CTC and McKinsey in bid to help Midwest start-ups

CHICAGO: Corporate Technology Communications is putting its money where its mouth is in promoting Midwest hi-tech companies.

CHICAGO: Corporate Technology Communications is putting its money where its mouth is in promoting Midwest hi-tech companies.

CHICAGO: Corporate Technology Communications is putting its money where its mouth is in promoting Midwest hi-tech companies.

The agency is committing dollars 250,000 in services and time to a multimillion-dollar McKinsey & Co-backed initiative dubbed Prairiefire, to encourage Midwest hi-tech entrepreneurial start-ups.

First Tuesday, an organization that brings together entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, is also backing the event.

CTC CEO Paul Rand will be one of the judges in a major component of Prairiefire - a business plan competition open to entrepreneurs from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Between 25 and 50 entrants will be named semifinalists and receive coaching from Prairiefire sponsors on how to start their businesses. Then 10-15 finalists will present their plans to VCs brought in by McKinsey, said Chip Hardt, COO of McKinsey's Chicago e-commerce accelerator.

McKinsey has put together similar programs in Pittsburgh and overseas in India and Germany, Hardt said. The company is committing several million dollars to the Chicago effort.



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