2013 Featured Speakers
Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, ContextMedia
Shradha Agarwal is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of ContextMedia where she is responsible for overseeing revenue growth, member acquisition and happiness, media content, as well as product development. She is also the Founder and Managing Partner of JumpStart Ventures as well as a mentor at Blueprint Health LLC, Socratic Labs, and The Founder Institute. Shradha has received many honors, including being named to Crain’s Business 40-Under-40 Class of 2012 and winning the 2013 Asian-American Women Breaking Barriers Award.
Technology Leader, Motorola Mobility
Rachid is a Master Innovator and Science Advisory Board Associate (SABA) – representing the top 1% of technology leaders across Motorola Mobility. He holds 50 issued patents and 80+ pending patent applications with the U.S. Patent Office. He has developed several futuristic concepts and technology applications that were later adopted in the cellular industry. Most notably, he led the ultra-thin clam project, which started the iconic first MOTOROLA RAZR. Rachid holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University.
SVP of Engineering & Global Product Development, Motorola
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.
Founder & CEO, Yesware
Matthew Bellows is CEO of Yesware. He is responsible for sales, product vision and strategic direction of the company. As a founder of the company, Matthew brings more than 10 years of extensive sales experience to the company’s goal of helping salespeople close more deals faster.
Co-founder & COO, ClearSlide
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.
Founder & CEO, Hailo
Jay Bregman is the Founder and CEO of Hailo, a network that matches passengers and licensed taxi drivers using a tool which helps to make cabbies’ days more sociable and profitable. Hailo has raised $50M in investment from an all-star cast of investors including Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Wellington Partners, Atomico Ventures, Richard Branson and KDDI. He holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MSc from the London School of Economics. Jay was named on the Times’ 100 People to Watch in 2012.
CTO, Networked Insights
At Networked Insights, Brad Burke aligns technology vision with business strategy, leading the development of technology that provides business value to brands and marketers. Brad oversees all aspects of Networked Insights innovation, from idea to end product. Brad has more than 15 years of technology development and a proven record delivering results for data-centric companies. Previously, he served as CTO of The Patent Board, where he was responsible for company development, technology operations, and all data services.
Founder & CSO, WealthFront
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.
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.
President & CEO, Diagnostic Photonics
Andrew Cittadine is the president and CEO of Diagnostic Photonics. Andrew has 15 years of leadership experience as a co-founder or chief executive in four medical device companies. He co-founded and served as CEO of American BioOptics, served as the interim CEO for SonarMed, and co-founded Sensant Corporation. Andrew received a BA in History and a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where he was elected to Tau Beta Pi. He holds an MBA with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Executive Director of Service Leadership Programs, Chicago Public Schools
Todd Connor is the Executive Director of Service Leadership Programs at Chicago Public Schools where he oversees 6 Military Academies/High Schools and the nation’s largest Junior ROTC program with over 11,000 students across 44 high school programs. Previously, Todd had his own strategy consulting practice focused on leadership strategy and communications, and worked for Booz Allen Hamilton. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an Officer in the United States Navy and Navigator of the USS BUNKER HILL (CG-52). He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Northwestern University.
Founder & CEO, about.me
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.
Director of International Sales, kCura
Steve joined kCura in 2012 as Director of International Sales. In this role, he is responsible for managing enterprise accounts outside of North America and Canada, which include corporations, law firms, and government agencies with on-premises installations of Relativity. Prior to kCura, he was the head of global sales for LDM Global, a London-based legal technology service provider specializing in e-disclosure projects worldwide. From 2005 to 2009, Steve served as a U.K. sales manager for Toshiba. Steve received a bachelor’s degree in architecture and building management from Nottingham Trent University.
