The Entrepreneur@nu Conference 2012 was one to remember; pitches, connections, panels, CEO's, and more. Watch to find out why Northwestern and Chicago are entrepreneurial centers for the future.
Learn more about the dynamic speakers featured at last year's e@nu conference.
Andrew Mason - Founder and CEO, Groupon
Mason is the founder of Groupon as well as The Point, the collective action platform from which Groupon was born. Andrew's mostly unremarkable existence began in Pittsburgh, PA; he moved to Chicago in 1999 to attend Northwestern University, where he lives today with his girlfriend and over 20 cats. Andrew graduated with a degree in music, the uselessness of which served as a chief inspiration to not be useless. Out of college, Andrew became a software developer by no ambition of his own, but via a series of acquaintances offering to give him money to do incrementally harder stuff on computers. Excited by the power of technology to change the world, Andrew developed PolicyTree.org, a policy debate visualization tool, and won a scholarship to attend the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy in 2006. In school for only 3 months, the flighty Andrew dropped out after receiving an unexpected offer to fund the idea that would become The Point. The Point, a ground-breaking approach to online collective action and fundraising, launched in November 2007. One year later, Andrew launched Groupon as a side project of The Point. At various points in his life, Andrew has also started businesses to deliver bagels like newspapers, and sell muffins with cranberries that he found in his backyard to people living on his street.
Peter Barris - Managing General Partner, New Enterprise Associates
Peter Barris joined the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) in 1992 and has served as Managing General Partner since 1999. Prior to joining NEA, Barris was President and Chief Operating Officer of Legent Corporation (LGNT) and Senior Vice President of the Systems Software Division of UCCEL Corporation (UCE). Both companies were ultimately acquired at valuations that were record breaking for their time. Earlier, Barris spent almost a decade at General Electric Company in a variety of management positions, including Vice President and General Manager at GE Information Services.
Shradha Agarwal - Chief Strategy Officer/ Co-founder at ContextMedia, Inc.
ContextMedia co-founder Shradha Agarwal has always had a passion for communication. While building the media company from the ground up with Rishi, Shradha looks at their patient care media platforms as existing for a social benefit. She helped brand the company as for-benefit, marrying the concept of a successful for-profit enterprise that exists for social benefit. While merging her expertise in marketing and media, Shradha makes sure ContextMedia keeps up with the latest in product development strategies throughout various technologies. As a broadcast journalism alum from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a concentration in economics and international relations, Shradha's prior experiences has taken her into newsrooms at NBC Universal and CLTV. At NU she co-founded the Northwestern Business Review with Rishi and served as the Editor-in-Chief for two years developing the mission, plan and operations for the bi-annual magazine still distributed. She was featured by the NU Alumni Association as 1 of 30 most promising graduates in her class of 2,000 students.
Guillermo Ameer - Professor of Engineering
Associate Professor Ameer, a native of Panama City, Panama, received his bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and his doctor of science degree in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Northwestern University in 2001 and is currently an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering. Moreover, he has been appointed associate professor in the Department of Surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine. He has also synthesized "biorubbers" that could replace damaged heart and lung tissue and rebuild blood vessels
Larry Birnbaum - Professor of Computer Science, Northwestern University
Dr. Larry Birnbaum is a professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University. Larry received his PhD in computer science from Yale University in 1986, and joined the Northwestern faculty in 1989.His research in artificial intelligence and computer science has encompassed natural language processing, case-based reasoning, machine learning, human-computer interaction, educational software, and computer vision. Birnbaum has authored or coauthored more than eighty articles. He was the program co-chair of the 1991 International Machine Learning Workshop and has been a member of the program committee for numerous other conferences and workshops.
Alok Choudhary - Professor of Computer Science, Northwestern University
Alok Choudhary is John G. Searle Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Professor of at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is the founding director of the Center for Ultra-scale Computing and Information Security (CUCIS) which involves several schools, National Labs and universities. He is the academic director of the Executive Program on "Managing Customer Relationships for Profit" in the Kellogg School of Management's executive education program, and is a member of the Center for Genetic Medicine.
