The Need To Get His School Life Organized Sparks Young Entrepreneur’s Semester Planner

Semester Planner, Marcell Purham, Chicago Startup, Chicago TechWeek

Marcell Purham always knew he wanted to start something. He started coding and developing a little over 7 years ago when he was just 13 years old. His love of developing started with easy stuff like helping his friends code their MySpace pages. As time went on he got more and more into design and learning every language he could.  Purham is the kind of guy that soaks up knowledge from wherever he can get it, so he attends as many startup events in Chicago as he can and spends his freetime reading up on everything in the tech and startup world.

Now a college student, Purham quickly realized that his brain was overflowing with information, which made it really hard for him to stay focused and organized in school. That’s why he created Semester Planner.  “Think Online Trapper Keeper,” Purham told Nibletz in an interview. (Is he even old enough to remember the Trapper Keeper?)

Semester Planner is a student planning app that captures everything in a student’s academic life, including notes, class schedule, calendar, and more. It organizes all the information in an easy-to-recall platform that keeps everything by semester. It also makes it really easy to find things later.

We got a chance to talk with Purham. Check out our text and video interviews with Purham below.

What is your startup called?

Semester Planner.

What does your company do?

Semester Planner is a free online planner that helps students keep track of their notes, classes, assignments, and documents.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds

There is only one founder and his name is Marcell Purham. Marcell is a software developer with 7+ years of developing for web. He started out at 13 learning to code and writing code for friends on myspace then took it to the next level by moving onto design and finally programming.

Where are you based?

We are based in Chicago, IL.

What problem do you solve?

The problem we’re solve are allowing students to access their notes, assignments, documents, and classes on the go or while they’re in school.

Why now?

Honestly as a student myself I needed something to help me keep track of all my semester classes, notes, assignments etc. So as I took on more classes I did not want to carry around all those heavy textbooks and finally decided to solve that problem, for not only myself but also for other students.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

We’ve achieved a lot within the first 6 months(Launched in January 2013).  Over 100 students from my community college signed up and used it for their semester and also some kids from others schools. We’ve had over 2,000 chrome downloads for semester planner and our likes on Facebook are constantly going up.

What are your next milestones?

Right now I am working on the Android version of the application and hope to release it sometime this year to students and I am talking with a friend on getting this developed for iOS also so that what we’re up to for now. Also we’re getting feedback from users and seeing if they’re things they love about the site and hate so that becomes very useful to us.

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

If you would like to learn more about semester planner check it out on our website, Facebook or twitter.

Twitter –

facebook –

Semester Planner –


Now check out our video interview with Purham


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I’m Up All Night To GetLusty, Check Out This Chicago Startup

GetLusty, Erica Grigg, Chicago Startup, Chicago TechWeek, Sex Startup

“End Boring Sex”

That’s the motto of Chicago startup GetLusty. GetLusty is an online platform geared towards married couples and couples in long term relationships. “Sometimes the lust just runs out, and you’re still very much in love,” founder Erica Grigg told us at Chicago TechWeek.

Grigg, who previously founded a digital agency, started GetLusty after the lust in her marriage died out. She’s not ashamed to let people know that her and her husband’s sex life had become repetitive and it was the same thing every time.

The Ladies Home Journal reports that Grigg’s sex life dried up because she and her husband couldn’t communicate properly about it. “She was too nervous to explore what turned her on, and her husband was equally dudly (not studly) in his inability to reassure and encourage her,”  wrote Amy Keyishian writer for the  Ladies Home Journal.

GetLusty is a well thought out, professional web platform. It features over 800 articles on how to improve your sex life. They also have a marketplace with hand selected merchants and a guide to curated, safe events. Nothing about the GetLusty website screams PORN.  The content focuses on areas like: getting better sexual technique, improving communication, date more and date better, increasing adventure and staying healthy.

Grigg is adamant about GetLusty being about couples, to help couples improve their sex lives.

The company launched into beta just in time for Valentine’s Day this year. They were one of 70 startups featured in StarutpCity at Chicago TechWeek. Check out our video interview with Grigg below. Ready to end boring sex? Go to

Check out some more startups from Chicago TechWeek


Former Groupon Employee’s Startup Scalpr Is The Uber of Ticket Sales

Scalpr, Groupon, Chicago Startup, Startup Interview, Chicago TechWeekGet this: Sometimes startups actually LEAVE Silicon Valley and move to “everywhere else.”

