A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with a life-long friend and fellow entrepreneur at one of Chicago’s brightest start-up/technology communities 1871.  My friend had recently been accepted into one of the city’s small business accelerators aimed at clean technology companies.  When I left Chicago in 2000, the city was and still is a diverse, international community known for its awesome eats and world class architecture.  However, outside of a handful of recognizable corporate names, Chicago lacked what areas in Northern California’s Silicon Valley and New York’s Silicon Alley have had for years . . . a unique start-up culture and identity.  Watching my friend and some half dozen other entrepreneurs live out their dreams on stage let me know that the past decade has been kind to area start-ups.  With names like Groupon, Open Table, 37 Signals, and a host of other up and coming companies leading the way, Chicago is definitely on the map.  However, not sure of what to expect that evening I found myself wondering as I watched these innovators take the stage, ‘What makes a great start-up?’

Carterville, IL March 8, 2011-Established by Missouri two-year college presidents in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa International Society recognizes and encourages academic achievement of two-year college students. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 2 million members and 1,200 chapters in the U.S., Canada and Germany. Tuesday evening the Upsilon Pi Chapter of John A. Logan College inducted 47 new members and in doing so made The Entrepreneur Café, LLC founder Cavanaugh L. Gray and honorary member.  Click here to read more.

Carbondale, IL March 14, 2011-The Entrepreneur Café, LLC a leading small business development company geared at helping entrepreneurs start, grow and succeed in small business has launched its latest product, 2011 Small Business Database: Staying Connected in a Network Driven World! The company hopes that small business owners will be able to locate resources of particular interest and then utilize some of the great social networking tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to make personal connections and grow their businesses.  To read more click here.