Startups show resilience as the pandemic continues

By Ruiqi Chen Medill Reports When the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in late March, Matt Morfopoulos wasn’t too worried. As co-founder and chief marketing officer of the Oklahoma text message communications startup Respond Flow, Morfopoulos knew that his business model would survive a socially-distant world because of its emphasis on remote marketing. However, […]

Chicago heads to local essential business BottlesUp! for a safe and friendly wine fix

By Ruiqi Chen Medill Reports Ella Raymont’s first wine pickup of the pandemic involved leaving an envelope containing $100 in cash on a table in exchange for a box of thoroughly sanitized wines and beers. Raymont, a part-time wine sommelier at local wine store BottlesUp! in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, had texted BottlesUp! owner Melissa Zeman […]

Stimulus recipients consider spending or saving their checks

By Ruiqi Chen Medill Reports As stimulus checks hit bank accounts around the country, some financially secure recipients want to use their portion to support struggling local businesses, but financial advisors are urging caution. Congress’s initial $2 trillion economic stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, was passed in late March as […]

Spidey-senses and an entrepreneurial spirit: a Q&A with Balodana founder Dana Todd

By Ruiqi Chen Medill Reports Dana Todd founded Balodana, an online made-to-order retail platform for women, in fall 2019 after many years in and out of the corporate world and entrepreneurship. Todd said the freedom of entrepreneurship ultimately led her to pursue this startup, which she hoped can give women greater confidence in their appearance […]

Women talk pay gap and finances at new wine and networking event series

By Ruiqi Chen Medill Reports BottlesUp!, a Chicago wine shop, organized a networking and wine tasting event for women last week to discuss strategies for combating pay inequity and managing their finances, two of the biggest challenges that stand in the way of professional success for many women. Melissa Zeman, the owner of the Lakeview […]

Chicago’s female founders find support and resources through local organizations

By Ruiqi Chen Medill Reports Chicago has the highest proportion of female startup founders in the world, helped by the city’s abundance of support organizations that provide women with resources and a sense of community. Research company Startup Genome’s 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report found that over a quarter of Chicago’s startups were majority female-founded […]