Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson & World Business Chicago Announce Inaugural Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech October 5, 2023 | World Business Chicago



Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson & World Business Chicago Announce Inaugural Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech October 5, 2023

WORLD BUSINESS CHICAGO chicago venture summit future of climate tech 2023

The Midwest region’s premier startup and growth capital summit advances to include climate tech innovation.

Chicago, August 7, 2023 – Mayor Brandon Johnson joins World Business Chicago in announcing that the Chicago Venture Summit series, one of the largest startup and growth capital conferences in the country, will expand to include its first-ever edition focused on climate tech. The Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech will be held on October 5, 2023, at 167 Green Street by Shapack Partners in the city’s Fulton Market District.

“Chicago stands poised to set the global standard for climate resilience — a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable city that leads the charge towards sustainability,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Our vision is anchored in a collective commitment to safeguard and empower our communities through meaningful actions like reducing carbon emissions, championing environmental justice, and enhancing overall community health. I’m thrilled to extend a warm invitation to investors from around the world to join us this fall at the Chicago Venture Summit, where they can witness firsthand how we support a diverse group of entrepreneurs and innovators, who, together, are forging transformative solutions that will propel us towards a more sustainable clean energy future.”

The Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech marks the ninth summit since the series founding in 2014. The Chicago Venture Summit serves as a vital platform connecting founders with investors nationwide and attracting Fortune 500 executives to explore the region’s thriving startup ecosystem. The Future-of-Climate-Tech summit will showcase Chicago as a leading global destination for climate tech and innovation in sustainability. The full-day summit will feature keynote speakers, fireside chats, and panel discussions, exclusively for an invite-only audience, with a focus on technology, innovation, and startup entrepreneurship.

“The Chicago Venture Summit has consistently proven to be a leading conference series centered around sectors where our city and region excel,” said Mark Tebbe, Chair of the Innovation and Venture Council at World Business Chicago. “Our first-ever Future-of-Climate-Tech edition will bridge the gap between our dynamic startup ecosystem and sustainability sector leaders.”

 “Chicago stands at the intersection of opportunity and transformation to address the massive climate changes that we are all experiencing. We are ready to reshape industries and foster innovation across all sectors to solve today’s and tomorrow’s climate crises,” said Michael Fassnacht, President and CEO of World Business Chicago, and Chief Marketing Officer for the City of Chicago. “We extend a welcoming invitation to startups, industry professionals, and investors from around the globe to join us in Chicago for the Chicago Venture Summit, Future-of-Climate-Tech. Together, we can embrace sustainability and drive transformative solutions that will redefine of how we live our lives.”

World Business Chicago is proud to announce 1871, Current, Energize Capital, Evergreen Climate Innovations, mHUB Chicago, Microsoft, S2G Ventures, and Verizon as presenting sponsors and for Future–of-Climate-Tech. World Business Chicago is also proud to announce the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago as a presenting international partner.

“Innovation beats at the core of Chicago’s spirit. As a united tech community, we rally behind visionary founders who are shaping groundbreaking climate and sustainability solutions. This summit acts as a powerful catalyst, propelling us forward toward sustainability and climate change action,” said Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871. “We are honored to collaborate with World Business Chicago and fellow partners as we showcase Chicago as the epicenter of innovation at the inaugural Future-of-Climate-Tech Summit.”

“Water is fundamental to every climate goal: sustainable energy and agriculture sectors, resilient communities, healthy humanity,” said Alaina Harkness, Executive Director of Current. “Current is proud of Chicago’s growing blue economy and the entrepreneurs powering water innovation.”

“On the world stage, Canada and the United States are committed partners working together to enhance cooperation on sustainable and equitable clean energy innovation and increase the scale and speed of action to address the climate crisis,” said Madeleine Féquière, Consul General of Canada in Chicago. “Locally, the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago is proud to partner with World Business Chicago on this inaugural climate tech event; the time for collective action is now.”

“As a climate software investor with global presence, we are thrilled with the scale and impact of the climate tech industry here in our hometown of Chicago,” said Katie McClain, Partner and COO of Energize Capital. “We are proud to sponsor the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Climate-Tech event and join World Business Chicago in bringing together the city’s robust ecosystem of founders and funders focused on sustainable innovation.”

“Evergreen has been providing catalytic capital and support to the region’s climate technology innovators since 2010,” said Erik Birkerts, Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Climate Innovations. “We are thrilled to shine a bright light on these inspiring startups and entrepreneurs through our partnership with World Business Chicago on the inaugural Chicago Venture Summit: Future-of -Climate-Tech. There is great stuff happening here in the Midwest!”

“mHUB Chicago is proud to partner with World Business Chicago toward their commitment to shining a light on the City’s incredible innovation community, and to driving awareness of the novel technologies being created here as solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges in climate, energy, and sustainability,” said Haven Allen, CEO of mHUB Chicago. “By bringing together industry, innovators and investors from around the country, we create collaborations to accelerate the commercialization of these important technologies that are critical to the growth and sustainability of our cleantech economy.”

“Microsoft is thrilled to continue supporting the summit series presented by World Business Chicago later this fall,” said Nisaini Rexach, Community Engagement Lead for Microsoft in Chicago. Microsoft is a World Business Chicago board member. “This premier startup experience highlights the intersection of the robust startup scene, corporate innovation, and industry visibility happening in Chicago.”

