We love Chicago founders, innovators, and investors.  

World Business Chicago’s Innovation & Venture team drives inclusive growth and opportunity for the city’s tech, innovation, and start-up ecosystem through its portfolio of programs and initiatives.

We believe World Business Chicago’s work must be deeply invested in our city’s start-up & VC ecosystem

Our focus areas include expanding access to capital, talent and the larger innovation ecosystem for local founders and start-ups.

The region’s flagship start-up & VC conference and one of the nation’s premier venture events. The October 2022 summit was the largest Chicago Venture Summit ever with 850+ registered participants.

World Business Chicago’s flagship start-up growth & VC attraction program. In the past year, Startup Chicago hosted 20+ founder showcases attended by 300+ investors & VCs from across the United States.

World Business Chicago’s flagship STEM talent program. We connect diverse STEM talent with innovative Chicago companies and start-ups.

Flagship corporate start-up program in partnership with the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC). Venture Engine leads a series of showcases to connect local start-ups with local Fortune 500s and our world-class corporate innovation ecosystem.

The Team

Meet the members of the WBC Innovation & Venture Strategy Team.

 

Abin Kuriakose

Executive Vice President, Innovation & Venture Strategy

Nicole McCarthy

Director, Innovation & Venture Strategy

Julie Schuster

Startup Chicago, Director, Innovation & Venture Strategy

Trenton Dunn

ThinkChicago, Program Manager, Innovation & Venture Strategy

Beatriz Kauffmann

ThinkChicago, Program Associate, Innovation & Venture Strategy

Lauren Backe

Venture, Events Associate, Innovation & Venture Strategy

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