It’s not too late to find the perfect gift for that special someone on your shopping list. And Chicago startups are ready to help you find a unique gift for just about anyone.

This year we’ve compiled a list of startups that offer a range of different gift ideas, from nerdy, stylish bracelets to a water bottle that tracks your daily water intake to help meet your hydration goals.

Check out our 2017 Chicago startup gift guide below:

Dresscode Tech

Price: $40

Merging fashion and technology, Dresscode Tech makes jewelry that incorporates computer science code strings as part of its design. Dresscode says it strives to break down the stigma associated with computer science, particularly for young girls. 


Find the SlapMap in stories here.

SlapMap transforms maps into portable slap bracelets that can be folded and unfolded by the user. Whether it’s a map of Chicago or the Lollapalooza festival schedule, SlapMap is a fun and easy way to carry paper maps with you as you explore a new area.


Price: $54.95

The Hidrate Spark smart water bottle tracks water intake and helps users meet daily hydration goals. The product syncs via bluetooth to a hydration app, Fitbit, and Apple Watch.

De Rigueur Designs

Price: $99

De Rigueur Designs combines augmented reality and a photogrammetry algorithm that transforms a user’s mobile device into a ring sizer. Rings are then made specially for each customer using 3D printing technology.

Mohop Peacock Tote 

Price: $169

Mohop uses digital scanning technology and 3D printing to digitally fabricate mass-customizable shoes, handbags, and accessories. The company says it’s committed to providing comfort and style through conscientious relationships with animals, people, and the environment.

Oars and Apls Face Wash

Price: $18

Oars and Alps makes skincare products for men using natural ingredients sourced from the Arctic Circle. Its products are made with Alpine Caribou Moss and include a face wash, face+eye cream, and deodorant.


Price: $399

Tovala is a smart oven and meal delivery service that can steam, bake, and broil meals by scanning a barcode. The startup is making dinner as effortless as possible, and now it’s making it even cheaper. If you can’t shell out $400 up front for its oven, Tovala will let you pay $199 with a commitment of 24 meal deliveries over 12 months. The startup also offers leasing options.

Aiwa Exos-9 Portable Bluetooth Speaker 

Price: $299.99

The Exos-9 can be plugged in or offer 9 hours of unplugged sound with the its lithium-ion removable battery pack. Perfect for tailgates, camping, or playing tunes in the backyard, the Exos-9 connects to your device via Bluetooth to give you home stereo sound on the go.

Paper Airplane Launcher and Lab Combo 

Price: $124.99

Made by Chicago-based Makexchange, this tool helps kids learn how to write code, and launch a pretty sweet paper airplane. Kids use their newly developed coding skills to program the launcher to send their paper airplanes flying.

Nuni Toaster

Price: $79.00

If you enjoy a nice warm tortilla, but don’t love having to flip it over the stove, meet the Nuni Toaster. Made in Chicago, the Nuni Toaster can warm six tortillas in 60 seconds, and it lets users choose their desired shade setting from light to dark.

Holiday Themed Tie from The Tie Bar 

Price: $19

Get festive this holiday season with a holiday tie from The Tie Bar. The Chicago-based men’s accessory company also has plenty of non-holiday attire, including shirts, pocket squares and tie bars.

Bucketfeet “Stand” Shoes 

Price: $55.25

Take a stand this holiday season with Chicago-based Bucketfeet’s shoe from artist Avid Ames. For each pair sold, Bucketfeet will donate $20 ($10 to the Southern Poverty Law Center and $10 to Life After Hate).


Price: $95

Built by Chicago maker Scott Urban, Reflectacles can be used for biking and night walking safety (they’ll reflect an oncoming car’s headlights, for example) or as a unique nightlife accessory. Urban also expanded the Reflectacles line to include an infrared-reflecting material that caught on with privacy advocates (even garnering a retweet from Edward Snowden), as it renders a face unrecognizable to facial recognition software used in surveillance.