Top Chicago App Developers 2015

Alberto Furlan | December 22, 2015



The tech and start-up environment in Chicago is flourishing, and as a city it certainly brings a wealth of talent to the mobile app development scene. We couldn’t ignore the rise of the windy city, and have researched the best app development agencies that call it home.

We decided to pick a selection of skills and sizes to make sure all kinds of budgets and companies can find their potential partners in mobile development below. The list is presented in no particular order, and the criteria we used to decide our favourites were:

  • Main Activity: The main avenues of activity of the company, such as straight-up coding, UX/UI design, branding and others.
  • Industry Focus: Previous experience with companies and the sectors in which they operate.
  • Client Size: The size of the companies they usually deal with
  • Company Size: So you know how many people you’ll be dealing with
  • Key Clients: The biggest and best-known clients of the developer, generally large enterprises.
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: A range of rates you might expect to pay for development of your app and other services

Once again in no particular order, here is the full list:




DMI had to be mentioned, the heavy hitter of this list: in twelve months astride 2014 and 2015, they published 250+ mobile projects, and they have plenty of offices across the world, such as in the UK, Germany, Spain and of course Chicago. They offer everything from design and development to consultation and competitor benchmarking, as well as what they refer to as “guerrilla testing”. The majority of their business is done with large enterprises.

  • Main Activity: Mobile App Development (40%), App UI/UX (20%), Branding (20%)
  • Industry Focus: Government (25%), Retail (20%), Manufacturing (15%)
  • Founded: 2002
  • Client Size: Enteprise (55%), Midmarket (35%)
  • Company Size: 1,000 – 9,999
  • Key Clients: Rosetta Stone, ESPN
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $100 – $149

DMI: How can mobility transform your business?



Dom and Tom


Dom and Tom is a small and outstanding studio with offices in the New York and LA areas as well as Chicago. Their precise development and careful UX/UI design process has delivered some fantastic apps since their foundation in 2009, and they offer end-to-end services with the strategic goals of your application in mind. Android, iOS and Web Mobile are all within their scope of competence, while a lot of their clients are mid-market businesses, their skills have led them to work for larger companies like GE and Citibank.

  • Main Activity: Mobile App Development (60%), App UX/UI(25%)
  • Industry Focus: Food, Publishing, Transport
  • Founded: 2009
  • Client Size: Midmarket (55%), Enterprise (25%)
  • Company Size: 10-49
  • Key Clients: General Electric, University of Oklahoma, Citibank
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $150 – $199

A Screenshot from Dom and Tom’s website of their app for Cliffnotes




Ethervision offer three main branches of services: app development, app marketing and strategy and digital marketing services. A Chicago stalwart, having been featured and worked with the Chicago Tribune, they can boast having developed three of the first 50 iPhone apps when it was launched in 2008. Since then, they’ve been featured by apple 27 times, and have gotten their apps in the top 100 downloaded charts on seven separate occasions.

  • Main Activity: Mobile App Development (65%)
  • Industry Focus: Retail, Healthcare, Consumer products, Financial and Business services (all 20%) 
  • Founded: 2008
  • Client Size: Midmarket (60%)
  • Company Size: 1-10
  • Key Clients: Chicago Tribune, Whirlpool
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $150 – $199

Mobile Development Company: Ethervision





Intersog covers a lot of ground: eHealthcare, the internet of things, big data and wearable tech are just some of its core competences. Since their beginning they’ve delivered 300+ apps, and that’s without counting all the web development and other projects they’ve taken part in. They’re also the team behind the hugely successful Travian Games, and with delivery centres in Ukraine they also provide a great deal of savings on development.

  • Main Activity:  Custom Software Development (40%), Mobile App Development (30%), QA & Testing (20%), Cloud/Big Data (10%)
  • Industry Focus: Education, Healthcare, IoT, Manufacturing, Insurance, Automotive, Big Data
  • Founded: 2005
  • Client Size: NA
  • Company Size: 50-249
  • Key Clients: Mitsubishi, Travian Games, Toyota
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $50 – $99

Who We Are by Intersog



Eight Bit Studios


Eight Bit styles itself as a collaboration-first mobile app developer, with a strong emphasis on teamwork and listening to customer requirements before launching into full-on development. They have an eclectic portfolio which includes (but is not limited to) games, social networks, healthcare and fundraising apps. They’re a relatively small team, but they won at the 2014 US Mobile and App Design Awards – friendly and talented!

  • Main Activity: Mobile App Development (45%), UX/UI Design (20%)
  • Industry Focus: Education (22%), Healthcare (20%), Gaming (18%), Consumer products  (10%)
  • Founded: 2009
  • Client Size: Small Business (80%)
  • Company Size: 10-49
  • Key Clients: New Balance, Hasbro
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $150 – $199

Sushi Status – Best Project Management Tools





Codal is an official tech partner, and as well as app development they consult on big data, cloud deployment and technical architecture. With a specific strength of UX design, their process has delivered projects for the telecoms, IT and non-profit sector, to name a few. While 80% of their work is with SMEs, they’ve worked with big name-clients too such as United Airlines and Pepsi.

  • Main Activity: Mobile App Development (60%)
  • Industry Focus: Education (20%), Manufacturing (15%), Business Services (15%)
  • Founded: 2007
  • Client Size: Midmarket (50%), Small Business (30%)
  • Company Size: 50-249
  • Key Clients: United Airlines, Pepsi
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $100 – $149

Know About Beacon by Codal



Red Foundry


Red Foundry has worked with Amazon and Expedia, and that’s just the start of a long list of illustrious clients. They focus specifically on delivering mobility solutions for businesses, and their portfolio covers a range of these such as sales apps, cataloguing apps, data submission forms and a GPS shipping locator. Look no further if you are a medium-sized business looking to advance productivity with a mobile solution.

  • Main Activity: Mobile App Development (70%)
  • Industry Focus: Arts, Retail, Hospitality, Consumer Products, Financial Services (all 20%) 
  • Founded: 2009
  • Client Size: Midmarket (50%)
  • Company Size: 1-10
  • Key Clients: Panasonic, Random House
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $150 – $199

Screenshot: part of Red Foundry’s client wall






Hashrocket were featured by the New York Times in 2009 for their app development process – they work in pairs. Clearly the method has paid dividends, as they have worked for large companies like Adecco and Ericsson as well as small businesses and start-ups (up to 50% of their work). They started off using Ruby on Rails and have since expanded to Node, Ember.js and, as they put it “anything to get the job done.”

  • Main Activity: Web Development (55%), Mobile App Development (40%)
  • Industry Focus: IT
  • Founded: 2008
  • Client Size: Small Business (50%), Midmarket (40%)
  • Company Size: 10-49 
  • Key Clients: Adecco, Ericsson
  • Avg. Hourly Rate: $150 – $199

Hashrocket Client Profile: Flagstuff



Final Thoughts

Chicago has a wealth and range of talent for mobile app development, ranging from mobility solutions for businesses to games and social networks. There’s something here for everyone, and we hope this list helps you find what you’re looking for.