6 Ways to Brainstorm a Business Name for Your Startup

There’s a lot of important decisions to make when starting a business. One important part is brainstorming a name for your startup.  

Choosing a great business name can be a lot of things – fun at first, but then quite strenuous, frustrating and time consuming.

CrowdSpring founder Ross Kimbarovsky, described his personally experience in an Entrepreneur article, “We spent over 50 hours in 2007 when we came up with ‘CrowdSpring.’ Some entrepreneurs can easily spend hundreds of hours – and thousands of dollars – searching for a perfect name, only to hit a creativity wall.”

Even though it is usually the quality of a company’s products and services that determine if it is good or bad, names do weigh into the decision. According to Time Magazine, 77% of consumers make purchases based on a brand name.

So if you’re looking to start a business and are in the process of brainstorming a name that exudes trust, credibility and excitement to your target audience, then let’s help you brainstorm a business name for your startup. 

Characteristics of a Good Business Name

I think things are easier when we give them limits. You know, to narrow down the thousands of options you have out there. 

  • Simple and easy to pronounce: a good brand name is one that is easy for your customers to pronounce and remember. It should have no more than three or two syllabus and be easy for reporters and journalists to prounce and talk about. Let’s not make it hard like graduation when the principal butcher’s everyone’s names. One of the best examples of this is in the movie, That Thing You Do, when the  band tries to come up with  a name. They like the “Wonders” but want to spell it the “Oneders.” It didn’t last when the announcer pronounced it the Oh-need-ers. 
  • (Legally) Available: There is no point is starting a business if you cannot acquire the full rights to its name. Be sure that you opt for a registration certificate that is issued by the USPTO (or another equivalent agency where you live in). While you’re at it, check the domain name and the social handles. You don’t want to make it hard to find you online or tag you in posts. 
  • Be unique: Your startup name needs to be unique in the sense that it does not a) sound weird or b) come off similar to your competitors. Think of Hiring.com, Careers.com and HotJobs.com – none of which stand out. But Monster.com does (even if it doesn’t describe its business).

Start Word Dumping

We’re going back to basics. The most basic of all brainstorming techniques is to get out a piece of white blank paper or the notes section of your smartphone and start jotting down your ideas. If sticky notes are more your style then by all means, go right ahead.

Try to dump in as many words as you can that relate to your business, even if some of them don’t make any sense or match with what you’re selling. The idea is that you drop as many names and words you can think of until one of them clicks.

If you want to streamline the results, go for these categories; words, verbs, feelings, aesthetic, people. You’re even free to use a dictionary, a thesaurus or even the internet all things considered.

Collaborate with the Right People (or Apps)

If you’re hitting a wall in coming up with a good business name, perhaps it’s time to ask for help (which I know we don’t like to do). It’s always a good idea your colleagues or close friends, family members help you.

You can also use apps like Name Mesh or Naminum to help you generate names.

Think of Names that Explain What You’re Selling

Before Google became the multi-billion-dollar corporation it is today, it was supposed to be named ‘googol’, which represents the number 1 followed by a hundred zeros. But the creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin, decided to go with the name for their search engine (which was going to be called BackRub).

Apparently, the name Google had more to its name than being short and easy to recall; but because the search engine generated large amounts of information, it matched the definition of the word googol. This created a compelling story that remained in the minds of the customers for years up till now.

If you’re into the flower-selling business, you could come up with names like Bouquet4U, Blooming Petals or Smiling Blossom, among others.

Alternative Spelling

Go through each of the names and phrases that you’ve come up with and highlight the ones that pique your interest. One simple trick you can try is altering the spelling of the words you’ve picked out. You can get simpler results just like Toggle, Tumblr, Flickr or Scribd.

Make a Mood Board

Give your brainstorming endeavor a visual appeal with a mood board. You can grab old magazines and newspapers, cut out some pictures, words or colors that identify with your business.

Better yet, you can digitize the process and create a Pinterest account. Start a new board and look for fun and relevant images and quotes that best describe your company. This is a relatively much quicker way than having to sort through dozens of magazines.  


