At CEO (Boardroom Media) we track over 1,000,000 startups and over 5,000,000 people who hold key positions in these companies. We use this directory of startups to highlight top employees, founders and board members we think deserve more appreciation than they are currently getting.
This list showcases the top Chicago based CEO’ operating in the Big Data space. If you think a CEO’ is missing from this list, feel free to contact our editor on [email protected].
The individuals on this list have been included because of exceptional performance in one of the following categories:
- Innovation – Operating as a key part in an extremely innovative business or startup.
- Growth – Operating as a key figure in the growth and upscale of a market leading business or startup.
- Management – Showing exceptional management skills.
- Societal impact – Putting their business on the map for their positive societal or environmental impact.
Our Data – We source our data from OSINT (open source intelligence) and public directories such as Crunchbase, SemRush and many more. The data from these sources should be treated with a degree of caution and verified yourself.
Founder & CEO of Civis Analytics
Dan Wagner is ambassador for the firm’s external partnerships, representing the company’s vital, core interests as it engages client business opportunities. Dan served as the Chief Analytics Officer on the 2012 Obama campaign, overseeing a 54-person team of analysts, engineers and organizers that provided analytics and technologies for voter contact, digital, paid media, fundraising and communication. His department’s work was credited with “reinventing how national campaigns are done” and has been highlighted in Time Magazine, MIT Technology Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Los Angeles Times, and Harper’s. Dan began his work in politics as the Deputy Voter File Manager for Barack Obama during the 2008 Iowa caucuses, which defined the relevance of data, and client comprehension of data, in his career. That led to roles as the Great Lakes Targeting Desk and National Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Targeting Director, followed by the National Targeting Director at the Democratic National Committee for the 2010 election cycle. Dan previously worked with the FTI Consulting Economics Practice. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in economics and public policy. Dan is originally from Birmingham, Michigan, where he grew up imitating Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” performance. He remains the first one on any dance floor. He is fluent in Spanish and, according to two sources with knowledge of the incident, cried during “Like Water for Chocolate.” He used to play congas – not to be confused with the bongos – in a DC funk band.
Follow Dan Wagner:
About Civis Analytics: Civis Analytics is a software company that helps public and private sector organizations make data-driven decisions.
CEO of Narrative Science
Stuart Frankel founded the company with Kris Hammond and Larry Birnbaum. Prior to Narrative Science, Stuart was President of the Performics division of DoubleClick and was a member of DoubleClick’s senior management team when the company was sold to Google. A lawyer and a CPA, Stuart earned a BS from Miami University and a JD from Vanderbilt.
Follow Stuart Frankel:
About Narrative Science: Narrative Science creates software that writes stories from enterprise data to drive understanding and results.
Founder and CEO of Blinkfire Analytics
Steve Olechowski is Founder and CEO of Blinkfire Analytics.
Follow Steve Olechowski:
About Blinkfire Analytics, Northwestern University: Blinkfire Analytics uses AI and computer vision to optimize the sponsorship marketplace between creators, and their sponsors.
Founder and CEO of Abode
Kyle is a seasoned entrepreneur with a proven background starting and growing multiple companies. He co-founded Pangea Money Transfer and Alpha Lead. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Kyle worked as an investment banker focused on mergers and acquisitions for JP Morgan and Robert W. Baird. Prior to that, he focused on lean manufacturing as an Industrial Engineer for Delphi Automotive and General Motors. Kyle earned an MBA from Columbia University and is a Purdue Industrial Engineering alum.
Follow Kyle Stoner:
About Abode: Abode is a user-friendly app that eases the home buying process and is especially helpful to first-time buyers.
Founder & CEO of Indus Insights
Saurabh is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Indus Insights. He is part data scientist, part management consultant, and part business manager. He has more than a decade of experience in creating value through the use of data-driven approaches. Prior to starting Indus Insights, Saurabh worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, advising senior management across a variety of verticals, including CPG and hi-tech. Saurabh also has considerable experience in the consumer finance industry through his stints at Capital One and HSBC, where he drove multiple initiatives in the fields of direct marketing analytics, product development, credit policy & risk analytics, non-traditional underwriting, and account management. Saurabh is regularly quoted by national and international media as a subject matter in payments, analytics, and consulting. He holds an MBA (with honors) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Saurabh received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay, and is a CFA charterholder. He is also an aviation enthusiast, and is a certified pilot.
