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Monday, March 15
 

7:30am CDT

-------------------Theme of the Day: Monday MythBusters----------------------
Putting many common questions and knowledge to the test, proving if they are fact or myth

Monday March 15, 2021 7:30am - 9:00pm CDT
Virtual

8:00am CDT

Yoga Mindfulness for Decision Making and Thought Process
Kick off Techstars Chicago Startup Week with a relaxing yoga session. Mona Fang will walk through a relaxing and muscle simulation yoga session. These movements can be used throughout the week and beyond to surpass challenges while your pursuing dreams will heavy workloads.

Speakers
avatar for Mona Fang

Mona Fang

Founder, Karma Trade
Hi! I’m Mona Fang. I am a serial entrepreneur with a mission in zero waste and sustainability. My passion in yoga started very early on. It has helped me surpass many mental and emotional challenges. My goal is to spread the joys of yoga to as many as I can. It has brought me the... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 8:00am - 8:30am CDT
Hopin Session

8:00am CDT

Gathering in Gamerjibe
Come on over to Gamerjibe to interact with others in a fully immersive 3D experience!!

Show your moves on the dance floor, roast some marshmallows on the patio and get to know the schools and sponsors that made this event possible.

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Monday March 15, 2021 8:00am - 10:00am CDT
Gamerjibe

8:30am CDT

The New Age of Meditation
Experience your body like never before, as Kevin and the iBench team take you through an experience that will change the way you think about meditation and leave you feeling relaxed and peaceful.

Speakers
avatar for Kevin Jain

Kevin Jain

1st Year MBA Candidate, University of Chicago Booth of Business
Having graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Economics, Kevin Jain is now a 1st Year MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth of Business. With a lifelong interest in spiritual development, Kevin began studying Eastern philosophy as a teenager. Since then, he has... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 8:30am - 9:00am CDT
Hopin Session

10:00am CDT

Entrepreneurship Journeys: Stories from College Students
When you think of entrepreneurship what do you think of? Mark Zuckerberg? Steve Jobs? Not every entrepreneur’s journey starts the same way. In fact, some of those startups failed or were sold early on. 
Join us for one hour to hear from current full-time college students about what their entrepreneurship journey has been like so far!

Speakers
avatar for Ibraheem Alinur

Ibraheem Alinur

Co-Founder, City Health Tech
Ibraheem Alinur is a gates millennium scholar, a member of the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corp, and one of Chicago Inno's 25 under 25. He recently graduated from Northwestern with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Management with a focus on entrepreneurship and design... Read More →
avatar for Lilliana De Souza

Lilliana De Souza

Incoming Software Engineer, Captain
Lilliana is a senior at Northwestern studying Computer Science. She was a transfer student and has since become heavily involved in the Garage and the entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus. She is the winner of TreeHacks hackathon at Stanford University as well as the ImproveNU competition... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am CDT
Hopin Session

11:00am CDT

Can I have a full-time job and a startup?
Yes, you can! Professionals from Big 4 Accounting, Fortune 500, and Big Tech companies will discuss how they balance the demands of a full-time job while also running their startups. Listen to the panelists explain how you can have both a full-time job and pursue entrepreneurship after school.

Speakers
avatar for Julia Haried

Julia Haried

Co-Founder and Executive Director, MakerGirl
Julia co-founded and is currently the Executive Director of MakerGirl, and works full-time in consulting at one of the largest firms in Chicago. MakerGirl is a nonprofit organization working to bridge the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by educating... Read More →
avatar for Connor Lake

Connor Lake

Founder and CEO, Stackend Solutions
Connor is a developer at heart working full time in tech.  Outside work he started a few small businesses in the fields of SaaS development, wireless infrastructure deployment, and data feeds.  Connor prioritizes sales, simplicity, and trustworthiness.
avatar for Eddy Mejia

Eddy Mejia

Intel Corporation, Category Manager
Eddy Mejia is a military war veteran, computer engineer, MBA graduate, and entrepreneur. His professional experience includes working for 4 Fortune 500 companies including Caterpillar, Exelon, Northrop Grumman, and Intel. When he is not at his 9 to 5, Eddy is leading a cutting edge... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

12:30pm CDT

Chicago Startup Week Kickoff Event & Fireside Chat w/ Chris Gladwin
Join us as we introduce Chicago Startup Week, highlight some of the key contributors and inspire students to pursue entrepreneurship and innovation in Chicago.

Speakers
avatar for Brad Schnitzer

Brad Schnitzer

Program Manager, Techstars
Program Manager at Techstars Chicago.Founder/Lead Organizer of Chicago Startup Week. Founding member of mHUB Chicago and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. Serves on the board of Humanity Rising, Miracle League of Music City, and the... Read More →
avatar for Abin Kuriakose

Abin Kuriakose

Innovation & Venture Strategy (ChicagoNEXT), World Business Chicago
Abin Kuriakose is EVP of Innovation & Venture Strategy (ChicagoNEXT) at World Business Chicago’s (WBC). Chaired by the Mayor, WBC is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as as a leading global... Read More →
avatar for Michael Fassnacht

Michael Fassnacht

Chief Marketing Officer, City of Chicago
EVP, Director of Customer Inteligence, Draftfcb, Chicago2006CEO & Co-Founder, Loyalty Matrix, San Francisco2002 - 2005SVP, Client Services, Netcentives, San Francisco2000 -2002General Manager, Lufthansa Miles & More, Frankfurt1996-2000
avatar for Chris Gladwin

Chris Gladwin

CEO and Co-Founder, Ocient
In 2004, Chris founded Cleversafe which became the largest and most strategic object storage vendor in the world (according to IDC). He raised over $100M and led the company to a $1.4B exit in 2015 when IBM acquired them. The technology he started generated over 1,000 patents granted... Read More →
avatar for Lori Lightfoot

Lori Lightfoot

Mayor, City of Chicago
Lori E. Lightfoot is the 56th Mayor of Chicago. Since assuming office following her historic election, Mayor Lightfoot has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities, with early accomplishments... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 12:30pm - 1:30pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

1:45pm CDT

Refine your Pitch Kickoff Event
The event will start with a pitching workshop and mentoring sessions. Come ready with your pitches to get raw feedback to increase your chances of winning. You will get to pitch in front of other startups and work with mentors on refining your pitch.

Speakers
avatar for John Godoy

John Godoy

Professional Speaker and Communication Skills Coach, John Godoy Lifestyle
John Godoy is a Professional speaker, Award-winning inventor, and Healthy lifestyle expert. He is an authority on how professionals create the communication and lifestyle habits required to excel in today's demanding world.As a speaker and communications coach, John has spoken for... Read More →
avatar for Prashant Shah

Prashant Shah

Partner, Monta Vista Capital
Prashant Shah has been an early stage venture investor since 2001, focusing on enterprise and infrastructuresoftware. Currently, he is a Venture Partner with Monta Vista Capital and Sure Ventures; and Managing Director of TiE LaunchPad. Previously, he was Chair of TiE Angels Silicon... Read More →
avatar for Bill Reichert

Bill Reichert

Partner, Pegasus Tech Ventures
Bill Reichert is a Partner at Pegasus Tech Ventures, focusing on deep technology investments, including quantum computing, next-generation chips, and AI. He is also Chief Evangelist of Startup World Cup, the largest and richest venture capital competition on the planet, with over... Read More →
avatar for Bill Moller

Bill Moller

President, Bill Moller Communications
Bill is a multiple award-winning broadcast journalist and is President of Bill Moller Communications. He coaches executives and corporate sales teams to better sell themselves, their ideas and their businesses. For a number of years Bill was an on-air host at WGN Radio and WLS-AM... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 1:45pm - 4:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

2:00pm CDT

The Time is Now: Why College is the Best Time to Start a Venture
The average age of successful entrepreneurs is well into their 40s. Then why are colleges cultivating their own startup ecosystems? Why are students taking time off from school to pursue their passions? And why do some investors focus on student-run startups? This panel boasts a mix of school administration, student entrepreneurs, and investors who are actively involved in the student entrepreneurship landscape.