Jeff Coney - Director of Economic Development, INVO
Jeff Coney serves as Director of Economic Development at Northwestern University, a position he was appointed to in September, 2007. He is also a member of the management team of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO). His responsibilities include selected intellectual property and license management, marketing and business development for INVO. Coney joined Northwestern in 2000 as Director of New Business Initiatives. In that role, he was responsible for day-to-day operation of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center (ITEC) in Evanston.
Prior to joining the University, Coney spent 14 years as a software entrepreneur. He co-founded Facility Management Systems, Inc., a local software company, which was sold to a publicly traded company. He has also had prior employment with Arthur Andersen, Metropolitan Structures and The City of Chicago. Mr. Coney holds BA and MBA degrees from Northwestern and is a CPA. He serves on the boards of Context Media, Northwestern Student Holdings and Youth Job Center of Evanston.
Zoë Damacela - Zoe Damacela Apparel
Zoë Damacela is a 20-year-old clothing entrepreneur, model, and fashion designer. Zoë started Zoë Damacela Apparel at age 14, and now runs a successful fashion label selling garments worldwide. She has been featured on Oprah's Angel Network, The Tyra Banks Show, and even worked with Presidents Clinton and Obama on a number of initiatives. She was also featured on the cover of the October 2011 issue of Seventeen Magazine. She is currently a sophomore at Northwestern University, majoring in History and Italian, and is a spokesperson on behalf of education reform and the need for entrepreneurship education in middle and high schools.
Carolyn Dellutri - Executive Director, Downtown Evanston
Carolyn Dellutri joined Downtown Evanston as the Executive Director in July 2008. Downtown Evanston is the marketing and management organization for the 34 block central business district in Evanston, Illinois. Her duties include management of the district by overseeing the maintenance (trash removal, power-washing sidewalks, landscaping, banners and holiday decorations). As well as, central business district marketing, advertising, retail events, and business recruitment and retention. Carolyn has held similar positions with the City of Geneva, Main Street Libertyville and the Lake County Illinois Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has received her certification in tourism (CTP) through the National Tour Association as well as her certification through the National Trust Main Street Center as a Certified Main Street Manager (CMSM) and is a recent graduate from the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute program.
Joe Dwyer - Partner, OCA Ventures
Joseph holds an MBA with Distinction from the Kellogg School of management, and a law degree Cum Laude from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he was awarded the Order of the Coif. At Kellogg, Joseph was the President of the Association for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship Law, and was founding COO of Kellogg View, the schoolʼs official business publication. Joseph also has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the George- town University School of Foreign Service.
Stella Fayman - Founding Member, FeeFighters!
Stella Fayman is a founding member of FeeFighters—the site that makes payments a breeze. She is also cofounder of Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, a media and events company that brings successful entrepreneurs on stage telling their sto- ries in an informal, "unpluggd" format. Stella is also actively engaged in the startup community as a volunteer for Future Founders, where she mentors motivated high school students in underserved areas. In addition, she is a Community Advisory Board member at the Chica- goland Entrepreneurial Center.
David Fisher - President/Business Coach at RockStar Consulting
David J.P. Fishers passion for growth and development has allowed him to influence thousands of others during his professional career. Today, as a coach, speaker, author, and president of RockStar Consulting he continues to create a powerful impact on individuals and organizations as he works to help them become RockStars! Davids background combines entrepreneurial sales experience with strategic and academic training. While getting his history degree at Northwestern University, he worked for Cutco Cutlery, quickly becoming one of the top ten sales representatives in the country. After graduating, he ran the Chicago office for Cutco/Vector, training over 1,500 salespeople, and then went into sales management for Brinks Security. It was these experiences that gave him the foundation to start RockStar Consulting.
