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Despite numerous events offering opportunities for companies to pitch and network with other startups, we are creating a night specifically targeting developers and coders to get together to show off their awesome technology chops.  Earlier this month, we kicked this year’s first night of Techstars Show-and-Tech with a group of leading Chicago technologists.

In front of a group of 100 or so Chicago technologists, the night’s attendees were introduced to Stylie, an open-source animation tool; new tech hardware that may be a potential solution to the USB hack; The Ropes, an application that helps companies on-board new employees; Rithmio, which uses gesture recognition technology for smart devices; and Elastic Method, an application focused on helping business and technology teams work together in harmony, defining successes, and celebrating them.

But the night’s crowd favorite came from Eli Albert, Sr. Software Engineer of Techstars alumn SimpleRelevance, who demoed “Fridge Magnets With Friends.” As a small side project in his free time, Eli worked on Fridge Magnets to test out the angular -> firebase technology stack on a real-world problem: massively multiplayer collaborative poetry. It took about eight hours of work for the first 90% of the project, and another eight hours for the remaining 10% (all the polish and bug fixes that made it usable). The entire platform is served by static files and firebase, which makes scaling it very easy.  With no immediate plans for Fridge Magnets, Eli is open for suggestions on where to go with it next. You can find the code here, and Eli’s homepage here.

This just the start for what Techstars has in store for developers and engineers moving forward.  Techstars will be the place engineers come to share with other engineers the hard problems they’ve encountered. Want to learn how a new, hot technology is being used in an application? Or hear about how developers are incorporating React Java Script into high-performance user interface? Or brainstorm new ways to write native mobile apps? Come out to our next open house and discuss all!

To keep the momentum going after this month’s successful TECH Show-and-Tell, join Techstars as we begin hosting recurring Techstars DEMO nights every four to five weeks. If you are a developer or engineer interested in joining us at the next event and showing off some awesome tech, get your ideas ready, your GitHub links set, and tweet your projects over to @troyhenikoff #chicagoDEMOopenhouse.


Troy Henikoff
Troy is the former Managing Director of Techstars Chicago. Troy was the CEO and Co-founder of Excelerate which became Techstars Chicago in 2013. Additionally he is a Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners – an early to mid stage technology fund, teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University and is on the board of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. His last 25 years have been spent starting, running and advising early stage technology companies including SurePayroll, OneWed, Amacai and Jellyvision. @TroyHenikoff