Techweek Chicago gets serious as new CEO settles in

Techweek, the annual technology festival once known as much for partying as networking, is putting a more mature foot forward in 2017.

Next week’s conference marks the first full year under the leadership of Amanda Signorelli, who replaced Katy Lynch as CEO in early 2016. A new mission and an increased focus on producing content that can benefit entrepreneurs has made all the difference, Signorelli said.

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Major video game group sues Chicago over online game tax

Playing Minecraft online in Chicago is 9 percent more expensive than it used to be. That’s because the city of Chicago reinterpreted its longstanding Amusement Tax in 2015 — one half of the controversial “Cloud Tax” — and it’s a move a leading video game industry group says was illegal.

The Entertainment Software Association, a Washington, D.C.-based group that includes Nintendo, EA and Disney Interactive Studios among its members, filed a challenge to the reinterpretation in Cook County Circuit Court Monday.

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Women, veteran and minority entrepreneurs across Chicago to get boost from $1M grant

$1 million grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation to support entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds in Chicago will go to major players 1871 and UI Labs as well as specialty groups Blue1647, Bunker Labs and i.c. stars.

The recipients make up the first phase of a three-year Blackstone Challenge project that could award grants totaling $3.4 million for organizations in Chicago that help diverse entrepreneurs start or grow companies.

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Why Invenergy is betting on clean energy tech despite Trump

The Trump administration may be pushing investments in the struggling coal industry, but some proponents of clean energy say now is a great time to invest in technologies for renewables.

Amy Francetic is senior vice president of corporate affairs at Chicago-based renewable energy company Invenergy. She’s also managing director of its venture arm, the Invenergy Future Fund, which announced its first close Wednesday. The Future Fund will focus on B and C round investments of about $4 to $5 million; Invenergy CEO Michael Polsky is chair of the Future Fund’s investment committee.

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Candy Crush got sued over those Facebook notifications — but not for the reason you think

A federal judge in Chicago said this week that a proposed class-action lawsuit may proceed against King, maker of the addictive Candy Crush Saga game you and your friends couldn’t stop playing in 2013.

Plaintiff Zachery Liston alleges that King offered players free lives if they connected their accounts to Facebook and marketed Candy Crush to their friends. Then — without warning, Liston’s suit says — King deleted the lives.

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Sittercity’s new CEO sees opportunity with app-focused millennial parents

Sittercity took the search for babysitters online. Its new CEO wants to push the company’s evolution — especially in recent efforts that cater to mobile-focused millennial parents.

Elizabeth Harz, who previously held sales and business development leadership roles at companies including Yahoo and Electronic Arts, quietly took over as Sittercity’s CEO in late January, Sittercity announced Wednesday. She lives in New Jersey and will split time between the company’s offices in Chicago and New York.

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Grubhub wants to feed your office. Will it eat Fooda’s lunch?

How are you getting your lunch today? Perhaps you brought it from home, or planned to stop by your building’s cafeteria or a nearby restaurant — or maybe you’re getting it on demand through a tech company.

People spend an average of $20 a week — or $1,043 a year — on restaurant lunches, Visa found in a 2015 survey. Last year, a Morgan Stanley study estimated the overall food-delivery market is worth $30 billion, of which it said $11 billion comes from online orders.

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