Techweek Chicago 2013 LAUNCH Top Five Startups


Top Five Startups from Startup City Take Stage to Vie For Funding Prize

This year’s Techweek Chicago LAUNCH, an expo for new startups to flaunt their business,  took place Friday June 28th, expoing over 70 different startups. The panel boasted judges from former SMBs, such as J.B. Pritzker from New World Ventures who gave a brief opener on the pace of technology development and its effect on society today.

The competition is brutal—startups demo their wares and services in the Startup City expo hall as judges narrow down a top five from the massive amount of competitors who will then compete on the main stage for the chance to win $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Sounds suspiciously like a Bob Barker game show but without the tacky camping showcase.

All joking aside, these startups exhibited their business at the 2013 LAUNCH competition and gave a five minute talk on the who/what/where/why /when’s of their service.

The top five this year were:


This hyperawareness app was built around the concept of “bringing together the finders and the losers.”

Users can post found or lost items and participate with a network of other users in their area to attempt to help lost items get back where they belong.

Crowdfynd has partnered with local services and locations such as hotels, cabs, and animal shelters to help streamline the process of resolving lost-and-found issues.


24Fundraiser was created to bring all the aspects of managing fundraising and donations in to one simple, clean, and affordable service to manage almost any kind of event while still maximizing the net of the event.

Where most sites will only offer a single service, or maybe two, 24Fundraiser offers 11 different fundraising features.

Some notable tools include email and text marketing, credit card processing, and donor management.


While this app is currently active in the UK, they’re pending a launch in August for entertainment-only services.

Where most games are based on action-reward-based functions, Furywing has decided to take on the future of gambling mechanics and apply them to mobile gaming.

Specifically targeting slot machine math and poker stats, Furywing is inputting these formulas in to games similar to the social gaming apps that we already play around with.

Founded on the purpose of revamping social gaming and making gambling more accessible, Furywing will be launching free-to-play services in the US while currently legislation on gambling in the states is being reviewed.


NextStep.IO was created to make sense of the quantified self—simply put, this app looks at a user’s daily routine and challenges them to make small changes to better impact them in the long run.

The app tasks users with goals towards developing an incremental lifestyle (such as walking to the coffee shop that’s ten minutes away instead of five, or going for a walk while having a one-on-one meeting). You can sync up different devices, such as Fitbit or FuelBand, to help track your daily habits.

After each new task is completed, NextStep.IO gives you the stats on the long-term benefits you’ve just added on for yourself and your health.


WeDeliver is reconnecting the consumer with local SMBs by helping to offer same-day shipping services.

Founded on the belief of supporting local communities, WeDeliver is giving SMB brick-and-mortar stores a competitive advantage against the big-box corporations. By transferring revenue from those big box stores back to the local small businesses, WeDeliver is helping SMBs renew their longevity and visibility in their community.

WeDeliver offers one-click access to products online, real-time delivery tracking, and full transparency in their business model while helping to power the community.

Stay tuned for a full article on the winner of the series.

Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!

Have something to say about these top five startups? Leave a comment below!

Check Out the Full List of 2013 LAUNCH Competitors Exhibiting at Startup City:

About The Author

Laura Whitener is the managing editor of Firmology, technology focused news and insight for small business owners and online entrepreneurs. Laura graduated from DePaul’s notable Master of Writing and Publishing program in Chicago. She survives on coffee, apples, and Pandora. When she isn't editing or writing, Laura enjoys knitting, adding to her massive book collection, and culinary adventures. You can find Laura on Twitter and LinkedIn.