Speakers
avatar for Miranda Lee

Miranda Lee

Student, University of Chicago
Miranda is a third-year Economics major at the University of Chicago currently taking time off of school to work full-time on Prepared, a seed-stage startup that provides comprehensive emergency communication tools for K-12 schools. She is also a venture partner at Contrary Capital... Read More →
avatar for Dante Vaisbort

Dante Vaisbort

General Partner, LTF Ventures
Dante is a third-year at UChicago. He is a general partner at LTF Ventures, a student-run VC with a six-figure investment fund, and a volunteer business mentor with SCORE Chicago. Dante is currently conducting a wide-ranging study of college entrepreneurship that includes more than... Read More →
avatar for Ragy Amin

Ragy Amin

Student, University of Chicago
Ragy is a second year at UChicago, majoring in Economics with a specialization in business. Ragy is currently in UChicago’s pre-professional programs for business (Trott Business Program), healthcare (Global Health Scholars Program) and education (Ed Pros). Ragy’s passion for... Read More →
avatar for Sergio Marrero

Sergio Marrero

Founding Partner, Rebel One-RBL1
Sergio Marrero is an investor and serial entrepreneur who graduated from the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He previously worked at Gotham Ventures, PepsiCo, Teach For America, and Deloitte Consulting. While in graduate school he conducted his... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

3:00pm CDT

Customer Discovery: When Everyone is Lying to You
Never ask someone if your idea is good or not. People are obligated to be polite and tell you that it is. Find out how to actually talk to customers and why it's important to do so in this customer discovery workshop by Lucas Peralta

Speakers
avatar for Lucas Peralta

Lucas Peralta

Associate Director for College and Cross Campus Programs, Polsky Center
Lucas Peralta serves as associate director for college and cross-campus programs at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Lucas manages the College New Venture Challenge, the undergraduate track of the Edward L. Kaplan ’71 New Venture Challenge... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

4:00pm CDT

Fireside Chat w/ Samir Mayekar and Lior Ron
The Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood development, Samir Mayekar, and Head of Uber Freight, Lior Ron, will discuss Chicago's COVID Recovery Plan, Uber Freight's Chicago story and other entrepreneurial topics.

Speakers
avatar for Lior Ron

Lior Ron

Head, Uber Freight
Entrepreneur and Executive leader with 20 years of experience innovating, building and scaling transformative products and teams
avatar for Samir Mayekar

Samir Mayekar

Deputy Mayor for Economic and Neighborhood Development, City of Chicago
Samir Mayekar fills a newly created role designed to further develop and support Chicago’s neighborhoods. Samir has significant experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Samir previously served in the Obama administration in the White House and at a federal infrastructure... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 4:00pm - 4:45pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

5:00pm CDT

Launching your Business: The Dos, the Don’t, and the Myths of Launching your Product
Learning what works and what may not work when launching a product or business. Hear the successes and failures from these two startups and learn how different methods of business launch depending on your product.

Speakers
avatar for Arshya Srinivas

Arshya Srinivas

Data Science Intern, SONIC Research Group
Arshya Srinivas is currently a senior at Northwestern University studying Industrial Engineering with a specific interest in data science. She became involved with Northwestern's entrepreneurial community during her freshman year and has been involved ever since. During her time at... Read More →
avatar for Yasmeena Faycurry

Yasmeena Faycurry

Founder, Unfound
Yasmeena Faycurry is the founder of the social media app Unfound - a community where people around the world share and discover the unique places they find. Currently, the user base spans across 34 countries. Little by little, the Unfound team hopes to help people make wonderful memories... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

6:00pm CDT

Meet the team!
The Chicago Startup Week team is a group of over 30 students from all over the Chicagoland Area. This team has been working for over 6 months to host the event you all will be attending this week! Want to know how they did it? Have questions about speakers or events? Join us in Gamerjibe for a casual conversation with some of the team! We will be discussing amongst ourselves and with you about all the details of Chicago Startup Week. Ask questions or just listen in!

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Brincks

Sarah Brincks

Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sarah has been working within the innovation space since the beginning of her college career by working at iVenture Accelerator, leading EntreCORPS a pro-bono consulting firm focused on startups, and co-directing Forge a startup weekend for Midwest universities. She is currently a... Read More →
avatar for Seth Wissenbach

Seth Wissenbach

Seth is a 4th year Coterminal Student at Illinois Institute of Technology. He is pursuing a B.S in Biomedical Engineering with a M.S in Data Science and Modeling. Seth hails from the small city of Meridian, Idaho. Yes he loves potatoes!On campus he is a captain of the Illinois Tech... Read More →
avatar for Dennis Estrada

Dennis Estrada

Student, City Colleges of Chicago
"Dennis E. is a current undergraduate hoping to major in Industrial Design. He takes up his time by producing music, working towards UX Design & eating. Apart from that, he likes to take new challenges and get the experience for any path that welcomes him."
avatar for Yamilett Estrada-Reyes

Yamilett Estrada-Reyes

High School Student, Lane Tech
Yamilett Estrada-Reyes is a high school junior at Lane Tech, and a lover of all things STEM. Driven by an unquenchable curiosity and intrinsic passion for social good, she seeks to leverage the intersection between computer science and entrepreneurship in order to inflict real and... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 6:00pm - 7:00pm CDT
Gamerjibe

7:00pm CDT

Watching over your idea: Intellectual Property Demystified
Want to know what it takes to legally protect your idea? Attend this event and learn from legal expert and founder of the Startup Legal Shop at Illinois Tech Chicago-Kent College of Law: Heather Harper.

Speakers
avatar for Heather Harper

Heather Harper

Founder, Harper Legal
In addition to founding Harper Legal, Heather F. Harper is also a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and an active mentor throughout Chicago's vibrant startup ecosystem, including acting as a mentor at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, mHUB, and 1871. Before... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 7:00pm - 8:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

8:00pm CDT

Meet Before It Melts: Ice cream social
Join us for an hour in Gamerjibe and bring some ice cream! Learn about other attendees through prompt questions & connect with as many people as you’d like. Feel free to give feedback and the end of the event on what you learned throughout Chicago Startup Week!

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Speakers
avatar for Yamilett Estrada-Reyes

Yamilett Estrada-Reyes

High School Student, Lane Tech
Yamilett Estrada-Reyes is a high school junior at Lane Tech, and a lover of all things STEM. Driven by an unquenchable curiosity and intrinsic passion for social good, she seeks to leverage the intersection between computer science and entrepreneurship in order to inflict real and... Read More →
avatar for Dennis Estrada

Dennis Estrada

Student, City Colleges of Chicago
"Dennis E. is a current undergraduate hoping to major in Industrial Design. He takes up his time by producing music, working towards UX Design & eating. Apart from that, he likes to take new challenges and get the experience for any path that welcomes him."
avatar for Aleeza Huda

Aleeza Huda

Co-Director of Marketing, Protostar at Lane Tech
Aleeza is a junior at Lane Tech and Co-director of Marketing at Protostar. She is interested in the fields of Entrepreneurship and Management. She spends a great deal of time volunteering through different organizations within the community, hoping to make a change. In her free time... Read More →


Monday March 15, 2021 8:00pm - 9:00pm CDT
Gamerjibe
 
Tuesday, March 16
 

7:30am CDT

-------------------Theme of the Day: Breaking Traditions----------------------
Thinking outside the box and asking if we’re doing things just for the sake of tradition

Tuesday March 16, 2021 7:30am - 9:00pm CDT
Virtual

8:00am CDT

Taylor's Tacos Tuesday
Bring your eggs, tortillas and a protein and whip up a complete meal with Taylor's Tacos!!

Speakers
avatar for Taylor's Tacos

Taylor's Tacos

Taylor's Tacos
Taylor's Tacos is a full service catering company that specializes in authentic street tacos with a whole lot of soul! What started as a fun way to share tacos on Tuesday has blossomed into a premiere catering service. Taylor's Tacos is 100% black, female, and lesbian owned and operated... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 8:00am - 8:30am CDT
Hopin Session

8:30am CDT

Improvization for Entrepeneurship
Join us for a fun and casual session where you can learn how improv skills can help you in the entrepreneurship world! Hosted by the incredible Second City!

Speakers
avatar for Jesse Case

Jesse Case

Musical Producer, Second City
Jesse Case is an award-winning producer, composer, mix engineer, sound designer and multi-instrumentalist. He's been a Musical Director and writer/composer with Second City since 2008, and credits there include numerous shows on both Chicago stages as well blockbuster collaborations... Read More →
avatar for Kelly Leonard

Kelly Leonard

Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation, Second City Works
Kelly Leonard is the Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improvisation at  Second City Works, overseeing the Behavioral Science and Improvisation Initiative with the Center for Decision Research at the Booth School of Business. His book, “Yes, And,” was published to critical... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 8:30am - 9:00am CDT
Hopin Main Stage

9:00am CDT

Showing Up and Standing Proud: Social Justice in Tech
For so long we have celebrated Black leadership: the one CIO, the one CEO, the one manager. Is one enough? Ilalee and Jewel are opening up the curtains to their experiences to inspire the next leaders. These two powerful women work in innovative and tech spaces and do what they do because of the experiences they have had as Black women in tech. Ilalee and Jewel are busting down doors and bringing the Black community with them. Join Ilalee and Jewel to discuss being on the fore-front of DEI and figuring out how to pull everyone into the movement.



