Mullenweg is the founding developer of the popular open-source blogging software WordPress, which powers nearly 20 percent of the Web. It’s hard to find a power list that Mullenweg isn’t on. He’s on PC World’s Top 50 People on the Web, Inc.com’s 30 under 30, Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web, and Vanity Fair’s Next Establishment.
Craig Ulliott is a British-born serial technologist and entrepreneur currently serving as VP of Product and CTO at Belly. Craig’s list of services and companies he’s built or founded include Card Creator, Ohaso Limited, Where I’ve Been, SocialKaty Inc, and now Belly. Craig also serves as the CTO of Chicago Ideas Week, is an advisor at several Chicago area startups, and is a mentor at 1871. Craig keeps the past, present & future digital aspects of Belly in tact, so if the website or app is broken, blame him.
PJ is the founder and COO of GitHub, a social network for programmers that provides powerful collaboration, review, and code management for open source and private development projects. Launched in 2008, Github now has over 3 million users and hosts over 5 million repositories. Prior to founding GitHub, PJ worked as a software engineer at CNET and served as a partner at Err Free, LLC.
Robin Chase is founder and CEO of Buzzcar, a service that brings together car owners and drivers in a carsharing marketplace. Robin is also founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world, and GoLoco, an online ridesharing community. Robin has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and BusinessWeek Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow.
As Senior VP of Engineering and Global Product Development at Motorola, Iqbal Arshad leads one of the most innovative engineering teams in the mobile industry. Under Iqbal’s leadership, this team has delivered market-leading product lines including Motorola DROID and RAZR™. During his tenure, he was instrumental in achieving industry milestones such as Motorola’s first 4G wireless chipset and award-winning battery life technologies. Iqbal holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and a MEM from Northwestern University.
Jeff Lawson is the CEO and a co-founder of Twilio, a cloud communications company that is reinventing telecom by merging the worlds of cloud computing, web services and telecommunications. Jeff brings over 15 years of entrepreneurial and product experience to the team. Before Twilio, Jeff served as a Product Manager at Amazon Web Services, and has held founding executive roles for NineStar, Stubhub.com, and Versity.com. He earned a BS in Computer Science and Film/Video from the University of Michigan.
Serving as founder and faculty member, Sal Khan sets the vision for Khan Academy and expands the library of educational videos. Before quitting his job as manager of a hedge fund to run Khan Academy full time, Sal also found time to get three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. In 2012, Time named him to its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Alexandre Douzet is the Chief Executive Officer of TheLadders, the premier online job-matching service for career-driven professionals. He co-founded the company in 2003 and grew the member base to nearly 6 million since inception. Alex holds an MBA in general management from INSEAD, an MS in direct marketing from New York University, and a BS in business administration from the University of Lyon III in France.
As Chief Product Officer, Hope Gurion is in charge of identifying and growing new business ventures for CareerBuilder. In addition to overseeing investment opportunities to expand CareerBuilder services, Gurion spearheads CareerBuilder.com’s lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. to address critical Internet and human resource issues. Hope holds an MBA degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Shawn Riegsecker is the founder and CEO of Centro, a software and managed services partner to advertising agencies. Shawn has led Centro to receive many accolades, including No. 1 on Crain’s Chicago Business’ Best Places to Work 2011, 2012 and 2013. Shawn is also a member of the selection committee for 1871 and an angel investor in the FireStarter Fund. He holds a BS in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University.
Maria Katris is the CEO of Built In Chicago, a platform which enables cities to connect, educate and promote their growing digital communities. Previously, Maria was the Executive Director of TiE Midwest, the Chicago chapter of a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to high growth entrepreneurs. Maria has a BS in Finance from Miami University and an MBA from Northwestern University with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Maria serves on the advisory boards of Caregiverlist.com, the Chicago Innovation Awards, Techweek and Social Media Week Chicago
Jeff Silver is the founder and CEO of Coyote Logistics, one of the fastest-growing 3PLs in North America. Before Coyote, he pioneered the 3PL industry in the 1980s and 1990s with American Backhaulers, the second-largest North American freight brokerage at the time. In 2011, Jeff was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Midwest category, and Coyote was named to the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies for the second year in a row. He earned an MBA from University of Michigan and a MEng in logistics from MIT.
