From inventing the first skyscraper to reversing the flow of the river to creating the first cell phone, Chicago has an undeniable history of innovation and entrepreneurial grit.
That legacy continues as Chicago transforms into a hub of technology and entrepreneurism, starting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Technology Plan and his desire to rebrand the Second City as Startup City. Atop the Merchandise Mart sits 1871, a startup hub that empowers tech entrepreneurs through mentorship and training. Built In Chicago offers resources to connect those working in tech. Training programs such as Dev Bootcamp arm those looking to break into the industry with competitive coding skills. Nonprofits like Girls Who Code are closing the gender gap in technology and engineering. All of this is evidence that a lot of tech companies in our town are doing impressive new things.
Uptake is unique. Our engineers, data scientists and technologists are among the best of the best, and we are uniquely working with big data, in big industry, solving the hardest problems that have global impact. And it’s no coincidence that we are doing this in Chicago.
Hard Challenges, Massive Impact
Uptake is an answers platform for major industries—we combine our technology with our data science, delve into massive data sets and provide predictive insights that have major impact. Our platform provides insights that help companies in significant industries make sense of their data, solve high-value problems and make smarter decisions. We’re taking on a huge, big proposition; doing it right has extraordinary impact.
Take the rail industry. A rail company loses $1 million when a single locomotive train sits on the track in failure for one hour. Using data science to recognize patterns in signals from data, our software can predict when that train will fail—and provide steps to take that will prevent its failure.
Multiply the value of a single train to all trains across the world, and you can get a pretty good sense of the scale of what we do. And this is just one element of big industry.
Our platform addresses a wide variety of the most significant industry verticals, from mining to rail to healthcare to insurance to aviation. Our data science and modeling approach creates predictive insight, and the more we solve, the smarter our platform becomes. Uptake is a big-industry-problem-solving-machine, and the secret sauce is our talent pool and the uniquely high caliber of our team.
Our mission is to tackle the hardest problems specific to major industries, and our home is Chicago, a community with an industrious past, present and future.
Part of the Uptake opportunity is the combination of technology and industry-specific problems that are not necessarily solved by tech alone—problems that involve operations and a specific understanding of the way an industry or company works or doesn’t work. A contextual understanding combined with technology—in other words, “technology PLUS.” Technology that helps an industry change, technology that enables something to get better, technology PLUS an existing industry to make that industry’s players better, safer, and more profitable.
Our approach to problem solving and development relies on deep talent with on-the-ground industry insight, making proximity to business paramount.
City of Big Shoulders, Big Industry, Big Talent
As a tech startup, Uptake could have set up camp anywhere from Silicon Valley to New York City. But our mission is to tackle the hardest problems specific to major industries, and our home is Chicago, a community with an industrious past, present and future.
Six of the seven largest railroads pass through Chicago, with nearly 25 percent of the annual rail cargo traffic transiting the city. Roughly the same percentage of global financial derivatives trading activity passes through Chicago—nearly double the activity in New York and more than all European exchanges combined. Chicago is considered the top U.S. city for Foreign Direct Investment, and is home to 31 Fortune 500 companies and 400 major corporate headquarters. With companies representing airlines, energy, manufacturing, food processing, health care, insurance and high technology, Chicago’s economy is the most diverse in the U.S.
With this diversity of industries comes diverse thinking and a diverse workforce. Many of Uptake’s data scientists, engineers and developers come from a family lineage of steel workers, car manufacturers and farmers—high tech melded to Midwestern mentality.
Our city is also home to a host of schools that attract progressive thinkers and makers from all over the world, including two of the top universities in the U.S.: The University of Chicago and Northwestern University. The University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology are others within the city that train talent. The city’s proximity to the University of Illinois, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin, among other Midwestern centers of training for many of the top engineering and computer science graduates in the country, also contribute to the city’s exceptional talent base.
Building a Team
While we are growing fast, it isn’t the speed that’s impressive. It’s the crazy, exceptional talent of our people. As a company, we are proud to have become a home to some of the best technology and data science talent in the Midwest, a pull for dynamic thinkers who thrive on challenge and who seek to solve the hardest problems. But that isn’t coincidence—it’s precisely those hard problems and the scale of impact of what we’re doing that make us the place that the best talent wants to be.
At Uptake, we are all here for the same reason. We are here because we love doing good, hard work. We love high-impact progress. We love being disruptors. We love insane challenges. And we aren’t afraid of tackling problems no one else ever has.
If that sounds like you too, we’d love to meet you.