Money and political power were on the speakers list at the grand opening of Matter, a new health technology incubator in Chicago's Merchandise Mart.
Bruce Rauner, the new Republican governor of Illinois, embodied both. He gave a shoutout during his remarks to Howard Tullman, a noted “serial entrepreneur” in the audience. Rauner recalled that his own investment company, GTCR, had done well by investing in Tullman's ventures.
J.B. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, spoke after Rauner. Pritzker said he was jealous to hear about Rauner's success in backing Tullman's for-profit ventures, while Pritzker said he had invested in Tullman's not-for-profit ventures.
Pritzker turned to Rauner and quipped: “I wish you had called me.”
What was left unsaid was Tullman's endorsement of incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the last election, whom Rauner defeated. Tullman's brother Glen, the former Allscripts CEO, backed Rauner.