Logan LaHive took over as managing director of Techstars Chicago, the prestigious annual startup accelerator based at tech hub 1871, in February 2017.
He aims to balance ambition and humility as he pushes companies in the Chicago program to grow.
“It’s not about changing the world, but it’s about investing in founders that see something in their market, in their space, whatever their space is, they see something different than what anyone else sees,” he told Blue Sky.
In 2011, he founded the universal loyalty company Belly while an entrepreneur in residence at local venture fund Lightbank. He stepped down as Belly’s CEO in November 2016, and was replaced by the company’s former chief operating officer, Dan Gloede.
Belly gives customers points each time they check in at one of more than 7,000 participating stores. Customers add up the points to redeem rewards. Belly and its retailer customers get data they can use to create targeted promotions.
LaHive said he was prepared for the unpredictable process of ushering a company from infancy to sustainability. “If you’re not comfortable with uncertainty, don’t start a business,” he told Blue Sky.
Belly’s investors include 7-Ventures, an investment arm of 7-Eleven stores; Andreessen Horowitz; and New Enterprise Associates. 7-Eleven used Belly as an in-store loyalty program before ending the partnership in 2016.
Prior to founding Belly, LaHive was director of new business at Redbox.