The City of Big Startups: A Blog Series on Chicago Startups

Today’s Featured Company: GoReturnMe

big startupsThere is no doubt that Chicago’s startup scene is on fire. Once referred to as a “flyover city” for all the coastal venture capitalists, O’Hare and Midway are now destinations for many of the big firms. The world may be familiar with GroupOn and Braintree, but what about the little guys? All of the now famous startups started small, too.

As a startup ourselves, and an equity crowdfunding portal on top of that, I thought it would be great to highlight some local Chicago startups in a blog series.  truCrowd Inc. is the 3rd Chicago startup I have written for so I felt like abusing my power and giving a handful of companies some free publicity.

The first installment in “The City of Big Startups” is GoReturnMe.

Founded in 2014 by Karl Steltenpohl and Frank Pope, GoReturnMe is LLC’d under Steltenpohl’s parent company “Karl Steltenpohl Development LLC.” GoReturnMe offers free sticky tags and key tags you can place on your phone, wallet, keys, devices, pets and more. Think of it as a next-generation reward system for your lost belongings. Place a reward on your items, and if you ever lose it, individuals now have incentive to return your item to receive the reward. GoReturnMe will connect the Finder and the Owner via their website and automate the return process.

When asked about his 5-Year Plan, Steltenpohl had this to say:

“We do have a plan for the company. We are distributing our first batch of tags to anyone we can reach. Year one will be development, distribution, and raising capital, and bootstrapped/organic marketing. Year two will involve a robust marketing strategy to get a million tags in the field by 2016. I do not want to get into too much more detail as it is confidential to our strategy.”

GoReturnMeGoReturnMe has yet to raise any capital, but are “planning on a crowdsourced funding round.”

I decided to end all of my questionnaires with a simple yet critically important question: What is your favorite thing about being a startup in Chicago? Steltenpohl did not disappoint and I hope all of my upcoming subjects follow suit.

“We love Chicago, we are both natives, I have worked in the startup space for several years as well as a developer for already successful companies. We love the opportunity and the networks that are available in Chicago. Chicago is big, and at the same time it is not too big.  So it makes a great place geographically as a launch point.”

Thank you all for reading my first installment of “The City of Big Startups” and please head over to GoReturnMe to learn more about the product and the process.

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