Co-founder & President, kCura
Brandon Cruz is the co-founder and President of GoHealth, the nation’s most comprehensive online portal for health insurance. Brandon has 12 years of experience as a leader in the technology industry, and is the visionary behind the applications that have transformed the technology landscape for health insurance. In 2001, Brandon co-founded GoHealth – initially as Norvax, Inc. – which quickly set the standard for changing the healthcare industry through a variety of innovative applications that are used by over 135 insurance carriers, thousands of insurance agencies, and millions of consumers each month. Today, as President of GoHealth, Brandon is recognized throughout the industry as an influential thought leader, and regularly speaks on the topics of technology, healthcare, and business operations. Prior to founding GoHealth, Brandon worked as a systems analyst at Lante Corp. in Chicago. He graduated from Miami University in Ohio with a B.S. in Management Information Systems.
Phil Davis is the CEO of Rapleaf which provides real-time data on 80% of U.S. emails. As a data veteran, Phil speaks about big data at conferences across the country. Prior to Rapleaf, Phil was the President of ConsumerBase where he ran their data division and digital agency. Prior to ConsumerBase, Phil was the SVP / HD of the newly formed online division of Equifax. Before Equifax, Phil was part of the management team that took Daleen Technologies public. Phil holds his BS from Vanderbilt University.
Co-founder & CEO, Scoop.it
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.
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.
Founder & CEO, TheLadders
Alexandre Douzet is the Chief Executive Officer of TheLadders, the premier online job-matching service for career-driven professionals, where he is responsible for the company strategy, global business operations, and product development. 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. A competitive athlete, Alex finished the 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship in 12 hours, 12 minutes and 21 seconds.
Chief Innovation Officer, Coyote Logistics
Bill Driegert is the Chief Innovation Officer for Coyote Logistics, one of the fastest growing logistics companies in North America. Driegert has a serious crush on big ideas. He has the freedom to continually improve and re-imagine Coyote’s technology platform and set his team of developers loose on insanely challenging problems. When he’s not plotting data points and Coyote’s next move, he can be found playing monster with his four-year-old daughter and young son. Or racing mountain bikes. Or playing drums. Or rebuilding motorcycles. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business from SMU, a Masters of Engineering in Logistics from MIT, and an MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business.
President & CCO, Spooky Cool Labs
Brian Eddy is the President and CCO of Spooky Cool Labs a developer of premium social and mobile games including the immense free to play builder Wizard of Oz game available on Facebook and Mobile. Previously, he was an executive producer and director with Midway Games, where he designed several of the most popular and influential pinball machines of the 1990s, including Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness. He is also the author of Classic Video Games: The Golden Age, 1971-1984 by Shire Publications.
Co-founder, President, & CEO, BriteSeed
Paul is President, CEO, and Co-founder of BriteSeed, a Chicago-based medical device company. Since winning Techweek LAUNCH 2012, BriteSeed has gone on to receive multiple local and national awards from both the healthcare and entrepreneurship communities, including the Chicago Innovation Awards selecting BriteSeed as one of Chicago’s top ten up and coming companies. Paul is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and earned Highest Distinction.
Geography Head, Mu Sigma
Mike has spent the last 13 years leading teams that leverage data to develop and deliver an improved customer experience. As Geography Head at Mu Sigma, Mike is responsible for people development, thought leadership and client delivery in the Midwest and Southeast. Prior to joining Mu Sigma, Mike led the Loyalty and CRM group at Walgreens. In this role, he was responsible for loyalty marketing, customer analytics and customer strategy development. Mike received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Dayton in 1999 and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University in 2004.
CEO of Brave New Software Project, Lead Engineer of Limewire
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.
Executive Director, Chicago Innovation Mentors
John has over 20 years of experience in the life sciences field focused on entrepreneurial finance and operations. He currently manages a growing portfolio of companies that Flavin Ventures has formed or is co-developing with other venture firms in the life sciences arena. Mr. Flavin guest lectures regularly at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in the area of entrepreneurship, commercializing innovation and finance. Mr. Flavin holds a BS in Business Administration from Marquette University and an MBA in Finance from Lewis University.