Follow Saurabh Sharma:
About Indus Insights: Indus Insights is a specialized consulting firm that assists organizations in leveraging analytics to drive business performance.
CEO and Founder of Next College Student Athlete
I was a high school football player who fell through the cracks in the recruiting process. As a junior in high school, I received interest from more than 100 collegiate football programs including Harvard and Notre Dame, but did not get any real offers. My problem was not that college coaches didn’t know who I was, but that I didn’t understand how the recruiting process worked. After my senior football season, I found out that some of my friends at rival high schools were setting up official visits and receiving offers from some of the same programs that had contacted me. It was then that I took matters into my own hands and started reaching out to college coaches on my own. I called every coach who had sent me a letter and asked if they were still looking for linebackers. Some said they wished I had called them earlier, but I also found some schools that were still looking! College coaches were impressed that I had been the one to call them directly, not my mom or dad, and that I asked a lot of questions and showed real interest. After I sent my video footage to the ones who requested it, I received offers to take official visits of college campuses. In the end, my hard work paid off; I received and accepted a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University and graduated in four years. Building on my experience in being recruited to play in the SEC, I began assisting student-athletes to get recruited and play in the college that was the best fit for them. I founded NCSA in 2000 with a passion to help turn dreams into a reality. Since its inception, NCSA has become the leader in helping match college coaches with qualified high school students.
Follow Chris Krause:
About Next College Student Athlete: Next College Student Athlete helps student-athletes and families connect with college coaches.
Founder & CEO of CharacTour
CEO Kimberly Foerster had the “lightbulb” moment to found CharacTour when she helped her friend with her Match.com profile. By focusing on consumers’ personalities as many dating sites do, she thought she could solve a big problem for consumers: “bad dates” with entertainment when time, money, and emotion is wasted on movies, TV shows, and books they don’t ultimately connect with. Before founding CharacTour, Kim was a Managing Director at Perseus, a Washington, D.C. private equity firm where she worked for eight years. While at Perseus, she was actively involved in four publishing-related acquisitions and was a Board Member of Perseus Books. Prior to Perseus, she worked at two other private equity firms – the Audax Group and Castle Harlan. Early in her career, Kim worked in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs and the strategic planning group of PepsiCo. Kim received her MBA from Kellogg and her BA in English from Rice University.
Follow Kimberly Foerster:
About CharacTour: CharacTour curates entertainment choices based on consumers’ unique personalities and their character preferences
Founder & CEO of Megalytics
Donna M. Salvatore is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at MEGALYTICS. Donna has 35 years of experience in leading the successful growth of early stage global technology ventures. Over the past twenty years, she was the CEO of five different companies, using disruptive technologies and methodology to radically change the industry segments she participated in. Donna holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from University of Chicago and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.
Follow Donna Salvatore:
About Megalytics: The most extensive, verified, relevant data ever possessed by one analytics entity.
Co-Founder and CEO of Ocient
Chris Gladwin founded Cleversafe in 2004, bringing to the company the same innovative and entrepreneurial approach that has signified his executive leadership throughout his career. Chris, who was previously the creator of the first workgroup storage server at Zenith Data Systems and was a Manager of Corporate Storage Standards at Lockheed Martin, also created and managed a number of successful new technology start-ups, including MusicNow, which was acquired by Circuit City. Chris has been the creative force behind the development of the first Dispersed Storage system to solve the growing global problem of Big Data storage. Chris Gladwin has created over 300 issued and pending patents related to Dispersed Storage technology. Cleversafe, inspired by Chris, continues to be one of the most patenting U.S. companies per employee. Chris Gladwin holds a degree in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Follow Chris Gladwin:
About Ocient: Ocient is a startup building a near-real time database and data analytics platform for petabyte- to exabyte-scale data sets.
Founder & CEO of MyColLife
Follow Sam Kann:
About MyColLife: Welcome to MyColLife, world’s first Student Social Network and Social Relationship Management (SRM) services technology.