Speakers
avatar for Ilalee Harrison James

Ilalee Harrison James

Lecturer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ilalee began her career in program development with the Office of the Mayor of Philadelphia working on what was then a groundbreaking public health initiative bringing together government, community-based organizations, academia, and the private sector. She went on to apply this approach... Read More →
avatar for Jewel Ifeguni

Jewel Ifeguni

Founder and CEO, YouMatter Studios
Hi! I'm Jewel Ifeguni, Founder and CEO of YouMatter Studios and a Technical PM for Minecraft and alumni of UIUC. I founded YouMatter Studios back in 2017 because I was tired of her sister not seeing representation in games and more importantly media at large. My mission is to continue... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 9:00am - 10:00am CDT
Hopin Session

10:00am CDT

Gathering in Gamerjibe
Come on over to Gamerjibe to interact with others in a fully immersive 3D experience!!

Show your moves on the dance floor, roast some marshmallows on the patio and get to know the schools and sponsors that made this event possible.

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Tuesday March 16, 2021 10:00am - 1:00pm CDT
Gamerjibe

12:30pm CDT

Coffee Buddies
Get to know your fellow startup week peers with fun, fast-paced conversations starters.


Tuesday March 16, 2021 12:30pm - 1:00pm CDT
Gamerjibe

1:00pm CDT

The Real Vic Mensa
From Artist to Activist: A look into Vic Mensa’s connection with the startup and innovation scenes in Chicago

Speakers
avatar for Vic Mensa

Vic Mensa

Founder, savemoneysavelife
Vic Mensa is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and activist from the South Side of Chicago. Vic first rose to fame as a member of the eclectic hip-hop band Kids These Days and original member of Chicago rap collective SAVEMONEY. He has never been one to stay quiet. Since his earliest... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 1:00pm - 1:30pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

2:00pm CDT

Product Management: Not Every Feature is a Priority
Every feature feels like a priority when you are building your product. However, time and financial constraints hinder creating every aspect you want. Ritwik will work through frameworks and methodologies for finding product-market fit and prioritizing features that create value for the customer. 


Speakers
avatar for Ritwik Divakaruni

Ritwik Divakaruni

Technical Product Manager, Oracle
Ritwik Divakaruni is a technical product manager at Oracle working on combining the best of technology, data, and design to execute a successful product vision for its internal stakeholders. His day-to-day activities consist of analyzing information, designing products, and prioritizing... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

3:00pm CDT

Do you even network?
Do you have a network? Is it diverse? Learn from two speakers that have experienced what it means to build a network and how they’ve benefited from it while being in school or the workforce. Most importantly, what it means to have a diverse network and how students can utilize and build it themselves.

Speakers
avatar for Alexandra Medina

Alexandra Medina

Software Engineering Associate, Accenture
With a dedicated passion for Computer Science and continuous learning, Alexandra is always seeking to expand her knowledge around software development, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing. She’s a full-stack web development Bootcamp graduate, a full-time... Read More →
avatar for Amor Montes De Oca

Amor Montes De Oca

Executive Director, Illinois Women in Cannabis
As the very first Executive Director of Illinois Women in Cannabis, Amor leads a vibrant community of women interested in working in Illinois’ nascent regulated cannabis industry. IWC champions women with diverse backgrounds, entrepreneurial spirits, and innovative ideas, and so... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

4:00pm CDT

Breaking Barriers in Entrepreneurship: Perspectives from Women and POC
It's no secret that diversity is often sidelined in the startup ecosystem. However, inclusive organizations have significantly better financial performance, and companies are increasingly viewing it as a competitive advantage. How has this translated into the entrepreneurial landscape, and how can it be made better? Hear how powerful women and people of color have been breaking barriers in entrepreneurship.

Speakers
avatar for Alida Miranda-Wolff

Alida Miranda-Wolff

CEO and Founder, Ethos
Alida Miranda-Wolff is the CEO and Founder of Ethos, a full-service diversity, equity, and inclusion firm started in Chicago in 2018. At Ethos, she focuses on creating the conditions for everyone to thrive at work through organizational design, culture strategy, learning and development, and DEI strategies and practices. Alida is... Read More →
avatar for Hannah Fernandez

Hannah Fernandez

Founder and CEO, ROI Business Funding
Hannah Fernandez is the Founder and CEO of ROI  Business Funding. She is the first woman to become  Chair of SCORE Chicago. A graduate of the University of  Chicago, Hannah has over a decade experience in  startups, sales, marketing, funding, and management  leadership. Hannah... Read More →
avatar for Seungah Jeong

Seungah Jeong

CEO, MPOWERD
Our CEO, Seungah has spent her career shaping global brands and driving them toward success. She’s a pro at managing teams, leading retail partnerships, and building things from scratch, especially when it comes to small businesses. A company co-founder in her own right, Seungah... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 4:00pm - 5:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

5:30pm CDT

Startup Advising on Speed Dial
Drop in for office hours with one of our startup advisors! Feel free to ask any and all questions. If the question is out of our advisor’s expertise, we can connect you with one of our 31 SME’s who can answer questions related to the following industries: Health, Transportation, Manufacturing, Social Innovation, Business/CIS, and IT/SaaS.

Speakers
avatar for Vijay Chattha

Vijay Chattha

Founder and CEO, VSC
Vijay Chattha is the Founder and CEO of VSC, a strategic content & communications firm based in San Francisco and Brooklyn.Vijay has pioneered an aggressive and creative approach to brand building as an investor and marketing partner, with an 18-year track record establishing dominant technology brands across AI, automati... Read More →
avatar for Nik Rokop

Nik Rokop

Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Stuart School of Business
Nik Rokop, Coleman Foundation Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Stuart School of Business, teaches entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate level, and develops tools and frameworks to increase students' chances of entrepreneurial success. He is Chair... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 5:30pm - 6:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

5:30pm CDT

Stepping out of Stereotypes: How to discover your true passions
Don’t know what kind of startup you want to create? Don’t know what you want to pursue? Hear personal stories and learn tricks for figuring out your passions.


Speakers
avatar for Claire Powell

Claire Powell

Student, Illinois Tech
Claire Powell is from The Dalles, Oregon and is currently studying Mechanical Engineering and Technological Entrepreneurship at Illinois Institute of Technology. She’s very passionate about the environment and recycling.
avatar for Paul Polizzotto

Paul Polizzotto

Founder and CEO, Givewith
Paul is the Founder & CEO of Givewith, a technology company that helps its customers grow by making it easy to embed social impact into commerce. Givewith’s suite of “easy button” solutions allows organizations to seamlessly apply social impact programs into existing business... Read More →


Tuesday March 16, 2021 5:30pm - 6:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

6:30pm CDT

Sponsor Showcase
We have the help of multiple sponsors to put on this great event! To help display everything that these sponsors have done for the city of Chicago, we are hosting a Sponsor Showcase! Join us as our sponsors speak live to attendees and present about everything they do. This opportunity will be great for job opportunities, networking, and learning about products and services!


Sponsors
avatar for TechNexus

TechNexus

TechNexus is a Venture Collaborative, a unique combination of businesses, corporate joint-ventures, private equity funds, and a fast-growing investment portfolio. Since 2007, TechNexus has managed a robust platform to empower entrepreneurs, transform business models at scale and drive... Read More →
avatar for The Coleman Foundation

The Coleman Foundation

The Coleman Foundation is a private grantmakingfoundation that invests in ideas and initiatives thatimprove the lives of individuals in the Chicago metro area.
avatar for World Business Chicago(WBC)

World Business Chicago(WBC)

World Business Chicago is Chicago’s public-private economic development agency. Our mission is to drive inclusive economic growth and job creation, support business, and promote Chicago as a leading global city. Our vision is to ensure that all Chicagoans prosper.


Tuesday March 16, 2021 6:30pm - 8:00pm CDT
Hopin Expo

8:00pm CDT

Virtual Happy Hour
Come on over to Gamerjibe to interact with others in a fully immersive 3D experience!!

Show your moves on the dance floor, roast some marshmallows on the patio and get to know the schools and sponsors that made this event possible.

