Chicago Stock Exchange

When Monte Henige traded the august digs of the Chicago Stock Exchange for an office overlooking the Hard Rock Café and Chicago's famous "Rock and Roll" McDonald's, he got more than just a colorful change of scenery. He also got a stake in his own company.

Monte left his post as chief financial officer at the U.S.'s second oldest stock exchange to take on the CFO duties at Eolas, a maker of interactivity tools for the World Wide Web. Corum advised Monte when the stock exchange sold its subsidiary, CSE Integrated Systems, Inc, to DST Catalyst in 1997. After shepherding that deal, Monte knew he wanted something more.

"I'd been at the Exchange for a couple years," he says. "I was looking for an entrepreneurial venture, a place where I could own a piece of the action."

He's found it at Eolas - the name is both the Gaelic word for knowledge and an acronym for "embedded objects linked across systems"- where he's spent the last year gearing the company's business operations in preparation for the launch of its first products.

Meanwhile, he and his wife have been occupied with a "product launch" of their own: the birth of their first son, Jack. Looking out over the tourists milling around the streets in front of his office, Monte laughs. "This," he chuckles, "is a long way from the financial district."