Escape Pod expands with stake in digital company

Marketing/advertising agency The Escape Pod has invested in what managing director Norm Billow calls “substantial stake” in digital experience studio Ora Interactive.

Founded by Mike Kelly in 2009, Ora Interactive provides Interface/UX design, application development, virtual reality and connected devices — “a strategic partnership that will expand The Escape Pod’s full-service offerings and accelerate our speed to ideas while giving our clients cost efficiencies,” says Bilow, who co-founded the 10 year old agency with creative Vinny Warren.

Next week Thursday, Aug. 11 through Aug. 13, Ora’s 22-member staff of designers, developers and manager will move a few blocks from their present offices at 327 N. Aberdeen into 5,000-sq. ft. in the 12,000-sq. ft. building The Escape Pad occupies at 400 N. Peoria.

“We’re very excited,” says Bilow. Bringing Ora’s digital firepower in-house will enhance our full suite of services, we now have the ability to conceive, produce, program and build anything we can dream up, faster and at a better cost for our clients,” notes Bilow.

Adds Kelly, known one of Chicago’s leading mobile technology innovators, “By joining forces, we’re fusing the best creative ideas with technology that can power richer brand experiences for clients.”

Ora’s client roster includes start-ups such as Dryv dry cleaning and Fooda, a lunchtime office lunch service, to mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies, including Sears, Canon, Allstate, and Baxter Healthcare.