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Tuesday March 16, 2021 8:00pm - 9:00pm CDT
Gamerjibe
 
Wednesday, March 17
 

7:30am CDT

-------------------Theme of the Day: Behind the Scenes----------------------
Looking behind the curtain and taking a deep dive into entrepreneurship and innovation

Wednesday March 17, 2021 7:30am - 9:00pm CDT
Virtual

8:00am CDT

Yoga for Everyone
Start the day with an incredible yoga session that will test both your body and your mind.

Speakers
avatar for Meighan Newhouse

Meighan Newhouse

Co-Founder and CEO, Inspirant Group
Meighan Newhouse is the CEO and co-founder of Inspirant Group, home of the #Unconsultants who guide clients from inspiration to transformation. In an era ushering in more digitization and automaton, Meg still believes that humans are any organization’s greatest asset. After observing... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 8:00am - 8:30am CDT
Hopin Session

8:00am CDT

Gathering in Gamerjibe
Come on over to Gamerjibe to interact with others in a fully immersive 3D experience!!

Show your moves on the dance floor, roast some marshmallows on the patio and get to know the schools and sponsors that made this event possible.

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872


Wednesday March 17, 2021 8:00am - 9:00am CDT
Gamerjibe

8:30am CDT

Meditation Uncovered
Join Kevin and the iBench team as we dive into the inner workings of meditation and how it can have an immeasureable impact on your body and health.

Speakers
avatar for Kevin Jain

Kevin Jain

1st Year MBA Candidate, University of Chicago Booth of Business
Having graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Economics, Kevin Jain is now a 1st Year MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth of Business. With a lifelong interest in spiritual development, Kevin began studying Eastern philosophy as a teenager. Since then, he has... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 8:30am - 9:00am CDT
Hopin Session

9:00am CDT

Design Thinking: Understand, Identify, Execute
What is design thinking? Google says, “Design thinking is a process for creative problem solving”. But what is creative problem solving? There are many approaches to creative problem solving and design thinking but at its core, it's human-centered design. Walk through one of the many frameworks for design thinking with Henry Soong, a former Facebook product manager.

Speakers
avatar for Henry Soong

Henry Soong

Product Manager, Facebook
Henry Soong is the founder of a new, untitled technology and media company in San Francisco. Henry was a longtime Facebook product manager, where he built video, creative tools, and growth features. He also spent several years leading Facebook's China business. Henry is obsessed with the future... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 9:00am - 10:00am CDT
Hopin Session

10:00am CDT

Lean Mean Planning Machine
Learn the basics of lean canvas, how entrepreneurs use these concepts in real life, and how to apply lean canvas to your very own startup

Speakers
avatar for April Lane Schuster

April Lane Schuster

Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship, Loyola University's Quinlan School of Business
April Lane is a senior lecturer of entrepreneurship at Loyola University's Quinlan School of Business. She sits on the board of Catapult Chicago, a collaborative co-working space for innovative digital startups where she previously served as executive director. At DePaul University... Read More →
avatar for Nik Rokop

Nik Rokop

Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Stuart School of Business
Nik Rokop, Coleman Foundation Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Stuart School of Business, teaches entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate level, and develops tools and frameworks to increase students' chances of entrepreneurial success. He is Chair... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am CDT
Hopin Session

11:00am CDT

Advisory Boards for Startups: What every entrepreneur needs to know
Advisory boards can be the difference between success and failure at the start up phase of any business.
In Touch is a board services practice and has partnered with a start up expert advisory board member as well as a Chicago startup Founder who has successfully built an advisory board.

The session will involve an engaging discussion on the benefits of establishing an advisory board, as well as how this raises your own profile as an entrepreneur for investors. Our speakers will share valuable insights from both the recruiter and candidate positions, providing you with a complete understanding of how the process should be conducted, the challenges and the risks to avoid.

Discover where to find influential people to help grow your organization, how to demonstrate the potential of your vision and why you should set up an advisory board today!

Speakers
avatar for Naomi Kent

Naomi Kent

President, In Touch
Naomi Kent is the President of In Touch, a Chicago based business network of over 40,000 board members, executives, entrepreneurs and advisors globally. In Touch allows businesses to connect with their members and recruit them to their boards at no cost, offering startups and small... Read More →
avatar for Tom Marren

Tom Marren

Founder and Managing Partner, Southport Group
Tom Marren is the Founder and Managing Partner of Southport Group, an investment firm located in Chicago that launched in 2019. He built an Advisory Board in 2019 to assist with launching and growing his business. Tom previously sourced, executed and managed private equity investments... Read More →
avatar for Joseph Norton

Joseph Norton

Chairperson, Next Era Transformation Group
Joseph Norton is a dynamic professional noted for developing, influencing, and implementing innovative strategies and leading large-scale business turnaround situations across a range of organizations from global multinationals to start-up ventures. He is recognized for his powerful... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

12:30pm CDT

Startup Advising on Speed Dial
Drop in for office hours with one of our startup advisors! Feel free to ask any and all questions. If the question is out of our advisor’s expertise, we can connect you with one of our 31 SME’s who can answer questions related to the following industries: Health, Transportation, Manufacturing, Social Innovation, Business/CIS, and IT/SaaS.

Speakers
avatar for Maryam Saleh

Maryam Saleh

Executive Director, Kaplan Institute
Maryam Saleh is currently the executive director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at Illinois Institute of Technology. Saleh has spent her career working at the intersection of academic research and startups. She has a B.S. in computer engineering... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 12:30pm - 1:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

1:00pm CDT

Student Performer Showcase
Immerse yourself in the world of arts, and watch dazzling performances from student groups from various Chicago universities

Performers
  • Department of Dance - Loyola Chicago
  • Silhouettes - Loyola Chicago
  • Z Minor- Illinois Institution of Technology

Speakers

Wednesday March 17, 2021 1:00pm - 1:30pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

2:00pm CDT

The Other Side of the Table: Roads to Capital as a Student
Do you bootstrap or fund? Do you have to choose one or the other? If you raise money, when do you do it? How do you land a pitch, and an investment later on? What are VCs and student-run funds all about? Do YOU want to be on the other side of the table? This panel gives you a broad overview of what Venture Capital is and how it is situated within the startup landscape. It is for student entrepreneurs who are interested in gaining more insight into how VCs evaluate startups and what they could do to reach out to potential VC investors, as well as for students who are interested in learning more about job opportunities as a VC.

Speakers
avatar for Amanda Harshbarger

Amanda Harshbarger

Venture Capital Associate, M25
avatar for Sergio Marrero

Sergio Marrero

Founding Partner, Rebel One-RBL1
Sergio Marrero is an investor and serial entrepreneur who graduated from the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He previously worked at Gotham Ventures, PepsiCo, Teach For America, and Deloitte Consulting. While in graduate school he conducted his... Read More →
avatar for Miranda Lee

Miranda Lee

Student, University of Chicago
Miranda is a third-year Economics major at the University of Chicago currently taking time off of school to work full-time on Prepared, a seed-stage startup that provides comprehensive emergency communication tools for K-12 schools. She is also a venture partner at Contrary Capital... Read More →
avatar for Guy Turner

Guy Turner

Managing Director, Hyde Park Venture Partners
Guy has been with HPVP since its beginning in 2011. Prior to HPVP, Guy worked for the Boston Consulting Group where he focused on corporate strategy across a variety of industries. Previously he served as an associate and investing Member with Hyde Park Angels, and spent his early... Read More →
avatar for George Khalife

George Khalife

Vice President of Capital Formation, TSX
George Khalife is the Vice President of Capital Formation leading the TSX's efforts across the Midwest U.S. Based out of Chicago, George works closely with innovation companies at varying stages to explore the opportunity of raising public capital as a financing option for accelerating... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

2:00pm CDT

Pitch Preliminaries
Startups will pitch to judges from a variety of industries and gain feedback. From there, the judges will narrow down the competition to 10 finalists.  

