Relocation & HR Trends

Chicago Tech Scene: What You May Have Missed This Week

Posted by Kinga Skowronek on Dec 19, 2014 1:56:48 PM

The holidays maychicago tech scene be approaching and the year is winding down, but this doesn't mean the Chicago Tech Scene isn't booming! There are exciting and innovative developments every single week right in UrbanBound's backyard. I know that everyone at UrbanBound is thankful to be a part of such a vibrant and tight-knitted tech community. We aren't the only ones noticing the growing tech community, this week Illinois ranked 2nd in the nation for the number of tech startups. Read on to find out how Chicago startups are celebrating the holidays and other Chicago Tech Scene news you may have missed this week.

Illinois Ranks 2nd in the Nation For Tech Startups

In “An Unexpected Source of Innovation: Chicago Tech Center 1871 Expands” Forbes writes: Chicago is well known for being the heartland of manufacturing … but a center for technological innovation? Not so much so, many people would assume. However, as with many assumptions, nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, according to a study conducted by the Illinois Innovation Council, Illinois ranks second in the nation (after California) in the number of high-tech startups.

One of the reasons for this 1871, Chicago’s leading tech startup incubator and a catalyst for innovation.

As Daniela Bolzmann, co-founder and CMO of WeDeliver tells Forbes: “This is a place where every startup can call home. For me, 1871 is home. It’s where I met my cofounder, and it’s where we work for months at a time. Many times we spent more hours at 1871 than we did at our own homes. It’s a place where we’ve connected with our peers, met mentors, built our company and even trained our fleet of delivery specialists. The culture at 1871 is inspirational – the passion and fury that’s going on in the hallways is contagious.”

SmartChicago Map Aims to Help Motorists Avoid Tickets

Chicago Tribune’s Parking ticket blues? SmartChicago, city produce restricted-zones map  addresses the new map that SmartChicago Collaborative rolled out. The aim is to help motorists out by offering an online map that shows them if they are in a restricted parking zone.

Up until now, there had not been a map that Chicagoans could access. “For more than 20 years, the Office of the Clerk used a big book to track the zones in the City of Chicago. Now this information can be accessed on your cell phone or on your laptop, so you know if you will need a guest pass before you leave your home,” Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza said.

“I’ve actually tested out the data, and it’s very much correct,” Nick Massuci, Chief Technology Officer for Meter Beaters, told Chicago Tribune. His free-parking startup, which is currently housed at 1871, is one of the many startups excited to use this new information to better their services with the data provided.

In the spirit of the holidays….

Chicago Startups in the Holiday Spirit

The need for a strong and positive companychicago tech scene culture gets thrown a lot these days. So what do Chicago Startups do to help their employees get through the holidays? Chicago Inno has the answers in their article “How Three Chicago Startups Recognized Their Employees for the Holidays.”

Jeremy Smith, co-founder and COO of SpotHero, an on-demand parking app:

"We offer our team unlimited time off and remote work arrangements during the holidays. This helps make sure employees aren't burnt out when the holidays roll around. It also means employees can fly home around the holidays and choose to work remotely. This allows for more family time, and more work time because employees can structure their time the way they choose."

Jonathan Pirc, founder of Lab42, a social media-focused market research firm:

"Being on a startup budget doesn't limit the festivities at our team holiday celebrations. Instead, we see budget constraints as an opportunity to get creative. Rather than opting for a typical team dinner, we’re starting the night off at our CTO's place with Brick's pizza before heading over to Second City. It's important after a busy year to get out of the office, share a few laughs, and toast to 2015."

Best Chicago Startup Holiday Parties

If there is one thing that anyone who is or has been part of the startup life knows, it’s that part of building the culture are fun, random and unique parties and events.

Built In Chicago put together a list of 14 awesome startup holiday parties we wish we could attend and UrbanBound made the list!! Go to the link to check out the UB Holiday video.