There’s a lot in a name – especially a startup name. Granted how much time I spend thinking about a blog post title, I feel you. You can read the full story on how Windy City Cosmo came up with their name here. 


Hamza Shahzad is a freelance writer and blogger. Currently, he’s working with Smile Tutor. He assists with business development and social media content planning.


This Startup Offers Models a Way to Get Discovered Besides Instagram

There is a new tool for all professional and aspiring models. In fact, one year after the app launched, over 5,000 models are now using this tool, Agent Inc., for faster, smarter & safer bookings.

There’s a lot of questions about the modeling world.

For one, there is a lot more at stake in terms of safety. Your work is your body – quite literally and sometimes you don’t know the photographer or the destination or have a say on all the clothes or scenes you’ll be doing. In the wake of Allyssa Milano’s Me Too Campaign, where women and men shared posts if they were sexually assaulted or harassed, it’s easy to see the prevalence of the disconcerting matter. In the fashion and modeling world, it is nice to see that one of the key factors in creating this model booking app was the safety of the models and photographers involved.

But beyond safety, there’s also professionalism – on both sides. If you want a model, where do you go? How do you know if they are going to show up on time and is there a trusted way to get them? As a freelance writer and someone who hired freelance writers, trust is one of the hardest parts of working on the freelance level. There are modeling agencies, much like there are for marketing agencies. But for freelancing – I guess you find an Instagram model? And being someone who shadowed PR firms and had to look up bloggers and social media influencers, it isn’t exactly streamlined or search friendly.

Another factor is payment. Even established brands like Vogue, which set the standards for fashion, don’t pay a living wage to models. There are two accounts that Vogue pays models $250 for a session and another one that says Vogue pays fashion models $300 per day. 

There’s a new approach to finding a model and booking a session.

Windy City Cosmo interviewed Mark Willingham, the former President of Operations for high-fashion brand Carmen Steffens who is revolutionizing the modeling industry with his new venture, Agent Inc. He’s already been interviewed by Bloomberg and other media outlets.

We discuss his business idea, how he runs his startup, and also delve into the modeling industry and how social media is changing the landscape and how his app is helping to unify a $1.2 billion dollar fragmented industry.

Windy City Cosmo: How did you get your business idea?

Willingham: My two business partners, Dustin Diaz and Ashley St. Clair, came up with the idea when Dustin was awarded a book deal on photography and lighting. He was trying to hire 20 models to shoot for the book and, not knowing where to find them, he ultimately ended up reaching out to models on Instagram (this is how to be scouted on Instagram, btw) and Model Mayhem. Well, his experience was less-than-desirable with more than half of the booked models not showing up. Of those models that did, there was a range of issues from not being experienced to not being able to accept payment by credit card. One model even asked if she could give him marijuana as change for a $100 bill!

All of this got Dustin thinking that if he had such a bad experience trying to book models for one job, there must be a much bigger overall problem in the industry. It turns out he was right. He and Ashley did some research and discovered a fragmented $1.2B industry that is highly inefficient, has little to no transparency, and little to no safeguards against predators. Agent Inc. was conceptualized as an answer to these problems. Agent provides companies with the tools to quickly find and book the perfect model for every job while empowering models to take control of their modeling careers, increasing their billings in an environment that is safer and completely transparent.

Our goal at Agent is not to replace traditional agencies, but to re-imagine the entire industry where all the players–models and the companies that hire models and agencies themselves–benefit from the efficiencies and safeguards that are core to the Agent platform.

Marketing a Startup: Market Research and The Target Market for Your App:

Windy City Cosmo: How long did it take you to go from idea to business?

Willingham: It all happened lightning quick…we went from concept to a business – with commitments from investors–in less than 2 weeks! In all fairness, in addition to the idea, Dustin’s technology pedigree was a real help in moving things forward so quickly. He was one of the early-on employees at Twitter and had stints at both Google and Yahoo. In addition, Dustin started Mix.com with Uber founder, Garrett Camp.

Windy City Cosmo: Can you tell me more about the state of modeling with the Instagram and blogging age? Does your app help bloggers and Instagram models find photographers or is it just for agencies?