Judges and Mentors
avatar for Jarrod Barnes

Jarrod Barnes

Managing Director, The Minority Entrepreneurship Institute
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Jarrod Barnes currently serves as the Managing Director of the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute, a seed-stage impact investing fund that invests in minority founders across the midwest and southeast. Jarrod began his career working in collegiate and... Read More →
avatar for Jason Brooke

Jason Brooke

Investment Partner, The Dorm Room Fund
Jason Brooke is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund, Investments Intern at Sapphire Ventures, and MBA Candidate at Chicago Booth - specializing in Entrepreneurship and Finance. Jason previously worked in corporate strategy as a Principal for Kaiser Associates’ FinancialServices... Read More →
avatar for Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen

Founder and CEO, asweatlife
Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of asweatlife.com a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University... Read More →
avatar for Adam Falkof

Adam Falkof

Attorney, Quarles and Brady
Adam Falkof is one of the leaders of Quarles & Brady’s national startup practice. He has substantial experience with Chicago’s startup community and has previously launched three of his own startups. Mr. Falkof represents a number of the Midwest’s leading early-stage startups... Read More →
avatar for Michael Fehser

Michael Fehser

Junior Associate, Quarles and Brady
Michael Fehser is a junior associate in the firm's Business Law Group. Michael has experience with corporate law matters that include negotiating, structuring, and drafting agreements related to mergers, acquisitions, and other business reorganizations; conducting corporate and intellectual... Read More →
avatar for Mike Hewitt

Mike Hewitt

Associate Professor, Loyola School of Business
Dr. Hewitt is an Associate Professor in the Information Systems and Supply Chain Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago, where he also serves as the Director of graduate programs in Supply Chain Management. His research includes developing... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 2:00pm - 4:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

3:00pm CDT

Young, Scrappy, and Hungry: Harnessing Chicago’s Top Resources
We are young, scrappy, and hungry and we’re not throwing away our shot. Chicago has plenty of resources for university students to further their startup. Whether you need a space to operate your startup or meet mentors, Chicago has the resources. Hear from several top programs and spaces that are here for you.


Speakers
avatar for Dani Zuchovicki

Dani Zuchovicki

Program and Curriculum Coordinator, The Hatchery
Growing up cooking alongside her grandmother led her to host “supper clubs” at her parent’s house in high school. When in college she took a course about the impact of cuisine leading her to enter the vast culinary world. With a Culinary and Applied Food Studies degree from... Read More →
avatar for Salvador Duenas

Salvador Duenas

Startups Manager, Future Founders
Salvador Dueñas is the Startups Manager at Future Founders. In this role, he supports the development of 18 to 30-year-old founders in Chicago and across the country, with a focus on recruitment and partnership development.Sal began his career at Future Founders supporting the Discover... Read More →
avatar for Kaitlyn Doyle

Kaitlyn Doyle

Director, TechNexus Venture Collaborative
Kaitlyn Doyle is a Director at TechNexus Venture Collaborative, where she focuses on venture sourcing, due diligence, post-investment collaboration, deal syndication, and venture operations. She previously was a Director at IrishAngels, a Notre Dame-affiliated angel network and venture... Read More →
avatar for Jeremy Borchardt

Jeremy Borchardt

Development Manager, mHUB
Jeremy Borchardt, development manager, is responsible for building and maintaining high-level relationships with startups, universities, VC Firms, NGOs, incubators, talent and SMEs to increase visibility of the mHUB community through tours, events, and in-person meetings. He is responsible... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

5:30pm CDT

The Great Reveal: Discovering the Perfect Partner
Fostering connections between students with ideas and students that are looking to find just the right idea

Speakers
avatar for Jack Pio

Jack Pio

Logistics and Operations Manager, Intinium Illinois Tech
Jack Pio is a fourth year Computer Engineering student at Illinois Tech. He has always had a knack for building and engineering new ways to make life easier. This interest peaked during high school when he founded the robotics team at his high school and discovered his love for all... Read More →
avatar for Katja Berthold

Katja Berthold

University Representative Lead, Intinium Illinois Tech
Katja Berthold is currently a co-terminal student at Illinois Institute of Technology pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.E. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She is from a tiny, beautiful city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean otherwise known as Honolulu, Hawai'i.She... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 5:30pm - 6:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

7:00pm CDT

Behind the Art: The Intersection of Art, Technology and Entrepreneurship
Chicago artists showcase their artwork and discuss the intersection between art, technology and entrepreneurship on a virtual panel.

Speakers
avatar for Dana Todd Pope

Dana Todd Pope

Founder, Fearlessly Hue
Dana Todd Pope, born Dana Todd, is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist, author, illustrator, model, actress, and fashion designer from the South Side of Chicago.   In addition to her fine art, Dana is most noted for her children’s series, recently rebranded as Fearlessly Hue... Read More →
avatar for Brian Sykes

Brian Sykes

Project Manager, Insomniac Studios
Brian Sykes is a multidisciplinary artist who has dedicated his life to artist development and royalty collection education. He graduated from St. Xavier University with a B.A. in Graphic Design and also learned to sing classical music during his time there. From college, he would... Read More →
avatar for Rich Alapack

Rich Alapack

Founder, we all live here
Rich Alapack is the founder of we all live here. He started the Chicago based organization as an antidoteto all the things that have unintentionally evolved into reasons for people to not get along. Given hisbackground in tech and advertising, he had the skills and network necessary... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Evan Brown

Dr. Evan Brown

Founder and CEO, Meet & Teach
Dr. Evan Brown is the Founder and CEO of Meet & Teach, a nonprofit organizationwhich provides disadvantaged youth with educational hands-on workshops in CapeTown, South Africa. Dr. Brown received his Ph.D in educational administration, but hasa strong background in media arts. He... Read More →


Wednesday March 17, 2021 7:00pm - 8:00pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

8:00pm CDT

Gathering in Gamerjibe
Come on over to Gamerjibe to interact with others in a fully immersive 3D experience!!

Show your moves on the dance floor, roast some marshmallows on the patio and get to know the schools and sponsors that made this event possible.

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Wednesday March 17, 2021 8:00pm - 9:00pm CDT
Gamerjibe
 
Thursday, March 18
 

7:30am CDT

-------------------Theme of the Day: COVID-19 Edition----------------------
Reflection on the year and how COVID-19 has impacted the future of entrepreneurship and innovation

Thursday March 18, 2021 7:30am - 9:00pm CDT
Virtual

8:00am CDT

Gathering in Gamerjibe
Come on over to Gamerjibe to interact with others in a fully immersive 3D experience!!

Show your moves on the dance floor, roast some marshmallows on the patio and get to know the schools and sponsors that made this event possible.

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872


Thursday March 18, 2021 8:00am - 9:00am CDT
Gamerjibe

9:00am CDT

How to Persuade Anyone with a Masterful Virtual Presentation
Do you ever struggle with presentations? Do you know the five key delivery skills?
Join this event to learn from someone with 30+ years of experience in persuasive presenting and the keys of an important delivery

Speakers
avatar for Paul Leroux

Paul Leroux

Presentation Trainer and Speech Coach, Twain Associates, Inc
I started my career as a corporate speechwriter.Then, for thirty-one years, I was a self-employed consultant. I coached accountants, Fortune 500 senior executives, and consulting firms to present and win in competitive pitches or to deliver major addresses at national meetings... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 9:00am - 10:00am CDT
Hopin Session

10:00am CDT

Building Brand: Promoting in a Pandemic
Nowadays it seems like everyone is talking about the covid-19. How can use the pandemic to your advantage to market your company? Learn those marketing strategies here and learn tips and tricks for creating your own personal brand to market yourself to the business world.

Speakers
avatar for Will Rush

Will Rush

Business Development, CoinFlip
I am a 2020 graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Learning & Organizational Change. I have experience in business development, data modeling, business intelligence, mergers and acquisitions, financials, and advertising/marketing.  
avatar for Corina Cuevas-Pahl

Corina Cuevas-Pahl

Talent Management & Organizational Development Consultant, Lockheed Martin
As an internal consultant for Talent Management and Organizational Development, I utilize my ability to create strong relationships with the client groups I support to execute and influence as needed.I lead large-scale change initiatives, organizational designs, and talent management... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Zweig

Jessica Zweig

Founder and CEO, The SimplyBe Agency
Jessica Zweig is the CEO of the SimplyBe. Agency, a premier personal branding firm based in Chicago, serving clients across the globe. Jessica was named 2020's Most Notable Entrepreneur by Crain's, the 2018 and 2019 Stevie® Award winner for Female Entrepreneur of the Year, a Top... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am CDT
Hopin Session

11:00am CDT

Social Innovations Panel: A Discussion on the Intersection of Entrepreneurship and Positive Impact
Dive deeper into the triple bottom line and how COVID has increased the need for caring for community in innovative ways.

