Past event…

Event Ended

1871 | 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212, Chicago, IL 60654

Chicago Startup Weekend is over, but don’t worry we’ll be back this summer!  Checkout what you missed at February’s event.



Feb 7
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome
  • Speaker: Howard Tullman
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Feb 8
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • First check-in
  • Lunch presented by One Medical Group
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Feb 9
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Presentations Tech Check
  • Dinner
  • Sunday Demo Night Begins!
  • Speaker: Dean DeBiase
  • Final Presentations
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Platinum Sponsors

Howard Tullman

CEO, 1871   |  

Howard A. Tullman serves as the new Chief Executive Officer of 1871. He is also the General Managing Partner for two venture funds, G2T3V, LLC and Chicago High Tech Investors, LLC. He was most recently the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy and the former President of Kendall College.

He is a member of Mayor Emanuel's ChicagoNEXT and Cultural Affairs Council, a member of Governor Quinn's Innovation and Arts Council, a member of President Preckwinkle’s New Media Council, an Advisory Board member of HighTower Associates, BCV Evolve, Imerman Angels and uBID.COM and an Adjunct Professor/Lecturer at Northwestern's Kellogg School and School of Law. Mr. Tullman also serves as a Director of Vehcon, SnapSheet, Music Dealers, MarkITx, PackBack and served as a Director and Board Chairman of The Cobalt Group and as the lead Director (and briefly Chairman) of The Princeton Review.

Dean DeBiase

Chairman-Startup Partners

Dean DeBiase is an expansion phase CEO and Silicon Valley veteran with a track record scaling emerging growth companies, turning around organizations and embedding entrepreneurial-grade talent into multi-national corporation—to drive innovative growth. He has led public and private corporations through expansion, turnaround, roll-up, spin-out, M&A and IPO phases in Chairman, CEO and lead director roles. He has been chief executive of a dozen private and public corporations and Fortune 500 subsidiaries.

He is a Senior KIN Fellow and Lecturer of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Kellogg School of Management, a Board Leadership Fellow at the National Association of Corporate Directors and serves in board advisor, independent director and board Chairman roles, supporting civic, non-profit, government, family, foundation, private and public companies. Dean is a lecture, author, frequent media guest, sought after speaker and a professional member of the National Speakers Association and Global Speakers Federation. He is the co-founder of the popular innovation crowd-sourced site, Innovation Excellence and a co-author of the best-selling book The Big Moo with Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell.

Gold Sponsors

Jimmy Odom

Founder & CEO, WeDeliver   |   LinkedIn

After nearly 5 years in Apple retail, Jimmy learned the craft of developing, training, and maintaining the customer experience Apple retail is known for.

Now as Founder and CEO of WeDeliver Jimmy is responsible for executing the vision and business development of WeDeliver. Along with being a serial entrepreneur at heart, his mission is to build a brand whose primary focus is to create more transformational experiences rather than transactional ones.

Nicole Yeary

Founder, Ms.Tech   |   LinkedIn

Nicole founded Ms.Tech in October 2010 with a mission to empower women by helping other women make connections as well as doing business more effectively and efficiently. And now with less than 2% of venture backed startups being female founded, it has become Ms.Tech’s mission to build the conduit to help more women raise the capital they need so they can start and scale their businesses. Most of Nicole’s career has been working with Fortune 500 companies, lending over ten years of Marketing, New Business Development, Service, Sales, Learning Development and Sales Team Management experience. While she’s not native to the second city, she became interested in the many technology startups in Chicago, involved with projects locally like MidVentures Launch and TechWeek, to projects like Data 2.0 Conference in San Francisco.

A.J. Noronha


A.J. Noronha has a broad range of entrepreneurial & investing experience, and is passionate about helping Chicago reach its great potential as a center for innovation.

After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Finance, he spent several years working as an analyst at a generalist venture capital firm. His primary responsibility was due diligence on potential investments, evaluating over 100 proposals leading to several successful investments, and he also gained operational experience working directly with the management of portfolio companies on various strategic issues. Following this, he earned a law degree with Dean's List honors from Northwestern University, where he co-founded & later served as President of the school's Entrepreneurship Club, was a member of the inaugural NUvention: Medical Innovation course, and worked as a student attorney with local entrepreneurs through the school's Entrepreneurship Law Clinic. He then co-founded a biomedical startup with a Northwestern professor, where he was responsible for developing the company from a basic concept into a viable business, earning recognition from numerous respected outside parties along the way.

