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Chicago Venture Summit Announces Selection Committee

Organizers for the Chicago Venture Summit are pleased to announce a blue-ribbon selection committee of 25 national technology leaders and venture capitalists for the  Midwest’s leading venture event on October 14th and 15th.

The selection committee members come from diverse backgrounds in business and technology. They will select 30 emerging technology companies from across the Midwest to present their ideas in front of more than 250 of the nation’s leading investment professionals. These emerging companies have already raised at least $1 million in institutional capital and expect to raise a minimum of $5 million within the next 24 months.

Notable members of the selection committee include:

  • Bruce Barron: The partner and co-founder of Chicago’s Origin Ventures has been guiding entrepreneurial companies in the Midwest since 1985. He served on the board of GrubHub, is currently on the board of the Illinois Venture Capital Association and has been involved in the management of several medical technology start-ups.
  • Mark Achler: The Managing Director of Math Venture Partners and a strategic advisor for venture capital firm OCA Ventures has worked closely with technology’s top companies. Previously, Achler was senior vice president of new business, strategy and innovation at Redbox and a Founding Partner for Kettle Partners, where he was the lead investor for SurePayroll.
  • Lon Chow: The general partner at Apex Venture Partners  focuses on software and software-enabled businesses, and he has been working with entrepreneurs in the Midwest for more than 17 years.  As a venture and angel investor, Lon has invested in over 35 Chicago-based startups.
  • Adam Koopersmith: The partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital focuses on companies dedicated to bringing to market novel SaaS applications, interactive marketing solutions or interactive health applications. Koopersmith also serves on the Investment Committee for Chicago Ventures – a seed-stage investment fund, and on the board of Techstars Chicago, a mentor-driven investment program.
  • Anna Haghgooie: The managing director of Sandbox Industries focuses on investing in healthcare innovation through the BlueCross BlueShield Venture Funds. She serves on the board of directors of Change: Healthcare, ZeOmega, naviHealth, Everymove and Axial Healthcare.

“This is an exciting time in the Chicago tech community in terms of growth and momentum,” said Lon Chow, General Partner at Apex Venture Partners. “I’m thrilled to participate in an event that features some of the most exciting startups and growth stage companies in Chicago and the Midwest.”

Additional members of the selection committee include Greg Barnes, principal, Hyde Park Venture Partners; Sach Chitnis, managing partner, Jump Capital; Ian Drury, general partner, OCA Ventures; Michael Facchinello, founder, Laundrymate; Constance Freedman, vice president of strategic investments, NAR; Jim Gagnard, chairman, Illinois Technology Association; Neal Sales-Griffin, chief executive officer and co-founder, The Starter League; Jason Heltzer, adjunct assistant professor of entrepreneurship, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; Stuart Larkins, co-founder and partner, Chicago Ventures; Bret Maxwell, managing general partner, MK Capital; Phil Nevels, executive director, ChicagoNEXT at World Business Chicago; Maura O’Hara, executive director, Illinois Venture Capital Association; Jim Pavlik, partner, Baird Venture Partners; John Regan, founding partner, Regan, Lane & Messinger LLP; Nick Rosa, co-founder and managing director, Sandbox Industries; Guy Turner, managing partner, Hyde Park Venture Partners; Sona Wang, managing director, Ceres Venture Fund; Ira Weiss, partner, Hyde Park Venture Partners; Pete Wilkins, managing director, Hyde Park Angels; and Kevin Willer, partner, Chicago Ventures.

Company submissions are due August 29 and Chicago Venture Summit will announce the presenting companies in early September.

For applications to present or to request an invitation to attend the Chicago Venture Summit, please visit


About the Chicago Venture Summit

The Chicago Venture Summit will be held at Venue Six10 on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. The Summit’s agenda includes presentations by 30 of the top emerging tech companies in the Midwest, panel discussions with national technology experts, and private dinners with C-suite leaders of the Midwest’s Fortune 100 companies.


About ChicagoNEXT

ChicagoNEXT seeks to create innovative programs to foster technology and entrepreneurship in Chicago, including shared space partnerships, exchange programs for entrepreneurs and outreach to venture capital firms and technology talent. ChicagoNEXT is part of World Business Chicago (WBC), chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. WBC leads the city’s business retention, attraction and expansion efforts, raises Chicago’s position as a premier global business destination, and guides implementation of the Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs.

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