Adam Goldenberg is the founder and CEO of Intelligent Beauty, which has launched businesses including Sensa.com, Dermstore, and JustFab.com. Under Adam’s leadership, JustFab.com, a subscription-based fashion site, has grown to 10 million members. At age 16, Adam created Gamer’s Alliance Inc, which was purchased by Intermix Media, a parent company of MySpace. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer at age 20, becoming the youngest COO of a publicly traded company.
Shauna Mei is the founder and CEO of AHAlife.com, a discovery global e-commerce site for hard-to-find and exclusive luxury products named #19 on Fast Company’s list of the Most Innovative Companies of 2013. Prior to founding AHAlife.com, Shauna served as the COO of Casall International, a Swedish wellness/activewear company and founded Aronsson Group, a luxury fashion investment and advisory firm.
Liz Kammel founded ZipFit Inc. in 2011 with co-founder Seth Pychewicz. The company has stores in the Chicagoland area, an e-commerce platform, and licenses its fit technology to apparel brands. Prior to starting ZipFit, Liz worked for her family’s startup in air pollution control and at Mercer in the Human Capital group. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Economics and Italian from Emory and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She recently obtained her MBA from the Booth School of Business and graduated with honors. She regularly blogs for forbes.com.
Raaja Nemani is the co-founder and CEO of BucketFeet.com, a Chicago-based e-commerce company that creates artist-designed footwear. Raaja’s international travels—which include a trek through the Himalayas and a dive with great white sharks—inspired him to launch BucketFeet in 2011, as a platform to celebrate artists from all over the world. Now selling in 10 countries, Bucketfeet has worked with 100+ artists from over 30 countries. Raja injects his love of design and global community into BucketFeet’s mission, which aims to find a different artist to design every pair of shoes and provide consumers ever-original footwear that tells a story.
Cecelia Myers is the co-founder and COO of CakeStyle, a personal styling service for women that delivers a box of handpicked clothing and accessories to customers. Founded in 2011, CakeStyle is based in Chicago and is funded by Sandbox Industries. Cecelia was inspired to start CakeStyle after hearing from busy friends’ and colleague’s frustrations about shopping and style. She has worked on a variety of consumer technology and client service startups and holds a BA from Indiana University.
Liz Salcedo is the founder and CEO of Everpurse, a fashionable, tech solution that provides long-lasting battery life to mobile phones for women on the go. Liz’s mission is for every purse to be an Everpurse and she works daily towards the goal of providing a functional and fashionable solution to women around the world. She was recently included in Crain’s Chicago Business’s list of the top “20 in their 20s,” a testament to her hard-work, creativity and passion.
Daniel Carroll is Wealthfront’s founder and Chief Strategy Officer. Daniel founded Wealthfront upon realizing the mass need for honest, inexpensive investment management. An investor at a young age, Daniel went on to work in fixed income at financial research firm FactSet. His passion and experience ultimately blossomed into the disruptive model that Wealthfront brings to the personal investment industry today. Daniel holds a BS in finance from University of Arizona and was named one of the “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs under 30″ by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2011.
Matt is a Vice President at Battery Ventures where he focuses on early-stage investments in Internet, software and service businesses. Before joining Battery Ventures, Matt served as the CEO of New York at Groupon where he grew revenues 220% for Groupon’s largest market. Prior to Groupon, Matt worked at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a $7.7B private equity and venture capital firm. Matt graduated with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a dual concentration in Finance and Management.
Tom Sosnoff is a recognized online brokerage innovator and sought-after financial educator. Tom founded thinkorswim in 1999, and tastytrade in 2011. Under Tom’s leadership, thinkorswim evolved into the leader in daily retail options trading, and a pioneer in investor education services. Tom now hosts and produces the revolutionary programming on the fastest growing financial news network tastytrade. tastytrade has over 8 hours of live daily programming, which is empowering the self directed retail investor providing actionable information with strategies that are changing the world of financial content.
Alex Mittal is CEO and co-founder of FundersClub, the world’s first online venture capital platform. Prior to starting FundersClub, Alex founded Innova Dynamics and Crederity, where he continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Alex was named to Forbes 30 Under 30 in the Technology category (2012), Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 (2012), BusinessWeek’s America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs list (2010) and America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs list (2009). Also, MIT Lincoln Laboratory named an asteroid after him for his past science research.
