CHICAGO ( TheStreet) -- The market for technology startups is vast and growing, but it doesn't take pages and pages of business projections or even an off-the-charts innovative idea to get a venture capital firm on board.
Lightbank is a Chicago-based firm focused on early-stage technology companies. Its founders, Eric Lefkovsky and Brad Keywell, were the brains behind the hugely successful daily deal website Groupon.
Lightbank looks to invest primarily in early-stage technology companies. But the firm also serves as mentor, taking a hands-on role to help promising entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Paul Lee, Lightbank's newest partner, spoke with TheStreet about the companies the firm is eyeing and how small tech firms can get noticed.What are some specific technology areas with a lot of startup activity right now? Lee: One is what I'd like to call customer acquisition. That really is like a Groupon. The beauty about Groupon is it's the ultimate performance marketing -- you're only really paying for customers that are literally walking through your door. The flip side is the loyalty aspect. Of your existing customers, how do you get them to come back? We've actually been looking at that space. On the customer acquisition side, we announced