Heidi Craun


Why Educating Startup Employees About Equity Is As Important As Giving It

This is the final article in a three-part series on the benefits of giving all startup employees equity. See the first piece here and the second one here. A year after I moved to Chicago, I attended a women’s networking event, where an employee of a recently-acquired startup entered the room. Folks were excited to see her, congratulating […]

August 9, 2019 By Heidi Craun
John Higginson

Video Games, a Single Mom, and “Brilliant Assholes”: How this CTO Became a Successful Tech (and Diversity) Leader

Get to know John John Higginson is the CTO at Enova, a large publicly-traded Chicago FinTech company that’s extended over $20B in credit to customers worldwide. At Enova, John is responsible for driving the company’s technology strategy to leverage advanced digital experiences and data science to deliver on its mission to help hard-working people access […]

July 18, 2019 By Heidi Craun

How Startup Equity Can Impact the Average Tech Employee

When the first startup I worked for was acquired in 2010, my equity—which I did not have full appreciation of up until that point—cashed out on the lower end of the four-figure range. That is not the level of value that we tend to get excited about when we talk about startup equity, but it […]

June 30, 2019 By Heidi Craun

Why Chicago Needs to Be More Vocal About Equity to Compete Nationally

This is the first article in a three-part series on the benefits of giving all startup employees equity. The next article will explore the opportunity Chicago has to leverage equity to create more founders and people capable of taking risks on very early-stage companies. Last month, Chicago Inno published an article on why some startups choose to bootstrap rather […]

May 25, 2019 By Heidi Craun
Anjoo Rai-Marchant

Why This Executive Challenges Startups to Get Engineers in Front of Customers

Getting to know Anjoo Anjoo Rai-Marchant served as the COO at HighGround, which was acquired last year by YouEarnedIt. With her combination of business and technical acumen, she currently advises companies and entrepreneurs in addition to serving as an independent board member of SciArt Software, a company focused on generative design. With over 20 years […]

May 23, 2019 By Heidi Craun
David Nelson

How This Successful Self-Taught Engineer and Repeat Founder Approaches Success

Getting to know David David Nelson has started and scaled three startups, most recently Motion AI, a software platform to help businesses create chatbots and develop their conversational strategy. Motion AI was acquired by HubSpot in 2017, and today David works on the company’s product team. He’s also an active member of HPA and invests […]

April 22, 2019 By Heidi Craun
Susan Whiting

How this Executive Applies Her Startup Expertise to Help Rewrite Women’s History

Getting to know Susan Now retired from her role as the Vice Chair of market research giant Nielsen, Susan Whiting has helped organizations grow for 35+ years by leveraging her experience in operating, leadership, data analytics, marketing, and media. She now serves in Board and Executive Advisory roles and works with senior leadership at publicly-traded, […]

March 28, 2019 By Heidi Craun
Inclusive Entrepreneurship Detroit

These 10 Women are Driving Detroit’s Entrepreneurial Growth

Last week’s report about the state of women leadership in Chicago tech was a powerful reminder of where our successes are and where we can continue to improve. The data creates actionable opportunity for everyone — from individual contributors, to executives, to investors — to catalyze our city and industry toward fostering a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem for […]

March 17, 2019 By Heidi Craun
Kenny Tsai

Early UBER Leader Shares Insights on Executing as an Entrepreneur

Getting to Know Kenny An expert in mobility and two- and three-sided marketplaces, Kenny Tsai was an early employee and director/General Manager at Uber, where he led various business units such as Uber Freight and Uber’s rides in the Central U.S. Leveraging what he learned at Uber, Kenny became the COO of JUMP, which he […]

February 28, 2019 By Heidi Craun