Patty Fitzgibbons - Program Manager, Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Patty FitzGibbons is the Program Manager for the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Northwestern University. Patty joined the staff in 2010 and oversees the Northwestern University Incubator. She is also an advisor to the businesses within Northwestern Student Holdings and supports the student groups that are overseen by the Farley Center. Prior to her role at Northwestern, Patty spent most of her career in the corporate world after receiving her BS in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.
Darren Green - Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
Darren Green has more than 14 years of experience representing a wide range of clients on employment, corporate, technology, venture capital and other transactional matters across a variety of industries, including the software, "green" and sustainable industries, web design, ASP, professional services, travel, engineering, retail, publishing, manufacturing, insurance, advertising, food services and location based technologies. Darren spent his first six years after law school practicing corporate law at two first-tier law firms based in Chicago, and the next two years as the Vice President of Business Development and Legal Affairs at MachineTools.com, a leading business-to-business metalworking machinery marketplace. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law, teaching an upper level course entitled Structuring Venture Capital Transactions. In addition, Darren has guest lectured at DePaul University in Chicago regarding intellectual property issues.
Brian Hand - Co Founder, FireStarter Fund
Brian is co-founder and Chairman of Timelines, Inc. (formerly known as LifeSnapz). Prior to Timelines, in 1999 Brian founded and was CEO of ShopLocal (formerly known as SalesHound and CrossMedia Services). In 2001, the company developed a pioneering service for digitizing local sales circulars and catalogs for clients such as Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, Circuit City, Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens, Staples, Office Depot, Sears, and Kohl's, and today provides this service for the vast majority of all major US retailers. ShopLocal was acquired by Gannett, Tribune and Knight-Ridder in 2004 for $75 million.
Troy Henikoff - Co-Founder and CEO Excelerate Labs
Prior to founding ShopLocal, for 16 years Brian was with First Analysis, a Chicago-based venture capital and investment banking firm. As vice chairman of the firm for the last three years, he was responsible for co-managing day-to-day activities of the company's investment research, investment banking and venture capital activities. He was also responsible for identifying, investing in and managing portfolio companies as part of the firm's $500 million family of venture capital funds. He has served on the board of directors of numerous companies. He had previously held positions of Managing Director of Investment Research, Vice President of Corporate Finance and Research Analyst. Prior to joining First Analysis, he worked briefly as a robot engineer for IBM.
Paul Hletko Founder, Few Spirits
Paul Hletko is the founder and master distiller at Few Spirits. Few Spirits is a craft distillery, based in Evanston Illinois. Focusing on whiskies and gins, Few has won international critical acclaim for its products, ranging from Few Rye Whiskey being named one of the top 6 in the world, Few American Gin rated as one of the top 10 in the world, and Few Bourbon Whiskey receiving a silver medal at the largest spirits competition in the world. Few's products are available in 5 states, Canada, the UK, and distribution continues to expand. Not bad for a company that started sales in August 2011. Few has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Sun Times, Seattle Post, Chicago Reader, and is currently on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. Paul has built on 20 years of brewing, over 15 years of practicing law, and a family legacy in the alcohol business. Paul received his bachelors in engineering from the University of Michigan, and law degree from Loyola Chicago.
Terry Howerton - Partner, TechNexus | Chair Emeritus, Illinois Tech Association
Terry Howerton is an entrepreneur and community builder. He is the founding chairman of the Illinois Technology Association and co-founder of TechNexus, named by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Incubators in America. TechNexus has been home to more than 150 growing companies and an ecosystem used by 2,500 entrepreneurs, engineers and executives each month. Howerton has been a founder, principal or active advisor in dozens of startups. He cofounded and chairs the Chicago Tech Academy, an innovative charter high school that connects 600 at risk students a year with mentors and an education infused with technology aptitude and entrepreneurial vision. Much of Howerton's career has been about connecting people and companies in unexpected, valuable ways.
Mert Iseri - CEO, SwipeSense
Mert Hilmi Iseri is the young turk of design. His journey started off in Istanbul and changed courses completely once he arrived at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering. Now, as the CEO of SwipeSense, he is excited to embrace design and entrepreneurship to galvanize a generation into positive change.
