About

Ray Hightower in Shanghai, China

Quick Summary

Raymond T. Hightower founded and ran a technology company for twenty-one years before selling the company in 2016. Today, Hightower is CEO of Bridgetown Partners, builders of software for the commercial real estate industry.

Tech Leadership & Speaking

Hightower is the creator of several tech conferences, including WindyCityRails. He served as lead organizer of ChicagoRuby from 2007 to 2017. He is a perpetual student, currently exploring parallelism, quantum computing, and IoT. Hightower is invited to speak at tech conferences around the world, and he blogs on technology and business growth right here at RayHightower.com.

Early Career

Early in his career, Hightower worked in software development for Hewlett Packard, technical sales for IBM, and commercial real estate for Marcus & Millichap. He studied Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed his BS in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Launching Companies

Hightower launched WisdomGroup as a network consultancy in 1994. He earned the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification and pulled the company into the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) ecosystem. Later, as the open source movement gained momentum, Hightower steered the company away from networking and toward software development with open source tools such as Ruby on Rails.

After the pivot to software development, WisdomGroup completed web and mobile projects in multiple industries: healthcare, financial services, high performance computing, e-commerce, travel, event management, and not-for-profit. Each successful project led to larger opportunities and a stronger reputation for the team, culminating in the sale of the company in 2016.

Hightower’s latest venture, Bridgetown Partners, builds asset management software for the commercial real estate industry.

Other Stuff

Hightower is a scuba diver, marathon runner, martial artist, skier, Eagle Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster, and world traveler. He has visited every state in the USA and most continents on planet Earth.

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