Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA) Awards $20K in Grant Funding to Two Chicago Start-Ups
Toure McCluskey of OkCopay.com was awarded $15,000 and Vadim Korneyev and Elan Mosbacher of AgencyAnalyst.com received $5,000 in grant funding. Both organizations also received complimentary CIMA membership and access to CIMA events for networking and ongoing professional development.
The Chicago Digital Startup Initiative is an annual grant created by the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA), the city’s only interactive-centric professional organization, in an effort to support and expand the digital entrepreneurial community in Chicago.
Hundreds of proposals were submitted in November 2011 and the two winning organizations were chosen based on a combination of creativity and strategic direction. Below is more information on the winners.
$15,000 Grant Winner
Toure McCluskey of OkCopay.com
Rising health care costs are causing more Americans to skip doctors visits, delay procedures, and refuse medical tests. Over 75 million people nationwide are currently classified as uninsured or underinsured. In Chicago alone, 20 percent of the population (approximately 550,000 people) are without any form of health insurance, according to 2009 US Census Data.
Combine these statistics and there is certainly grounds for a good business idea, which is exactly what Toure McCluskey thought when he formed OkCopay.com, a new Web site that helps Chicagoans find affordable health care. Much like you would search for the best airline or hotel rates on sites like Priceline or Expedia, OkCopay gives you the opportunity to enter your health condition and search for the most affordable care for your condition. It also provides objective information on the health care providers such as a physician’s years of experience, board certifications, medical school attended and more. Currently, the site offers pricing information on procedures ranging from dental exams, MRI’s and lab tests to LASIK surgery.
Toure has many goals for his new online business, but will be using the grant funding from the Chicago Digital Start-up Initiative to add more cities and develop marketing campaigns that will help him build awareness for the site among consumers and the medical professional community.
“I am extremely grateful to receive this grant funding from CIMA,” said Toure. “My vision is to take the mystery out of health care pricing and help people find great medical care at reasonable prices. This grant funding from CIMA will help me bring this vision to all Americans looking for routine care, low-cost clinics or elective procedures.”
For more information on OkCopay and Toure’s entrepreneurial mission, visit http://www.okcopay.com.
$5,000 Grant Winners
Vadim Korneyev and Elan Mosbacher of AgencyAnalyst.com
$50 billion will be spent in online advertising in the United States by 2015. However, due to challenges in measuring online ad effectiveness some industry experts believe that online advertising growth will remain constrained. To overcome this challenge, agencies are struggling to recruit employees with deep quantitative skills necessary for analyzing mounds of online advertising data.
The solution, dubbed AgencyAnalyst, automates online advertising analysis. The software helps agencies win more business, make faster decisions and demonstrate value to clients.
AgencyAnalyst plans to use grant funding from the Chicago Digital Startup Initiative to further develop the software for use by advertising agencies and their clients.
“We are thankful for the recognition from CIMA, as it validates the need for such a solution in the marketplace and provides us with tremendous networking opportunities to connect agencies and online advertisers,” said Vadim. “The funding will help us enhance the software to take our product to the next level. We appreciate all of CIMA’s efforts to support the startup community in Chicago.”
Congratulations to our $5,000 grant winners! We look forward to following your success. For more information on AgencyAnalyst’s PPC Analysis Software, visit http://agencyanalyst.com.
CIMA, www.chicagoima.org, is Chicagoland's only interactive-centric organization devoted to the enhancement and development of interactive business. Founded in 1997, CIMA focuses on thought-leadership and outreach through forums, panels and seminars and has been lauded by industry professionals, think-tank panels and corporate marketing blogs.