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Karis: Prominent venture capitalist, founder of 1871 and outspoken Democrat, J.B. Pritzker just announced he’s running for governor of Illinois.

Jim: In announcement earlier this afternoon Pritzker announced he’s throwing his hat in the ring to be a Democratic candidate in the Illinois gubernatorial race November 2018. His platform will call for a $15 minimum wage, expansion of early childhood education and a shift in the state’s tax system, according to Politico’s Illinois Playbook.

A little on his tech and business background: He founded 1871, the city’s most visible tech and innovation hub, as well as Pritzker Group Venture Capital, one of Chicago’s most active investment firms. He’s also heir to his family’s Hyatt Hotel fortune and Forbes estimates his wealth at $3.4B (which means he could self-fund the campaign).

His political background, however, is a bit spotty. In 1998 he unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for congress to Jan Schakowsky, according to the Tribune, and in 2008 he was a national co-chair of Hillary Clinton‘s failed presidential campaign against Barack Obama. Pritzker was once again a vocal supporter of Clinton in the past election, and has remained an outspoken critic of President Trump on social media.

Karis: On one hand, Pritzker has played a prominent role in boosting Chicago’s business community and its fast-growing tech sector. If he makes it to Springfield, it’s likely that tech and innovation would stay at the top of his agenda. Hopefully he’d also work to bring some of Chicago’s prosperity to the rest of the state, which hasn’t fared as well post-recession.

But November’s presidential election pretty much blew up any preconceived notions of a successful politician. Pritzker’s billions and elite name likely won’t win him many populist votes, or support from anyone looking for a leader that’s outside the establishment.

But the last election has also galvanized the progressive left, many of whom are connected to tech and startups, and are eager to push an economic agenda inspired by this experience (see: Genevieve ThiersRise Movement).

Regardless, with this announcement Chicago’s tech scene just took a huge step into a much larger arena. Stay tuned.

Karis: Private Equity firm GTCR is in talks to buy Chicago-based CareerBuilder for more than $1B, according to Reuters. CareerBuilder, owned by ?TV station operator Tegna, Tribune Media and the McClatchy newspaper group, was founded in 1995 and is an online job hunting platform.  GTCR is in the process of trying to finalize the?deal, Reuters says, adding that negotiations could still fall through. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was the former chairman of GTCR until 2012.

Jim: YouTube‘s live TV streaming service is officially live and available in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. The $35/month service lets you stream more than 40 channels on up to three devices at once.

Karis: Trunk Club just announced they’re hiring 80 customer service and styling associates in Chicago. This comes after CEO Brian Spaly stepped down in January, and last summer the startup shut down their Goose Island fulfillment center eliminating 250 jobs.

Jim: Finally, business analytics firm Nielsen consolidating their operations in downtown Chicago.

Karis: Tomorrow, Will will be MC-ing the Diabetes Innovation Summit at MATTER tomorrow, from 12PM – 5.30. The event will offer an interactive and immersive experience focused on building a network of those committed to exploring investable opportunities that will accelerate and catalyze the mission of the American Diabetes Association. If you’re interested in attending, use code ADACS50 for 50% off. Grab tickets here.

Jim: Also, a couple weeks ago, we flagged you on the upcoming Machine Learning Venture Capital Summit, which is being hosted by Chicago Booth. Due to the popularity and excitement surrounding the industry, the event sold out pretty quickly. Fortunately, we just got word that the organizers are moving the Summit from the Polsky Center to the Mag Mile Marriot, and are able to open up 100 extra tickets. The Summit is on Wednesday April, 19th and you snag your tickets here.

Mike Asem of M25 Group on big data and using technology to fill the growing need for data scientists and engineers:

“With SaaS becoming the new standard way for companies to operate, data integration has become as important and as challenging as it’s ever been. There is a critical need to synchronize referential data across systems, and the need to have up-to-date data to function properly is a much bigger one than within SaaS.”

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PLAYER PERSONNEL

Karis: Laura Desmond, former CEO of Starcom Mediavest, will be an advisor to fast-growing predictive analytics unicorn Uptake, according to Crains.

Utsav: While I do consider myself in the camp of those who can appreciate the convenience and efficiency of a Taco Bell, I also believe there’s a time and place for it — and would have to agree that perhaps Chicago’s Pilsen/Little Village neighborhoods wasn’t one of them. With a recent zoning approval cleared by the local Alderman, it looks like this might become a reality — and has led to everything from Twitter rants to an online petition. In a neighborhood full of authentic Mexican restaurants (Taqueria Los Comales is a personal go-to) I don’t really get the thought process behind a Taco Bell.

Karis: Good luck selling your frozen beef and Baja Blast Mountain Dew in the land of fresh, delicious al pastor and horchata, Taco Bell.

Karis: Whenever anyone tells me that it’s not safe to bike in the city, I’m just going to pull up this story of a woman who was slashed by a passenger in her shared UberPool.

Jim: Scary stuff. There are certainly added safety concerns with UberPool. But the Uber/Lyft platform does provide some accountability that you don’t get with a cab, or on a bus or train. For the first time there’s documentation of exactly who the driver and rider is in a vehicle. So when something awful does happen, those people can be held accountable and (hopefully) prosecuted.

From Karis’ story on peer-to-peer rental marketplace Frntal:

“It’s like Airbnb but for things and spaces.”

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Will@chicagoinno.com, Karis@chicagoinno.com, Jim@chicagoinno.com 

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