Willingham: Instagram, blogging and social media overall have had a real impact on the modeling industry. Some good and some bad. The good part is that models can now promote themselves without the need for traditional agency representation. The bad part is that, without safeguards, models who independently use social media to book jobs are exposing themselves to a wide range of dangers including criminals and sex offenders. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the unchecked Internet. At Agent, we have created a safer booking environment for models where they are also assured of getting paid as soon as a job is complete.

The Agent platform currently focuses on connecting models with companies and photographers that hire models, but this is just a matter of near-term focus. We will shortly be introducing additional talent account types including photographers, stylists, makeup artists, social influencers and more.

Windy City Cosmo: It seems that this app is for catalog talent – do you anticipate high-end fashion using this or for events like New York Fashion Week coming up?

Willingham: The Agent platform currently covers all types of modeling categories including commercial, runway, fit, promotional, event, etc. That being said, our main focus today is not on the super high-end market segment (i.e., super models, etc.) that is addressed by the major national modeling agencies. Our focus is on the long-tail of the US industry which represents $1 billion in annual bookings. The long-tail is approximately 80% of the overall US market share.

Windy City Cosmo: What were some of the steps that you took to create your business? Did you survey people? Did you seek out investors? Did you start solo?

Willingham: Dustin, Ashley and I all bring unique strengths and experience to the business. Dustin is an amazing tech guy who also has a deeply creative soul, Ashley is super talented when it comes to UX design and I bring 11 years of experience in high-end fashion and a background in growing companies and brands. Together, we have been able to bring out the best in each other and build a platform that we believe is truly going to change the modeling industry on a worldwide basis.

Throughout this journey, we have continuously reached out to companies and models for feedback. It is imperative that we fully understand their personal industry experiences so that we can provide ongoing, real value on all fronts.

We were very fortunate that a team of investors believed in our vision from the very beginning. Today, we have a deep and diverse investment and advisory team behind us that includes major modeling and talent industry influencers. Their belief and investment in us is a fantastic vote of confidence that we are indeed positioned to change the way that companies book models.

Windy City Cosmo: How do you market to models and stylists and photographers to be on your platform?

Willingham: We started off by doing a small amount of social media advertising and then things just took off. In addition to online advertising, both word-of-mouth and media coverage have contributed to us having more than 5,000 registered models on the Agent platform. Today, we are the fastest growing modeling platform in the world.

Windy City Cosmo: I understand that you launched in LA then will move to NY and Miami. Will you be moving to Chicago next?

Willingham: We started off focusing on four markets: LA, NY, Miami and Las Vegas.

We currently have offices in both Los Angeles and NYC because having a physical location on both coasts positions us to not only support our initial focus cities, but also all the major cities in between. Chicago is definitely a key city for us–with requests already being received from companies who want to book models there–so we expect Chicago to be our next major area of expansion. I anticipate that this will occur within the next 4-6 months.

Windy City Cosmo: Can you tell me more about your business and the services you offer?

Willingham: Agent is a technology-driven platform, which is the result of our focus to completely re-imagine the modeling industry.

The modeling industry, at its core, has pretty much remained the same for the past 70 years with modeling agencies representing models (often on an exclusive basis) and connecting them with companies that want to book models. The traditional modeling agencies take a commission of up to 20% from both the model and the company. Also, the process of booking a model can be quite time-consuming as the companies need to search through an agency’s book of models, either online or in-print, identify which models are of interest to them and then communicate this to the agency–via phone or email–who then need to determine the model’s availability for the proposed job. Depending on the complexity of the job and a variety of other factors, this process can take from a few hours to a week or more. Then, there are issues of safety (if the person hiring the model has a criminal/sex offender background), payment (if it will take weeks or even months for the model to be paid), lack of transparency (how much the modeling agency is actually getting paid by the client) and career control (exclusivity agreements between models and agencies tie the model’s hands, preventing them from controlling their own destiny).

