Chicago sommeliers enjoy the taste of growing popularity

by Kara Voght On a balmy February Sunday, the Second City Sommeliers, a group of expert wine service professionals, transformed West Loop’s City Winery into a sommelier’s training ground. In one corner, tables hosted wines made from the same grapes grown in different regions, testing a sommelier’s ability to distinguish geographic influences. In another, a […]

Chicago startup showcase highlights African-American entrepreneurs

By Kara Voght When Chicago startup showcase Technori invites entrepreneurs to present at its monthly showcase, the demographics of that group roughly match the demographics of Chicago: half men, half women, and a third minority. Technori’s February showcase, however, featured a different composition of founders: they were all African-American entrepreneurs. On February 28, Technori hosted […]

Hispanic incubator flips script on tech entrepreneurship

By Kara Voght Aspiring entrepreneur Jose Mendoza, 35, from Gurnee, Illinois, had only visited the Chicago tech hub 1871 on one other occasion before attending Wednesday night’s Hispanic Technology Showcase. At the end of the presentation, standing among the crowd packed into 1871’s Merchandise Mart auditorium, he said the pitches he’d heard surprised him. “I […]

Marquette Park 4’s exoneration marks milestone for Illinois

By Kara Voght Theresa Johnson knew there was no way her son, Charles, committed the robbery and murder he’d been convicted of. Convincing others of his innocence, however, was another matter. “Everybody would just close the door practically in my face,” Johnson said of her repeated attempts to obtain legal help for Charles, who, along […]

Venture Capital Showcase Highlights Socially Conscious Investments

Mindy Knebel

By Kara Voght A man who turns methane into diamonds, a woman who brings patients to doctors’ appointments, and two Ph.D. students who deliver renewable energy to sub-Saharan Africa all walk into one of Chicago’s most iconic buildings and ask strangers for thousands of dollars. No, this isn’t the start of a joke. This group […]

Social media brings Women’s March on Chicago to life

Social Media March

By Kara Voght In the hours following Donald Trump’s presidential victory, a disappointed Liz Radford scrolled through her Facebook feed and noticed posts floating the idea about a women’s march on Washington. Radford decided to gauge interest for a Chicago-based sister march within her own social network the weekend after the election. “We put up […]