“In alignment with our belief that markets should benefit society and the environment, S2G is thrilled to be partnering with World Business Chicago to accelerate urgently needed change and unify the changemakers of Chicago through a shared vision of a more humane and healthy planet,” said Aaron Rudberg, Senior Managing Director at S2G Ventures. “Through meaningful convenings and conversation, we have a powerful opportunity to collaborate to advance Chicago’s emergence as a climate tech hub and drive further capital into the climate tech sector.”

“At Verizon, we believe our network technology and 5G capabilities serve as a platform for innovation, ” said Nia Mathis, Chief ESG Engagement Officer at Verizon. “We are excited to be a presenting sponsor of this Venture Summit to facilitate conversations at the intersection of corporations, founders and funders on opportunities for technology with respect to environmental sustainability.”

World Business Chicago is also proud to announce the support of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership. The summit’s Innovation Sponsors include Cook County, Choose DuPage, Kane County, Kendall County, Lake County Partners, McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, and the Will County Center for Economic Development. Additional Innovation Sponsors include Cooley, and SRS Acquiom. Startup Sponsors include Clique Studios. Venture Partners include Chain Reaction Innovations of Argonne National Laboratory, Energy Foundry, and Hyde Park Venture Partners. Additional sponsors will be announced closer to the event date.

“The Greater Chicago Economic Partnership is proud to support this event, which will spotlight our region’s role as a global leader in innovative technologies and green industries,” said Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. “Since forming this partnership, both Chicago and the surrounding counties have been able to collaborate on strengthening our regional economy and emphasizing our commitment to sustainability, green innovation, and energy innovation. The entire region will benefit from this summit and the added attention from businesses, investors, and industries towards climate-related technologies.”

Returning for the fifth time, the Chicago Venture Summit will once again take place at 167 Green Street in Chicago’s Fulton Market District. Developed by Shapack Partners and Focus, and owned in partnership with Walton Street Capital, this 640,000 square foot office building stands as a testament to its prime location and design. Recent headquarters relocations to the building by CCC Information Services, Foxtrot, and others, along with established innovative companies such as Kroll and WeWork, showcase the appeal of 167 Green Street in the Fulton Market District. Among its amenities, 167 Green Street features one of Chicago’s largest town hall spaces, which also doubles as a full-size basketball court on the top floor, along with a rooftop terrace, sitting room, game room, and gym.

“The Chicago Venture Summit continues to thrive as one of the world’s premier conference experiences in the city’s Fulton Market District,” said Jeff Shapack, Founder and CEO of Shapack Partners and World Business Chicago board member. “Now, more than ever, we’re excited to welcome our friends from across the city and around the globe to explore the reasons why the next generation of climate tech innovation is happening right here in Chicago.”

World Business Chicago is proud to announce the additional events which will take place the week of the Chicago Venture Summit by our partners:

  • October 2, 2023 – Industrial Climate Tech Summit by Nomadic Venture Partners: will bring together investors, policymakers, corporations, incubators, and entrepreneurs who are developing innovative solutions for heavy industries such as mining, manufacturing, and transportation. With the industrial sector contributing to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions and its expected growth, collaboration is essential to achieve net zero in the industrial sector. Organized by Nomadic Venture Partners, a climate tech venture capital firm that invests in digital solutions that decarbonize incumbent industries, the Summit will feature discussions on how the industrial sectors can contribute to a sustainable world. Speakers and supporters include executives from Bank of America, Cummins, Breakthrough Energy, Chain Reaction Innovations, US Venture, and more. To learn more, please visit:
  • October 4, 2023 – DeepTech Expo by Evergreen Climate Innovations: Evergreen’s startups will be joined by innovators from Argonne National Laboratory’s Chain Reaction Innovations program to present some of the region’s most impactful climate technology innovations. Hear from the inspiring innovators and startups fueling the region’s climate innovation engine. To learn more, please visit:
  • October 4, 2023 – Industry Lab Summits by 1871: 1871 is hosting two innovation summits, with focus areas being foodtech and supply chain. Free and open to the public, each event is hybrid and includes day long content, keynote, breakouts, & more. Registration opens in September 2023. To learn more, please visit:
  • October 5-6, 2023 – annual Club M25 Summit by M25: an early-stage venture firm based in Chicago, investing solely in companies headquartered in the Midwest. To learn more about M25, please visit:

For more information, visit To learn more about registration or sponsorship opportunities, please email World Business Chicago Venture Events Manager Lauren Backe:



World Business Chicago plays a vital role in driving inclusive and equitable recovery across Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods, focusing on high-growth sectors such as transportation, distribution, and logistics; manufacturing; healthcare and life sciences; as well as the local innovation, startup, and venture ecosystem. As the economic development agency for the City of Chicago, World Business Chicago spearheads corporate attraction and retention, workforce and talent initiatives, community impact, and the promotion of Chicago as a leading global city. With the support of a council comprising 300+ local leaders, World Business Chicago’s portfolio of innovation and venture programs includes the Chicago Venture Summit series, Startup Chicago, ThinkChicago, and Venture Engine in partnership with the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. Follow World Business Chicago on LinkedIn for daily news and announcements regarding company relocation and expansion, industry and ecosystem growth, U.S. and global rankings, and more updates on Chicago’s economic progress.


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