Speakers
avatar for Jessica Dixon

Jessica Dixon

Head of HR, TradeWater
Jessica joined Tradewater in 2019 as the Head of Human Resources. Prior to joining Tradewater, Jessica served in operational leadership positions in the healthcare industry. She was most recently a Regional Vice President at Oak Street Health, a rapidly scaling healthcare startup... Read More →
avatar for Anu Kris

Anu Kris

CEO and Co-Founder, Akris Global
Anu Kris is a strategic management consultant with extensive experience in international business and global expansion, digital transformation and platform strategy, disruptive and incremental innovation strategies, and crisis leadership. Her experience working with Fortune 500 companies... Read More →
avatar for Caitlin Botsios

Caitlin Botsios

Co-Executive Director and Director of Education, Helix Illinois
Caitlin Botsios is the Co-Executive Director and Director of Education at Helix Illinois and Co-Founder of Helix Cafe. In these roles, she seeks to further develop a youth-driven education system through experiential education and bridge the divide between education, communities... Read More →
avatar for Seth Green

Seth Green

Founding Director, Baumhart Center
Seth Green is the founding director of the Baumhart Center for Social Enterprise and Responsibility, an interdisciplinary center at Loyola University Chicago that prepares leaders to tackle society's most pressing challenges through education, engagement, and research. Seth joined... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

12:30pm CDT

Side Projects > Kickstarter (w/ Charles Adler)
The unlikely story of an innocent side project leading into co-founding Kickstarter. Charles will share his view of side projects and the extraordinary hidden value they provide us all.  

Speakers
avatar for Charles Adler

Charles Adler

Co-Founder, Kickstarter
Charles Adler has 20+ years of building products, companies and teams in technology from Fortune 500 firms to Startups. His career began as an individual team contributor, evolved to Design Leader responsible for world-changing products and the teams who built them, to most recently... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 12:30pm - 1:00pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

1:00pm CDT

Product Demos from Prominent Illinois Natives
Watch demos from several Midwest natives who made their start in Illinois. Products vary from Healthcare devices to software helping high school students. Meet the startups below!

Speakers
avatar for Casey Bogin

Casey Bogin

Account Manager, Cast21
Casey Bogin is a serial entrepreneur with decades of leadership roles across various industries. Before joining Cast21, Casey built and managed communities for audience development, events, and education at Modern Healthcare. She founded two Chicago-based companies and leverages those... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Rastovac

Matthew Rastovac

Co-Founder and Head of Engineering, Atmos
Matthew is Cofounder and Head of Engineering at Atmos, the custom home building marketplace. Previously he was the first Data Engineer at Cameo, and Co-President of Founders, the UIUC entrepreneurship program. Living in and around Chicago for 21 years, Matthew is familiar with the... Read More →
avatar for Rohan Gupta

Rohan Gupta

CEO and Co-Founder, QuillBot
Rohan Gupta is the CEO and Co-Founder of QuillBot, a cutting edge NLP startup with millions of users. He holds a B.S. in Finance and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He is passionate about technology, philosophy, and changing the wo... Read More →
avatar for Montana Butsch

Montana Butsch

Founder, Spotivity
Founder of spotivity, a double-sided marketplace that not only supports after school programs to increase enrollment and participation rates but also enables kids and their parents to make the best decisions about how to use time outside of school hours. spotivity removes key logistical... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 1:00pm - 1:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

1:30pm CDT

Moonshots, Maps, and How Might We: Make the move from as is to could be
Let’s think by design to tell a three part story. First, we’ll establish optimistic moonshot mindsets about grand marketing challenges. Next, we’ll map invisible rules that need empathy and un-thinking. We’ll end with what it takes to ask more of marketing.


Speakers
avatar for Stacy Neier

Stacy Neier

Senior Lecturer, Loyola Quinlan School of Business
Dr. Neier Beran began teaching in the Department of Marketing for Quinlan School of Business in 2008. Her professional background includes roles in marketing research and consumer insights for Gap Inc. and Euromonitor International. Accordingly, her classes focus on Marketing Research... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 1:30pm - 2:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

1:30pm CDT

All Aboard the MentorShip!
Mingle with your future mentors and mentees, ask any questions you have about the program, and learn how to be a successful part of it!

Then join us afterward in Gamerjibe for a fully immersive experience!

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Speakers
avatar for Sarah Ather

Sarah Ather

Application Developer, CNA Insurance
Sarah Ather is a Chicago-based application developer at CNA Insurance, the seventh largest commercial insurer in the United States, where she works on web application and API development. Sarah's passion for mentorship and drive to empower women led to her involvement in organizations... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 1:30pm - 2:30pm CDT
Gamerjibe

2:15pm CDT

Chicago Strong: A Panel on the Ups and Downs of a Chicago Startup in a Pandemic
Highlighting great local companies in Chicago and how they have successfully pivoted for COVID by answering questions and taking Q&A from the audience.


Speakers
avatar for Meighan Newhouse

Meighan Newhouse

Co-Founder and CEO, Inspirant Group
Meighan Newhouse is the CEO and co-founder of Inspirant Group, home of the #Unconsultants who guide clients from inspiration to transformation. In an era ushering in more digitization and automaton, Meg still believes that humans are any organization’s greatest asset. After observing... Read More →
avatar for Dan Willenborg

Dan Willenborg

Co-founder and CEO, AptAmigo
Dan Willenborg is the Co-founder & CEO of AptAmigo, Inc. - the best place to start and build a career in real estate. Prior to founding AptAmigo in 2015, Dan was a Manager of Strategic Partnerships at DialogTech, a marketing technology company based in Chicago.Dan holds an MBA with... Read More →
avatar for Jeremy Docken

Jeremy Docken

Founder and CEO, Kalderos
Jeremy Docken is Founder and CEO of Kalderos. He brings deep expertise in drug discount programs and a unique perspective of how problems in the space may be solved in a way that works for all stakeholders. That passion led him to found Kalderos along with his co-founders. Kalderos... Read More →
avatar for Julie Roth Novack

Julie Roth Novack

CEO and Co-Founder, PartySlate
Julie is the CEO and Co-Founder of PartySlate, a Houzz-like website where leading event professionals share their work, build their brand and drive leads. Before founding PartySlate, Julie held executive positions at top-tier digital agencies such as Razorfish, Vibes Mobile, and Agency.com... Read More →
avatar for Thru Shivakumar

Thru Shivakumar

CEO and Co-Founder, Cohesion
Thru Shivakumar is the CEO and Co-Founder at Cohesion, a real estate software company that creates intelligent buildings and enhances human experiences by connecting people and systems in a single, comprehensive platform. She is responsible for leading Cohesion’s alignment and execution... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 2:15pm - 3:15pm CDT
Hopin Session

3:00pm CDT

Sticky Wicket: How to make difficult decisions
Join career coach Ashley Ritter as she teaches you the ins and outs of decision making. Walk through the different kinds of problems students face, the difference between static and dynamic problems, and how to use design thinking to make those tough decisions.

Speakers
avatar for Ashley Ritter

Ashley Ritter

Career Coach, Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University
Ashley (she, her, hers) empowers individuals and teams to dig deep and get in touch with what makes work meaningful to them. She states, "We all have a story. And something important happens when we look at the intersection between our story and our career. No one should have to... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 3:00pm - 4:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

4:00pm CDT

Prepare for Launch: Innovation & Entrepreneurship Offerings
Do you really know everything that your school has to launch you on your journey? Are you missing out on that accelerator that has your perfect mentor, or that fund that can give you just the right amount of capital to start your prototype? Your school is your oyster, you just have to search for the pearl.

Speakers
avatar for Jane Castro

Jane Castro

Program Manager, Future Founders
Jane Castro is the Program Manager at Future Founders, a nonprofit that believes every youth can become an entrepreneur. In her role, she supports youth program development and innovation, leads student recruitment efforts, and manages school partnerships. Her work immerses youth... Read More →
avatar for Manu Edakara

Manu Edakara

Program Director, iVenture Accelerator
Manu is the Program Director for the iVenture Accelerator, the educational program for top student startups at the University of Illinois. Over the past 5 years, iVenture entrepreneurs have founded over 80 different ventures, raised close to $30M, and created over 80 full-time jobs... Read More →
avatar for Scott Metcalf

Scott Metcalf

Director of Pre-Professional Programs, University of Chicago
Scott Metcalf, MBA’94, joined the University of Chicago in 2016 following a career of nearly 25 years in business. Scott is the director of Career Advancement’s Careers in Entrepreneurship program and the Financial Markets Program. He has previously worked in product development... Read More →
avatar for Mike Raab

Mike Raab

Associate Director, The Garage
Mike is the associate director of The Garage at Northwestern, where responsible for overseeing key programs and initiatives, developing relationships with the Northwestern and Chicago entrepreneurial communities, and building new communities around the world to support Northwestern... Read More →
avatar for Maryam Saleh

Maryam Saleh

Executive Director, Kaplan Institute
Maryam Saleh is currently the executive director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at Illinois Institute of Technology. Saleh has spent her career working at the intersection of academic research and startups. She has a B.S. in computer engineering... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 4:00pm - 5:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

5:00pm CDT

The Gray Matter Experience: An Entrepreneurship Conversation with Jahmal Cole
The Gray Matter Experience exists to empower Black youth to explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship. The organization's goal is to educate, empower and assist students in creating their businesses while  providing them access to resources and support to ensure they understand that their ideas are valid and vital to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We approach this important work in several ways: through inspiring, educating, incubating, mentoring, and skill-building. In the landscape of startups across Chicago, we're looking to create growth opportunities for overlooked youth to launch their own businesses and to have the toolkit needed to do so successfully.
Join us on Thursday, March 18th, at 5pm, for an introduction to TGME and new perspectives on the possibilities of community empowerment through entrepreneurship. We'll be joined by Jahmal Cole, founder of My Hood, My Block, My City, for an engaging interview on his story of entrepreneurship and the possibility- and blooming reality- of using startups as a vehicle for social justice.