CEO, beBetter Health
Ralph came to beBetter in 2005, becoming its CEO in 2006. Under his leadership, beBetter has expanded from its mid-Atlantic roots to a nationally focused wellness company serving benefit brokers and small and mid-sized businesses. He relocated beBetter Health’s company headquarters to Chicago in 2011. Ralph lives wellness. His passion for health and fitness drives him to compete in Olympic-distance triathlons as well as Ironman 70.3 races. Ralph began his career in finance with Morgan Stanley and Heffernan & Company, before moving to the technology sector. Ralph received his Master’s in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), and serves on the Business Associates board at Rush University Medical Center.
Co-founder & CEO, BitPay
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.
President & CEO, Funny or Die
Dick Glover is President and CEO of the award-winning Funny Or Die, comedy website and production and distribution company. Under Glover’s leadership, Funny Or Die has become a model for 21st century entertainment, producing content over numerous platforms and garnering millions of social media followers. Previously, Glover was VP of Broadcasting and New Media for NASCAR Digital Entertainment. Glover also worked at Walt Disney Company and ESPN, helping both brands succeed in the digital market.
Adam Goldenberg is the founder and CEO of Intelligent Beauty, which has launched new businesses in the personal care and fashion space including Sensa.com, Dermstore, and JustFab.com. Under Adam’s leadership, JustFab.com, a subscription-based fashion site, has grown to 10 million members. A born entrepreneur, at age 16 Adam created Gamer’s Alliance Inc., an advertising network of gaming sites. The venture was purchased by Intermix Media, a parent company of MySpace, and Adam joined the company as Vice President of Strategic Planning. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer at the age of 20, becoming the youngest COO of a publicly traded company.
Managing Director, BTIG
Richard Greenfield is the Head of New Media Satellite and Telecom Industries at BTIG, LLC. Mr. Greenfield is the Co-Head of Research at BTIG, LLC, Research Division. Previously, he was the Managing Director and Co-Head of Research at Pali Capital Inc., Research Division. He provided coverage of the media, entertainment, and cable systems industries. He was named as top the Independent Entertainment and Cable/Satellite Analyst in both 2005 and 2004 by Institutional Investor magazine. Mr. Greenfield holds a B.A. in History from Brandeis University.
Founder & CEO, Brewster
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.
Chief Product Officer, CareerBuilder
As Chief Product Officer, Hope Gurion leads efforts to identify and pursue growth opportunities for CareerBuilder, specifically relating to innovation and the development of new solutions to help companies of all sizes connect with top talent. She also serves as CareerBuilder’s representative to the Clinton Global Initiative. Hope manages all existing service and product lines, including advertising, creative services, mobile, Talent Network and CareerBuilder’s niche sites, including WorkInRetail.com, Sologig.com and CareerRookie.com. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Gurion held a variety of marketing and business development roles for America Online and Discovery Communications. Gurion holds an MBA degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Founder & CEO, Sprout Social
Justyn Howard is the founder and CEO of Sprout Social. Founded in 2010, Sprout Social provides innovative tools that help businesses more effectively manage their social media and social care efforts. Prior to Sprout Social, Justyn was a sales leader in the enterprise software space and has written two books on the subject of leveraging technology to impact sales. A leader in Chicago’s tech space, he has been honored in Crain’s “Tech 25” (2011), Techweek’s Tech100 (2012, 2013) and recently as the ITA’s 2013 CityLights “Technologist of the Year.”
VP of Business Development, Blippar
Lisa Hu currently oversees Blippar’s operations and partnerships in the US. Blippar, a mobile visual discovery platform, started in the UK and within the first few months of the US launch, Lisa and team have already secured partnerships with Anheuser Busch, Coca Cola L’Oreal, Hasbro, Warner Bros, Best Buy, Time Inc, Estee Lauder, and other major players across different industry verticals. Prior to Blippar, Lisa was the Director of Media Strategy at Reuters. Lisa holds a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from London Business School.
PJ Hyett 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 more than 3 million users and hosts more than 5 million repositories. Prior to founding GitHub, PJ worked as a software engineer at CNET and served as a partner at Err Free, LLC. He holds a BS in Computer Science.
