Chicago, spring 2016.
A year ago I moved back to Chicago and started my job as a reporter at Chicago Inno.
During the last 12 months, I published over 500 stories (plus produced 11 podcasts) on tech, innovation, startups, and education in the Chicago area.
It’s been a crazy year.
Moving at the pace of digital journalism has been a challenge, but mostly offers endless opportunities. When you’re working at a site looking to establish itself in a traditional journalism market like Chicago, you have to be quick, nimble, and most of all experimental. What’s the freshest angle? Who can you cover that’s being ignored by everyone else? How can you tell a story beyond a 500-word profile?
We’re still figuring it out, but every month we tell fascinating and tough stories that I believe will be truly important to understanding how Chicago’s innovation ecosystem was formed, built, perhaps almost lost, and ultimately grown.
I feel like I’ve improved significantly as a writer and reporter, but also realized how much work goes into building a beat, cultivating sources, and taking extra efforts to find perspectives that round out the public conversation. There’s so much more to be done. And I’m thankful to have a place that lets me find ways to experiment and better my storytelling.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite stories from the past year (click title for link)
Illinois Institute of Technology Is Asking Students to Pay Back Their MAP Grants
How a Facebook Group for Side Hustle Projects Grew into Ms. Tech [AUDIO]
An Illinois Sociologist Uses Supercomputing to Recover the Lost History of Black Women
Bow Truss Founder Phil Tadros Wants You to Invest In Your Neighborhood Coffee Shop
Why Illinois Residents Are Suing Google and Facebook Over Photo Tagging
Bronzeville Cookin’: A Culinary Incubator, Coworking Space 10 Years In The Making [Audio]
Packback and ContextMedia’s Jam Sessions, and Why Creative Outlets Help Startups Grow
A UIC PhD Student Made a Messaging App That Doesn’t Leave a Digital Trail
OjaExpress Offers On Demand Delivery For African And Caribbean Groceries
An IIT Professor Just Launched Vamonde, A Create-Your-Own-Adventure Storytelling App
Meet The Illinois High School Team Competing In SpaceX’s Hyperloop Competition
Will Code Bootcamps Replace Grad School?
Fabian Elliott On Why Chicago Should Be The ‘Black Tech Mecca’ [Audio]
AltSchool, The Zuckerberg-Backed Tech Primary School, Heads To Chicago
Motion AI Just Launched A DIY Artificial Intelligence Platform
With Artificial Intelligence, Your Next Personal Assistant Could Live in Your Inbox
How Bloomington-Normal Is Fostering A Small Town Startup Ecosystem
Why The Founders Of Threadless, Kickstarter See Montessori As Entrepreneurship Education
Northwestern’s New Garage Executive Director Aims To Create A Mini-Silicon Valley In Evanston
IIT Humanities Professor Discusses What Happens To Our Data Once We Die
A Decade In The Making, Polyera Unveils The First Flexible Screen Wearable
Bat Drones and Algae Fuel: Five Chicago University Technologies Inspired By Nature
The Country’s First Literacy-Focused Coworking Space Just Opened in the West Loop
UChicago Med School Students Mix Clinical With Culinary at Kendall College
Chicago Educators Talk Challenges in STEM Education At 100Kin10 Summit
ThinkCERCA Founder Talks Funding, Common Core, And Advice For Edtech Entrepreneurs