For Immediate Release
Chicago Founders Circle Kicks Off Third Year with New Class and Keynote Speaker Pat Ryan Jr.
Chicago – Chicago Founders Circle (CFC) announced today that Pat Ryan Jr., Founder and CEO of INCISENT Labs Group, a holding company and incubator for creating new technology companies, will be the keynote speaker of its 2015 Inaugural Event. The event will take place Tuesday, May 19 at the Deloitte Greenhouse, an advanced, immersive environment designed to accelerate breakthroughs.
Ryan, who is also Chairman of Chicago Ventures, a venture capital firm located in 1871 that invests in early-stage tech startups, will discuss the growing pains encountered when growing companies, with CFC’s newest class of elite founders and CEOs of emerging startup companies in Chicago.
“We are thrilled for the opportunity to contribute to the growing startup ecosystem in Chicago for the third consecutive year,” said Greg Grossman, a partner at DLA Piper and a leader of CFC. “The caliber of CFC’s class participants has enhanced each year as our brand has grown in the Chicago marketplace. We are excited to welcome our newest members and to integrate them with our growing alumni base.”
This year’s CFC class includes more than 25 entrepreneurs from leading emerging growth companies including:
· Options Away, a company that empowers consumers to lock-in flight prices, and recently raised a $3.5M Series A round.
· Review Trackers, a service company that helps businesses better manage their online reputation, and recently raised a $2M Series A round.
· EventUp, an online marketplace for event venues.
· Syndio, a company that helps large enterprises better tap the right people for jobs, projects and campaigns, named as one of the “100 Brilliant Companies” by Entrepreneur Magazine (May 2014).
· Social Synergy Media, a startup that builds technology to streamline users’ personal relationships, named as one of Chicago’s top 25 coolest startups by Business Insider.
· Akoubacredit, an entrepreneurial lending company for small businesses.
CFC launched in 2013 with the goal of supporting and nurturing the expanding and vibrant emerging growth company community in the region. The exclusive, invitation only, peer-to-peer networking group is structured as an annual group of 25 to 30 founders and CEOs of emerging growth companies in Chicago who are invited to participate in a series of four events that offer them the opportunity to discuss current issues facing their companies, exchange ideas and meet other successful entrepreneurs who can help guide them through the process of building their companies.
A fifth networking event serves as a “graduation” type event that brings together the current class and alumni from previous CFC classes.
Speakers and topics lined up in 2015, include, among others:
· Brad Keywell, CEO of Uptake Technologies, LLC, will discuss the topics of leadership and strategies for growth.
· Adam DeWitt, CFO of Grubhub, will present a case study on the company.
· Ira Weiss, Hyde Park Venture Partners; Gabe Greenbaum, Pritzker Group Venture Capital; and Kevin Willer, Chicago Ventures will lead a financing panel focused around helping companies raise money.
CFC alumni include Mandy Calara of Forever Yogurt; Elisa All of 30Second Mobile; Justyn Howard of Sprout Social, Inc.; Jimmy Odom of WeDeliver; Aaron Frazin, cofounder and CEO of Charlie; Coco Meers, founder and CEO of PrettyQuick; Jeff Eckerling, CEO of Doggyloot; and Jeremy Klein, CEO/Co-Founder of TableSavvy.
“Being part of the Chicago Founders Circle has been an outstanding experience both personally and professionally,” said Jeremy Klein, CEO/Co-Founder of TableSavvy, a real-time, last minute restaurant reservation system. “I’ve found it extremely rewarding to be able to collaborate not only with like-minded peers who genuinely want to help each other out, but also with high profile local entrepreneurs who are more than willing to share their advice. CFC has proven that when you give people a platform to collaborate, it truly benefits everyone.”
In the spirit of encouraging CFC alumni to stay connected throughout the year, and weave together the fabric of CFC’s three classes, CFC sponsors will host a series of informal, small group educational lunches every month. During these lunch meetings, CFC alums and current class members will have the opportunity to catch up on recent start-up milestones, capital raise updates, and the joys of life as an entrepreneur.
CFC events are sponsored by organizations actively involved in the emerging growth sector, including: DLA Piper, Lightbank, Deloitte, Dignitas, and Silicon Valley Bank.
About Chicago Founders Circle (CFC)
CFC is a Founder and CEO exclusive, invitation only, Peer-to-Peer Networking Group for Chicago’s emerging growth companies. CFC brings together some of the smartest business minds from a variety of sectors, including law, finance, technology and consulting, to provide leadership, guidance and networking opportunities to the next generation of Chicago’s business leaders.
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