Founder & CEO, Retrofit
Jeff Hyman is the Founder and CEO of Retrofit, a Chicago-based weight loss program designed for busy professionals that incorporates peripheral services and wireless scales along with live mentorship from wellness experts. He served as SVP of Sales & Marketing for Ameritox, a private equity-owned healthcare services company, and before that he was the first VP of Marketing at Dyson, a maker of consumer products. He holds a BS from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
VP at Battery Ventures
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.
Author & Founder of BuzzMachine
Jeff Jarvis is the creator of the popular weblog, BuzzMachine, and author of “What Would Google Do?” Previously, Jeff was the founding editor of Entertainment Weekly, former Sunday editor and associate publisher of the New York Daily News, columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, television critic for TV Guide and People magazines, assistant city editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and reporter for Chicago Today.
COO & CFO, Braintree
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.
Liz Kammel co-founded ZipFit Inc. in 2011. The company started out as an affiliate website that hosted its proprietary fit technology but has quickly transformed into an independent retailer. The company now has stores in the Chicagoland, an e-commerce platform, and licenses it’s fit technology to apparel brands. Prior to starting ZipFit Inc. Liz obtained her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Emory and recently obtained her MBA from the Booth School of Business. Her prior work experience involved business development and consulting.
Founder & CEO, Aereo, Inc.
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.
CEO, Built in Chicago
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
Founder & Executive Director, Khan Academy
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.
Co-Founder & CTO, SideCar
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.
Co-Founder & CTO, Infochimps
Philip (Flip) Kromer is co-founder and CTO of Infochimps, where he has built a scalable architecture that allows app programmers and statisticians to quickly and confidently manipulate data streams in real-time at arbitrary scale. His mission is to make the world smarter by building tools to unify, visualize and explore rich data. Flip is a frequent author and speaker on data science and Big Data and recently released his book, “Big Data for Chimps”.
Co-founder & CEO, Twilio
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.
Founder & CEO, Postmates
Bastian Lehman is the co-founder and CEO of Postmates, a same day urban logistics and delivery platform that enables anyone to ship any product within a city in under one hour. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with an additional office in London. Bastian had the original idea for Postmates while moving from Munich to London. Previously, he co-founded Curated.by, a real-time curating platform in London and San Francisco. Bastian grew up in Germany and has spent the last few years in London and San Francisco.
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.
Founder & CEO, Food Genius
Justin Massa is the founder and CEO of Food Genius, a big data company centered on the food industry that tracks more than 16.3 million menu items and how consumers interact with them to provide real-time data on restaurant trends and consumer behavior. Previously, Justin was the Director of Project and Grant Development at the Metro Chicago Information Center, co-founder and executive director at MoveSmart.org, and a Chicago Public School teacher. He holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Women’s Studies from Loyola University and a MA in Teaching from National Louis University. In 2009, Justin was named one of the “35 under 35″ emerging civil rights leaders in Chicago by the Community Renewal Society.
Program Manager, Google for Entrepreneurs Kraków
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.
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.
Co-founder & CEO, FundersClub
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.
Co-founder & CEO, Scandit
Samuel Mueller is the Co-founder and CEO of Scandit and is responsible for overall strategic direction, marketing, sales and business development. He has authored numerous patent applications and has published his research results in leading conferences and journals. Samuel holds a PhD from ETH Zurich and graduated summa cum laude with an MSc in Computer Science and an MA in Financial Economics, both from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He has spoken at high‐profile industry conferences such as MobileBeat 2011 in San Francisco and the Mobile Payments Conference 2012 in NYC.
Co-founder & CEO, VIPorbit
Mike is the Co-Founder and Co-Creator of ACT!, the product that originally created the entire Contact Management category and industry globally. Today, Mike is the inventor, CEO & Co-Founder of VIPorbit, a funded software startup company focused on relationship-centric mobile device users wanting robust and seamlessly integrated Mobile Relationship Management capabilities, the category that VIPorbit has created. Mike is also Co-Author of “Who’s In Your ORBIT? – Beyond Facebook, Creating Relationships That Matter”.
