Harper Reed, CEO of Modest

Why we're watching: Obama campaign veterans Reed and Richard hope to debut Chicago's most-anticipated technology startup, called Modest, by the end of the first quarter.

Modest has immodest ambitions to "build the future of commerce" and "make it easier (for people) to buy stuff," Reed said. The company's AngelList profile describes the product as "connecting retailers with mobile buyers, and mobile buyers with the products they really want."

Reed declined to add much more detail other than that the startup's customers will be businesses, not consumers. Reed and Richard began working on Modest in December 2012.

"We're hiring fast and need more people," Reed said.

Financial technology is one of the most in-demand segments of the tech industry. For instance, Chicago-based Braintree, which helps businesses process online credit card payments, was acquired by eBay's PayPal in September for $800 million in cash.

Reed and Richard, Modest's chief technology officer, are among the most pedigreed software developers in the city.

Reed was the chief technology officer and Richard the director of engineering for Obama's re-election campaign. Reed then became an in-demand lecturer across Europe and Australia, as many saw Obama's "ground game" (door knocks, phone banks), all coordinated using in-house technology, as key to his victory.

Richard and Reed also are veterans of skinnyCorp, the parent company of Chicago-based T-shirt designer Threadless.

( January 13, 2014 )

Why we're watching: Obama campaign veterans Reed and Richard hope to debut Chicago's most-anticipated technology startup, called Modest, by the end of the first quarter. Modest has immodest ambitions to "build the future of commerce" and "make it easier (for people) to buy stuff," Reed said. The company's AngelList profile describes the product as "connecting retailers with mobile buyers, and mobile buyers with the products they really want." Reed declined to add much more detail other than that the startup's customers will be businesses, not consumers. Reed and Richard began working on Modest in December 2012. "We're hiring fast and need more people," Reed said. Financial technology is one of the most in-demand segments of the tech industry. For instance, Chicago-based Braintree, which helps businesses process online credit card payments, was acquired by eBay's PayPal in September for $800 million in cash. Reed and Richard, Modest's chief technology officer, are among the most pedigreed software developers in the city. Reed was the chief technology officer and Richard the director of engineering for Obama's re-election campaign. Reed then became an in-demand lecturer across Europe and Australia, as many saw Obama's "ground game" (door knocks, phone banks), all coordinated using in-house technology, as key to his victory. Richard and Reed also are veterans of skinnyCorp, the parent company of Chicago-based T-shirt designer Threadless.

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