That’s what Scalpr did. They quickly found that the market for last minute ticket sales wasn’t hot in San Francisco. So, rather than finding an idea that fit the city, they up and moved to where they knew they’re idea was viable.

So, what does the Chicago-based company do? Basically, they make it easy to buy last minute tickets from other fans. For example, let’s say I had tickets to a Memphis Grizzlies game, but then my boss tells me I have to work late (jerk). Rather than letting the tickets go to waste, I can throw them up on Scalpr and let someone else enjoy the game instead.

Check out Kyle’s interview to see how it works.

We’ve got even more great startup coverage from Chicago TechWeek here.


Polish Startup Nearbox Wins Google For Entrepreneurs Trip To Chicago!

nearbox, Polish Startup, Chicago TechWeek, Google For Entrepreneurs

Google For Entrepreneurs hosted a contest in Poland and brought over a few startups to show off their stuff at Chicago TechWeek. Nearbox was one of those startups.

Nearbox is a social network of sorts, where you follow places rather than people. Each place has an online billboard where they can post messages, videos, and texts. It’s a great way to communicate with customers, friends, and even neighbors.  They call it a “virtual mailbox,” where the place can leave a message.

In nearbox every place is a community, and anyone can join that community’s place. It’s a communication tool that brings the discussion to a hyperlocal level.

With Nearbox the person who’s administering the place can interact with that place’s community any way they want. Are you having a house party? You can send out the invite. Is your place a restaurant? Use Nearbox to post your food specials. Is your place a bar or tavern? You can post your drink specials or entertainment schedule. But more than just a bulletin board, Nearbox allows you to interact with everyone in your place’s community.

Schools, neighborhoods, businesses, and even rec centers can have a place on Nearbox, facilitating community involvement.

In addition to winning the Google for Entrepreneurs contest, the startup, which just launched a few months ago, has also won awards from T-Mobile , InternetBeta 2012, and Innovation Nest. They also closed a small $25,000 round which was plenty to get the idea off the ground.

They launched in Poland and plan to expand globally this year.

Check out our interview with nearbox below and for more info visit

Check out these other startup stories from Chicago TechWeek.


Impatience Fuels Another Wait List Startup In Chicago

NextMe,Chicago Startup,Chicago TechWeek

Impatience is one of the biggest problems that entrepreneurs try to solve with their startups. Last year at Chicago TechWeek, we saw two different startups tackling the problem of waiting in line: NoWait and LineChop.

The problem is very simple, especially in large cities like Chicago. Come Friday or Saturday night, the last thing you want to do is wait in line for hours for your favorite restaurant. This happens in almost any town in the country, and until now it’s just been something you dealt with.

NextMe is the latest startup from Chicago to tackle the wait list problem. A restaurant signs up for the service, and a patron checks in at the host stand. Then their name goes on the wait list, and when the table becomes available, bam, you get a text message.

This comes in handy when you’re eating at a restaurant in a large shopping center, or there’s a bookstore across the street you want to check out. Previously you would either have to wait for your name to get called over a loud speaker or carry around a pager with a very limited radius. Sure people would ask for an approximate wait time and try and go somewhere and come back, but that could be thwarted by an uptick in table turns or other patrons deciding to leave the queue.

NextMe wants to help you enjoy your wait. Check out our interview below and for more info visit them on the web at

There’s a whole lot more startup coverage from Chicago TechWeek Here.


Cap Innovators Startup BidRazor Is Shaving The Time Off Contractor’s Bids…By A Lot

bidrazor2bWe ran into a handful of good St. Louis startups at Chicago TechWeek, including our friends at Bonfyre, a classified ads startup Ad Freeq, and BidRazor, a graduate of the most recent class at Capital Innovators.

Mike Pulley and his co-founder Cameron Larsen have developed a platform for contractors that shaves the time it takes to bid on a project down from 20 hours over 3 or 4 weeks to just 2-4 hours. The main ingredient in shaving the time is “standardization” Pulley told us in an interview. Basically the app takes into consideration historical data on previous projects along with other mitigating factors that allow the contractor to more easily bid out the job.

BidRazor is the first of the duo’s apps that they are developing to help the contracting industry. They are also working on a project management app to help contractors keep better track of every piece of data they need for a building project. That was actually their earlier idea, but then they figured that contractors have to win the job before they can manage it. So far that’s paying off.

Having just graduated from the accelerator, the company already has customers and revenue, and the response has been phenomenal. Cutting back on the time it takes to bid out a project is allowing contractors to spend more time on their current projects, and in some cases, spend more time with their families. It’s a win for everyone.

