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Getech Law Sponsored Entrepreneurs Stars Competition Sets the Stage for Chicago’s Rising International Startup Community

Chicago is one of the fastest growing and most profitable startup cities in the world. Just last year, PitchBook found that Chicago companies offer the highest venture capital return rates of any startup hub in the United States, and for the previous quarter, places Chicago at #5 in the U.S. for most startup venture capital investment. Chicago maintains a position in the top 20 best startup ecosystem cities in the world and reached #7 in 2016.


On October 7, 2017, Getech Law joined Build 312, a Chicago-based startup community, to host the 10th China Shenzhen Nanshan “Entrepreneur Stars” contest. Since 2008, this annual pitch competition has attracted over 200 participating teams and helped raise more than $430 million in funding.


During this year’s competition, over 20 teams competed for a chance at $5,000 in cash prizes, 5 hours of attorney services from us at Getech Law, free consulting and coaching from the Lonely Entrepreneur, and a chance at a $1 million prize pool at a subsequent competition in Shenzhen, China. During the competition, each team participated with 4 minutes to present and pitch to judges, followed by 2 minutes of Q&A time.


In addition to the competition, the Entrepreneur Stars event provided great insight into the Midwestern startup scene panels and talks from some of the biggest names in Chicago small business. These included Venture Capitalist at OCA Ventures Cayse Llorens and Managing Partner at Lightbank Victor Pasccucci, Director of Partnerships at Built In Brad Scnitzer, Co-founder of Shiftgig Eddie Lou, CFO of Wanada USA Xin He, and CEO of Technori Scott Kitun. This group was joined by a number great speakers of successful Chicago-based businesses including Jon Cotay of Akira, Neal Griffin of CodeNow, Jessica Tenuta of Packback, and Sterling Douglass of Chowly. The competition also featured a host of experienced judges, including our own Firm Partner, Linda Lei.


The contestants of this year’s Entrepreneur Stars competition covered a wide range of industries with a focus on technology related solutions. The competition was split into Early Stage and Enterprise categories, along with an audience favorite award. The winners of this year’s competition ranged from the audience favorite tackling warehouse logistics Corvus Robotics to the 1st place Enterprise Category winner SwineTech and their solution to reducing loss of livestock with the use of remote sensors.


The full breakdown of winners and their pitches:

  • Audience favorite: Corvus Robotics ($500)

    • Corvus Robotics improves the way warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities understand their physical footprint & physical inventory, using aerial drones. "Corvus Assist" is one of the world's only drones capable of completing missions down aisles autonomously in warehouses.


  • Early Stage 2nd Prize: Specifix ($500)

    • The Specifix app gives design, construction, and retail professionals the power to accurately and confidently visualize a product in a real, physical space.


  • Early Stage 1st Prize: RWEDI Solutions ($1000)

    • RWEDI Water system is used for institutional sized cooling towers, using electricity to remove scale-forming ions from cooling tower makeup water. The system reduces operating costs by 20% and greatly improves water quality.


  • Enterprise Category 2nd Prize: Kaizen Health ($500)

    • Kaizen Health has developed a web-based technology platform which brings together diverse fleets to arrange medical transportation for patients in need. It allows for discharge and care coordination staff to set up a ride for a patient in minutes instead of days.


  • Enterprise Category 1st Prize: SwineTech ($2500)

    • SwineTech provides technologies to farmers that enable them to reduce the amount of piglets that die on their facilities, whether that be from crushing, starvation, or disease. SwineTech's mission is to provide a sustainable way to increase productivity for pork producers all around the world.


Getech Law would like to congratulate the winners and all of the contestants that pitched in the Entrepreneur Stars competition. We are proud of the growing startup community in Chicago, and we are honored to have been a part of making this year’s Entrepreneur Stars competition possible. We look forward to becoming a bigger part of the dynamic Chicago startup community.

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