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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

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First Up


Jim: Barbra Streisand said in an interview that she cloned her dog. WHAT?! Since when has cloning your pets been a thing? It apparently happened after her 14-year-old Coton de Tulear died last year, and the procedure resulted in two cloned puppies. The whole thing set her back about $50,000.

I am, as the kids say, shook. Anyway, let’s move on from the sci-fi lifestyles of the rich and famous and kick a Beat…

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

Jim: Sprint customers in Chicago will be among the first wave of people to get access to super-fast 5G.

Sprint announced Tuesday that it plans to begin installing the technology in six U.S. cities, which will lay the foundation for 5G to be deployed in 2019. The cities include Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.

Starting in April, Sprint says it will start rolling out Massive MIMO radios in Chicago, an advanced network technology that the company calls “a critical bridge” to 5G. Massive MIMO can deliver up to 10-times the capacity of current LTE systems, the company said, which is important for people in high-traffic areas like dense city centers.

Sprint says its 5G mobile network will be available in the first half of 2019.

Customers will need a 5G-compatible device to access the increased data speeds, and those devices are expected to be available next year.

Read More: Chicago Among First Cities to Get Super-Fast 5G From Sprint

Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves in Chicago.

Chicago’s SIM Partners Acquired 

Sim Partners, a Chicago-based marketing tech company founded in 2006, has been acquired by, an online reputation management company based in Redwood City, California. SIM Partners had raised $13M from Jump Capital and River Cities Capital Funds. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. More here.

Motorola Solutions Invests in Startup Bringing AR to Cars and Drones

The venture arm for Chicago-based Motorola Solutions has invested in the $5.5M seed round for Santa Clara-based Edgybees, a startup that’s helping cars and drones use augmented reality. The startup’s AR drone technology was used by first responders during the recent Northern California wildfires and flooding in Florida. More here.

Palantir Sought to Work With Chicago PD

Secretive Silicon Valley startup Palantir, co-founded by Peter Thiel, has built a predictive policing technology that claims to be able to predict which people are likely to commit a crime–or be the victim of a crime. It quietly worked with the City of New Orleans, according to The Verge, and the company attempted to sell its technology to the Chicago Police Department. However, a deal was ultimately never reached with the City of Chicago. Chicago does have its own version of a predictive policing strategy, which has been criticized by some as racist and ineffective. More here.

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

This Chicago Startup Was Selected to Pitch at Google Demo Day

A Chicago startup is one of 11 tech companies selected to pitch investors at Google’s San Francisco office next month.

Grubhub Commits $1M to Supporting Women Chefs and Restaurateurs

In an effort to better support women in the restaurant industry, Grubhub is launching a new $1M fund that aims to incentivize diners to frequent women-led restaurants across the country.

Draymond Green-Backed Blink Fitness Is Expanding to Chicago

A fitness studio backed by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green is bringing its gyms to Chicago and parts of Michigan.

Elsewhere in Inno

Stories and events from around the Inno network we think you’ll dig.

In The Community

The events and happenings to know about in Chicago.

Jim: Tomorrow, head to 1871 for a panel on the basics of blockchain and bitcoin. Speakers will include Rumi Morales, advisory board member for the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Jennifer O’Rourke, State of Illinois Blockchain business liaison, and Jimmy Odom, co-founder and CEO of Bit Capital Group. More info here.

New Money

Your funding roundup.

Jim: BallotReady, a voter information startup that gives people information about candidates up and down their ballot (and one of Chicago Inno’s 18 startups to watch in 2018), has raised $920K in new equity funding, according to a Form D filing.

Rants & Ramblings

The other stuff.

Jim: Apparently the state of Illinois auctioned off a used stripper pole this week on its iBid website, which is normally used to sell surplus government equipment, according to the Trib. It turns out, the “purple, portable Exotic stripper/dancing pole” was left at O’Hare TSA by a passenger who couldn’t get it through security. By Wednesday morning, the item had been taken down, perhaps after the Tribune started asking questions about it.

Typical Illinois government. Nowhere to go but down. Then up again. And then back down.

Featured Jobs

Featured startup and tech jobs on Chicago Inno’s new Careers Directory.

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Meet The Authors

Jim Dallke

Katherine Davis

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