They also already have a major partnership with Magic Plan, an app that creates floor plans. Now contractors can have bids and floor planes right on their iPhones or iPads.

Check out our video interview below and for more info visit them at

We’ve got more startup coverage from Chicago TechWeek here.



Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Praises Chicago Tech & Startups At Chicago TechWeek

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Startup,Chicago TechWeek,For the second year in a row Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed out day two of Chicago TechWeek, congratulating We Deliver, the winner of the TechWeek Launch startup contest.

At the beginning of his remarks Emanuel congratulated TechWeek on improving the attendance and excitement of the conference, now in it’s third year. The mayor also had the chance to recognize the two people in the audience wearing Chicago Blackhawk’s jerseys. It was also “Black Hawk Day” where over 1 million Chicago area residents were in downtown Chicago for a parade to celebrate the Black Hawk’s Stanley Cup victory over the Boston Bruins.

Mayor Emanuel took a minute to recognize the new Google Motorola headquarters. The company is now an anchor tenant at the Merchandise Mart building, which houses TechWeek and over 200 startups in the 1871 co-working, incubation, and acceleration space on the 12th floor. The Google Motorola headquarters is the largest build out in Chicago history since 2005 with a total of 600,000 square feet within the walls of the Merchandise Mart.

When you put together the startups in the neighborhood along with the new Google Motorola headquarters there will be 8,000 employees in what Emanuel calls “the digital alley” which runs alongside the river. “8,000 employees that didn’t exist just four years ago,” Mayor Emanuel told the audience.

“I think the city of Chicago will become the mecca of startups in the midwest,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Just last year, worldwide, we went from 15th to 10th in startups.”

Mayor Emanuel praised 1871, calling it a startup itself because it just turned a year old. The mayor stressed the fact that Chicago has been known for the diversity in its economy, and he feels that the digital economy is becoming a pillar in the Chicago economy.

After his speech Mayor Emanuel toured the exhibit hall and even had time to play defense in a game of beer pong (with cups of water) on a C5 Beer Pong table. C5 is a Chicago startup.

Check out Mayor Emanuel’s remarks in the video.


Even more Chicago TechWeek Startup Coverage here.



What A Beer Pong Startup Part Deux [VIDEO]

C5 Beer Pong, Chicago Startup, Chicago Tech Week, Startup Interview

Startups are synonymous with Ping Pong, Beer Pong, and Fooseball right? As a right of passage, many startups that move into a new office, get some kind of funding, or start generating revenue add a table game (or 3) to their office. Heck some startup offices have full arcades.

Back when we were at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 we met New York startup PaddleYou. They make custom affordable custom Ping Pong paddles. They actually made us one as well that you can see in this story.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel stops by to play defense on a C5 beer pong table (photo: C5 Beer Pong/Chicago)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel stops by to play defense on a C5 beer pong table (photo: C5 Beer Pong/Chicago)

So it shouldn’t surprise you that we found a Beer Pong startup at Chicago TechWeek. Actually, we discovered the Beer Pong startup last May when we interviewed them as Chippewa Five. Since then, cofounders Daniel Manriquez and Joe Mollo have shortened the name, improved the tables, and picked up some new customers.

They’ve shortened the name of the company to the much trendier C5 Beer Pong. They had several of their Beer Pong tables on display at Bar TechWeek throughout the three day conference.

The custom made Beer Pong tables aren’t just for frat guys. Zynga was their first customer, and Facebook has purchased a table from them as well. Cab hailing startup Hailo also has a C5 table which was on display at TechWeek.

Last year when we interviewed them we didn’t get to see their tables up close. After seeing them at TechWeek, we may just have to get one in the Nibletz office and for the everywhereelse conference.

Check out our video interiew with Mollo below and for more info visit


A lot more TechWeek startup coverage is here.


Know Who’s Around You At Events With 1871 Startup WeaveThePeople

WeaveThePeople, Chicago startup,startups,startup interview, Paul Caswell

Here are Nibletz we get out into the community and go to a lot (and we mean A LOT) of startup conferences and events. Sure, after spending the last 7 or so years in tech media there are a lot of faces I remember, but there are also a lot that I don’t know. Yes, I would love to know who’s around me at an event that I am at.

