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Business

New in Chicago: October 2015

New in Chicago columns from October 2015 at Crain’s Chicago Business:
Skokie firm makes world’s first flexible digital display device
‘Uber for auto repair’ sends freelance mechanics to your home or office
This stylish addition to the home bar lets you rapidly ‘age’ wine
This slot machine app promises to be a real productivity killer
This ‘virtual key’ startup is piggybacking on the Airbnb, VRBO craze

Categories
Business

New in Chicago: September 2015

New in Chicago columns from September 2015 at Crain’s Chicago Business:
This recipe search engine is fueled by last night’s leftovers
Some notable investors are backing this new “spontaneous” meetup app
A U of I engineering geek is modernizing the nighttime noise blocker
Chicago just got another drycleaning delivery app…

Categories
Business Music

CHIRP Radio prepares to go on the air

Crain’s Chicago Business, September 10, 2015 — Chirp, an Internet station that champions Chicago musicians, is getting a place on the traditional radio dial, too. Read the story. (Note: The launch of the station’s FM signal has been postponed until 2016.)

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Business Music

Hideout coming to Riverwalk

Crain’s Chicago Business, August 18, 2015 — One of the North Side’s best-known small clubs is opening a pop-up version of the venue this week on the Chicago Riverwalk. Read this story, which was the first to break the news.

Categories
Business

New in Chicago: June 2015

New in Chicago columns from June 2015 at Crain’s Chicago Business:
Why Madison Hall could make Loop shopping cool again
No, seriously, another parking app is launching in Chicago
Startups: Here’s a service to help you set up an office
Finally, an app that declutters that #%$@%! address book on your smartphone
A limo for Fido, a 1920s soda fountain back to life, and more

Categories
Business

New in Chicago: June 2015

New in Chicago columns from June 2015 at Crain’s Chicago Business:

Naturally, the face of this Chicago product is the most famous beard in history
What’s a Guard Llama? Something that’s catching on with consumers fast
This startup will keep your office clean and stocked with plenty of hand soap
Bad coffee causes crappy job performance. That’s his pitch, anyway

Categories
Business

New in Chicago: May 2015

My New in Chicago columns from May 2015 for Crain’s Chicago Business:

May 7 — Mexican wedding cookies, instant massage bookings and more. Featured businesses include Felix’s Famous Cookies, Excel Mobile Massage, Functional MobileWear, City Soles and Goose Island Beer Co.’s tasting room.

May 14 — The doctor will see you now — at home. Featured businesses include Orunje, Right Bee Cider, Pagoda Red and the William Collins Collection.

May 21 — A stylish take on “I give up” pants. Featured businesses include Public Rec’s All Day Every Day Pant, the BYO Wine Rack and Les Nereides.

May 28 — 2015: The year of the premixed cocktail business? Featured businesses include Sharaabi Spirits, Vitani, Wixter Market, Literacenter and Open Books.

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Business

Industrial revolution: See how small-biz owners are giving factories new life

Crain’s Chicago Business, July 12, 2014 — They’re tucked away in desolate corners all over the city: looming brick and concrete buildings that once held factories that supported entire neighborhoods. These behemoths helped earn Chicago its brawny reputation and, once they were vacated, became hulking icons of its blight. But now a crop of savvy small-business owners and creative rehabbers are dusting some of these buildings off and finding new uses for them.

“Repurposing old structures is fun,” says Craig Golden, principal of Chicago-based Blue Star Properties, which buys and rehabs industrial buildings. “Reusing old infrastructure-so that we’re not running highways out in the middle of nowhere and electrical lines-makes me feel better.”

“You can do good business in buildings like this,” says Steve DeBretto, executive director of the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago, which operates a business incubator inside a former West Side plumbing factory that was built in 1887. Not only are the rates cheap for tons of square footage, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi that appeals to some business owners. “It’s got a charm that a new building doesn’t necessarily have.”

Turn the page to take a walking tour of four industrial sites that are getting a new lease on life, then read how-and why-startups from furniture makers to distillers to small manufacturers have settled there.

20140714-linkstrip3Read my stories in Crain’s Chicago Business:

— Manifold furniture designers on the challenges of retrofitting a concrete box
— A safe space for businesses that make noise at 3 a.m.
— How a machine-friendly group engages hardware entrepreneurs in co-working
— Nick Greens’ farm springs up in Back of the Yards

Photos by Stephen J. Serio

Categories
Business

Best Entrepreneurs 2014: Nick Floyd

Crain’s Chicago Business, July 5, 2014 — Nick Floyd scoffs at the notion that he has any special sort of entrepreneurial knowhow… Read my story in Crain’s Chicago Business.

Photo by John R. Boehm

Categories
Business

Best Entrepreneurs 2014: David Kalt

Crain’s Chicago Business, July 5, 2014 — Chicago Music Exchange already was a magnet for guitar collectors, wannabe rock stars and actual rock stars when David Kalt bought the Lakeview shop in 2010 from founder Scott Silver. Read my story in Crain’s Chicago Business.

Photo by John R. Boehm