It’s been almost a year now since I attended my first Tech Week here in Chicago. Last year, I attended and it literally changed my entire perspective on the start-up world and led me to take risks and create something outside my comfort zone. My goal in going was to find something to inspire me to action. I’d been reading and going to seminars where people talked about the elusive search next foursquare, groupon or facebook. Needless to say, within the first day of being at TechWeek, something for me clicked. I attended a session on an open government app contest and mobile apps in developing countries. Out of those sessions, I decided to create something from scratch, ifinditchicago, an Android mobile app that helps people find vital resources like food pantries, free medical clinics and shelters. I would have never considered building this app had it not been for TechWeek.
Fast forward, since last year, the app I created, ifinditchicago won 1st prize in the Apps for Metro Chicago community category.
is now a featured app that help social agencies spread information about resources for low income families http://www.summerfeedingillinois.org/ and has now expanded to cover all of Illinois.
I’ve been asked to speak this year on a panel at the Innovators in Health Tech session Monday June 25th .
It’s hard to think that I’d have enough experience to share with others considering making the leap, but that’s what you find with techweek, an accelerated learning curve.
Update: As of June 18th , ifindit is the exclusive provider of location information for Summer Feeding Program, a new program jointly sponsored by Catholic Charities,FSP, Archdiocese of Chicago Nutrition Services,Chicago Public Schools,Chicago Department of Family and Support Services,Chicago Housing Authority,Eastern Illinois Food Bank,Greater Chicago Food Depository,Illinois Coalition for Community Services,Illinois Hunger Coalition,Jimmy Dean,WalMart created to spread information about food resources for kids in the summer.