Bootstrapping In America is tastytrade's spotlight on the best and brightest of the entrepreneurial community in Chicago and beyond. Meet the innovative men and women leading the companies featured in this week's episodes!

Michael Kane | Ribfest

Michael Kane is the Director of Ribfest. It's one of the longest running festivals and competitions in Chicago, now in it's 17th year.  They average more than 70,00 visitors and consume over 50,000 pounds of pork.

We ask for a five dollar entrance fee which funds our programs and gives out philanthropy grants.
— Michael Kane

Willy Chyr | Relativity

Willy Chyr is a Chicago-based artist and independent game designer. His new game, RELATIVITY comes out in 2016 on Sony PlayStation and PC.

I got into the game stuff through the art stuff...then I got into the art stuff through the circus stuff, which is kind of tied into physics with juggling.
— Willy Chyr

Julie Smolyansky | Lifeway Foods

Lifeway Foods was founded in 1986 by Michael Smolyansky.  Today his daughter, Julie, is the CEO of the company.  Their flagship product is Kefir.  Each cup contains 12 live and active cultures and 7 to 10 billion beneficial probiotic strains.

If you go to the artisan companies, that is what’s so exciting, that food is being flipped on it’s head.
— Julie Smolyansky

Alison Velazquez | Soupology

Alison Velazquez is the founder of Soupology.   Soupology is soup-based cleansing program that uses alkaline water and dynamic soup blends that work to cleanse and nourish the body.

Cleansing has been a big trend that has been going on for years.
— Alison Velazquez

Dr. Robert Cucin | BioSculpture

Dr. Robert Cucin is the founder of BioSculpture.  They have developed a medical device to remove visceral fat as a new treatment for diabetes and weight loss.

The device has been prototyped and patented. Now we have to take it to the next level. It will be $50,000 for the device.
— Dr. Robert Cucin

What are your favorite episodes of BSA? Who would you like to see on the show? How about you?! Drop us a note in the comments below, send a Tweet to @BootstrappingIA, or send an email to! 

Tune in to catch a brand new interview on Bootstrapping In America Live Monday - Friday at 9:40am CT on!