Kickstarting Chicago: A Carry-On that Carries You and More Ways to Charge Up

Keep the ideas flowing, Chicago. Some of the coolest Kickstarter projects are based right here in Chi-town by people just like you. We’ve seen some pretty nifty contraptions in previous Kickstarter spotlights, but we just aren’t quite finished yet. Take a gander at at some of these Chicago-born ideas and who knows, maybe your idea will be the next big thing on Kickstarter.

KERO Cling for Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has been a hit. And right out of the heart of Chicago, someone came up with simple charging accessory for your Apple Watch that’s perfect for your bedside or workstation. With the KERO Cling, you’ll never forget to charge your Apple Watch.


Like money, books often travel more than a person would think. Used books are often sold at yard sales, thrift shops or donated to hospitals and schools. Wouldn’t it be cool to see where the book you’re reading came from? NandiBear is an app that tracks books, similar to how Where’s George tracks currency. Each book has a story, but an even greater story can be told before you open the cover.


Hello, MODO. It’s a carry on that changes the way the world travels. It combines luggage with mobility and allows you to navigate around an airport three times as fast. People running through airports to board their plane before it takes off in the movies; we’ve all seen it. The MODOBAG is the world’s first motorized luggage and even comes with charging ports for phones, computer and accessories. It’s a carry on that carries you. Who woulda thunk?

Calaugusta Cafe and Grocer

The folks behind Calaugusta Cafe and Grocer intend to bring artisanal coffee, food and wine culture to Humboldt Park’s California corridor. Four longtime friends with a passion for food and drinks want to establish an old-fashioned cafe and bring a new taste to the neighborhood. Johnny, Jamie, Mike, and Val each bring decades of experience in the ownership, operation, and management of Chicago restaurants.


After the vineyard, wine is processed in a winery and depends on sulfites and preservatives to stay fresh. Today, everybody and their mother is going organic. Ullo is a revolutionary wine purifier that removes sulfites and restores the wine to it’s natural, preservative-free state. Having the Ullo in your home and whipping it out for guests will make you the classiest mofo on the block. When in doubt, pinky out!

The Greatest Ideas Ever Forged

Great ideas are all around us. That’s really the beauty of the idea—that everyone has themSome bad, some good—and some simply better than others. I could have the bright idea to brew an extra cup of coffee today to ensure I get through a long meeting at work, while someone else can have the even brighter idea to create an app that fights the hunger of Chicago’s homeless population by sending them our extras via drones.

The difference, of course, would be that one was implemented and another was not. So which idea really ended up being better? That what we’re interested in—the best ideas that actually come to fruition. Find something cool and tell me the idea behind it. That’s what I want to know.

Some of these ideas stand out above all others. These are the ideas we strive to have and explore. These are the ideas that change the world. Here are the top five we’ve seen.

  1. IDEA: A circular object that allows us to transport ourselves and other goods more quickly and efficiently. Where would we be without the wheel? Probably not far from home—and I’m willing to bet that the guy who invented it never imagined you’d strap two of them to a motor and go flying 200mph through the desert
  2. IDEA: A device that allows us to record and spread mass quantities of information throughout the world. If it weren’t for the printing press, we’d likely all still be illiterate. Sure, it was probably a leading cause of the decline of the Latin language—but who besides college fraternities and the Catholic Church needs that when you have widespread accessible knowledge for the masses?
  3. IDEA: Humans fly like birds. The simple concept of the airplane is still insane to me. How can we sit so calmly is commercial airliners, eating snacks and drinking drinks, when in reality we’re thousands of feet in the air traveling at hundreds of miles per hour in a steel tube? It’s ridiculous. But it’s really so much more convenient.
  4. IDEA: What if we could quickly communicate with people on the other side of the country? Imagine where we’d be without telecommunications—probably still using pigeons and string to send messages back and forth. Relax, Paul Revere—just shoot me a text and we’ll and we’ll assemble the troops.
  5. IDEA: A worldwide, digital network of computers that allows someone to access almost any information located anywhere in the world at any time. No internet. Imagine that. Need I say more? It’s 2015—what else do we do anymore but work, play, and learn on the internet almost 24/7?

What did we miss? What do you think was the greatest idea in the history of the world? Shoot us the idea and we’ll see if we can guess the outcome.

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