The Chicago Innovation Exchange welcomes new startups

Nikki Kidd
Associate Director of Marketing & CommunicationsChicago Innovation Exchange

The Chicago Innovation Exchange recently welcomed four new startups to its business incubator. This latest group fills the CIE’s current incubator capacity, which now houses 13 teams and nearly 40 people working in industries ranging from biomedical imaging and computational software for chemistry to estate planning and creative writing.

The CIE’s incubator is an accelerator-style program that provides founders and their teams with mentors, coaching and dedicated space, in addition to all of the benefits CIE members receive. Incubated companies receive extra guidance and support to help them reach critical milestones and grow into sustainable businesses. They also benefit from working alongside other early-stage startups and collaborating with entrepreneurs from throughout the CIE community.

The four new startups joining the CIE in January 2015 are:

  • NETenergy, an energy storage and management service provider focused on thermal storage technology.
  • iSpectrOm, a company focused on new technology in biomedical imaging.
  • MovingScripts, an online social platform that allows writers to pitch their fiction stories to peers and fans of creative writing.
  • Reliefwatch, a platform for organizations in the developing world to track supplies through basic mobile phones.

“We are proud and excited to join the CIE’s Business Incubator, where we will be able to access expert advice and the larger entrepreneurial and academic community,” said MovingScripts founder Carlos Frederico Goncalves. “These resources will help us to continue to refine the website’s features, expand our team and form a board of advisers, and prepare for an initial round of financing.”

The companies join a group of thriving businesses already hard at work in the CIE since it opened in October 2014. With support and guidance from the CIE, incubator teams have been talking to customers, building prototypes, hiring new employees and interns, navigating FDA review, piloting programs, preparing to launch websites and services, testing new versions of software and much more.

“As we select startups for the CIE incubator, we’re looking for good ideas backed by strong teams with diverse backgrounds—companies we believe can benefit from the resources and guidance we provide,” said John Flavin, executive director of the Chicago Innovation Exchange. “We’re open to innovation of all kinds, but we’re particularly focused on startups using science, innovation and entrepreneurship to develop solutions to a variety of societal challenges, including improvements in the way we generate and store energy, conserve and treat water, compute and analyze data, provide healthcare, educate our youth and maximize our economy.”

Two CIE-incubated startups already have shown the growth and promise needed to earn acceptance into Matter, Chicago’s new healthcare-tech incubator being built in the Merchandise Mart. The two companies, Qualia Health, which makes software for health care providers to create personalized care plans for medical patients between visits, and Janus Choice, which uses mobile technology to improve current discharge processes for patients moving from a hospital to an extended care facility, will be joining the new incubator when it opens, and will remain a part of the growing CIE community.

The next application deadline for the CIE incubator is March 6. More information and the application can be found on the CIE website.