Chicago Pulse: Groupon Risks Raising SEC’s Ire

Groupon Tests SEC’s Patience: Groupon continues to annoy federal securities regulators as its IPO approaches. In a leaked internal memo, which may have violated the SEC’s quiet-period rules, CEO Andrew Mason boldly discussed the company’s business prospects and revealed financial information not included in its most recent SEC filing. “They’re playing with fire,” said Todd Henderson, a University of Chicago Law School banking and securities law professor. “If the SEC wants to make a stink, they can make a stink.” The biggest potential problem:  the SEC could mess with whatever date Groupon chooses for its much-anticipated IPO.  Chicago Business

Apps for Metro Chicago Winner Announced: Governor Pat Quinn announced that the GoChicago app has been named the winner of the Apps For Metro Chicago contest. The recent competition asked the state’s high-tech community to find ways to use public data to improve the lives of Illinois residents. GoChicago came out on top, with its use of data from the city of Chicago, state of Illinois, and Illinois Department of Transportation, including designated landmarks, parks, police stations, rest areas and street cameras. Users can make a list of the places they want to visit, view directions or call for more information. They can also share their list of places with friends via e-mail. The competition allowed developers to create apps using nearly 200 data sets available from local and state governments. Illinois.gov

Tech Students Compete for Cash in ITA Challenge: The Illinois Technology Association’s (ITA) 2011 ITA Fall Challenge will include visits to 10 local universities. The goal: to educate more than 1,000 students about technology career opportunities in the state. The competition offers cash rewards to the top three winners, introductions to innovative companies and their leaders and opportunities to interview with sponsoring companies. To compete, students take a comprehensive test developed by the sponsors on each campus. Those with qualifying scores earn the right to attend the Final Challenge. The exam hinges on real-world issues and applications rather than information typically found in textbooks. Marketwire

Chicago App Developers Have Ideas for Education: Some of the coolest new mobile apps coming out of Chicago are focused on the education market. BenchPrep develops iPhone and other mobile apps designed to make the test preparation process more interactive. It partners with major publishers like McGraw-Hill, Bar Outlines and John Wiley to create more focused study tools. Chicago-based Ethervision scored a hit with the free Ladybug’s Bookshelf application, a series of read-along and animated short stories and games for toddlers. Ora Interactive, also based in Chicago, created the Read For Your Life iPhone app, a six-step reading skills and comprehension program. The Huffington Post

Nissan Will Bring Electric Cars to Chicago Ahead of Schedule: Nissan had planned to introduce its new electric Leaf car in Chicago next fall, but a revised schedule now has it arriving this October. That’s good news for the 750 locals who have already put down deposits on the $35,000 car. Gov. Pat Quinn test-drove a car last week and pledged to have 240 more charging stations erected around the state by the end of the year to go with the 150 already installed in Chicago and environs. California-based 350Green has a contract to install 280 charging stations this year. “We want to be the electric vehicle capital of the United States,” said Quinn. In fact, the state gives a $4,000 tax break to Illinoisans who buy an electric car. That’s on top of a $7,500 federal tax credit, bringing the Leaf’s cost down to $23,500. Chicago Sun Times

Chicago Has a Developer Drought: Chicago is working to become a respected technology hub, and momentum is increasing as dozens of companies emerge around the area. Hackathons are doubling in size every year, and conferences, meetups, parties, launches, demo days and pitches are everywhere. What’s the downside? Chicago doesn’t have the same talent pool that other areas have. It doesn’t have access to as many hungry and talented developers as one might expect, and that shortage could lead to a slowing of the tech progress the city is trying to make. In fact, some Chicago companies are opening branches in Silicon Valley just to accelerate their hiring. The Next Web

 

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