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updated: 12/3/2012 9:33 AM

Naperville entrepreneur goes backstage to give consumer rewards

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  • Justin Jarvinen

    Justin Jarvinen


Justin Jarvinen of Naperville has created a new platform that can be used by companies to track how their brand is mentioned online by consumers and allow those consumers to earn entertainment options as rewards.

Jarvinen, founder and CEO of Chicago-based BCKSTGR, said the first business to use the platform is United Airlines, which will allow its MileagePlus members a chance to earn exclusive experiences and other rewards as their posts about that company are tracked on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google and LinkedIn.

While United is the first major business to use the platform, which can be found at, other businesses likely will be using it soon, Jarvinen said.

"Any brand or business, a restaurant or a store, can all get involved in this and provide experiences for consumers," he said.

BCKSTGR started in October 2011 with $2 million in seed money and has nine employees, he added.

He's touting the platform to a variety of companies, so they can create their own virtual currency, like United does with its mileage program. Other businesses could do something similar, he said.

In the United case, consumers can use award miles to bid on special experiences and entertainment events, such as private dinners with celebrity chefs, backstage passes to concerts, rounds of golf at prestigious clubs and other events.

"If you engage that brand, it triggers the technology and tracks how you mention it in social media," he said.

Surfing: Twenty companies, including Redbox, Braintree, Sprout Social and others, in Chicago's tech community have united for Tech the Halls, a program organized by GiveForward, a Chicago-based crowd sourcing website, to help those suffering from serious illness or injury pay their medical bills. The companies will encourage donations from customers, clients and investors for their adopted families, with the tech firms matching those donations.

• Abraham Lincoln artifacts previously on display only at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum are on a digital portal supported by a grant from the AT&T Foundation. "Under His Hat: Discovering Lincoln's story from Primary Sources," is the online education product of the Lincoln Collection Digitization Project. The project brings to life the story of the nation's 16th President through "The Lincoln Collection," which is comprised of 52,000 Lincoln and Lincoln-era historical materials. Go to

American Airlines launched a new mobile app for iPad offering flight information at a glance, with helpful options including seat changes, parking alerts, boarding passes and other flight details. Until Dec. 31, fans who have "liked" American's Facebook page can register for a chance to win a weekly drawing for 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles.

• Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter. Write to her at

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