Co-Founder and CEO of 86 Repairs
Daniel Estrada is the co-founder and CEO of 86 Repairs, the repair and maintenance management platform built for the restaurant industry. He has over 20 years of experience in technical and leadership roles, including as a software engineer, project manager, consultant to startups and Fortune 500 companies, and as the practice head in a global digital consultancy. Daniel is a first generation American, multi-citizen, and speaks 3 languages.
Follow Daniel Estrada:
About 86 Repairs: 86 Repairs is a subscription service that optimizes and manages end-to-end equipment repair and maintenance for restaurant groups.
Founder & CEO of Neurocern
Follow Anitha Rao:
About Neurocern: Connecting clinical with financial, an artificial intelligence engine that transforms data into actionable insights
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of KnowledgeHound
Follow Kristi Zuhlke:
About KnowledgeHound, The Chicago Leadership Alliance: KnowledgeHound is the data organization and visualization tool for companies buried in piles of market research.
CEO of Intersog
Follow Igor Fedulov:
About Intersog: We build software and help other companies attack their business goals, solve IT skills shortage issues and embrace innovation.
CEO and Co-Founder of HAAS Alert
CEO and CoFounder at HAAS Alert.
Follow Cory Hohs:
About HAAS Alert: Real-time automotive collision prevention SaaS for public safety and roadway fleets
Co-founder and CEO of Packback
Mike Shannon is the Co-founder at Packback
Follow Mike Shannon:
About Makespace, Packback: Packback is a Q&A learning platform powered by a proprietary A.I. to quantify and improve critical thinking skills in college students.
Co-founder & CEO of rMark Bio
Follow Jason Smith:
About rMark Bio: rMark Bio delivers intelligence solutions to the life science industry.
Co-founder and CEO of Rippleshot
Canh Tran is Co-Founder and CEO at Rippleshot.
Follow Canh Tran:
About Rippleshot: Credit and Debit Card Fraud Detection
Chief Executive Officer of Hipercept
Colin leads Hipercept’s Advisory team.Colin Kovas brings over 20 years of experience establishing global strategies for major investment management firms in operations and management, with a focus on technology. Colin Kovas is a leader in large scale business transformations in the Real Estate, Telecommunications and Financial Services verticals. He has successfully lead complex financial software implementations, transformed data management operations and streamlined business processes for many Fortune 500 companies.
Follow Colin Kovas:
About Hipercept: Hipercept is a global provider of consulting, technology & managed services to the alternative investments industry.
CEO of Learnmetrics
Julian Miller is Co-Founder & CEO @ Learnmetrics.
Follow Julian Miller:
About Learnmetrics: Learnmetrics are a team of Educators, Academics, Technologists, and Designers who are committed to improving educational outcomes.
Founder, CEO of Veebit
Founder, CEO at Veebit
Follow Terri Persico:
About Veebit: Veebit builds winning teams through the power of psychometrics.
CEO of CCKF
Follow Manoj Kulkarni:
About CCKF: Intelligent Adaptive Learning
Co-Founder/CEO/CTO of XtremeData
Follow Ravi Chandran:
About Megh Computing, XtremeData: XtremeData, Inc. provides dbX, a parallel database engine for analytics designed to run on commodity hardware in the virtualized
Founder & CEO of Light Up Africa
Alan Hurt is Founder & CEO at Light Up Africa.
Follow Alan Hurt:
About Light Up Africa: Powering People Beyond Light Poverty.
Co-founder and CEO of Overgrad
With a background in both technology and education, Ryan spends his time at Overgrad building relationships with universities and high schools around the country. Prior to his current role, Ryan was a high school math teacher in St. Louis with Teach For America and a technology consultant with Deloitte. Ryan is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied General Engineering. A die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, Ryan knows what it means to stay committed to a dream despite the circumstances.
Follow Ryan Hoch:
About Overgrad: Overgrad is an online platform that enables high school students to set long-term college and career goals.
CEO of Uni B Solutions, LLC.
Follow Binu Mohan:
About Uni B Solutions, LLC.: UNI B Solutions provides a cloud-based Enterprise Optimization Platform to gain the required insight into their data on any device.