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Honoree Headshot

Mike Stratta

Founder & CEO
Arcalea

Location: Cook County
Year Founded: 2015
Industry Group Specific: Marketing Technology/AI

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Destined for the entrepreneurial life, Mike Stratta has been chasing dreams since he was 9, mowing lawns and handling paper routes. In high school, Stratta dabbled in every service gig imaginable and then attended college.

“His first job out of college was a corporate sales gig with IBM, where he spent five years and landed in the President’s Club before getting a little bored with the 9-5 life,” said his colleagues. “It didn’t take long for Mike to hedge his best, quit his job and start his first company.”

This led to the creation of a full-service marketing agency and a video recruitment solutions company. After selling both firms, Stratta created Arcalea with the goal of helping brands win in marketing by understanding the data fabric. He and his team borrowed from his information security days and his agency experience to create a new form of forensic marketing analysis.

Arcalea builds AI software as a service solution for marketers. A leader in the AI space with two AI products brought to the market in the last three years, Arcalea builds AI-powered data products that exponentially improve marketing and is on a mission to inspire a new generation of business growth through data science solutions.

In the first five years, Stratta led the firm’s growth to be named an Inc 500 fastest growing company and partnered with tech-forward brands in real estate, cannabis and healthcare industries to help them not only compete but beat industry leaders. By 2020, Arcalea began experimenting with AI and machine learning which became the foundation for the company’s transformation.

“Today, Arcalea remains the only provider of a machine learning-based search ranking factor analysis in any industry and has expanded the analysis to nearly every sector,” said Stratta. “We are on a mission to further democratize data science and marketing and inspire a new generation of business growth.”

Under Stratta’s leadership, all employees were involved in creating the company’s core values, he covers 100 percent of all insurance premiums for employees and the DE&I program has flourished.

Beyond his successful business ventures, inventions, accolades and media mentions, Stratta’s staff said he is a titan because of his commitment to building culture, creating value for clients and his commitment to his communities. “As markets become increasingly global and competitive all while offerings are further commoditized, it can be scary to be a visionary, let alone an entrepreneur,” they said. “Yet, Mike’s professional life is one marked by a track record of innovation.”

For his entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, Stratta has been named a titan.

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When asked about a "superpower," it's humbling to reflect on my journey and realize that it isn't about any innate capability, but perhaps more about a cultivated mindset. Throughout my career, what's always inspired me most are the opportunities to explore and innovate. I've tried to maintain a delicate balance between adhering to the established "status quo" and adopting an exploratory "what if" perspective.

Rather than being an inherent strength, I believe I've developed a sensitivity over time to recognize potential avenues for unique value creation. This has sometimes meant questioning the norm or venturing into unfamiliar territory. I see it not so much as a unique power, but as a culmination of experiences and learnings that may have encouraged me to look beyond the obvious.

While I've been fortunate to be in roles that allowed such exploration, like at Arcalea, it has always been a collective effort. It's the feedback, collaboration, and shared vision with teams that have truly driven innovation.

So, if I must identify a superpower, it would be the continuous desire to learn, evolve, and collaborate. It's about envisioning what could be, with a humble acknowledgment of the vast possibilities yet to be discovered. It's been a fulfilling journey thus far, and I'm ever grateful for the challenges and opportunities to engage in the spirit of innovation every day with truly great human beings.

What is Your Superpower?

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