Beta Launch of the Chicago Tech Startup Catalog

November 8, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

The Ultimate Research Tool for Investors and Innovators

Journalists write articles out of habit. But the truth is that although articles are goodwhen you feel like reading. Articles are not good when you’re doing a quick search for information.  And there a big difference between “feeling like reading” and “needing information”.

So this early prototype (you can find it at of a searchable, sortable, categorized and filterable database, isn’t just a dataset about an industry, but our strongest stand against the inefficiency of traditional journalism. We’re fixing the bugs (like the top search bar), and filling in data as we go (adding 10-15 companies each week), but this thing will grow fast, and we will “generate posts” by finding trends within the system and posting what we find.

Startups as a Trending Tool
The barrier to entry for becoming a startup is almost nothing. At this point, a name, logo and paragraph is enough to get you in the door. Thus the startup scene has become so massive that it’s not even an industry, as much as it’s a focus group.  When you step back, you can see it as a bellweather of technology consciousness. It is, in its rate of creation and distruction, a tool to understand what is “trending”.

So by combining these two things: informational databases and the startup ecosystem, we are hoping to create something that generates something larger than the sum of its parts. Every 6 months we’ll circle the wagons to see if the startup is still active. We’ll see what is dying, as well as what is springing to life. Our hope is that new connections can be made – if a “recommendation-engine” type of startup is closing and a new one is launching, maybe they could share code, knowledge and resources.

Prototype of a “Deal Flow Machine” 
This Chicago Startup Catalog is a proof of concept; a simple, custom PHP system built for $800. But it can become a visualization tool, a “deal flow machine”, which helps investors see what is unique and what is oversaturated. And once we fill in the blanks of the Chicago scene, we will set our sights on the 100 mile (non-geographically-specified) area known as Silicon Valley.

This is not our endgame, but our first gunshot to offering research tools, efficiency, and comprehensive tools –- without requiring researchers to skim a bunch of outdated articles.

And by the way, the ad spot on the right sidebar is available for $250 per month. Drop us a line and whoever writes first gets the spot.

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