Now, with the Agent platform, things are much different . . . and much better. Agent offers companies more diversity and overall options than a traditional modeling agency. Agent provides real value to both sides of the marketplace, empowering companies to efficiently find and book highly-vetted models in minutes by utilizing powerful, granular search filters. The Agent platform is free to use and a small fee of 5% is only charged to companies once they have completed the job and electronically paid the model. Furthermore, for companies which book models, Agent provides a guarantee of 100% satisfaction and offers 24/7 customer support. This type of guarantee or support is unheard of in the industry.

For models, the Agent platform is focused on empowering them, providing the tools and guidance to control and grow their careers. We have created a much safer work environment for models by running a criminal/sex offender background check on every person who wants to use the platform to book them. In addition, the models set their own rates on the platform and they are electronically paid immediately (direct deposit in to their bank accounts) when the job is completed. Further, Agent is non-exclusive, free for models to apply and be listed and only charges a 10% booking fee when they are paid for a job (as opposed to the 20% fee charged by traditional agencies).

In addition, the Agent provides total transparency, giving both the power to rate each other at the completion of each job.

Running a Successful Startup:

Windy City Cosmo: What’s the hardest part of running the business?

Willingham: The most challenging part of the business for us is our relentless pursuit to provide a solution that seamlessly covers all booking scenarios. Our goal is to ensure that every client has a better overall experience than if they had worked with a traditional modeling agency. A key part of this deliverable is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analysis to match models with jobs.

Windy City Cosmo: How do you distinguish yourself among competitors?

Willingham: At this time, our competitors are truly the traditional modeling agencies as they are where the majority of the business currently gets booked. However, it is important to note that the top 4 modeling agencies only account for less than 20% of the annual industry revenues and the remaining 80% of revenues (almost $1 billion!) are booked by 6,500 smaller agencies with each of them averaging only 2 employees. The industry is super fragmented. We differentiate from the traditional agencies and other emerging technology-focused agencies in that our goal at Agent is not to replace existing agencies, but rather to make the overall industry both stronger and bigger. Models benefit from Agent in that we empower them with control over their careers, we provide a safer environment from which to book jobs, we charge much lower booking fees and we provide education tools and guidance on how to continuously make more money. Clients benefit from Agent’s super-efficient booking process, greatly reduced booking fees, 100% guarantee and 24/7 live customer service.  And, traditional agencies in the long-tail will benefit from us when we make our software available to them for licensing.

Windy City Cosmo: Do you use any apps to manage the business? If so, what are your favorites?

Willingham: Yes, we do! We leverage Stripe as our trusted technology partner for processing and managing payments on our platform. Stripe is used by thousands of businesses worldwide including Lyft. Also, we use Intercom as our main Agent in-app communication and customer service tool. And, my favorite? Well, it’s Slack for sure. We heavily depend on Slack for continuous communication between all Agent team members. It’s super-efficient, always there and always on.

Windy City Cosmo: What, do you find, is the hardest part of starting a business?

Willingham: Keeping a super-targeted focus is always a challenge when starting and growing a new business. It is so easy to broaden the scope of what you are doing based on “a great new idea” or “a natural extension that makes perfect sense.” The reality is that if you don’t stay focused there is a good chance that you will never gain enough traction to win. And, we like to win. Initially, we had included more talent types in our offering, but scaled them back to focus solely on models. We will broaden our offering as we grow but for now it is focus, focus, focus on models and the companies that book them.

Windy City Cosmo: How do you network as an entrepreneur? Do you use LinkedIn? Do you send emails? Do you go to events? 

Willingham: Networking has been an essential part of our company’s forward momentum and we use all tools available including LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Instagram, attending technology and modeling industry related events and good old-fashioned meet-ups at local coffee shops. Actually, during our first year of business and prior to having an ever-growing in-house team, I believe that Ashley, Dustin and I spent more time meeting with people at coffee houses around Los Angeles (where we started) than most people spend in coffee houses during an entire lifetime!


Chicago Female Entrepreneurs Are On The Rise: A Look Behind The Success Story

While men are more likely than woman to become entrepreneurs, Chicago, in particular, has made great gains for female entrepreneurs. Chicago was recently named the world capital for female-founded startups, with 30 percent of startups started by women.