Zachary Johnson - CEO, Syndio Social
Zachary Johnson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Syndio Social. In January 2009, he initiated the expansion of the company by partnering with Nosh to provide scalable network analysis solutions. In less than a year, he has secured and led projects for numerous clients, including Procter & Gamble. Zack spent over two years studying applied social network analysis with Professor Contractor before graduating with a BS in Communication from Northwestern University.
Stuart Larkins - Managing Director, I2A Fund
Stuart Larkins is an Internet entrepreneur and digital marketing expert with more than twelve years of experience leading Internet companies and start-up organizations. Stuart is a Managing Director if the I2A Fund, a seed stage venture capital fund, where he is leading all aspects of I2A including fund management, deal sourcing and investments, and working with portfolio companies. He represents I2A in the board of TapMe, Simple Relevance, and DealsGoRound.
Tim Lavengood - Director, Technology Innovation Center (TIC)
Tim Lavengood has been director of the Technology Innovation Center, the high-technology incubator in Evanston, Illinois, since 1999. He oversees overall operations, including due diligence on applicant companies, coordination of facilities and service programs, and liaison with area universities. Prior to joining TIC, Tim was a founding partner in Tambourine Technologies, a consultancy that advised developing economy governments on opportunities to leverage local resources with appropriate technologies to produce globally competitive goods and services. Tim was also a founder of the Institute for International Entrepreneurship and an industrial development specialist at Northwestern’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science and Technology. He began his career by founding Occam’s Razor, Inc., a science communications firm.
William Lear - President and Chief Corporate Officer, Athena Financial Services
William Lear is the President and Chief Corporate Officer of Athena Financial Services, a holding company which provides a full range of back office services to emerging growth companies. Prior to this position, Mr. Lear was a co-founder and Managing Director of The Chicago Corporation, a recently formed investment banking firm and successor-in-name to a 2,000 employee company which was sold to ABN-Amro in 1997 for $200,000,000. He continues as a Senior Advisory with TCC as well as serving on the Boards of Geonostics, Pinpoint Communications and The Conservation Center. He is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School and spent more than twenty years of service prior to his current position at The First National Bank of Chicago and as Managing Director of a predecessor investment bank to TCC.
Andrew Lim - Founder, CouponCat
Andrew Lim is a sophomore studying Economics, Communication Studies, and Chinese. He founded CouponCat after serving as VP of Operations at Northwestern Transit Co. Andrew spent most of his childhood in Vancouver until he moved to Seoul to attend an international school for most of his elementary and high school schooling. He has also spent a year in Chongqing, where he was able to start his first business at the age of 14 selling electronic chips online. Andrew has founded three companies and has worked for two more ever since. Andrew hopes to pursue a career in IT entrepreneurship and hopes to be working in the Greater Chicago Area or Silicon Valley following graduation.
Jordan Linville - Co-Founder, Buzz Referrals
As the co-founder of Buzz Referrals, Jordan Linville brings a wealth of internet marketing experience from prior roles at Angie’s List, a VC-backed company that went public in 2011, and NextWave Media Group, a leading digital agency. At Angie’s List, Jordan led data acquisition efforts which enabled the company to expand from 15 to over 75 U.S. markets and double contractor advertising revenue. At NextWave Media Group, he held the role of Director of Business Development, developing customer acquisition strategies for advertisers such as FTD Flowers, Voyage Prive and Hearst Interactive. Jordan was named a Governor Robert Orr Indiana Entrepreneurial Fellow and holds a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
Elizabeth McCarthy - Assistant Director, Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Elizabeth is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, where she focused her studies on entrepreneurship and business law, environmental law and clean energy policy. She has worked for Invenergy, a wind energy developer based in Chicago, and a solar startup founded by a materials science PhD student at Northwestern. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where she manages academic programs and advises student businesses.
