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Spotlight on locally made products: How do entrepreneurs go from idea to market?

This article made possible by a Chicago Innovation Awards sponsorship. Just as every Chicago small business has a story behind it, so does every product an entrepreneur designs. Behind many of the city’s newest products are entrepreneurs who have created opportunity from adversity, often using severance checks to launch new businesses. By designing concepts that […]

Economy slows funding cycle, yet opportunities remain

The moment entrepreneurs accept outside capital, they need a strategy for paying back their investors. Ideally, angel funding leads to venture capital, then private equity, with the process culminating in a profitable sale or initial public offering. Entrepreneur Jai Shekhawat, founder and chief executive of Chicago technology firm Fieldglass, knows a tough economy can slow down […]

Groupon gets personal

To hear founder and CEO Andrew Mason tell it, Groupon is not all about saving money. It’s about encouraging people to  try new experiences by reducing the financial risk, also known as the price. That mission promises to mold the Chicago-based company’s new targeted marketing strategy, where customized Groupons are offered to subsegments of its […]

Special Report on Minority Owned Businesses

After 17 years of fits and starts, LeNardo Nelson Sr. of Chicago is ready to take his triple-sided windshield wiper to market.

A commercial lender at Harris Bank by day, Nelson has long dreamed of being an inventor like his father, who devised a sled with convertible wheels in the mid-1960s. But getting his wipers off the ground has taken far longer than Nelson ever imagined.