There’s a lot of advice from successful entrepreneurs, and I wanted to spotlight some advice I learned from one of Chicago’s newest female entrepreneurs Lakesha Rose, who recently launched her own online lifestyle magazine, Rose Phillips Online this year.

Rose is a 15- year veteran to the women-owned business world in Chicago. She discussed with Windy City Cosmo about the differences in being a business woman versus starting something new as an entrepreneur. We also discuss work-life balance, the importance of media, and how we all need that one person to believe in our vision as much as we do.

The Tears and Stress Behind Startups:

We hear so many success stories of how entrepreneurs are successful, but Rose gave me the truth.

“I lost sleep, I got grey hair and because in the early months of creating Rose Phillips Online I knew I wanted to showcase local businesses on a digital and broadcast platform to promote our local community commerce but getting there and presenting a viable product was a different story. Since I couldn’t really explain how this would work in the early days I couldn’t ask investors to be apart of my plan since I didn’t have the entire story so I funded the idea…the good and the bad.”

Rose started her career with the interior design business which she identified as an easier business for women to get into.

When Your Clients Believe in You:

“I was an entrepreneur (before) but not at the level and depth I am now, this process changed me as a human being. My god, if you want something, you have to keep pushing. I hit the brick wall three times.”

Rose Phillips Online is a multimedia online magazine that celebrates local business in digital and broadcast events in Chicago.

One of their most recent interviews was Julian Green VP of Communications and Community Affairs with the Chicago Cubs.

“It just takes that one person to open the door for you and believe in you,” Rose said, “I like how we are progressing.”

Rose mentions that with local TV stations, small businesses have limited visibility because they have to spread out their appearances to about every quarter or more with Rose Phillips Online you can appear as often as you want to be seen and heard.

But she still finds these platforms valuable in promoting her business. Rose has relationships with producers from You and Me This Morning who helped her promote Rose Phillips Online.

Every entrepreneur knows that creating a business is one part, but promoting it is another. Rose Phillips biggest platform is Facebook right now.

The Importance of PR for Startups:

After 13 months of building her platform with the person who helped get this project started her creative director, Rose now has a team of 10 people who help make Rose Phillips work. Rose hired a PR firm Samantha Frontera- Exclusive PR to help her with press coverage.

Building a Network Through Chamber of Commerce:

She also works on growing business relationships on her own. One of the greatest sources she looks to is the local chamber of commerce.

“If you want to get your name out there – go to every event. Everyone is there in that room for the same thing – how can we partner and support. their guard is down,” Rose said.

Finding support through business in invaluable. But so is having a home base of support.

Life is a Triangle: Work, Family, Social Life:

“My husband was my biggest advocate, he would hold my hand when I had a pity party moment and push me off when I needed to get started,” Rose recalls, “If you are an entrepreneur, you are married to your business. In the dynamic with my husband and I he was already successful. He was my biggest supporter – there was no tug and pull – he could stand and support. It’s the best partnership.”

While Rose developed her business and had the support of her husband, she also touched on the fact that when you are building your business there is a lot of sacrifice.

“Literally, I didn’t see my friends for the year,” Rose said.

“Life is like a triangle, you have work, your family and your social life. In order to have a successful career, you can only choose two while on your journey to what you want to achieve professionally, something has to be sacrificed in order to get what you want, so choose carefully.” Rose said.

Launch Party:

Rose Phillips Online will be having an official launch party at Zella Bar & Restaurant 1983 N. Clybourn, Thursday, August 4, 2016 from 6-9pm . For updates and more information, you can visit the website here. 

Are you a female entrepreneur? Windy City Cosmo would love to hear your story. 

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.


Why Meeting In Person Is Important: The Power of Free Events

When I moved to Chicago, I was nervous because where I came from zero was a dress size and not the temperature outside.

Nevertheless, I wanted to make the most of city life, and I did that by attending a different free event every night.

My adventures and the people I met along the way inspired Windy City Cosmo, a lifestyle blog that encourages you to explore the city with or without heels because there’s new cocktails to drink and CEOs to meet.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, Windy City Cosmo was selected to speak at Bloggers Meet Startups Meetup’s first event at 1871. The four-year-old group, Bloggers Meet Startups, was formed by Scottt   and is now moderated by Maddy Osman of The Blogsmith.

