Several months back, I visited a new Chicago venture called Catapult, which was already home to several local companies, despite not having all its furniture delivered. Since then, the space has grown, and today announced that it has admitted seven new companies.
What’s a Catapult? We already tried to explain that once, so here goes:
It’s not a quite an incubator, although the companies that it houses are relatively young. It’s not a coworking space either, but some individual people who are deemed excellent will be allowed to work from there. It’s also not a normal office space, as it’s designed to let companies share resources, and grow by helping each other out.
There’s not really a name for it, in other words. Its creators just call it Catapult.
Previously, five companies were in the space: VLinks Media, MentorMob, Style Seek, Tech.li, Afiniate, and 5Degrees. With today’s new crop of additions, some twelve companies now call Catapult home. Here’s who is new in the space:
- Dabble: I know the Dabble crew, who have built a service that allows anyone to teach a class on a topic that they know well. Everyone else gets to, wait for it, dabble in the topic.
- Buzz Referrals: We first wrote about Buzz back in September, describing their product in the following way: “a tool that brands and stores can use to bolster their referral traffic by making it social.”
- Shiftgig: According to Catapult, Shiftgig is “a professional networking site for the service industry.”
- Tempo: I’ve never heard of Tempo before, but they appear to be working on handling streams of real-time data that isn’t a great fit for current database technology. In the official copy, inputs such as network latencies were given, along with heartbeats, as examples of the sort of information that Tempo can manage.
- Procured Health: Procured Health, according to Catapult, “is a web-based application that helps hospitals discover and evaluate medical devices.” Medical tech is a bit out of my wheelhouse, but the idea could lead to cost savings for consumers, and everyone knows that American healthcare could use some more of that.
- Kula: Kula is a mobile platform to buy, or sell anything, from anywhere, at any time. It’s powered by Foursquare, incidentally.
- BucketFeet: So far as I can tell, BucketFeet lets artists design shoes, which are then sold around the world.
What I like very much about that list of companies is how diverse it is. I would love to see the shoe guys next to the data crew. Imagine the lunch breaks. As a side note, I’ll be heading back to Catapult in the next short while, and making a stop at the newly opened 1871 space. Full reports on both massive Chicago startup locations will follow.
I doff my cap at the Catapult crew, and wish all the new companies the best.