Mayor Lightfoot & World Business Chicago Announce the return of the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food | World Business Chicago




Mayor Lightfoot & World Business Chicago Announce the return of the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food

World Business Chicago Chicago Venture Summit Future of Food 2023 Chicago Mayor Lori E Lightfoot

After its inaugural success with two sold-out summits in 2022, the Chicago Venture Summit series returns in 2023 with Future-of-Food this May 3-4

CHICAGO –  Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined World Business Chicago (WBC) to announce the return of the Chicago Venture Summit series focused on the Future-of-Food. Chicagoland’s flagship startup and venture capital conference will return this May 3-4, 2023 at the iconic 167 Green Street in the city’s Fulton Market District. The eighth summit since its launch in 2014, the Chicago Venture Summit connects local founders with investors, invites national and global sector leaders to explore the region’s thriving startup ecosystem, and promotes Chicagoland as the global capital for food and ag innovation. 

“As Mayor of the global capital for all things food, I’m excited to once again welcome the world to our city for the next edition of the Chicago Venture Summit,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “There is no better city when it comes to the future of this critical sector. From alternative proteins, restaurant tech, new products by diverse founders and more, Chicago truly has it all.”

The Chicago Venture Summit is one of World’s Business Chicago’s flagship innovation and venture programs. In 2022 alone: the Chicago Venture Summit welcomes more than 1500 founders, Fortune 500 executives, sector innovators, and investors for both the Future-of-Food and Future-of-Logistics events. Both events represent the largest summits ever in the program’s history.

“The Chicago Venture Summit has evolved from a local event to a premier global experience,” said Mark Tebbe, Innovation and Venture Council Chair at World Business Chicago. “And since the height of the pandemic, the Chicago Venture Summit has become a trailblazer event which convenes the next generation of startups with industry experts and top-tier investors.”

“As the most diverse economy of any metro region in the United States, the food sector continues to be one of Chicagoland’s most competitive and growing industries,” said Michael Fassnacht, President and CEO, World Business Chicago, and Chief Marketing Officer, City of Chicago. “From our first venture summit solely focused on “The Future of Food” in 2022, we’re excited to share the latest trends and innovations within food and ag – all which can be explored right here in Chicago and its region.”

World Business Chicago is proud to announce Cooley, Cleveland Avenue, Ferrero, Microsoft, Quaker Foods North America, and Shapack Partners as presenting sponsors for the 2023 summit.

“Chicago is a critical hub contributing to Ferrero’s current and future growth. Our iconic brands Butterfinger and Baby Ruth are made in Franklin Park, Keebler cones and crusts are made at our plant on 110th Street, and a new Innovation Center downtown will include our North America R&D Labs,” said Alanna Cotton, President and Chief Business Officer for Ferrero North America, and World Business Chicago board member. “We are committed to supporting Chicago’s vibrant community of food entrepreneurs, which is why we’re thrilled to return as a sponsor of the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food.”

“With Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, we are thrilled to be a presenting sponsor for the 2023 Chicago Venture Summit and proud of the role we play in the food and agriculture industries,” said Matt Renner, President of U.S. Enterprise Commercial for Microsoft, and World Business Chicago board member. “Whether it’s innovating to boost farmers productivity and sustainability through data and insights into their crops and soil, or providing technology to the food and beverage industry to optimize inventory flow and build resilient supply chain systems, Microsoft is all in to empower a thriving food and agriculture ecosystem throughout greater Chicago area and the world.”

“Quaker is excited to support World Business Chicago and the growth of its venture summit series through our continued sponsorship of the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food event,” said Robbert Rietbroek, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Quaker Foods North America, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, and World Business Chicago board member. “As one of the U.S.’ fastest growing large food companies, Quaker looks forward to welcoming individuals from around the world to our hometown of Chicago to experience all the city has to offer related to innovators in the food industry.”

“Since coming to Chicago two years ago, Cooley has been thrilled to support and fuel the continued expansion of the startup and venture ecosystem, and in particular we are excited to work with the entrepreneurs and investors that are leading the way in the foodtech and agtech verticals,” said Greg Grossman, co-founder and co-head of the corporate group for Cooley Chicago. “Our continuing partnership with the Chicago Venture Summit is a key ingredient to our success in this region.”  

World Business Chicago is also proud to announce all counties of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership (GCEP) are innovation sponsors for this year’s summit. This includes: Cook County, Choose DuPage, Kane County, Kendall County, Lake County Partners, McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, and the Will County Center for Economic Development. 

“Chicagoland offers all the vital assets and resources you need to be a world-class food business: food processing and distribution to farming experts to food safety pioneers” said Greg Bedalov, President and CEO of Choose DuPage. DuPage County is one of seven official partners of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership. “As home to several of the world’s most renowned food producers, all seven counties of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership are excited to show the world why our region is the best place to open and scale innovative food businesses.”

For the fourth time, the Chicago Venture Summit returns to 167 Green in Chicago’s Fulton Market District. The 640,000 square foot office building, developed by Shapack Partners and Focus and owned in partnership with Walton Street Capital, is a testament to its location and design. Recently, CCC Information Services, Foxtrot, and others have announced their headquarters’ relocation to the building, joining Kroll, WeWork and other innovative companies located at 167 Green in the Fulton Market District. 167 Green features one of Chicago’s largest town hall spaces, which doubles as a full size basketball court on the top floor of the building, along with a rooftop terrace, sitting room, game room and gym.

“We are thrilled to host the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food at 167 Green‘s Town Hall in Chicago’s Fulton Market District,” said Jeff Shapack, Founder and CEO of Shapack Partners and World Business Chicago board member. “Chicago is home to more than 50 James Beard Award winners, and we are committed to supporting the food and ag sector towards sustainability and innovation, right here in our hometown.”

As part of WBC’s mission to drive inclusive economic growth, a portion of the proceeds from this year’s Chicago Venture Summit will be donated to Don’s Chicago Dream, the Greater Chatham Initiative, and La Casa Norte. You can learn more about the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food 2023 via Registration for the invite-only investor and startup conference will open in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Lauren Backe, World Business Chicago Lead for the Chicago Venture Summit Series:



World Business Chicago serves a critical role in driving inclusive and equitable recovery throughout the city’s 77 neighborhoods, focused on high growth sectors: transportation, distribution, & logistics; manufacturing; healthcare & life sciences, and our local innovation, startup, & venture ecosystem. As the City of Chicago’s economic development agency, World Business Chicago leads corporate attraction & retention, workforce & talent, community impact, and promotion of Chicago as a leading global city. Supported by a council of 300+ local leaders, World Business Chicago’s portfolio of innovation & venture programs include: the Chicago Venture Summit series, Startup Chicago, ThinkChicago, and Venture Engine with the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC). Follow World Business Chicago on LinkedIn for daily news and announcements on company relocation and expansion; industry and ecosystem growth, U.S. and world rankings, and more about Chicago’s economic progress. 





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