2 Chicago Startups to Watch as Learnerator & Matchup Graduate Catapult

We are excited to announce that the time has come for Learnerator and Matchup to graduate from Catapult, scaling up and out of our coworking space and moving into the big leagues of their own office spaces. Both companies have prospered during their tenure at Catapult, and between their latest round of funding and hiring, we couldn’t be more thrilled about their success.

Learnerator, co-founded by Will Yang and Luke Liu, is the online test prep platform for standardized tests where students get hands on practice and interactive feedback. When Learnerator moved in to Catapult in July 2014, they had a team of one full-time employee. Now they can field a baseball team - with a 10th team member on the way. They’ve raised $875K in funding, but more importantly, they’ve built a successful business based on content that’s been turning a profit since early 2015.

Matchup, co-founded by Anthony Knierim and John Contreras, is a mobile and web-based app that integrates with various fitness tracking devices allowing users to participate in fitness challenges with friends and coworkers. Matchup caters to both consumers and the corporate space through employee wellness programs. Matchup joined Catapult in November 2014 with just 3 team members, and graduated with 11 employees (enough to field a football team!). Matchup has raised $1M in funding, has over 70 paying corporate clients, and are “focused on continuing to service our users by providing the resources to help them better take ownership over their health and wellness.”

How does Catapult’s Executive Director April Lane feel about these two awesome companies scaling up and out of the space? “It is always bittersweet when our companies move out, and we will especially miss the Learnerator & Matchup teams,” she said. “Although they are two very different businesses, Will & Luke and Anthony & John are all fiercely committed to their companies, clients and employees. We look forward to having them be a part of our alumni network and watching them grow.”

The early days of the Learnerator team

The early days of the Learnerator team

Learnerator’s Luke Liu weighs in: “Catapult was the perfect place for us to come and build our foundation as a great company. The community has been very supportive and flexible, and we've been able to get exactly the office space we needed as we grew. We've met some fantastic people here and look forward to remaining involved in the community and Founders Forums (where I've learned a lot about managing a startup). April has been very helpful in everything and has definitely saved us a pretty penny with the programs she has relationships with (ie, Rackspace and Google Cloud hosting).”

Adds Will Yang, “Founders Forums were definitely a huge value add and will continue to be as we grow. The group of individuals and depth of conversation was always helpful in providing valuable insights.”

Part of the Matchup team in action

Part of the Matchup team in action

The MatchUp founders couldn’t agree more: “We really enjoyed being part of the Catapult community,” said Anthony Knierim. “I got more from the strong community and my Founders Forum just listening and hearing from other entrepreneurs on how they lead their respective businesses. We felt that Catapult just really drove us as it's a really energetic space, all the companies are always moving fast to achieve, it's contagious.”

We at Catapult wish the (growing) Learnerator and Matchup teams the best of luck in their new digs which are, coincidentally, located in the same River North building. We look forward to keeping tabs on these promising companies.