Currently exploring long-term career opportunities, he has recently served as a mentor for Northwestern's Medical Innovation class and is also working informally with the management of a mobile technology startup on various strategic issues related to product commercialization & potential exit opportunities.

Jim Jacoby

Founder, ADMCi (School for Digital Craftsmanship)   |   LinkedIn

Jim started and administers both the educational and foundation activities at The ADMCi School for Digital Craftsmanship. His years of experience in entrepreneurship, business leadership, and user-centered design are applied daily in his speaking and teaching activities. Formerly an Adjunct Professor at DePaul University and the Founding Partner at Manifest Digital, Jim is eager to share his experience with and passion for design-thinking and emotional intelligence in new and established businesses.

Jill Salzman

Co-Founder at The Founding Kit   |   LinkedIn

Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.

A graduate of Brown University and law school after that, she started Paperwork Media LLC, a music management firm and her first entrepreneurial venture. (Her parents still wonder why she opted for the music business over the seductive and alluring career of a bankruptcy attorney.) She went on to create The Bumble Brand, LLC, to sell Bumble Bells, audible anklewear for the newest of human beings (she sold it in 2011.) Having built two successful companies, she launched The Founding Moms to connect mom entrepreneurs around the globe with one another.

A sought-after speaker, Jill has been featured in national media outlets including CNN’s Headline News, People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, Business Matters, WGN TV and WAHM Talk Radio. Her TED talk, Why Moms Make The Best Entrepreneurs, received rave reviews. She was recently named one of the Top 50 Women To Watch In Tech and Top 100 Champion Small Business Influencer. Jill’s been profiled in several books: The Solopreneur Life: 42 Solo-Business Owners Speak the Truth on Dreaming Big, Failing Forward, and Calling Your Own Shots, A Cup of Cappuccino for The Entrepreneur’s Spirit, Volume II, CRAVE Chicago and was recently featured in a film on social media. Jill currently writes for NBC5′s small business blog, Inc. Well, and she’s been published in The New York Times and She released her first book, Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, published on January 12, 2012 through Piggott Press.

Silver Sponsors

David Cornelson

Founder, Wizely   |   LinkedIn

David Cornelson is an entrepreneur in the Chicago area with three decades experience as a software engineer. His first start-up, Textfyre, has published a couple of education games. His new start-up, Wizely, is in early-phase MVP development mode.

Chip Aubry

Manager of Software Engineering - Mobile, kCura   |   LinkedIn

Chip has over 18 years of software development experience. He earned his start as part of Accenture's next generation "Project Eagle" technology group. Since then, he’s shaped large-scale web solutions for GM, United, Motorola, Quaker Oats and Allstate. Chip holds a BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Byron Stewart

Owner, Dramatic Diversity/DD+D   |   LinkedIn

Byron is an actor, director, consultant, facilitator, presenter, and business owner. Byron’s company - Dramatic Diversity/DD+D has for the past twelve years provided theatre-based corporate training and diversity & inclusion consultation to many clients including BP/Amoco, Hyatt Hotels, Motorola, Northern Trust Bank, Brookfield Zoo, and PepsiCo. Byron has facilitated theatre-based product, service, and customer experience design workshops for McDonald’s (in the US and global markets), Sears, Walgreens, Northwestern University’s Design for America, and Tekes in Helsinki Finland. Byron is a local leader for Chicago’s Interaction Design Association (IxDA) and coordinator of the Chicago Service Jam ‘11. Byron has been the featured speaker for numerous academic and industry conferences. Byron received his BFA degree from Howard University in Washington D.C.

Carlos E. Peña

Loan Officer, Accion Chicago   |   LinkedIn

Carlos E. Peña is a loan officer at Accion Chicago, a microfinance firm offering credit and other business services to entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses. Prior to Accion, Carlos worked as an analyst in Deloitte’s Financial Advisory Services group in Chicago, where he conducted research and performed valuations of public and private businesses for financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic planning purposes. Originally from Ecuador, Carlos came to the US to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated in 2011 with double-major in Finance and Economics.

