Living the Silicon Valley Dream. In Chicago.

I’m from California. I love sunshine, hiking trails and blueberries in the winter. So in late 2015, when my company, Tovala, was accepted into Y Combinator after two years of freezing my butt off at grad school in Chicago, I said goodbye to my Chicago friends. I’m sure most of them thought I’d only return as a visitor, not a resident. But after four amazing, exhausting and productive months spent in the heart of Silicon Valley, we packed our bags, shipped a bunch of ovens and moved back to the Midwest. At least once a week, I’m asked why we did that. Are we happy with the decision? Do we like torturous weather? After all, there are tons of Chicago transplants in California. Vice versa? Not so much. It wasn’t the easiest decision. We spent our four months deeply enmeshed in the startup culture. We made friends and found mentors as we forged deep bonds that helped us create the foundation of our company. Read more.

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