Why do we make a holiday video? For the holidays we really wanted to show how grateful we are for all of our clients in a personal and unique way. Since the purpose of our company is that we provide a tech solution for an industry that doesn't have one, we wanted to steer away from the traditional greeting cards, and instead decided to make a video where everyone in the company could be involved. We chose "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" as our song and modified the words to fit our industry. Since our HR Tech solution is for the employee relocation industry, Rudolph now became the most famous transferee of all- Rudolph the Relo Reindeer.


Topics: Technology

Find Out What You Missed: The Top 10 Blogs From 2014

Posted by Aria Solar on Dec 18, 2014 11:30:00 AM

Between 1995 and 2014, the number of web domains has gone from 15,000 to 350 mshutterstock_135481169illion.  On top of that, 150,000 new URLs are created everyday, a 21% increase from just 2 years ago.

That being said, there is a lot (a lot) of information on the internet. We know it's impossible to see and read everything, so we're going to sum up UrbanBound's best blogging content for you right here.

Listed below are our Top 10 blogs from 2014, so you can be sure you have a well-rounded overview of what went down this past year in relocation. (Just click the title to read the blog!)

Let the countdown begin:

10.)  6 Challenges With Lump Sum For Relocation

This year brought a lot of talk about lump sum relocation policies - how to disperse them, the pros, the cons, the caveats, the best practices - everyone has their own opinion on what is the right way to use lump sum. The truth is, the best way to utilize lump sum relocation policies will be different for almost every company. There will be challenges no matter which relocation policy route you take, but in this blog we outline some of the specific issues you might encounter when distributing lump sum, and how to best work around them.

9.)  Quiz: How To Find Your Company's ROI from UrbanBound

We get it. Trying to justify added expenses to a budget is a conversation no one particularly looks forwarding to having. Luckily, we designed this custom quiz so that you can find out exactly how your company can benefit from a Relocation Management Software. Whether it's in the saved time of your HR departments or in the decrease of money spent per relocation, Relocation Management Software can save your company a lot of money - take this quiz to find out how! 

8.)  Lessons I've Learned as an Entrepreneur: Hiring Salespeople

In this blog, you'll hear from one of our Co-Founders, Jeff Ellman. Jeff talks about some of the best lessons he has learned along the way when hiring salespeople. He discusses some of the tactics he uses in interviewing and building a team, some mistakes he has made in the past, and what really works for him as he manages a high-growth sales team. 

7.)  [SlideShare] 4 Relocation Mistakes You're Making with Millennials

This SlideShare discusses some of the big relocation mistakes companies often make when relocating Millennials. Whether it's not giving enough guidance, or forgetting to incorporate aspects like social media or technology into the move, there are a lot of ways in which relocating Millennials differs from your other generations.

6.)  Relocating Same-Sex Couples in a Changing Legal Landscapeurbanbound blogs

As the legal landscape changes in regards to same-sex couples, the way you approach your relocations should change alongside with it. This blog explains that offering benefits to domestic partners (something that was once rarely offered) is now common practice. Uncover what you need to know about relocating same-sex couples in your company.

5.)  7 Things You Need to Know About International Relocations

Changing cities in a domestic relocation can be difficult in its own right, so adding on top of that the stresses of changing countries can be extremely overwhelming. The best thing you can do for your transferees is to educate them on what they need to know when relocating internationally, and this blog gives you 7 pieces of advice you should be sure to tell all of your international transferees. 

4.)  UrbanBound Ranks Top 100 For Innovation Award

UrbanBound was honored this year to rank in the Top 100 companies for innovation. Michael Krasman and Jeff Ellman speak in this blog about what it means to be recognized for this award and what's in store for the future of UrbanBound as we continue to make waves in relocation and innovation.

3.) [Infographic] Relocation Breakdown

This infographic discusses data behind relocation statistics and the impact this information has on your relocation policies. From the factors that affect external relocations to the top reasons why employees decline the relocation offer, this infographic will educate you on what you can do to improve your offer to acceptance rate. 

2.)  8 Frightening Statistics About Your Millennials (and what you can do about it)

Millennials. Every company has them. And every company struggles at times with how to manage them, how to please them, and most importantly, how to retain them. This blog goes into 8 of the most significant statistics regarding Millennials and how your company can best work with their needs.  