Speakers
avatar for Jonathan McGee

Jonathan McGee

Founder and CEO, Global Organization for Applied Political Leadership
Jonathan McGee is a social entrepreneur, civic leader, and external affairs expert with over 7 years of non-profit, public sector, and social impact experience. He currently serves as Deputy Director of Regional Economic Development for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic... Read More →
avatar for Jahmal Cole

Jahmal Cole

Founder and CEO, My Block My Hood My City
As the founder and CEO of the city’s fastest-growing social impact organization, My Block My Hood My City, Jahmal is the creator of an exposure-based education program for teens and a network of volunteer initiatives that serve Chicago communities year-round.Traveling, youth mentorship... Read More →
avatar for Britney Robbins

Britney Robbins

Founder and CEO, The Gray Matter Experience
Britney Robbins is a serial social entrepreneur that loves innovation, forward thinking and is constantly identifying problems that can be solved through business creation. She's worked within Chicago's entrepreneurship and tech community for the past seven years working within some... Read More →
avatar for Jovoney Morton

Jovoney Morton

Design and Project Management Intern, The Gray Matter Experience
As a junior at Howard University, Jovoney is expected to graduate early with a B.B.A in Marketing in December 2021. She is a creative and passionate young professional seeking to make an impact in the same communities she was raised. Being a former student in the Gray Matter program... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 5:00pm - 6:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

5:30pm CDT

Startup Advising on Speed Dial
Drop in for office hours with one of our startup advisors! Feel free to ask any and all questions. If the question is out of our advisor’s expertise, we can connect you with one of our 31 SME’s who can answer questions related to the following industries: Health, Transportation, Manufacturing, Social Innovation, Business/CIS, and IT/SaaS.

Speakers
avatar for Lilia Kogan

Lilia Kogan

Propel Program Manager, The Garage
Lilia Kogan is a program manager for Propel at Northwestern's entrepreneurship community The Garage.  She has been a mentor at The Garage and Kellogg’s New Venture Discovery since 2017.  Lilia has been a start-up investor and a member of Hyde Park Angels, a midwest-focused group... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 5:30pm - 6:30pm CDT
Hopin Session

6:00pm CDT

Founders Night Out Hosted by The Founder Institute
Founders Night Out is a fun, social event where you can meet entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and other members of the startup community. You can also share your business ideas and aspirations with like-minded peers. All you need is a web browser to attend.
The online event will feature an interactive 3D environment where you can control your avatar to explore the venue, network with participants, and exchange contact info from the comfort of your home. Also, we will have a Startup Showcase in which pre-selected startups will pitch their companies and engage in Q&A.
Founder Night Out is organized by Founder Institute Chicago. This unique, immersive virtual event is powered by Gamerjibe, which creates virtual events that engage and inspire.


Speakers
avatar for Justine Bracco

Justine Bracco

Project Lead, Intinium
Justine Bracco is a 4th year Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering Student al Illinois Institute of Technology.  Originally from Connecticut, Justine came to Chicago not only for Illinios Tech, but also for everything the Windy City has to offer. In addition to studying, she... Read More →


Thursday March 18, 2021 6:00pm - 8:30pm CDT
Gamerjibe

6:30pm CDT

Hack for Social Good
Have a clever idea? Join us at CSW's very own Hack for Social Good hackathon! Whether you are a complete beginner or seasoned hackathon veteran, join us for this fun-filled 24-hour event where we hack the Windy City and compete for a $100 Uber Eats gift card and tour of the Uber Freight Facility!!

Sponsored by Uber Freight

Speakers
avatar for Aleeza Huda

Aleeza Huda

Co-Director of Marketing, Protostar at Lane Tech
Aleeza is a junior at Lane Tech and Co-director of Marketing at Protostar. She is interested in the fields of Entrepreneurship and Management. She spends a great deal of time volunteering through different organizations within the community, hoping to make a change. In her free time... Read More →
avatar for Yamilett Estrada-Reyes

Yamilett Estrada-Reyes

High School Student, Lane Tech
Yamilett Estrada-Reyes is a high school junior at Lane Tech, and a lover of all things STEM. Driven by an unquenchable curiosity and intrinsic passion for social good, she seeks to leverage the intersection between computer science and entrepreneurship in order to inflict real and... Read More →

Sponsors

Thursday March 18, 2021 6:30pm - 7:00pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage
 
Friday, March 19
 

7:30am CDT

-------------------Theme of the Day: Where is my Jetpack?--------------------
Taking a look at the future that was promised, where we have fallen short and what is on the horizon

Friday March 19, 2021 7:30am - 9:00pm CDT
Virtual

8:00am CDT

Refresh Yoga
Join us for a quick gentle yoga class that focuses on connecting with your breath and body, grounding yourself, and energizing you for the day ahead. No prior yoga experience is necessary, just join with an open mind, comfy clothes, and a blanket or yoga mat. 


Speakers
avatar for Samantha Sheppard

Samantha Sheppard

Architect 1, Product/Architecture and Design
Hello! My name is Samantha Sheppard, and I am an architect, photographer, and yoga instructor. I graduated with a bachelors of Architecture from IIT in 2018, and have since worked in firms in Chicago and Colorado. I am currently living in Colorado and working for a small firm. I am... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 8:00am - 8:30am CDT
Hopin Session

8:00am CDT

Gathering in Gamerjibe
Come on over to Gamerjibe to interact with others in a fully immersive 3D experience!!

Show your moves on the dance floor, roast some marshmallows on the patio and get to know the schools and sponsors that made this event possible.

Register TODAY: https://app.gamerjibe.com/events/60415c1608f57d8c68041872

Friday March 19, 2021 8:00am - 9:00am CDT
Gamerjibe

8:30am CDT

Treat your Brain Nice and Mediate with VRtuMind
Founder of VRtuMind, Ben Ray, will walk through a brief meditation and help you form positive habits that change your thoughts, actions, and life. After the meditation, hear how VRtuMind is the meditation app that will change your life.


Speakers
avatar for Ben Ray

Ben Ray

CEO and Co-Founder, VRTUmind
Ben Ray is the Co-Founder and CEO at vrtumind. Ben’s experience as a hospice caregiver exposed him to the prevalence of mental health issues today. His startup experiments on how we might use data to slow, and potentially reverse the growing mental health crisis.


Friday March 19, 2021 8:30am - 9:00am CDT
Hopin Session

9:00am CDT

Idea-a-thon: Applying frameworks to real life problems
Apply what you learned from the previous design thinking session! Work through problems and create solutions using design thinking frameworks in groups of people from different schools.


Speakers
avatar for Keilin Jahnke

Keilin Jahnke

Teaching Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Keilin is a Teaching Assistant Professor in Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship in The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  She teaches courses in creativity and innovation and helps students acquire effective strategies... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 9:00am - 10:00am CDT
Hopin Session

10:00am CDT

Pitch Comp Grand Finale
The top 10 finalists will pitch to the entire panel of judges and compete for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Anyone who is registered for Chicago Startup Week will be able to watch the final pitches.

