Chicago entrepreneurs get big Motorola boost
October 3, 2005
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
gaining ground in Chicago. Motorola CEO Ed Zander wants that trend
to continue. That's why Zander and the Motorola Foundation are
pumping $100,000 into the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center.
is a major shot in the arm for the CEC, which helps entrepreneurial
companies gain funding and identify customers. It adds more evidence
that Motorola under Zander is committed to Chicago.
issue of Entrepreneur magazine signals that Chicago is embracing
entrepreneurship and being recognized for it. "America's
Second City is first among megalopolises when it comes to entrepreneurial
activity," writes Entrepreneur's Mark Hendricks. Chicago
ranked 12th overall as a venue for entrepreneurship, well ahead
of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston. Our town
is up from a lowly 52nd just three years ago.
grant might push Chicago even higher in the entrepreneurial rankings.
It will also help assure that all Chicagoans benefit.
TiECon event at the Hyatt Regency, Motorola's Zander announced
the launch of Education in Entrepreneurship. Zander says, "We
have created and funded Education in Entrepreneurship, a program
to help high school students in the area become tomorrow's innovators
and leaders of their own tech companies."
David Weinstein is clearly pleased. "To get support from
Motorola is huge," Weinstein says. "It validates the
notion that we can spur entrepreneurship through mentorship. We
believe the kids in Chicago have every bit as much potential as
the kids in Silicon Valley -- maybe more."
by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, the
CEC is developing a framework that can be used broadly to coach
and develop tomorrow's entrepreneurs. The program will initially
target schools on Chicago's South and West sides -- underserved
communities where the organizers believe greater demand for entrepreneurial
the value of entrepreneurship. The Brooklyn native helped grow
Sun Microsystems to an $18 billion company. He played a pivotal
role as managing director at California private equity firm Silver
Lake Partners. His turnaround at Motorola is sparking Chicago's
wants to do more to stimulate Chicago's entrepreneurial culture.
He's even begun calling Motorola the "original high-tech
getting Chicago's top emerging entrepreneurs to work with high
school students to expose them to the possibilities and opportunities
of entrepreneurship," Weinstein adds. "If we seed one
future Motorola. If we catalyze one future Paul Galvin (Motorola's
founder) the rewards will be enormous."
make a difference in global economic development? Chicago investment
banker Ralph Gidwitz thinks so. Gidwitz looks at the number of
tech companies emerging in Israel and wonders why Atlanta gets
more than Chicago.
has become a fly-over city for Israeli companies," says Gidwitz,
managing partner of Capital Results. Gidwitz wants Israeli-based
IT and life sciences companies to locate a North American HQ here.
17 Israeli companies have Chicago offices, but Atlanta hosts 60.
He wants to land five additional companies in the near term.
the Chicago Israel Business Initiative. The volunteer group brings
25 prominent Chicagoans to Israel in November. They'll attend
the prime minister's economic development conference, which attracts
representatives from more than 100 nations.
digs at NU
University computer science professor Kris Hammond is celebrating.
Search engine technology invented in his lab is being commercialized
by Chicago-based Intellext and distributed through Microsoft's
MSN. This week, Hammond and NU's computer science department move
into the new $30 million Ford Motor Company Engineering Design
Center in Evanston.
a program on the future of computing at 4 p.m. Thursday. To attend,
Elmhurst-based Univa to announce IBM will license Univa's Globus
Toolkit at the GridWorld conference this week in Boston. IBM will
work with Univa to deliver commercial Globus grid infrastructure
software. Univa is a leader in the emerging area of grid computing.
UIC professor Steve Jones hosts 400 global scholars here Thursday
at the Association of Internet Researchers conference at the Chicago
Krauss is a Chicago area tech writer and consultant.