Jul 10 2012

Who Run The World? Girls!

  • Posted by: admin

Beyoncé said it best.

I’ve been interning with Dashfire for about 3 weeks and have already learned so much about entrepreneurship, like, for example, the true meaning of girl power. Here’s a shout out to some of my favorite entrepreneurs rocking the Chicago tech scene:

Kelly Kane & Hillary Sawchuck

I first discovered entrepreneurs and badass chicks Kelly Kane and Hillary Sawchuck during Tech Week. They mediated “Where The Cool Kids Are: Startup Success Stories”, one of my favorite panels of the week. Kelly and Hillary started A Drink With Chicago (@A_Drink_With) on the premise that “all it takes is one great conversation over one drink to create a long-lasting friendship, adjust your outlook or make an impact on your life.” Kelly and Hillary seem to have created their dream jobs, spending time interviewing local Chicago entrepreneurs, chefs, celebrities, socialites, artists and athletes. Since their launch, they’ve had drinks with Jeremy Piven, Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Jenny McCarthy, Eric Himel, Jarrett Walter Payton… just to name a few.

The startup scene can appear easy but having a good idea is only a percentage of what it takes. Creating your dream doesn’t just happen over night. Kelly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and French. She’s been strutting her degree ever since; having internships at ABC3/WLAJ, Imagination Publishing, MTV Networks, landing an Advertising Sales job and Media Sales Associate position at CBS Radio, and worked as a Senior Account Executive at Groupon. Hillary, another Broadcast chick, has interned with the Detroit Pistons and WDIV-TV, was an event coordinator at One Smooth Stone, worked as a Broadcast Department Runner at Turner Broadcasting, a Stage Manager at ESPN, an Event Coordinator at Jonathon Witz and SmithBucklin. I’ve probably left out tons of other really cool stuff they did, but you get it – they rock.

Rick and I have said that in order to be an entrepreneur, you must: find something you love, work hard to learn as much as you can about the industry, and then find a way to make it better. Kelly and Hillary are perfect examples of this theory, making A Drink With Chicago so successful.

Jessica Zweig and Erica Bethe Levin

I interviewed at 1871 during the grand opening. I, a 21 year old college girl, was immediately drawn to one workspace: CheekyChicago. All pink, bouquets of flowers, cute girls typing away on their Macbooks. I died. Right when I got home I googled “Cheeky Chicago” and have been obsessed ever since.

Here’s how Cheeky Chicago was born:

Jessica went to the University of Illinois, where she earned her BFA in Acting. Post graduation, she began tearing up the Chicago theater scene, which she still dabbles with on the side. She freelances for UrbanDaddy.com, is a correspondent for NBC 5’s new digital station “Chicago Non-Stop”.

Erica studied theater at Northwestern and since graduating has done literally every cool job there is – from working at The Second City and the Lookingglass Theater, being a correspondent for NBC, a freelancer for Jetsetter.com, the Midwest Casting Consultant for Backstage.com AND a member of Northwestern University’s Council of 100 women across the US who mentor students and young alum.

Their backgrounds alone make them worthy of a shout out, but all cheeky girls (and C.S. Lewis)  know that “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” Jessica and Erica’s bubbly personalities, entrepreneurial state of mind, and love for fun created CheekyChicago.com (@CheekyChicago). It’s an online lifestyle magazine, and THE guide to Chicago; stacked with everything you’d ever need in order to have a great time, any time you please. Along with giving the scoop on things like great places to eat and party, where to be seen, health and beauty guides, etc etc etc, Jessica, Erica, and their team of writers act as great resources – offering advice on dating, relationships, traveling, careers and all things cheeky Chicago girls love


Lisa Frame 

 @LisaFrame is one of those people you follow on Twitter and consider to be one of your besties, though you’ve never met.

After graduating from from Columbia College in Chicago, Lisa worked as a digital producer REAKT, a Social Planner at Leo Burnett, a Community and Social Director at Abe’s Market, and probably did a lot of other cool things on the side.

She’s a girl who loves startups, and works to help companies “get rad” through her innovative digital strategies. Lisa’s success shows the power of being innovative and having an infectious personality. She took a simple concept: her love of coffee, and love of meeting people and founded Mugshot-Monday.com. The editorial is filled with bios of people that you’d like to have coffee with – artists, designers, writers, entrepreneurs, developers, comics bloggers and other do-ers. The bio is accompanied by their coffee “Mugshot” making it the cutest idea ever.

My cyber BFF has shown the importance of innovation, expressing yourself, and staying authentic. Oh ya, and Lisa is also the LOL maker behind her popular Chicago-influenced blog wwww.soyeahduh.tumblr.com (@soyeahduh).


Mili Mittal

Last but certainly not least, Mili Mittal (@mmittal) is another girl to admire for more reasons than one. Mili is the CEO and Co-founder of Dashfire’s partner, mor.sl (http://mor.sl/) based out of Washington, DC. mor.sl solves the common problem of “what should I cook tonight?” by offering personalized suggestions that stay up to date with your taste. Yet again, another simple concept that’s put to use and successful by a girl who knows how to make something better.

mor.sl started on the premise that young professionals spend too much time eating out, taking in and spending money on food that isn’t necessarily the best for them. Mili recognizes that not many people want to cook, but saw that it could be fixed with this easy solution. And it really is an easy solution, one I used all the time. Not only does it solve the problem of WHAT to cook, but mor.sl learns your tastes and preferences – making it super specific. mor.sl hopes to expand in the future, by adding basically all you need in order to be more efficient at home and in the kitchen.

mor.sl’s blog is one every person who enjoys food should check out. With thousands of food blogs out there, mor.sl serves as a great way to integrate them under one site, which adds an aspect that not many other blogs offer. Mili’s unique all-you-could-ever-need to make dinner site separates her from the rest, and is what makes her one of our favorite entrepreneurs.


and.. I shall leave on this note:

Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls)




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