Co-founder & Managing Director, Devil’s Advocate Group
Chunka is the managing director at Devil’s Advocate Group, a consulting group that helps companies design and stress test their innovation strategies. He is also the coauthor of two books and numerous articles. His most recently published work is a Kindle ebook, “Driverless Cars: Trillions Are Up For Grabs,” which is drawn from his upcoming book, “The New Killer Apps: This Time, Incumbents Can Beat Startups”. Chunka is also a regular contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. He holds a B.S. in computer science and engineering from MIT.
Founding Developer, WordPress
Matt 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.
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.
Founder & CEO, Healthbox
Nina Nashif is Founder and CEO of Healthbox, a business accelerator created to support early-stage entrepreneurs and stimulate innovation in healthcare. Nina is best known for her expertise in creating entrepreneurial ventures and leading high performing teams. Her background includes fifteen years of global business experience within very different organizational settings. Nina has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and by Crain’s Chicago Business as a 40 Under 40.
Casey Neistat is a filmmaker living New York City. He writes directs and stars in the HBO series The Neistat Brothers. Casey is also a prolific YouTube Filmmaker with over 23 million views.
Co-founder & CEO, Bucketfeet
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.
Natalia Oberti Noguera
Founder & CEO, Pipeline Fellowship
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.”
CEO, Loud Interactive
Brent started doing ‘SEO’ before it was even called ‘SEO’. He’s an internet marketer with over a decade of experience. He cut his teeth in online marketing as a vendor for Amazon.com where he became Amazon’s second largest electronics vendor by driving demand to Amazon from search engines.He began consulting full-time in 2011 with the advent of BaldSEO.com. His success necessitated the expansion of the consulting firm and led to the creation of Loud Interactive. Why the company name change? The employees he hired wouldn’t shave their heads!
Leo Resig is the CEO of Resignation Media, LLC, the parent company of theChive.com, theBerry.com, theBRIGADE.com, theTHROTTLE.com, and TheChivery.com. In November 2008, Leo and his brother, John, founded theChive.com, a photo entertainment website that curates viral photos from across the globe for easy viewing and sharing. The site now receives over 18 million visitors and over 100 million page views per month.
COO, Table XI
As Table XI’s COO, Mark leads the company’s internal operations and delivery practices. Aside from Table XI, Mark has gotten involved in several local philanthropies and nonprofits. He launched the local community “Ravenswood Outdoor Movie Nights” for families in Chicago, serves as a strategic advisor for the nonprofit Kids in Danger, and volunteers time with the Neighborhood Parents Network. He is a graduate of Northwestern University with a BA in economics and German and is currently studying musicology and general music theory.
Founder & CEO, Centro
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.
Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security
Jay Rowell is the Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. He was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in June 2011 and was a lead state negotiator on the 2011 Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund reform legislation. The legislation reduced taxes on Illinois businesses over the next eight years by $400 million. Jay partnered with the Internal Revenue Service on a new anti-fraud system that recovered more than $37 million in just five months. Before joining IDES, he was the Political Director for the Illinois Senate Democrats. Jay also was a Deputy Director of Chicago City Clerk’s Office, and began his public service career as the District Director for State Senator John Cullerton and State Representative Sara Feigenholtz.
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.
Founder & CEO, Solstice Mobile
J’s mission is to help transition enterprises into the era of contextual computing. J is the Founder and CEO of Solstice Mobile, the Midwest’s largest enterprise mobile software and services boutique. J was recently inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, was awarded the University of Illinois College of Engineer Young Alumnus of the Year award and had recent work inducted into the Computerworld Hall of Fame. J is also an active supporter of i.c. stars, a local non-profit that provides opportunities for inner-city young adults in Chicago.
Founder & CEO, Base
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.
Founder & CEO, kCura
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.
Founder and CEO, Coyote Logistics
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.
