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Organized byPathfinder Software

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Get out of the building.

A 14-week Lean Startup competition designed to get your team on the path to success.

  • Lean Startup Classes
  • Great Mentors and Community
  • Essential Startup Tools
  • Over $75,000 Cash and Prizes

How the challenge works

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Congratulations to the winner of the 2013 Chicago

Lean Startup Challenge – MailLift!



2013 Chicago Lean Startup Finalists!  

The Chicago Lean Startup Challenge is proud to announce the finalists for the 2o13 cycle.

The Challenge began at the end of June with 85 teams. In 10 short weeks, teams attended weekly classes, conducted customer interviews, created a minimum viable product, secured their first customer, and more! Finalists were chosen based on who was able to best implement Lean Startup principles and make the most progress in their venture. ​

The Finalists are:

Career Cheetah – An individualized process for discovering your best career fit.

MailLift – Personalized, handwritten thank you notes for companies.

Scitivate – An application which provides visualization tools to help researchers find collaborators, as well as demographic statistics for conference organizers.

Spoken Art – Reflective bike decals designed by a community of artists.


What People Are Saying

“Unlike business plan competitions, the Lean Startup Challenge focuses on real, meaningful results for the participants. The final presentations provided insights into the area where so many startups fail – understanding their customer!”

- Nik Rokop, Managing Director at Knapp
Entrepreneurship Center, IIT

“I haven’t ever had the desire to join a contest because they typically seemed like ivory tower competitions for MBA’s with lots to say and not much to show for it.  This was so much different. In a short time, the challenge pushed me to build relationships in the tech, agriculture, and foodie communities, and to build pieces of technology that I can actually measure and test.  The people I met through you and the tips I received were night-and-day compared to the path I was going down just a few months ago.  I would recommend to any starting entrepreneur that they participate in this challenge.”

- Traci Schaefer, Farm Fixe

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