The Greek who helped Chicago evolve into a tech hub

Maria Katris grew up in a family in which business was a daily practice. This fact, along with her love for the city she lives in, Chicago, motivated her to found Built In, a startup that managed to raise 22 millions dollars in a Series C Funding round. 

Maria talks about how it all started and about her future plans at Endeavor Greece’s podcast “Outliers,” whose media partner is MoneyReview. Greece plays an important role in Maria’s life, since her father comes from a village in the outskirts of the town of Kalamata and her mother originates from the village of Ancient Olympia. However, she grew up and had a family of her own in Chicago, which she helped evolve into a tech hub.

After graduating from university, Maria worked for four years at the consulting industry and then she launched her own company. At some point in her life, she decided to dedicate herself to her children, but she soon realized that she could not stay at home all day. Then, she came up with the idea to found Built In. Out of her love for Chicago, its people and technology, she established Built In in 2011. 

“In 2009-2010 there was a heated discussion in Chicago about the fact that we were not able to establish a tech company in the city, because we were short of talents and there was no funding. However, I had another feeling,” she says. 

At the beginning, Built In was a means of social networking, a blogging platform that gave the local startups the opportunity to stay in touch with the feeling of the community, and provided them with a stand to tell their story.

At some point along the way, Maria realized that through their participation in the Built In community, startups succeeded in attracting new talents. As a result, it was decided that the company should focus its attention and energy on building a new model of attracting and hiring staff for tech companies. 

Since the end of 2012 she expanded her company in Colorado, and in the following years she gradually expanded in Los Angeles, New York and Boston. 

Nowadays, the content and the events organized by Built In provide tech professionals with valuable information about the human resources companies.  Built In offers its services to seven tech communities of the USA and plans to further expand in the near future. 

Upadta Partners played an instrumental role in Built In’s 22M $ fundraising round, and previous investors, such as MATH Venture Partners, also participated in it.  

The article was originally published at
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