Mike McGee - Co-Founder of Code Academy
Mike McGee is a co-founder of Code Academy, a three-month immersive program in Chicago that teaches beginners how to code and design web apps. During his time as an undergrad at Northwestern, Mike was ASG Academic Vice President from 2008-09 and ASG President from 2009-10. In 2010, Mike graduated with a BS in Political Science and Film from the School of Communication. He is also a proud member of the Dance Marathon 120-hour club.
Michael Marasco - Director, Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
After 20+ years working in the corporate world, Michael joined the faculty of the Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as a Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (FCEI). Michael has been teaching entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship for the past 14 years. For the past ten years, he had been an adjunct professor in the McCormick Master of Engineering Management program teaching Technical Entrepreneurship. Michael continues to be an early stage investor through his venture capital company, Solesde. He currently sits on the boards of Sportiqe, Zone Medical, and Context Media. Previously, Michael was the acting chief marketing officer and vice president or CRM at Bally Total Fitness where he led their transition into a multi-channel integrated marketing organization. He was also the founder and general manager of the Chicago office of Digitas where he guided the office from startup to a staff of 80 providing interactive and relationship marketing services to companies like Allstate, Best Buy, Brunswick, and others. His background includes key roles at Organic, Inc. and Solucient, Inc. Michael received his BS in Accountancy with high honors from DePaul University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Brad Morehead - Co-Founder, Wildcat Angels
Brad Morehead is currently the President of Bolster Security. Bolster Security provides home security systems and commercial security solutions throughout the country through its subsidiaries (SafeMart.com and Able Security). Bolster has the highest fire certification (NICET IV) and more than 30 years of history in the security industry with tens of thousands of delighted customers. Prior to Bolster, Brad was CFO of Feldco Factory Direct, a fast-growing, entrepreneurial company that is the Midwest’s leading home renewal company and winner of the BBB Torch Award and two-time National Window & Door Company of the Year. Before joining Feldco, Brad worked with Friedman Fleischer & Lowe LLC ("FFL"), a San Francisco-based, middle-market, private equity firm and in investment banking with Goldman Sachs (New York) and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (Chicago). Brad serves on the board, has been a founding investor or was on the startup team for a variety of other companies from financial services to consumer products. He also co-founded Wildcat Angels (a group of Northwestern and Chicago Angel Investors working to increase the quantity and quality of successful startups in the area) and Kellogg Entrepreneurs’ Organization (or KEO, which helps student and alumni entrepreneurs grow their businesses). Brad received an MBA with highest distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Brad completed his undergraduate degree with high distinction in Finance at Indiana University.
Chris Morgan - CEO Recruiter for Technology Companies and Founding Partner, Lantern Partners
Chris focuses on recruiting chief executive officers and their direct reports for software and software enabled services companies. He has also recruited nu- merous chief information officers and chief technology officers for the consumer products and services, industrial, business services, and financial services sec- tors. Chris currently serves on the Boards of several charitable organizations: The Illi- nois Technology Association, Junior Achievement, SmartBet Charity Poker Tour- nament, and Benevolent.net. He is also a founding partner in the Chicago branch of Social Venture Partners. Chris Lives in Wilmette with his spouse, Jenny, their three sons, and their rescued dog, George.
Alex Onsager - Co-CEO at Northwestern Student Holdings
Alex Onsager is a junior majoring in Economics and Political Science from Naperville, IL. Alex is currently one of two students leading Northwestern Student Holdings (NSH), a student-run company that funds and manages a portfolio of businesses serving the Northwestern and Evanston communities. As a freshman at Northwestern, upperclassmen gave Alex the opportunity to take a leadership role in Wildcat Express Delivery, one of NSH's student-run companies. This opportunity led to Alex acting in a variety of leadership roles in NSH businesses in the last three years. Alex has found in NSH an unparalleled opportunity to build business and leadership skills through entrepreneurship.
Michael Peshkin - Professor of Mechanical Engineering
President and co-founder of Kinea Design, is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. His research is in robotics and human-machine interaction. Peshkin has co-founded three spin-offs: Mako Surgical, Inc. (image guided surgery), Cobotics, Inc. (assistive devices for materials handling) and Kinea Design.