1.) [Infographic] What's the Deal With Lump Sum?

This blog was our most popular post from 2014! This infographic dives into the statistics behind lump sum relocation policies, giving real data behind what works and what doesn't. This will help your company benchmark against what works well for other companies and where you could stand to allocate a little more attention. If you like using data to back up your decisions, this is the infographic for you.

Thanks for tuning into the UrbanBound blog! We hope our content this year has been helpful in updating you on what's new in relocation and offering helpful information that is applicable to your team. We look forward to what next year will bring! 

Topics: Relocation

Arlington, VA Is The Next Big City For Entrepreneurs

Posted by Meaghan Winston on Dec 17, 2014 3:00:26 PM

In today’s business climate, startups reign supreme. More and more Millennials are developing and launching new businesses than ever before, creating a deep sense of entrepreneurial culture. In fact, since 2011, nearly 160,000 startups have been launched each month; a figure that has no indication of slowing down. Though large cities certainly foster their own startup culture, it seems as though there’s a new reigning city for budding business people. Recently, Arlington, Virginia was named the best city for Entrepreneurs according to a study conducted by Nerd Wallet.  5770313_s

Since more Millennials have focused their power on entrepreneurship, it’s no surprise more companies are focusing their market research on creating the best environment for startups. So, what factors did Nerd Wallet take into account before conducting their research?

Although most would argue a great idea is the foundation to a successful startup, businesses also need funding, mentorship, real estate affordability, and even strong networking opportunities to truly thrive. According to their website, Nerd Wallet analyzed the following list closely before choosing their top reigning city:

  • Access to loans: Nerd Wallet looked at small business loans throughout the city, analyzing the dollar value of commercial and industrial loans under $25,000
  • Networking: Would the potential startup be surrounded by other successful businesses? Entrepreneurs need access to direct mentorship and other business networks to thrive. Nerd Wallet included the percentage of residents ages 25-34 and the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree over the age of 25.
  • Economy: What is the capita per income versus the unemployment rate?
  • Affordability: Places like Silicon Valley have notorious real estate prices, too steep for a small startup to afford. Nerd Wallet included a cost of living index as a determining factor for affordability for a small business.

With the information compiled, Nerd Wallet was able to analyze that Arlington, Virginia is the best city in the United States for those looking to cultivate a startup company. With a high percentage of highly educated Millennials, the highest per capita income, low real estate prices, and immediate access to the high funds of the Washington D.C. metro area, the city is certainly a winner. With an overall score of 72.76, we’ve broken down the exact components of Arlington’s assets.

  • C and L loans per capita: $193.01
  • Number of businesses per 100 people: 2.37
  • Percentage of population between 25 and 34: 27.8%
  • Percentage of population 25+ with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 74.3%
  • Per Capita Income: $64,298
  • September 2014 unemployment rate: 5%
  • Cost of living index: 138.8

Though one may not initially associate Virginia with startup culture, it’s clear to see why Arlington fosters entrepreneurship. Its low cost of living, access to loans, its young population, and immediate access to Washington D.C.’s metro area all contribute to its amicable business environment. Alongside the obvious benefits of creating a startup company in Arlington, what else does Nerd Wallet’s data tell us? 26577390_s

Midwest Is Best

Four of the top ten cities in the list were located in the midwest (Madison, Lincoln, Minneapolis, and Omaha respectively). Powered by low cost of living, the highest per capita rate of small business loans, and young communities, the midwest draws in entrepreneurs by the hoards. Continuously ranked highly for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and job growth, it should be of no surprise that the midwest is continuously expanding its reputation as a startup hub.

Is Arlington Right For Everyone?

With these numbers at hand, it’s important for entrepreneurs to find the right market and climate for their companies. Arlington is certainly a strong contender for entrepreneurs, but does it bode well for any industry? Perhaps the key to success for any startup is expanding in the right market. Though Arlington’s economic climate is right for small businesses, it’s important to consider the audience reach before choosing a location; what’s right for some may not work for others. So before you pack up and head to Arlington, invest in research, strategy, and branding.

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