Tegus
120 S. LaSalle, 18th Floor

Space

14,195 sq ft. Currently 40 employees in the Chicago Office with space to add 50-60.

Features

Elevator identity, volume of window/significant natural light, exposed ceiling, open layout delivers communication and kinetic work-style objectives, central location makes all forms of transportation easy to access, energetic atmosphere enabled by the choice to have a very open floor-plan and the overall design promotes a great vibe/mood and improves productivity.

Building Neighbors

FinTech; CIBC; LAF; Baird & Warner, Inc.; Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery LLP; Flexmanage; CIH Associates LLC; Mercy Housing.

Funding

Tegus is funded by Investment Group of Santa Barbara.

Accolades & Accomplishments

BuiltIn Chicago Top 100 Places to Work.

Founding, Beginning

Tegus is the quintessential reflection of the two founder's backgrounds.  Tom Elnick, a hedge fund investor whose path involved finding his way to understanding complex companies on the precipice of major growth and vetting their likelihood of success using any and all available research so his company's major investments could be administered strategically.

The hedge fund model requires an intense and exhaustive level of research to be performed for each prospective investment.  Tom's brother and partner Mike had a significant background in providing resources to hedge funds to mine and uncover the required extensive required research.  

Tom and Mike's "a-ha" moment involved turning the model upside down; leveraging their immersive experience in an industry ripe for disruption.  The financial research industry was  rampant with high costs, poor service, blatant inefficiency and offensively high profits paved the way for the partners to begin crowdsourcing the information.  This permits Tegus to monetize the process through subscriptions; providing enormous value and allowing the company to price disruptively.  Markets move fast and are fiercely competitive, so speed of information is critical and could lead to lost opportunities or profits.

Growth & Challenge

Challenge 1: The company has a large network effect. Classic chicken or egg problem.  Customers come for content, but content only comes by way of customers.  The decision was made to focus on one side so that the turbine can start to spin.

Challenge 2:  Personnel and team building.  In order to be successful, they would need to curate  the best team; absolutely no room for miscalculation or second chances.  The decision to go where they could attract and retain top talent led them to leave San Francisco for Chicago.

Success

Tegas leadership made the willful and unanimous decision not to lead with a success mantra involving metrics and financial goals.  Instead, Mike and Tom forged a corporate ethos defining success for their ranks in terms of recruiting, team, community, level of talent and retention.  The company would be as strong as its team, everyone collaboratively creating and striving for new benchmarks.  Tegus' first steps involved seeking out and hiring the best of talent for the executive team; leadership in sales, operations, product and engineering -- and ensure this caliber of talent would percolate through future ranks.

Insights For Founders

"(You) Can’t build a company on your own.  You yourself are not scalable.  Early on, focus as much time as possible on building the team so you don’t need to do everything yourself."

- Mike Elnick

“If you are dogmatic about staying close to your customers and how to make them successful, everything else will follow.”  

- Mike Elnick

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