This is a problem that several big named startups have been trying to solve. At SXSW 2012 people discovery was the “big thing”: Banjo, Highlight, and several others wanted to help people know who was at SXSW. The problem was they were all GPS, location, and proximity based. The problem manifested itself when people would look for other people they knew who were right on top of them according to the app but could still be in the next building. When you’re in a building or an event with 1000s if not 10s of thousands of people, this is still a daunting task.

WeaveThePeople, a startup incubating at 1871 in Chicago, is solving the problem with a beautifully rich and graphical platform. Using pictures and profiles, you can easily see who’s at the event. It doesn’t drill down to who’s standing next to you, but with the big and bold visual aspect of WeaveThePeople, dusting off your glasses should make it easier to connect.

Paul Caswell, the founder of Weave The People, is from East Chicago where he’s lived for 15 years. (He’s a native of Manchester though; that’s where he gets the cool accent). He grew up coding, developing his first games at age 13. In 2000 Application Development Trends honored him with an Innovator Award. Most of his career he was developing for other people.

WeaveThePeople combines his love of coding and technology with solving a problem that he found first hand in the corporate world, the exact same problem I described above.

Check out our video interview with Caswell below and for more information visit 

We’ve got a lot more startup coverage from Chicago TechWeek here at


Aereo Founder & CEO Chet Kanojia On Why People Love It [VIDEO]

Aereo,Chet Kanojia, Chicago Techweek, Startup

Chet Kanojia, the founder and CEO of controversial TV startup Aereo, appeared at Chicago Techweek on Thursday in a fireside chat called “TV Broadcasting: Who Is Controlling The Remote.” BTIG Managing Director Rich Greenfield led the discussion on topics pertaining to disrupting the world of TV.

This was a very fitting topic considering that TechWeek kicked off with a screening of the movie Downloaded, a documentary that takes a look at the rise, fall, and influence of Napster, written, produced and directed by Alex Winter of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure fame.

Like music, the TV industry has had a lot of competition in recent years. NetFlix, Hulu, Sling, and several other companies have disrupted the world of watching television with rabbit ears or a simple coaxial cable into the side of your home. Highspeed internet, DVRs, TiVo, and satellite TV have contributed to that disruption as well.

So far most of the startups and new companies in the television space have centered around streaming cataloged content, with Hulu typically having the freshest of catalog content offerings. Some of the networks that have an ownership interest in Hulu can have their newest show episodes on the site the very next day.

Now Kanojia’s company Aereo is disrupting TV by offering broadcast television via the web in a streaming format which users can record and playback. Kanojia explained that it’s based on the fact that every American is entitled to antenna TV service, but “no one specifies what kind of antenna or how long the cord is.” It’s also based on the fact that recording television for private use dates back 30+ years, since the Betamax days.

Aereo has found itself facing some stiff lawsuits, which Kanojia was quick to point out, the startup is winning.

In the video below Kanokia explains the two keys to their success with their customers: simplicity and unbundling. Earlier in the day Kanokia used TechWeek as the venue to announce that Aereo’s next city will be Chicago, and the service will begin in September.

For more on Aereo click here. and watch the video below.

More startup coverage from Chicago TechWeek is here.


We Catch Up With Sam Krichevsky From Cleveland’s LaunchHouse


LaunchHouse is the startup and entrepreneurial Mecca of Cleveland, Ohio. Like many facilities of its kind, LaunchHouse has an incubator, an accelerator, and co-working in their 22,000 square foot space.

We ran into the LaunchHouse team at Chicago TechWeek and got a chance to interview Sam Krichevsky, who’s really excited about the next level for LaunchHouse.

First, they are looking to expand their footprint across Cleveland, across Ohio, and across the region. Their model is working for startups at their earliest stages and continues to work and support ramp-up companies as well. They have touchpoints with every type of entrepreneur in the Cleveland area.

Next, Krichevsky is excited about LaunchHouse’s next batch of startups that will report to the accelerator in August.  This class includes 3 startups from outside the region and a variety of technology spaces.

Another thing that Krichevesky and the LaunchHouse crew are excited about is a “startup neighborhood” concept that they are working on. They are hoping to build a Live/Work/Play space to help attract and cultivate the best startups and entrepreneurs to Cleveland.

Cleveland is bustling with startup and entrepreneurial activity. Jump Start America is based in Cleveland. They also have the BizDom accelerator and a very active startup community.

Check out our video interview with Krichevsky below and for more info visit


This Ohio startup launched a crowdfunding compliance platform.