Natalia Oberti Noguera is Founder and CEO of the Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women philanthropists. The Pipeline Fellowship works to increase diversity in the U.S angel investing community and creates capital for women social entrepreneurs. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature & Economics from Yale. Women’s eNews recognized her as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century for 2012 and Business Insider included her on its 2013 list “The 30 Most Important Women in Tech under 30.”
Anthony Gallippi is the co-founder and CEO of BitPay, an automated payment processing system for the bitcoin currency. He has 15 years of experience in sales and marketing working in the Robotics industry. Bitcoin is a new financial technology, invented in 2009 as the first peer-to-peer digital currency. Using bitcoin, it is possible to send money like an email to anyone, anytime, anywhere without going through a bank, government, or corporation. Anthony holds a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Kim Dotcom is a German born Internet entrepreneur, currently based in New Zealand. He is the founder of Mega, an internet company that provides a cloud file system at your fingertips, including cross-account folder sharing for easy online collaboration. The company prides itself on providing a service that helps protect customer privacy. Before Mega, Kim established Megaupload in 2005. Megaupload was an online Hong Kong–based company that ran online services related to file storage and viewing.
Chet is the founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., a groundbreaking online TV platform. Previously, Chet was the founder and CEO of Navic Networks. Under Chet’s direction, Navic Networks grew to be the undisputed industry leader in advanced television advertising and was subsequently acquired by Microsoft in 2008. Chet, who holds more than 14 patents is an innovative leader known for pushing beyond the conventional and developing breakthrough solutions.
Alex Winter began his career as an actor on Broadway and in movies, including the BILL AND TED franchise and THE LOST BOYS. His work as a writer/director includes the hit MTV comedy series, THE IDIOT BOX; feature films FREAKED, from Twentieth Century Fox, and FEVER, an Official Selection at Cannes. Currently, Alex produced and directed Downloaded, a feature documentary about the digital revolution, including Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning.
Howard A. Tullman serves as President and CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy and as the Managing Partner of Chicago High Tech Investment Partners, LLC. He is also a Trustee of WTTW in Chicago and an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Howard was previously appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities throughout the Clinton presidency. He has served as a Trustee of the Democratic National Committee and previously as Vice Chairman of the Clinton Presidential Library Committee.
Emerson Spartz is one of the world’s leading experts on internet virality and has been featured in major media including the Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. As the CEO of Spartz Inc, he runs one of the fastest-growing digital media publishers with 160 million page views per month. The Spartz Media Network of eighteen websites includes OMG Facts, GivesMeHope, and SmartphOWNED. At the age of 12, Spartz founded MuggleNet, the #1 Harry Potter website, which attracted 50 million page views per month. By the age of 19, Spartz became a New York Times bestselling author after publishing his first book. Spartz currently lives in Chicago with his wife Gaby and his pet chinchilla, Zoë.
Bob Lord is the global CEO of Razorfish. In his role he oversees the global operations of Razorfish and Digitas, and sits on Publicis Groupe’s P12. Bob holds a BS in engineering from Syracuse University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves the industry by holding a seat on the Board of Directors for the Ad Council and being an active TEDster. He is also a founding member of The Nantucket Project.
Adam Fisk is CEO of the Brave New Software Project (BNS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to building software tools to tackle the world’s toughest challenges. Funded by a multimillion-dollar State Department grant, Fisk and his team are currently working on Lantern, a censorship circumvention tool connecting people in blocked countries to the open Internet. Prior to founding BNS, Adam spent over a decade designing P2P applications for LimeWire and LittleShoot.
Andrew Sieja is the CEO of kCura Corporation. He founded kCura as a software consultancy in February 2001 and successfully pivoted it in 2007 to a fast growing enterprise software company. kCura’s platform, Relativity, provides flexible, scalable, and easy-to-use e-discovery solutions for the legal community. Today, Relativity has more than 75,000 end users from organizations including the U.S. Department of Justice and 95 of the top 100 law firms in the United States. Andrew loves technology, is a computer programmer by trade, and prior to starting kCura has worked as a technologist for Siemens, Honeywell’s UOP, and as a consultant for Lante Corporation.