John Pletz - Sr. Financial Analyst
John Pletz has been covering technology, startups and aviation for Crain's Chicago Business since 2007. He previously was a technology editor and writer for the American-Statesman in Austin, Texas, from 1999 through 2006. Before that, he covered startups, small business and technology in Indianapolis. He grew up downstate in Pontiac and studied journalism at that "other" Big Ten school in Illinois, the University of Illinois.
Orlando Saez - Deputy Director, Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology (DCEO), State of Illinois
Orlando Saez is the Deputy Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology for the State of Illinois. Orlando is responsible for $400M in infrastructure and business programs in Illinois. Orlando’s main focus is to boost business growth, support the state’s economic development and champion the Governor's Illinois Innovation Council. Over the last 10 years, Orlando has led several early stage telecommunication companies with two notable successes at a combined exit valuation of $50M. You may have seen Orlando’s work if you spend a lot of time at any airport. Orlando was the Vice President of Marketing at Boingo Wireless, the world’s largest Wi-Fi service provider where he pioneered a successful wireless hotspot business model. Earlier he held several software engineering and product management roles at Motorola and AT&T Bell Laboratories. Orlando is very active in various civic and professional organizations including the Economic Club of Chicago, Chicago Innovation Mentors and sits on several boards including the Rauner Family YMCA and Chicago Innovation Awards. Orlando holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, an Masters in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA from IIT Stuart Graduate School of Business. If you’ve seen Orlando on national TV recently, it’s not his twin brother. Orlando was recently casted as a co-host on a national variety show pilot on NBC called 3guysinabooth.
Sam Schwartz - Founder, Dashing Horse
Sam Schwartz is a senior at Northwestern University, graduating with a degree in Manufacturing and Design Engineering. Next year, he will be pursuing an M.S. in Engineering Design and Innovation at Northwestern. On the side Sam has started a small product development company with several other students, and they are currently working towards launching a line of urban bicycle accessories. He has a strong interest in entrepreneurship and hopes to get involved in the Chicago startup space after school.
Jeremiah Seraphine - Co-Founder at Groovebug
Jeremiah Seraphine is the co-founder and CEO of Groovebug, a company creating the next generation music experience for mobile devices. Jeremiah launched the company while earning his Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications with a concentration in Direct and Interactive Marketing from Northwestern University. Prior to Northwestern, Jeremiah worked as a marketer for more than 10 years, co-founded a record label and production company, toured internationally as a DJ, and produced electronic music, including a Billboard hit.
James Shein - Clinical Professor of Management & Strategy, Kelloggʼs Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice
Professor James B. Shein is Clinical Professor of Management & Strategy and also is part of Kelloggʼs Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Prac- tice. He is the academic director of the executive program Successful Corporate Renewal. Professor Shein graduated with an engineering degree from Purdue University and then earned an M.B.A. from Indiana University. He also holds a doctoral de- gree in organizational behavior from Indiana University. He later received his juris doctor degree, cum laude, from Loyola University of Chicago, where he was lead articles editor of the Law Journal.
Dianne Siekmann - Associate Director for Employment Services, Northwestern University
Dianne obtained her Bachelor degree in Economics from Northwestern University and entered the finance industry, working in roles from Mortgage Servicing Manager to Quality Customer Service for the President’s Office. As interests evolved, she returned to Northwestern for a Master’s in Higher Education Administration, and joined University Career Services upon finishing the program. She began as an internship advisor and now works with employers for all of their hiring needs, as well as continuing to support the Internship Specialists.
Joycelyn Stone - J. Stone & Associates LLC
J. Stone & Associates LLC (JSA) provides CFO and Controller services such as financial planning and budgeting, business plan development, lending relation- ship management and accounting services to small and emerging businesses up to $10M in sales and up to 100 employees. In addition, the firm provides Benefits consulting and administration for the same businesses. Examples of such busi- nesses include a public relations firm, several charter schools and a wholesale food service and retail company.
