Companies Founded in Chicago

List of notable businesses founded in Chicago, listed alphabetically with corporate logos when available. This list includes some of the largest, most profitable companies that were founded in Chicago. The famous Chicago companies and corporations on this list include both public and private corporations. You can find information about the popular companies on this list, such as what industry they're part of. When available you can click on the successful Chicago company's names to find out even more about them.

Companies here include everything from Motorola to Sears, Roebuck and Company.

This list answers the questions, "What companies were founded in Chicago?" and "What are the biggest Chicago companies?"

If you're a Chicago native then this list of the biggest Chicago companies will make you proud. This list is also an excellent resource if you're doing research on reputable businesses from Chicago.
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  • Basecamp
    Web development, Collaborative software
    37signals is a privately held web application company based in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The firm was co-founded in 1999 by CEO Jason Fried, Carlos Segura, and Ernest Kim as a web design company with a particular focus on usability, simplicity, and clarity in design and writing.
  • Adbot
    Online advertising
    Adbot, Inc. was a privately held Internet advertising company in Chicago owned and operated by James R. Frith, Jr. The company was a pioneer in the delivery of display advertising on the Internet and had a brief but interesting run from April 1997 to December 1997, at which time it ceased operations due to a legal tangle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Aon
    Management Consulting Services, Accident and Health Insurance
    Aon plc is a British multinational corporation headquartered in London, England, that provides risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human resource solutions and outsourcing services. Aon has approximately 500 offices worldwide, serving 120 countries with 65,000 employees. In 2011, Aon was ranked as the largest insurance broker in the world based on revenue. Aon was the principal partner and global shirt sponsor of the Premier League team Manchester United F.C. from 2010 until 2014. Aon was created in 1982, when the Ryan Insurance Group merged with the Combined Insurance Company of America. In 1987, that company was renamed Aon, a Gaelic word meaning oneness. In January 2012, Aon announced that its headquarters would be moved to London.
  • Argo Tea
    Argo Tea is a chain of tea cafes that was founded in the Lincoln Park community area in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2003. It is now headquartered in Chicago's Loop community area. It had more than a dozen locations in the Chicago metropolitan area before expanding in 2010 to New York City, where it opened four locations that year and then expanded to St. Louis and Boston. As of October 2011 the chain had 26 locations and distribution in over 3,000 grocery stores. In its first decade, it has grown simultaneously with the tea market. Its expansion into grocery stores occurred in 2010 and 2011. Arsen Avakian is the current chief executive officer. By spring 2013, it had opened in Beirut with plans to add locations in five Middle East cities by year end. Argo Tea primarily sells a variety of hot and cold tea-based signature drinks. In addition, it offers about three dozen international varieties of loose-leaf tea, coffee, baked goods, small entrées, and teaware. The tea menu includes a variety of black, green, white teas, and natural herbal teas, served hot or iced. Argo Tea has formed a special relationship with Whole Foods Market to distribute Argo products.
  • Babaroga


    Video game
    Babaroga, LLC. is a Chicago, Illinois-based video game developer specializing in iOS, Windows, Android, and Feature Phone games. The company has created many licensed games for publishers such as Electronic Arts, and Disney Interactive, as well as original titles with publishers such as Microsoft and Glu. Babaroga, LLC., provides engineering and design services to the video game industry. The company's focus is to create content on mobile, hand-held and console platforms.
  • Bebe Stores
    Clothing, Retail
    Bebe Stores, Inc is a women's retail clothier established in 1976. Founded by Manny Mashouf, who emigrated from Iran to the United States in the early 1970s, where he opened the first Bebe store in San Francisco during a time when three categories dominated the women's wear market: junior, bridge and misses. The brand develops and produces a line of women's apparel and accessories, which it markets under the Bebe, BebeSport, and 2b Bebe names. The company operates 312 stores, of which 215 are Bebe stores, 32 are 2b Bebe stores, 64 are BebeSport stores and one is a Bebe accessories store. These stores are located in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. Bebe also has an international division in Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Israel, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, and UAE. Mashouf owns approximately 55% of the company.