Business

Chicago startups aim to make impact on social issues

By Laura Furr

Chicago’s premiere social entrepreneurship program, Impact Engine, on Wednesday unveiled its new crop of startups aimed at resolving issues from student safety to the demand for recycled electricity.

For the third time since 2012, the 16-week accelerator program, partnered with the city’s tech-incubator, 1871, mentored entrepreneurs driven to create social change and a profit at the same time.

Jessica Droste Yagan, the program’s new CEO, said since Impact Engine’s start it has graduated 15 companies, which have earned $2.5 million in revenue.

“Impact investing is a real thing. It has a presence in Chicago,” Yagan told 275 community members and investors who had gathered. “We have really built a sizeable and energizable community.”

Community members and investors at Wednesday’s demo day said they felt this energy.
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Experts cite Ebola’s indirect cost, urge public-private partnerships

By Jin Wu

Chicago health care and economic experts said the indirect cost of Ebola is enormous and partnerships between public and private sectors could be a solution for “the market failures” in Ebola prevention and treatment.

Dozens of people attended a public conversation called “The Cost of Health Crisis” Wednesday night at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library, discussing about the economics of pandemics, in this case, Ebola. Continue reading

Delta’s stock surged after 4th Quarter earnings released

Delta Air Lines Inc.‘s stock shot up 7.26 percent after the release of its fourth-quarter report on Tuesday morning, despite its net income’s swinging down to a loss of $712 million dollars in the December quarter, or 86 cents loss per diluted share, from the year-ago earnings of $9.89 per diluted share.

The adjusted non-GAAP net income, however, was $649 million, or 78 cents per diluted share, beating the consensus forecast of 75 cents, according to Zacks Investment Research.

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Expert panel makes 2015 economic predictions

Story by Meredith Wilson
Audio by Bethel Habte

A panel of economic experts exceeded an already optimistic outlook for 2015 with their predictions on gross domestic product, unemployment and the Dow during the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon on Wednesday.

Diane Swonk, chief economist and senior managing director of Mesirow Financial Services expects U.S. GDP to grow by 3 percent, unemployment to be under 5 percent and the Dow to close at 18,499. Continue reading

Fear Factor: The High Hidden Cost of the Ebola Epidemic

By Jamie Friedlander

The “cost” of an epidemic such as Ebola usually targets the dollar toll in hospital fees and economic downturns. But the loss of lives and the measure of suffering remains a lasting and growing cost.

“In terms of the cost in Liberia, it’s not dollars and cents. It’s the death of a generation,” said Robert A. Weinstein, MD, professor of internal medicine at Rush Medical College, in reference to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Continue reading

Millennials inspired by Chicago’s ‘Tinder for jobs’; employers doubtful

By Laura Furr

Gionni Crawford, 20, is looking for a job.

A recent graduate from Specs Howard School of Media Arts in Southfield, Michigan, Crawford will be relocated from his job as a cellphone vendor at his hometown Target in Detroit when it closes at the end of the month.

A self-described “hustler,” Crawford said he is trying to land a full-time sales position by using all possible platforms including nspHire—a new Chicago-based mobile job-matching app that uses Tinder’s “swipe right” feature to encourage communication between job seekers and hirers. Continue reading