Tracie Thomas - Associate Director for Career Development, University Career Services
Tracie Thomas is currently the Associate Director for Career Development for University Career Services. Tracie counsels undergraduate and graduate students on issues related to decision making, long term career planning, graduate and professional school advising, career exploration, and personality assessment. She has a M.A. in Social Sciences and a M.S in Counseling Psychology
Rebecca Tobin - Solutions Consultant and Team Lead, LinkedIn
Rebecca Tobin is a Solutions Consultant and Team Lead at LinkedIn where she provides strategy and consultation to clients on how best to leverage LinkedIn's media solutions for employment branding and talent acquisition. Prior to LinkedIn, Rebecca worked at Microsoft for four and half years in the Consumer & Online Services division as an Account Manager. Rebecca is graduating Kellogg with her MBA this June. Her focus is in Marketing, Management & Organizations, and Entrepreneurship & Innovation. She earned her undergraduate degree in business from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Guillermo Trias - Senior VP, Global X Funds
Based in Chicago, Guillermo is Senior VP of Global X Funds, a NY-based ETFs issuer founded in 2008 and currently managing 33 global funds with more than 1.2 billion in assets. Prior to GLOBAL X FUNDS, Guillermo was the co-founder and general manager at MCCA KGT FUND, an early stage clean tech and IT venture capital firm. Prior to MCCA, Guillermo Trias was the founder and CEO of SOLEX PARTNERS, the largest importer and distributor of foods & wines from Spain in the American Midwest. Prior to SOLEX, he was an investment banker with DEUTSCHE BANK in London and Madrid where he worked in all aspects of capital raising and advising for large multinational corporations. Guillermo holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management where he majored in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Non Profit. Guillermo has also been Financial Entrepreneurship Professor at Instituto de Empresa (Madrid), teaching Entrepreneurial Finance in the International MBA program.
Kevin Willer - President & CEO, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center
Kevin is the President & CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and leads the CEC's efforts to identify and enable high potential entrepreneurs to build the next generation of high-growth companies in the Chicago area. Prior to the CEC, Kevin co-founded the Google Chicago office in late 2000. In his 10+ years with Google, Kevin helped grow this office to more than 400 professionals. In his initial business development role, he created partnerships with large marketers and agencies including Dell, United Airlines, Sears, State Farm, Omnicom, and Publicis. From 2005-2011, Kevin led the Telecom Industry practice where his teams managed the Google marketing partnerships with several of the largest telecommunications corporations including AT&T, Sprint, and Motorola. In his additional Head of Office role, Kevin led the civic development efforts for Google's Chicago office. Previous to Google, Kevin held sales and business development positions at CMGI, an early internet incubator, and US Robotics, the pioneer in modem technology started in Chicago. Kevin is actively involved in several civic and charitable organizations. He is a Director of The Economic Club of Chicago and is a Trustee of his alma mater, Loyola Academy High School. He is a member of the 2010 Class of Emerging Leaders at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and serves on Mayor Richard M. Daley's Council of Technology Advisors Advisers. Kevin also serves on the boards of Children's Memorial Hospital, WHITIA, World Sport Chicago, Urban Students Empowered, the Illinois Technology Association, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Kevin earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has a Bachelor's degree from Boston College, and studied at the London School of Economics. Kevin, his wife Victoria, and their children, Jacqueline and Max, reside in Chicago.
Ted Wern - Partner, Perkins Coie
Ted Wern is a partner in Perkins Coie's business group and the vice chair of the firm's Private Equity group. Ted regularly represents public and private companies, private equity funds and venture capital investors in a variety of complex transactions, including mergers & acquisitions, recapitalizations, growth financings, joint ventures and strategic alliances. He is also a trusted advisor to a number of emerging growth companies on general corporate and strategic matters. Ted is a frequent speaker and writer on private equity and venture capital topics, and is dedicated to helping build a more cohesive technology community in Chicago and the Midwest.