I wanted to share with you highlights from my first speech and also share some great blogs and startups in Chicago. There were four featured speakers at the February 2016 Bloggers Meet Startups Meetup, but attendees also have 60 seconds to pitch their own projects. Since we were at 1871, one of the greatest innovation hubs for startups in Chicago, there were a lot more startup founders at this event.

You’re Invited To Free Events Every Day:

It’s hard to believe that you are invited to an event when you don’t receive an invitation. So, I’m giving you a formal one. When you live in the city you are invited to a handful of free events every single day. And these events can be as small as a pop-up sale at your favorite Chicago boutique to as big as a startup competition at IBM.

You can find these events on Windy City Cosmo, Time Out Magazine, Eventbrite, Built in Chicago, and Meetup.com, among other sites.

These events may be exciting like a Ne-Yo concert on Michigan Ave., but the true value comes in the fact that they are held at Chicago businesses like Edelman, The Shift, Basecamp, and The Social Deviant. On top of access to restricted businesses and special spaces in Chicago, these free events also help you gain really easy access to the people you want to meet, the people who are going to inspire you or the people who are going to discover your brand and share your content on social media.

In Person Is Important:

Making real-life, in-person connections is important, even in the digital age.

Aziz Ansari mentioned in his book, Modern Romance, that you can swipe right on Tinder, but ultimately you need to meet the person in person for the relationship to progress. The same is true for job interviews. The third part of the interview is always the in-person interview because meeting in person in important.

From Instagram to Insta Friends:

I think when you combine technology to create opportunities to meet people and then actually meet in person at these free events, you are able to grow a very strong social network and professional network very quickly.

For example, I have been an active user on Instagram, which requires liking a lot of photos a day. I realized I was finding photos from Once Upon a Dollhouse, a Chicago lifestyle blog. After a few weeks, I checked out their blog. They liked my photos, and I liked theirs. I went to an Ulta Beauty event on Tuesday and one of the bloggers introduced herself. Yes, it was the founder of this blog I had really enjoyed. We instantly connected and they ended up coming to this Bloggers Meet Startups Meetup the next day to support me and also pitch their blog at the end.

This all happened because we created an opportunity through social media, but deepened our relationship in person. Now we also follow each other on Snapchat (@Rationalization, @OnceUponADollhouse).

Be Inspired, Be Inspiring:

The last part of getting the most out of free Chicago events is that you want to give back.

It’s nice to be inspired, but you want to be inspiring as well.

I started Windy City Cosmo because I wanted to have a purpose for going to these events, and I also wanted to document how resourceful and beneficial it is for city dwellers to attend these Chicago events.

I started writing event recaps for SheSays Chicago, an international group of women and men in creative fields helping women advance to leadership roles. Today, SheSays Chicago is still one of the best resources for not only networking, but also mentorship, and freelance work referrals for me.

After the presentation, we had a brief q&a with Windy City Cosmo and the room full of roughly 50 startup founders and bloggers.

People asked about analytics, strategies for promoting blogs, and the hardest part about running a blog.

It was really great to be in a room of Millennials all working on projects to make life better, inspire others, and create ways to form and facilitate relationships.


Amanda Elliott from Windy City Cosmo speaking at 171 fir Bloggers Meet Startups. Photo: Amanda Elliott


This was Bloggers Meet Startups first time booking space at 1871. Photo: Once Upon a Dollhouse

Chicago Bloggers Pitch:

Several attendees pitched their blogs and startups including the lifestyle blog, Once Upon Dollhouse, and a new event company that followed trends on Pinterest to bring clients the best mix between hiring an event planner and DIY parties, Paris 312.

We were inspired by Susie of Suzlyfe.com to live a life beyond expectations. Susie was diagnosed with a terminal disease but has been living life like a champion by running marathons and helping others with her health and wellness blog and as a trainer.

Startup Founders Pitch:

Startup founders also pitched like Justin and Matt of Backspace app, a social sharing site where nothing lasts forever, and the most liked content stays on the platform longer.

