September 24, 2012

Mayor Emanuel Announces that More Than 20 Chicago-Based Technology Companies are Committing to Create More Than 2,000 New Jobs in the City

Mayor Additionally Announces Chicago Broadband Initiative as Technology Sector Continues to Grow and Extend Leadership in United States

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that more than 20 leading technology companies in Chicago have committed to create more than 2,000 jobs, collectively, in Chicago by 2015.

“These companies have confidence that Chicago is a city on the move, attracting and developing the talent that will help their businesses grow and expand in the future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These 2,000 jobs will have a major impact on Chicago and will ensure that Chicago’s technology companies continue to innovate and prosper in the coming years.”

The announcement comes on the same day that Mayor Emanuel announced and launched the Chicago Broadband Challenge. First, the City will attract next generation companies and start-ups to Chicago by offering affordable gigabit speed broadband options.  Next, the administration will bridge the digital divide by expanding access to high-speed Internet services to underserved and disadvantaged neighborhoods.  And finally, the City will deliver smarter services and better prepare its workforce for next generation jobs by increasing internet access and speeds at anchor institutions like schools, libraries, public safety agencies, and other community buildings and parks.  

The Chicago Broadband Challenge will include an RFI, to solicit information from the public and the business community, as well as an interactive website ( and an email address (

The companies in the technology jobs announcement run the gamut, from health care and education companies to retail service providers, information technology providers, and even technology-based fashion companies. The announcement took place at Grubhub’s new downtown headquarters, located at 111 W. Washington. The company recently moved downtown from their previous location on the north side and has committed to adding 250 jobs in the next three years.

"We've often said that GrubHub wouldn't be what it is without Chicago, and I believe this is a sentiment that is shared across the entire tech community," said Matt Maloney, GrubHub co-founder and CEO. "This announcement of new jobs is our dedication to the city. Chicago supported us as we built GrubHub into the nation's number one food ordering service, and now we're working to build one of the nation's largest tech cultures in the city of Chicago." 

Several local non-governmental organizations have been instrumental in growing the technology economy. Built In Chicago has served as a catalyst for the digital tech economy, including the hosting of an online community, tech-focused articles, data collection, events and an active job board.  Additionally, World Business Chicago, which is chaired by Mayor Emanuel, has worked directly with many of the companies in the announcement, to help them meet their staffing needs, find additional space, obtain training for employees, and generally advance their business interests.

“There are more than 33,000 employees in Chicago’s digital technology economy, driven by both existing companies and new startups,” said Matt Moog, Founder Built In Chicago. “In 2011 alone, 193 digital tech startups launched in Chicago, a new digital company launching every 48 hours. The growth rate of new digital startups launching has nearly doubled every year for the last four years, a testament to the growing pool of talent and capital.” 

"The growth of these companies and the vibrancy of this sector is important for our overall economic development," said Michael Sacks, Vice Chairman of World Business Chicago. "This announcement is further evidence that Chicago is an environment where innovation can flourish, entrepreneurs can build great businesses and investors can enjoy good returns.

At the event at GrubHub, Mayor Emanuel saw demos from several of the companies involved in the announcement.  The list of the companies is at the end of this release.

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"We made an intentional choice to start our company in Chicago," said Mike Sands, CEO of BrightTag.  "We can find world-class technologists, power our international expansion with the city's transportation hub, plug into a vibrant, supportive community and leverage our collective experience having previously built successful tech companies here. The fact that BrightTag's rapid expansion can contribute to job growth in Chicago makes us proud. It's a perfect time to be building a technology company in this city, and an exciting opportunity to contribute to the growing economy."

Rise Interactive
“Chicago provides Rise Interactive with three essential elements to help us achieve rapid, sustainable growth: first-rate talent, world-class clients and a central location to best serve the nation’s biggest brands,” said Jon Morris, founder and CEO of Rise Interactive. “These advantages have contributed to our profitable approach to digital marketing, and we’re committed to being a part of Chicago’s tech sector for many years to come.”

SMS Assist
“SMS Assist is honored to be recognized by Mayor Emanuel as one of Chicago’s leading high growth technology companies and we look forward to helping the Mayor continue to grow the Chicago tech economy by hiring 100 additional employees by the end of 2013,” said Mike Rothman, CEO of SMS Assist. “Last year we moved into more than 40,000 square feet in the John Hancock Center with 26 employees, and today we have more than 150 employees powering SMS into the most technologically advanced provider of multi-location facility services.”

"We are thrilled to show our support for the Mayor's efforts to nurture Chicago's start-up economy,” said Rob Chesney, COO of Trunk Club. “The entrepreneurial engine of the city will benefit greatly from investments in technology-friendly infrastructure, fostering community amongst entrepreneurs and strong support from the city's government and business leaders."  

Total Attorneys
"After ten years of building a technology company in the City of Chicago, it's wonderful to see the collective success the city's technology community is experiencing,” said Edmund Scanlan of Total Attorneys. “Total Attorneys is even more excited about the next few years of growth." 

"As a digital agency that serves the pharmaceutical industry, our client base is global,” said Dave Ormesher, CEO of closerlook. “Chicago has been an ideal hub for convenient transportation, excellent Internet connectivity, and world-class creative and technical talent, everything an entrepreneurial company needs to prosper."

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