In The News 2013

Pre-K Program Attracts Investors Out for Returns

An unusual partnership involving Goldman Sachs, a school district in Utah, and several community charities to expand the school system’s early-education program is intended to save taxpayers money and provide a financial return for investors. This fall, Goldman Sachs and the investor J.B. Pritzker will pay for the expansion of an early-childhood … [Read more...]

Why J.B. Pritzker, Goldman Sachs invest $7 million in preschool program

It isn't often you hear J.B. Pritzker talk about the wisdom of investing in something that aims for 5 percent returns. But that's what the co-founder of private-equity firm Pritzker Group is shooting for with Goldman Sachs in a joint investment of $7 million in a Utah program that helps academically at-risk preschoolers get up to speed for … [Read more...]

S.L. County to help expand preschool, after-school programs

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said Monday he is looking to double access to after-school programs in the county and his office will work with the United Way to expand high quality public preschool through private investments. His remarks came at a county education summit, which gathered community, school and government … [Read more...]

Pritzker, Goldman Sachs Announce $20 Million First Phase of Early Childhood Innovation Accelerator Initiative

At President Clinton's CGI America Conference in Chicago today, investor J.B. Pritzker announced commitments for $20 million as the first phase of an Early Childhood Innovation Accelerator (the "Accelerator") to increase the availability and quality of early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children. Pritzker also announced the … [Read more...]

Northeast D.C.’s Educare a preschool model for the nation

Danae Queen, 2, ran down the sun-streaked hallway ahead of her mother, made a beeline for Classroom 160 and pounded on the door with her small hands. “She loves coming to school,” said her mother, Ashanit Collins, 24, as Danae burst into the classroom, scurried across the floor and climbed into the lap of her teacher, Damicka Bryan. “Hi, Miss … [Read more...]

Google executive chairman talks future possibilities

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt imagines a day when struggling to remember someone's name at a party will be a thing of the past. In a wide-ranging talk on the future of technology in our lives and politics at the Economic Club of Chicago Thursday morning, Schmidt said Google Glasses may one day whisper that name in a wearer's … [Read more...]

1871 tech co-op created 800 jobs in first year

The 225 startups working out of the 1871 collaborative hub at the Merchandise Mart created 800 jobs during the space's first year, according to data released Friday. The 50,000-square foot space opened in May 2012 with backing from local venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker and the state of Illinois. It caters to entrepreneurs building Web and … [Read more...]

Editorial: Groupon just a piece of city’s rich digital scene

In a speech two weeks ago, the billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker said he sees a promising future for Chicago tech innovators in the fields of biotechnology and clean energy. It had taken 15 years for Chicago’s “digital startup ecosystem” to gel, he said, but now it was alive and well. Such optimism was warranted then and it’s … [Read more...]

J.B. Pritzker calls for large businesses to work closer with startups

J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire venture capitalist whose family founded the Hyatt hotel chain, called on corporations to work more closely with startups and become more familiar with the city's growing technology sector. "By definition, startups are not constrained by the limits of established company culture," said Pritzker, speaking Monday at a … [Read more...]

Chicago venture capitalist Pritzker impressed with Milwaukee’s startup community

The city of Milwaukee is no Silicon Valley, but prominent Chicago venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker liked what he saw in a downtown Milwaukee visit Wednesday. Pritzker, co-founder and managing partner of The Pritzker Group, a private investment firm whose portfolio includes Wisconsin companies, spoke Wednesday night at an event hosted by … [Read more...]

More than 40 Chicago business leaders speak out for gay-marriage law

Hoping to nudge stalled legislation that would legalize gay marriage in Illinois, a group of business leaders on Sunday framed their argument around this simple notion: It’s a smart business decision. Local industry titans cited the ability to recruit top talent as a top reason to pass the legislation. Attached to an open letter stating their … [Read more...]

J.B. Pritzker: Chicago’s busiest venture capitalist

Like countless others seeking greater fame and fortune, J.B. Pritzker is looking to Hollywood. Already Chicago's most active venture investor, Mr. Pritzker's New World Ventures is stepping up its game in Los Angeles, hunting for deals in media and technology to boost the fund's profile and profits. Run by Mr. Pritzker and his brother, Tony, New … [Read more...]

Pull preschool back from cliff

If Congress fails to pass legislation to avoid the looming “fiscal cliff,” many families will lose access to the important early childhood education programs that prepare children for success in school and life. Nearly 4,000 vulnerable children in Illinois who participate in federally funded early childhood programs, and roughly 100,000 … [Read more...]

A new tech hub for startups at Merchandise Mart

More than 140 people from 65 local startups moved into new digs Wednesday at 1871, a 50,000-square-foot work space for digital entrepreneurs at the Merchandise Mart. The space on the 12th floor can accommodate up to 500 people, or more than 100 startups, who are seeking flexible terms and a collaborative environment. Venture capitalist J.B. … [Read more...]

Illinois Holocaust Museum honors civic leaders at awards dinner

Robert M. Gates joined nearly 2,000 of Chicago’s foremost civic, business and charitable leaders, community members, local Holocaust survivors and museum patrons at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Tuesday, March 6, to celebrate the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and to honor four individuals at its 2012 Humanitarian Awards … [Read more...]

Heavyweights including Pritzker, Mansueto launch tech investment fund

A group of 44 Chicago CEOs and venture capitalists, including New World Ventures LLC Founder J.B. Pritzker, Morningstar Inc. CEO Joe Mansueto and Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center CEO Kevin Willer, have formed a $5.7 million fund to invest in new technology businesses, mainly in the Chicago area. The Firestarter Fund raised $100,000 and … [Read more...]

For tech startups, hub is on horizon

A group of influential Chicago businessmen, led by billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, plans to open a new center for technology startups early next year. Pritzker and the other leading organizers — Troy Henikoff of incubator Excelerate Labs, Kevin Willer of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and Matt Moog of startup Viewpoints … [Read more...]