabletop. “That one hopes to cure a sore point of mine. They want to help the little guy fight back against high frequency trading syndicates. We’re talking trading in-and-out in nanoseconds. Nowadays these guys own 70% or more of the volume on most of the exchanges. And naturally, the exchanges reciprocate by giving them the same privileges as market makers. But they don’t carry any responsibility like market makers. Or risk. They don’t make orderly markets. No, they hit and run. They’re speculators. Why should they get the first look at all the trades?  It’s all driven by greed on the part of the exchanges. I think it should be illegal.”

I’m leaning forward and nodding vigorously. “It’s the High Freaks that changed my approach to trading. I had to slow my timing way down and widen my stops—take on more risk.”

“Well alotta people are going broke because of it. These operations spend upwards of $100,000 a month for the fastest hookup and shortest wire to the exchanges and then run everything by computer algorithm. This new company wants to level the playing field.”

“Can they do it?”

“The jury is still out.”

Loren talks another twenty minutes to cover it all. Food Genius, mentormob, and mobcart, all leverage the Internet to aggregate information and communication. Cummins Allison of all people is selling a document scanner for banks. Borealis makes a light that takes 90% less energy and lasts 30 years.

That leaves Bright Tag, Catamaran, Littelfuse, and SMS Assist.  An impressive event in execution, scope, and promise.  It amazes me that so many fine businesses are right here in Chicago.  All they need to succeed is a boost in the economy. 

We clink glasses. “So Loren, I still want to talk in-depth about the awards to the governor and mayor.”

He flashes me a dirty look.

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Continue to Part 4

Go back to Part 1

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Find Chicago Venture Magazine at www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts are welcomed and encouraged. This is not investment advice – do your own due diligence. I cannot guarantee accuracy but I give you my best.
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Copyright © 2012 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved

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6 Comments

Filed under 1871, BNC Venture Capital, Characters, Chicago Innovation Awards, Chicago Venture Magazine, Chicago Ventures, Conflict, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Politics, Events, Innovation, Innovation and Culture, Internet, Internet Marketing, Invention, Kellogg, Marketing, MIT Enterprise Forum, MITEF, Mobile App, Mobile Marketing, MobiM, Northwestern, Software, University of Chicago