And another startup, ParqEx, is using a similar concept to Airbnb and applying it to parking space by letting consumers rent out their personal garage space or outdoor parking space when they don’t use it. Because yes, parking  is always an issue in cities.

Below are some photos from the networking portion of the event.

The next Bloggers Meet Startups Event will be at Next Door Chicago in Lakeview.


Bloggers Meet Startups has three portions: features speakers, 60 second pitches and a networking opportunity. Photo: Amanda Elliott


Nisha Mathur, who is currently working on a startup and Sara McAllister of the blog, Freckles and Ivory mingle at Bloggers Meet Startups. Photo: Amanda Elliott  





Bloggers Meet Startups: Hear From Windy City Cosmo at 1871

Are bloggers startups?

Maybe. Sure.

This week there are a lot of startup events and blogger events in Chicago.

I’m going to start with some exciting news—I’m speaking at one of these events. I’m so honored that my first speaking event is at the most innovative hubs for women and men in Chicago, 1871.

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, bloggers and startups will be meeting for a special edition of Bloggers Meet Startups, a local networking group where startups and bloggers can pitch their ideas and connect with other entrepreneurs in Chicago.

This networking event will mark the four year anniversary of Bloggers Meet Startups.

In the past, I’ve met local startup founders and even international startup founders at these events. Mike Bandar, for instance, spoke about a new startup he was involved with in London called, Hopper, which helps individuals and businesses create and schedule Instagram posts. Hopper is the Hootsuite of Instagram.

Bloggers Meet Startups is a casual event and starts with featured speakers, who give a five-minute presentation. Then, the floor is open for attendees to pitch their blog or startup with a one-minute presentation.

Featured Bloggers Meet Startups Presenters:

Amanda of WindyCityCosmo.com – Windy City Cosmo is a lifestyle blog that invites you to meet entrepreneurs, taste inventive cocktails, and explore Chicago through events (with or without heels).

Susie of Suzlyfe.com – Susie is a Chicago-based Certified Running Coach and Personal Trainer (Coach Suz Training) and the voice behind Suzlyfe, a fitness and wellness blog that aims to educate, connect, and inspire readers to live beyond expectations.

Justin and Matt of Backspace App – Backspace is a community of people who are just like you. Nothing shared on Backspace lasts forever. Be funny. Be weird. Be quirky. Be unique. Be you.

Niku of Paris 312 – Paris312 is a party planning company specializing in Party Boxes wrapped in a bow and shipped to you.


Bloggers Meet Startups Four Year Anniversary Photo: Bloggers Meet Startups


RSVP to Bloggers Meet Startups:

RSVP to this free networking event through Eventbrite. Bloggers Meet Startups at 1871 is sold out, but more seats may become available, so add yourself to the waitlist!

Special thanks to Intelligent Events for the featured image.

Special thanks to Maddy Osman, Founder of Chicago Cheap Ass, for this opportunity. Osman is a new leading member of Bloggers Meet Startups and you can read about her plans and involvement on Built in Chicago here.

Other Blog Events and Tech Events This Week:

February Wine & Web: Blogging Best Practices

On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm,  learn about writing better blog posts from Orbit Media. The event includes wine and Lou Malnati’s pizza, and tips on the following:

  • How to write for scanners
  • How to write blog posts that get more traffic and clicks
  • How to optimize for social
  • How to use visuals to increase dwell time

RSVP to Wine and Web here.  P.S. There are only five tickets left!

Chicago has a monthly tech showcase sponsored by Technori. The Technori Winter Showcase brings together 500 entrepreneurs, developers, designers, investors, and tech enthusiasts to watch five companies present for five minutes each, with an interactive Q&A session. The event is Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, with an after party at Rosebud Teatre District.

RSVP to Technori Winter Showcase for last-minute tickets here.

P.S. I know this event is the same day as my event, Bloggers Meet Startups, but I really wanted to go to this event, so I’m sharing it.

P.S.S. The conference is recorded and you can watch past speakers here. 

Hope to meet you in person and share with you the story behind Windy City Cosmo!