Stefan Weitz is a Senior Director of Search at Microsoft. While focused on Microsoft’s product line, he works across the industry to understand search behavior and academic developments. In his role as an evangelist for Search, Stefan gathers and distills feedback to drive product improvements. Prior to Search, Stefan led the strategy to develop the next generation MSN portal platform and Microsoft’s muni WiFi strategy and implementation.
Amit Jhawar joins Braintree from KKR, where he worked on evaluating potential acquisitions as well as building new capabilities within portfolio companies through improved operations and partnerships. During his tenure at KKR, his companies distinctively outperformed their peers by sustainably gaining market share and improving margins through his efforts to carefully tailor their offerings to the marketplace. Jhawar earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of California, Berkeley, and his MBA from Harvard Business School, both with high honors.
Adam Wilczewski is the Chief of Staff at the International Trade Administration. A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, ITA’s mission is to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promote trade and investment, and ensure fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of trade laws and agreements. Before joining ITA, Adam served as Deputy Political Director for the Obama for America Campaign in Florida. Adam earned a law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law as well as a degree in International Relations from the University of Florida.
Paulina is Program Manager for Google for Entrepreneurs Kraków. She got her M.Sc. in human sciences at the Jagiellonian University. During her studies, she started working for Motorola until she moved to Google as Managing Assistant. Currently, she works on several programs including “Google for Entrepreneurs Kraków” (GEK), with the goal of building a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Poland. Passionate about volunteering, Paulina used these experiences in Ghana, working with NGOs as well as local developers and business communities on creating sustainable growth models.
Tony is the co-founder and CEO of about.me, the platform for representing personal identity online. In addition to founding about.me and blog search engine Sphere (acquired by Aol), he is a member of the True Ventures founding team, leading investments in WordPress, Blue Bottle Coffee, MakerBot, Typekit, High Fidelity and more. He is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington. Tony is originally from a small Indiana farming community, has lived in Paris, Jakarta, New Delhi, New York and currently lives in San Francisco.
Steve is the Founder and CEO of Brewster. Named after the street he grew up on, Brewster aims to reinvent the address book through an understanding of relationships. Previously, Steve worked at drop.io (completed deal with Facebook), McKinsey & Co., Maveron Venture Capital, Home Depot, and Goldman Sachs. Steve graduated with a BA in Economics from Bucknell University (Magna Cum Laude) and with an MBA in Entrepreneurship from the Harvard Business School.
Guillaume is CEO and co-founder of Scoop.it, an interest-based Social Media site that makes people smarter by making it easier for them to discover, edit, and share ideas that matter. Guillaume’s previous company, Paris-based Musiwave, became the leading Mobile Music Service Provider in Europe and was sold for $120 million in 2006 and is now the music platform of Microsoft. He graduated with a Masters in Engineering at Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in France.
Jahan Khanna is the co-founder and CTO of Sidecar, and a nationally recognized expert in transportation technology. As a University of Michigan Student, Jahan was the lead programmer on the “Magic Bus Project”, a transit application that tells passengers how long they’ll wait for the next bus. This school project became Shepherd Intelligent Systems, a transportation software company for public transit, taxi, limo, school, and shuttle bus fleets that is still used by the University of Michigan today. Under Jahan’s leadership, Sidecar’s engineering team has developed a platform that has matched more than 250,000 shared rides.
Uzi Shmilovici is the CEO and co-founder of Base, a Chicago-based company that is building the next generation customer relationship management and sales tracking software. When he finds the time, Uzi likes to write about the future of software, and has written for TechCrunch, GigaOM and ReadWriteWeb. He holds a BA in Economics and Management from the Tel Aviv University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Jim Benton is the COO and co-founder of ClearSlide. He has built his career around generating revenue by translating customer needs into innovative new products. Prior to ClearSlide, Jim served as VP of Sales at AdBrite, where he was a founding executive and the company’s fifth employee. In his first three years at AdBrite, Jim helped grow revenue from $1 million to $30 million. Prior to AdBrite, and following Evite’s acquisition by Ticketmaster, Jim contributed his sales expertise to IAC/Ticketmaster.