Marc O Goodman

Director Marketing Public Safety LTE Applications and Innovation at Motorola Solutions   |   LinkedIn

Marc Goodman has helped to drive innovation in the high-tech industry for over 16 years. As a Director of Global Solutions Marketing for Motorola Solutions, he drove the Marketing launch of their first HTML 5 app for public safety and supported the innovation efforts of the CTO team. At Alcatel-Lucent, he held positions in strategic marketing, innovation enablement, and business development. As the Director of the University Innovations Program he was responsible for developing strategic partnerships with universities to nurture innovative applications such as mobile augmented reality and video social networking, coaching start-ups, and supporting the innovations centers of AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Daniela Bolzmann

Co-Founder, CMO, WeDeliver   |   LinkedIn

Daniela, an entrepreneur with expertise in community development, was most recently a Director of Product Marketing at SymbalooEDU. She grew it from a startup to a successful 200k community of engaged educators worldwide. She is a graduate of the Miyahlo School of Business at CSUF and founder of SocialSkoop, a digital marketing agency. As CoFounder and CMO at WeDeliver she uses her powers to help businesses of Chicago connect with the local community.

Faraj Khasib

Founder & CTO at Starchup   |   LinkedIn

Faraj is a startup instigator. He's currently bootstrapping two Chicago-based startups, InstanTag and Starchup. He is a WeDeliver alumni, getting his appetite for startups as part of their awesome sauce team. He has over 3 years technical experience in most platforms with highly sought after engineering skills.

Before getting involved with startups, Faraj came from a med-tech background, where he worked with mobile technologies and server side deployments.

Zack Gilbert

Founder of Outpost   |  

Zack has been programming on the web for over 15 years and is currently the founder of Outpost, a new QA Testing consultancy based out of Chicago & LA. In another life he was the technical half of Adams/Gilbert Co., a small design and development shop based out of Rochester, NY, and a developer at Cloudbot. He was also a founding member of Technori and the main organizer for Chicago.concat(), a tech focused meetup for hackers and founders in Chicago.

Josh Holat

CTO & Co-Founder at StageBloc   |  

Co-Founder / Lead Developer, Object Orienter, Git Pusher, Apple Lover, College Dropout, Free Thinker, Photo Taker

Susan Martinez

Loan Officer, Accion Chicago

Susan joined Accion Chicago as a Loan Officer in December 2013. A New Jersey native, she attended the University of Pittsburgh on a Division I Track & Field athletic scholarship earning degrees in Psychology and Spanish. She then furthered her education to earn a Masters of Social Entrepreneurship with a focus in Nonprofit Management at Hult International Business School. As a student, she studied in Costa Rica, London, UK, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pittsburgh, PA and San Francisco, CA. Her background is in Non Profit Management, specifically within the financial and economic development sectors. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Adam A. Brutocao

Law Clerk, City Attorney of Milpitas

Adam A. Brutocao graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 with a degree in Political Science and is currently a second-year student at Santa Clara University, School of Law, pursuing a J.D. with a concentration in High Tech, Corporate Law. Adam specializes in contract negotiation and IP licensing and has experience negotiating international commercial contracts. Adam has served as a consultant to the Board of Directors at San Juan Hills Country Club on a variety facilities improvement projects. Adam has been an active member of the legal community for the past six years, both domestically and abroad. Most recently, Adam worked at LOGOS, LLC, a full-service international law firm in Seoul, South Korea, where he conducted research and participated in the preparation of a due diligence report for shareholders acquiring a majority stake in a closely held corporation. Adam also has experience in commercial law and has provided negotiation support in concluding an international commercial contract.

Lisa Henderson

Director of Hatch Valley   |   LinkedIn

With over nine years in Strategy Consulting and a Master's degree in Product Design and Development from Northwestern, Lisa is an expert in service design. At Hatch Valley, a Chicago-based weekend incubator, she focuses on helping entrepreneurs launch their idea over the course of a weekend. Strongly grounded in Lean Startup methodologies, Lisa is well versed in the exploration of design, profitability, business modeling, and sales strategies across your business, brand and product.

Peter Liu

Associate, Pritzker Group   |   LinkedIn

Peter joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital in 2012 where he focuses on early- and growth-stage investments in internet, mobile, and tech-enabled businesses. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Board of VentureUP, a Chicago-based professional network for VC investors. Peter is a regular attendee of national tech meetups, events, and conferences. Peter graduated from The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in commerce with concentrations in finance and management.

Brent Williams

Product Manager, Startup Institute Chicago   |   LinkedIn

Currently the program manager for Startup Institute Chicago. Before joining he taught Social Entrepreneurship at the college level and ran his own Technical Services company. With a background in leadership development, higher education, and tech services Brent is constantly looking for ways to combine all three in the ed tech sector.

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