Judges and Mentors
avatar for Jarrod Barnes

Jarrod Barnes

Managing Director, The Minority Entrepreneurship Institute
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Jarrod Barnes currently serves as the Managing Director of the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute, a seed-stage impact investing fund that invests in minority founders across the midwest and southeast. Jarrod began his career working in collegiate and... Read More →
avatar for Jason Brooke

Jason Brooke

Investment Partner, The Dorm Room Fund
Jason Brooke is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund, Investments Intern at Sapphire Ventures, and MBA Candidate at Chicago Booth - specializing in Entrepreneurship and Finance. Jason previously worked in corporate strategy as a Principal for Kaiser Associates’ FinancialServices... Read More →
avatar for Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen

Founder and CEO, asweatlife
Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of asweatlife.com a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University... Read More →
avatar for Adam Falkof

Adam Falkof

Attorney, Quarles and Brady
Adam Falkof is one of the leaders of Quarles & Brady’s national startup practice. He has substantial experience with Chicago’s startup community and has previously launched three of his own startups. Mr. Falkof represents a number of the Midwest’s leading early-stage startups... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 10:00am - 12:00pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

11:30am CDT

Reinstating the Circular Economy with Rheaply
Have you ever heard the term "the circular economy?" If not,
join us for this informative talk with Rheaply's Dr. Gary Cooper, where
we will learn about Rheaply's efforts to transform the circular economy, minimize waste,
and effectively manage resources through their innovative AxM platform.

Speakers
avatar for Dr Garry Cooper

Dr Garry Cooper

Co-Founder and CEO, Rheaply
Dr. Garry Cooper is the Co-founder and CEO of Rheaply, a Chicago-based tech company that enables Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and universities to better visualize, quantify, and utilize their physical resources. He also serves on the boards of directors of P33 Chicago... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 11:30am - 12:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

12:30pm CDT

Chicago Startup Week Finale: Fireside Chat w/ Kristi Ross and Brad Keywell
Kristi Ross and Brad Keywell will be talking about the keys to their success, their entrepreneurial journey, and what students need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic's influence on the startup world.


Speakers
avatar for Brad Keywell

Brad Keywell

Founder and CEO, Uptake
Brad Keywell is a lifelong entrepreneur and co-founder of seven  technology companies, a cultural curator of innovation platforms,  and a philanthropist. He is the Founder and CEO of Uptake  Technologies, an industrial intelligence software provider that uses  data analytics and... Read More →
avatar for Kristi Ross

Kristi Ross

Co-Founder,Co-CEO and President, tastytrade
Kristi Ross, Co-Founder, Co-CEO & President of tastytrade and has been in the fintech and  trading industry for more than 30 years. Kristi is the Co-Founder of original dough, a visual front end trading technology platform launched in 2014, which was ultimately combined with and... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 12:30pm - 1:00pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

1:00pm CDT

Pitch Competition Awards Ceremony
Come watch the judges announce the top 3 winners of Chicago Startup Week's Pitch Competition!

Judges and Mentors
avatar for Jarrod Barnes

Jarrod Barnes

Managing Director, The Minority Entrepreneurship Institute
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Jarrod Barnes currently serves as the Managing Director of the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute, a seed-stage impact investing fund that invests in minority founders across the midwest and southeast. Jarrod began his career working in collegiate and... Read More →
avatar for Jason Brooke

Jason Brooke

Investment Partner, The Dorm Room Fund
Jason Brooke is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund, Investments Intern at Sapphire Ventures, and MBA Candidate at Chicago Booth - specializing in Entrepreneurship and Finance. Jason previously worked in corporate strategy as a Principal for Kaiser Associates’ FinancialServices... Read More →
avatar for Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen

Founder and CEO, asweatlife
Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of asweatlife.com a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University... Read More →
avatar for Adam Falkof

Adam Falkof

Attorney, Quarles and Brady
Adam Falkof is one of the leaders of Quarles & Brady’s national startup practice. He has substantial experience with Chicago’s startup community and has previously launched three of his own startups. Mr. Falkof represents a number of the Midwest’s leading early-stage startups... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 1:00pm - 1:30pm CDT
Hopin Main Stage

2:00pm CDT

Trends of Tomorrow: The Future of Health
How is healthcare shaking up other industries and vice versa? What are the emerging trends in the space, and how can students join in on pioneering innovation? Listen to a panel of experts in industries from telehealth to healthcare delivery on what their perspectives are in their fields!

Speakers
avatar for Nirav Modi

Nirav Modi

Founder and CEO, Cevona
Reinventing healthcare for self-funded employers. Passionate about enabling better healthcare experiences and outcomes.  
avatar for Samuel Lee

Samuel Lee

Innovation and Venture, Yale New Haven Health
Dedicated to improving healthcare delivery, expanding the continuum and access to quality care, and supporting new discoveries through market and to patients  
avatar for Dr. Kate Wollin

Dr. Kate Wollin

Principal, Circea
Dr Kate Wolin is an Harvard-trained entrepreneurial executive and behavioral epidemiologist. Following her academic medicine career, she co-founded and led a digital weight management start-up that was acquired by Anthem in 2017. Dr. Wolin currently advises companies on bridging behavioral... Read More →
avatar for Ashish V. Shah

Ashish V. Shah

Co-Founder and CEO, dina
The Dina team is led by healthcare technology veteran Ashish V. Shah. Ashish ispassionate about empowering home and family caregivers with the tools they need tohelp people age in place. Ashish previously served as CTO at Medicity, the marketleader for vendor-neutral Health Information... Read More →
avatar for Dana Sun

Dana Sun

Senior Associate, OCA Ventures
Dana Sun is a Senior Associate at OCA Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm investing in highly scalable software and service businesses. At OCA, Dana focuses on health tech investments in areas such as digital therapeutics, behavioral health, patient engagement, and benefits... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
Hopin Session

3:00pm CDT

Startup Symposium: Where is AI now?
Artificial intelligence has been heralded as the most transformative technology of our age. Whether people are afraid because of its destructive potential or excited about the positive changes it might bring, everyone agrees that AI will change the world as we know it.

During the Symposium we will meet some of the innovators that are using and shaping this technology for a variety of purposes. We will sit down with them and discuss the differences and similarities between the use of AI in both different and similar industries.

Speakers
avatar for Steven Platt

Steven Platt

Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer, RetailPredict.ai
B.S.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Boston University School of Management, along with a Law Degree and LL.M. in Taxation. At BU, I served as Articles Editor for the University's Journal of Tax Law. I have written many studies about retail analytics and digital communication networks... Read More →
avatar for Marc Gyöngyösi

Marc Gyöngyösi

CEO, OneTrack.ai
At OneTrack, we developed an AI-powered warehouse operating system that leverages lift-mounted cameras to enhance safety and productivity. Our system outperforms legacy lift telemetry solutions because it is based on Machine Learning and Computer Vision. We have delivered measurable... Read More →
avatar for Kamalesh Srikanth

Kamalesh Srikanth

Solution Engineer, AlertOps
AlertOps is an Alert Management and End-To-End Incident Response Platform. We provide alerting and automation to help organizations reduce Mean-Time-To-Respond to business critical incidents.
avatar for Mechie Nkengla

Mechie Nkengla

Chief Data Strategist, Data Products
Experienced leader focused on helping organizations improve performance, leverage their data assets effectively and understand the possibilities of emerging technologies including data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things.Data Products... Read More →
avatar for Olga Niamera

Olga Niamera

Recruiting Lead, Mojotrek
There are few things more empowering than matching the right person with the right job. It sets a course for both the candidate’s life and the company’s success. If it’s the right fit, it’s a net gain for everyone that has a lasting and meaningful impact. That’s why I love... Read More →
avatar for Biju Nair

Biju Nair

EVP and President, Global Trade-in and Upgrades, HYLA Mobile
Biju Nair has a 26 year record of entrepreneurial and innovation leadership that has helped shape today’s wireless software industry. His inventions, the businesses he started and the products he pioneered have had a profound impact on the wireless software market. His innovative... Read More →
avatar for Anthony Tassone

Anthony Tassone

Founder and CEO, GreenKey
Improve Policing with Body Camera Analytics
avatar for Leith Akkawi

Leith Akkawi

Founder and CEO, DeCypher DataLabs LLC
I have 10+ years in the field of advanced analytics working in a variety of industries and domains. Building on my Industrial Engineer background, I completed graduate studies in Data Science. I am the founder of an advanced analytics and machine learning shop: DeCypher DataLabs LLC.Headquartered... Read More →
avatar for Jared Lorince

Jared Lorince

Data Intelligence Technical Lead, Narrative Science
Data Intelligence Technical Lead at Narrative scienceI currently work as a Software Engineer at Narrative Science. Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) and data scientist at StumbleUpon. My academic research explored human... Read More →
avatar for Nathan Nichols

Nathan Nichols

Chief Scientist, Narrative Science
Nathan Nichols received his Ph.D. from the Intelligent Information Laboratory at Northwestern University in 2010. His research focused on "machine-generated content", hyper-personalized stories and content created automatically for an audience of one. Since then he has worked at Narrative... Read More →


Friday March 19, 2021 3:00pm - 7:00pm CDT
Hopin Expo
 
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