August’s Built in Chicago Launch pitchers bring books, forecasts, rewards, education and reviews

photo (26)

At August’s Built in Chicago Launch we got to hear from a variety of Chicago startups offering to forecast your business’ revenue, turn blogs into books, reward you for ‘gramming, teach you how to be a designer and collect customer feedback. Here’s what they had to say:


If you or your agency uses Basecamp (like us), then you’ll want to check this out. With this simple app by GreyGoo, Forecaster will use data from your Basecamp projects to produce revenue forecasts. Vicente Opaso (UI, Code at GreyGoo) says they designed the app with people in mind. “Basically with one click you have a revenue forecast for everything,” he says.

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.39.34 PM

 Blog into Book@BlogintoBook

“I’ve published hundreds of books in my life and I have news for you guys: Bloggers are taking over the world,” says Blog into Books Founder Zack Price. This publishing company helps bloggers gain new readers, as well as royalties, by combining their blog posts into ebooks that can be viewed on electronic devices, including Amazon’s Kindle. The 7- to 8-week-old-site has already published Howard Tullman‘s blogs into four different books, with a fifth on the way!

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.40.06 PM

 Popular Pays@PopularPays

We are constantly posting on social media and collecting new friends. Instagram feeds are filled with advertisements from our foodgrams of Glazed and Infused to photos of our swag from shopping sprees.  “This kind of influence is powerful and brands recognize that,” says Popular Pays Co-Founder Corbett Drummey. “They want in, but there’s not an organized way to do that right now. The only brands that can do that are the top ones.” With Popular Pays, however, brands can get in on the social media action and you can too. This app, which is connected to your Instagram account, rewards you for posting photos of certain brands. You could even get prizes from a cup of coffee to a skydiving jump. The only catch is you need to have at least 500 followers on Instagram to join.

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.40.21 PM

The Designation – @TheDesignation

The Designation is a school that teaches the fundamentals of UX, UI and front-end development though a 10-week-long program. The learning period is made up of three different sections: 1. technical skills/software, 2. branding/design theory, and 3. coding bootcamp. “We combined all three as a process of how it would actually work if you were in a corporate environment of an agency,” says The Designation practitioner Andrew Wenum. The program starts on September 16, so be sure to apply today!

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 3.49.30 PM

Local viewpoints – @LocalViewpoints

There’s a big disconnect between those looking at ratings and those actually rating local businesses, says Local Viewpoints CEO Gib Olander. Waiting for customer feedback cards can take forever and they are often unfruitful due to low response rates. With Local Viewpoints,  businesses can get reviews quickly and publish them for prospective customers to see.  The customer, aka the most important part of a business, can easily review the business from their mobile device in a matter of seconds. After collecting feedback from the web and customer surveys, Local Viewpoints combines that data and shows businesses what they are doing right or wrong, giving owners the chance to improve. “The best type of marketing [local businesses have] ever done is word-of-mouth marketing” Olander says. By using this survey service, businesses can improve conversion rates through this type of marketing.

Filed in: Startup Community