Meet Your Neighbors And Have A Conversation–A Neighborsation

Neighborsations, DC startup, 1776 DC, Woman owned startup, Allison Sheren

Neighborhoods are everywhere; they come in all kinds of shapes, and sizes. It could be a neighborhood in a metropolis like New York City or a neighborhood in Anytown, USA, or around the world. Chances are you live in a neighborhood and can count on one hand the close friends you have in that neighborhood.

Even in the suburbs, neighborly conversations have become rare, never mind neighborly friendships.

Well DC-based entrepreneur Allison Sheren  is hoping to spark conversations between neighbors with her startup Neighborsations.

Through their online community Sheren hopes to take online conversations off line, learn from one another, teach someone something, get to know your neighbors, and build stronger communities.

The website is divided into four categories that any neighbor can relate to; Town Hall (the bulletin board, safety updates, vendor recommendations), Neighbor Favors (need a cup of sugar or to borrow a lawn mower), Neighborhood News, and Block Party.

Currently Neighborsations is only open to neighborhoods in DC, but Sheren sees the value in Neighborsations anywhere and everywhere in the world.

Check out our video interview with Sheren below:

Now read: DC Mayor Vincent Gray celebrates Speek, DC Tech and 1776.


Florida Startup World Housing Solution, Quick, Strong And Green!

World Housing Solution, Orlando Startup, Florida startup,startup interview, startup video, SouthlandI gotta tell you, one of the most interesting startups I’ve seen at a startup conference is World Housing Solution. This Orlando based startup has created a way of making extremely strong, quick to build shelters out of Structural Insulated Composite Panels.  The company’s founder, Ron Ben-Zeev tells us that SICPs, are like a super strong sandwich made out of fiberglass bread and a foam center.  Ben-Zeev and his team have found a way to quickly and effectively use this material for shelter.

The SICPs make World Housing Solution shelters great for emergency needs like the aftermath of a natural disaster. They are also great for deploying in emerging countries. For instance, the scale model of the structure they showed off at Southland is actually being deployed to the horn of Africa as a hospital for women. That project calls for five of WHS’s structures to function as a maternity ward, delivery room, clinic, kitchen and rest rooms. In this case the structures deployed will be permanent but it will take days rater than weeks, months or years to get the hospital off the ground.

In addition to being extremely quick to set up the WHS shelters are hurricane resistant (up to 155mph), earthquake resistant (up to 7.8 richter), they don’t mold, mildew or rot, they’re fire resistant and bullet proof. Ultimately this makes the WHS shelters ideal for fast implementation in civilian, government and military installations.

Although he has no formal “construction” experience, Ben-Zeev is actually a Wharton educated executive with a background involving strategic consulting for Fortune 100 and 500 companies. He also served as Strategic Counsel to the North American CEO and President of Siemens Information Systems.

Check out our interview with Ben-Zeev in the video below. For more information visit

Here’s more of our coverage from Southland in Nashville Tennessee.



Chattanooga Startup Skuid, The Easiest Way To Build Salesforce Pages

Skuid, Chattanooga startup, Southland, startups, Salesforce

Salesforce, the cloud-based customer relationship management platform, is feature packed and quite possibly the best way to retain customer data. There are literally thousands of features, and customizations built into the platform. For a lot of companies, the easiest way to get their employees on the platform is to scale it down or build custom Salesforce pages, apps, and UI’s based on the information relevant to that company.

Normally, building interface components can be a long, drawn-out process. Salesforce has attempted to make it easier by providing shortcuts and one click access to certain features, but there’s still quite the learning curve.

Now a Chattanooga startup called Skuid has built a drag and drop platform that allows just about anyone to quickly build customized Salesforce pages. You can take one data field and move it to wherever you need it on the interface.

The company launched four months ago and has already bulked up to a staff of 12 and moved to the Southern Saddlery building, home to some other “ramp up” companies. reported that the company was able to go cash flow positive without taking a venture capital investment.

“We thought when we started out that we would need investment to get launched, and we don’t need it at this point,” Ken McElrath, co-founder and president, said. “We started with in-pocket capital, and we’re already cash flow-positive. We had numbers we were trying to hit in our first quarter, and we blew those out of the water. I think we were too conservative in our growth plans.”

Skuid isn’t the only Salesforce startup to go straight to revenue in Tennessee. Memphis based Cloud For Good, a company that does SalesForce development for non-profits and religious institutions, went straight to revenue.

Check out our video interview with Skuid from The Southland Conference below. For more information visit


Here’s more Southland coverage at