Chicago is quietly becoming an AI powerhouse

Chicago is quietly becoming an AI powerhouse

Chicago, a bustling hub of innovation and technology, is swiftly becoming a breeding ground for some of the most novel and interesting AI startups. These companies, diverse in their applications and approaches, are not just altering the landscape of artificial intelligence but are also contributing significantly to the city's economy and technological prowess. From HR tech and retail innovations to creative platforms and financial solutions, each startup is unique, showcasing the versatility and depth of AI's potential. Delve into the heart of Chicago's AI scene, highlighting startups that stand out for their innovative solutions, impactful contributions, and unique approaches in the ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence:

  1. Wonderlic: Founded in 1937, Wonderlic has a long-standing reputation in the HR tech industry. Their focus is on providing scientifically validated assessments to identify top job applicants and predict their on-the-job performance. Utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence, they offer a unique "whole person" assessment approach. They aim to reduce turnover, streamline hiring processes, and create equitable hiring practices. Their innovative approach to candidate assessment and employee development sets them apart in the AI landscape​.

  2. Upside: This retail technology startup leverages AI to enhance the shopping experience for consumers while driving profit for brick-and-mortar businesses. They help communities thrive by offering more value on everyday purchases. Upside's platform has impacted millions of users and thousands of businesses, emphasizing profit measurement and sustainability initiatives. Their unique approach to integrating online retail sophistication into the physical retail space is noteworthy​.

  3. VidMob: An award-winning Intelligent Creative Platform, VidMob offers an end-to-end technology solution for brands' creative needs. They combine creative analytics with top-notch creative production to enhance marketing effectiveness. Their integrated platform stands out for its ability to understand and improve marketing strategies through AI-driven insights​.

  4. Strong Analytics: A team of machine learning scientists, data engineers, and software engineers, Strong Analytics brings AI and machine learning solutions to life for organizations of all sizes. Their focus on real-world scale applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning makes them a versatile and impactful player in the AI startup scene​.

  5. Caxy Interactive: A software consulting and development agency, Caxy Interactive prides itself on creating a rewarding and enjoyable work environment for developers. They work with clients to deliver projects that make sense and support business growth. Their commitment to avoiding unreasonable demands and fostering a collaborative work environment distinguishes them in the AI industry​.

  6. Teragonia: Focused on transforming the financial sponsor universe, Teragonia offers cutting-edge data science and AI solutions. They aim to reimagine the execution of investment thesis from sourcing to exit. Their offerings include business intelligence applications, enterprise solutions with data science-driven insights, and data science consulting. This startup is noteworthy for its approach to blending business knowledge with technological and quantitative techniques​.

  7. A machine learning toolkit for small and midsize businesses, facilitates the transition to a data-driven economy. Their plug-and-play solution addresses the flexibility and scalability issues in today's AI solutions. They also offer value-add services, guiding organizations in building out use cases. is remarkable for its focus on user experience and accelerated integration for businesses​.

  8. Subconcious.AI: Specializing in market research at big-data scale, Subconcious.AI uses AI to make market research faster and more affordable. They use large language models as synthetic respondents to lower costs and improve the speed of insight. Their goal is to democratize market research and create an open-source causal map of human decision-making. The company's vision for accessible, efficient market research through AI is a notable addition to the AI startup landscape​.

  9. This startup is enhancing the field of radiology through an AI-integrated platform. Their focus is on improving processes related to radiological images, including real-time feedback on a vast medical image library, tailored learning, and aiding radiologists in achieving diagnostic accuracy from image acquisition to various applications.’s venture into medical education through the utilization of AI in radiology marks a significant step in integrating advanced technology into specialized medical fields​.

  10. Echo Labs: Echo Labs is developing an AI model named Casper, which is designed to achieve human-level transcription capabilities, surpassing any existing product in the space. This biologically enhanced neural network understands conversations similarly to humans, offering highly accurate transcription services. The motivation behind Echo Labs stems from a desire to have a social impact, particularly to aid those who are hearing impaired. This focus on creating technology that improves the lives of individuals with disabilities exemplifies the potential for AI to make significant social contributions​.

These eight AI startups are just a glimpse into the dynamic and diverse AI ecosystem thriving in Chicago. Each one, with its unique proposition and innovative approach, contributes to making Chicago a notable hub for AI development. Whether it's enhancing hiring processes, revolutionizing retail experiences, or transforming market research, these companies are pushing the boundaries of what's possible with AI. Their contributions go beyond just technological advancements; they are reshaping industries, influencing business practices, and setting new standards in their respective fields. As Chicago continues to nurture and support these innovative ventures, the city cements its place as a leader in the global AI community, fostering an environment where technology and creativity converge to shape a promising future.

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