CHICAGO, Apr 7, 2017 – Adapted from CEO Amanda Signorelli’s letter to Chicago Woman Magazine.
It is an honor to serve on the board of Chicago Woman, a publication on a mission to connect a vibrant, diverse, and powerful community of women in Chicago. Every issue provides a voice and a platform and recognizes the movers and shakers behind the scenes of philanthropy, education, finance, technology, health, and government.
As CEO of Techweek, I have found myself passionately driven on a personal and professional mission by a belief in the strength of diversity. Techweek is an international media and events company that serves as the voice of tech outside Silicon Valley. Our mission is to spread wealth creation to diverse places and people, through supporting the emergence of particularly vital tech companies – we call them Hero Companies – that we believe act as a hub and incubator fostering tech entrepreneurial ecosystems.
The Hero Company Theory states that business ecosystems are best developed through the impact of “Hero Companies.” Hero Companies are high-growth businesses that achieve a substantial and sustainable impact, and incubate talent, ideas, and most importantly, spinoffs. This theory posits that the spinoff process is the most effective method to spur dynamic hubs of growth, innovation, and wealth generation
We celebrate and embrace the economic and social benefits created by these Hero Companies. As Silicon Valley continues to flourish, we serve as a platform for other markets to tell their story. After all, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
In that spirit, I see the under-representation of women in tech as one of the greatest near-term opportunities tech companies can seize. Recent studies have shown women in leadership are tied to stronger profits. As we support the rise of hero companies we will continue to see the importance in pushing forward the rise of women as leaders. To encourage representation, we led a series of roundtables on diversity in tech and venture capital in 2016 and launched our Women in Tech fellow program, which we are continuing to build out in 2017.
Techweek was founded in Chicago and it will forever be our home. In 2017, our mission is clear: we believe in the power of markets but also people. We share this passion with Chicago Woman and I am proud to serve as a fellow champion.