Co-Founder & COO, SpotHero
Jeremy Smith is the co-founder of SpotHero, allowing users to search and view available parking in and around the city of Chicago. SpotHero was born after Jeremy, in a short-time, amassed $3,500 in Chicago parking tickets. Jeremy previously worked as a financial analyst at Motorola. He graduated with a degree in Finance and International Business from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Founder & CEO, tastytrade
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.
CEO, Spartz Media
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.
Founder & CEO, Convometrics
Rachel Taylor is the founder and CEO of Convometrics, a Chicago-based social media marketing agency. Taylor leads a team of strategists that build innovative social media campaigns which get people talking and are always tied to metrics; thus the name Convometrics. Rachel has experience working with a wide cross-section of industries including technology, consumer goods, energy, education, non-profit, retail, food and beverage, and hospitality. Rachel is a volunteer at Bright Pink and a graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia.
Managing Director, Impact Engine
Chuck Templeton is passionate about early stage and emerging companies, and is focused on using business principles to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. He has had the pleasure of being involved with over two-dozen startups as an investor, board member, or adviser, but spends the majority of his time helping impact companies as the Managing Director of Impact Engine, a 16-week accelerator program that supports for-profit businesses addressing today’s societal or environmental challenges. He took his first big step as an entrepreneur in San Francisco when he founded OpenTable, which went public on the NASDAQ in May of 2009 (OPEN). He helped build an industry leading company that changed the way full-service restaurants manage their top-line growth and diners make their dinner reservations. Chuck serves as Chairman of the Board for GrubHub and is on the Board of Directors for Getable.com, TaskRabbit, and PVPower.
Genevieve Thiers is a Chicago entrepreneur. Her first company, Sittercity.com, is America’s first company to take caregiving services online. Genevieve was recognized by President Bush at the White House as the Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur Champion of the Year for 2006, and her companies have won over 18 major awards, including the CEC Momentum Award. She is the author of Love at First Sit, and frequently writes for Crain’s Chicago, NBC.com, and the Huffington Post. Genevieve teaches at 1871, is on the acceptance committee, and is a frequent mentor within the space.
President & CEO, Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy
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.
VP of Product & CTO, Belly
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.
Senior Director of Search, Bing
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.
SVP of Consumer Experience Design, Motorola
As Senior Vice President of Consumer Experience Design at Motorola, Jim Wicks is responsible for leading a global creative staff committed to delivering unique and intuitive industrial design and user experiences for mobile products. He drives user-centered design practices, high quality design execution and cross-functional design management through the conceptualization and creation of cutting-edge, “must-have” Motorola mobile devices such as the widely acclaimed family of DROID™ by Motorola smartphones and others such as the Ming series popular in China. Jim is credited with more than 50 design and utility patents, has received multiple global design awards, spoken at a number of industry events and has been featured in top-tier media including CNBC, The New York Times, BusinessWeek and Newsweek. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the University of Illinois and a graduate degree in design from Nihon University in Japan.
Chief of Staff, International Trade Administration
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.
Producer & Director, Downloaded
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.
Business Reporter for Chicago Tribune
Wailin Wong writes about consumer technology and the local startup scene for the Chicago Tribune’s Business section. Prior to joining the Tribune in 2007, she covered emerging markets and Latin American economies for Dow Jones Newswires in New York. She started her career as a correspondent for Dow Jones in Buenos Aires, where she lived for nearly three years without taking a single tango lesson. Wailin has a bachelor’s and master’s of journalism from Northwestern University.
Co-founder & Director of Sales & Marketing, CheekyChicago
As Co-Founder and Director of Sales and Marketing for CheekyChicago, Jessica is in charge of facilitating new sales leads, managing existing advertising campaigns, customizing sponsorship packages, writing proposals, closing sales and building long term client relationships. She is also the Key Event Director and leads the planning, marketing, branding and promotions behind all of CheekyChicago’s monthly events. She has contributed for NBC 5’s digital station covering fashion, nightlife and food. Jessica graduated with honors from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Acting in 2003.