A peak at Built in Chicago’s May startup pitches at 1871

The Built in Chicago Launch provides an opportunity for startups to present their companies in front of local investors, techies and fellow entrepreneurs. More than 300 people came out last night to support the five startup founders’ innovative visions. 

Liz Eavey from startup Stork Stack probably best sums up the localized community feeling of the night: “They say it takes a village to raise a child and we certainly think it takes a village to raise a start up—Chicago has been our village.”

Stork Stack

Doejo client Stork Stack was founded in an effort to overcome one of the major challenges facing busy parents today: researching and finding the right products for their children at a time when there are more products on the market than ever before. To provide the best products in a simple format Stork Stack offers curated “stacks” of five hand picked items. The monthly subscription-based service is aimed at mothers and babies from newborn to 36 months. And since the parent community is built on sharing, Stork Stack has incorporated a “Stork Stack Gives Back” program, a charitable component to the startup, that donates a stack to families in need every time a subscription is ordered.

Who’s In

Who’s In founder Nate Lassiter has a simple vision for his start up: to help you “do more fun shit with your friends.” To make this as simple as possible, he has created an iPhone application that allows you to share what you want to do. Founded on the basis that we all have places we want to go, Who’s In helps you easily unlock this information by creating a list of the locals you want to go while allowing you to see which of your friends are also interested. When you decide you want to have some fun, the app helps you create connections and set these plans into motion.


Started by an English teacher on the premise that kids need help with grammar, NoRedInk is an adaptive learning tool that replaces red ink marks on a paper with actionable, differentiated feedback allowing them to improve. Jeff Scheur created NoRedInk inspired by low national test scores in grammar/ writing and teacher salaries being linked to these test scores. This platform takes kids interests, favorite celebrities and Facebook friends to generate custom  sentences that allow kids to practice their grammar skills. NoRedInk data mines the results to produce tutorials and generate color-coded heat maps that help young students focus on what they need to improve. This allows teachers to focus on instructional decision-making and school districts to track improvements.


Elixserve is a restaurant management system that combines employee scheduling, staff communication and online training tools into one web-based application. Created by alumni of the restaurant world, Elixerve allows restaurants to run as smoothly behind the scenes as possible. The application streamlines work responsibilities, improves employee productivity and solves managerial challenges, founders say. It also provides automated scheduling, allowing restaurants to focus on customers, private messaging functions and a public newsfeed for easy communication between employees. But that’s not all. Elixerve is also a platform for efficient internal training: users can upload study materials, create quizzes and access performance metrics.

bethie b.

bethie b. is an online boutique for recycled interiors, allowing clients and small businesses to sell quality recycled furniture and helping you turn your house into a home. The founder of behtie b. recognized that furniture, accounting for 9.8 million tons of waste, was the number one least-recycled household item and ran with it. The ecommerce site hosts a curated and hand chosen selection from stylish locals and small boutiques. Currently in beta, the $10 listing fee is waived. They believe in promoting green living while paying forward style and goodwill.

Filed in: Startup Community