Adam Kraft is the co-founder and CEO of GeoPollster. GeoPollster provides real-time location-based political polling. Adamâ€™s passion for gamification and user experience helped GeoPollster become a favorite app for political junkies on Foursquare. After its initial launch, Business Insider called GeoPollster the most amusing app built on top of Foursquare weve seen yet. GeoPollster caught the attention of Canadian media giant Postmedia Network, who asked to partner up for the 2011 Canadian federal election. Adam worked directly with Postmedia's digital media team to launch GeoPollster Canada. The successful partnership helped Postmedia win a Gold for Best Use of Social Media at the annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards. He is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Adi KwatraSenior Strategy DeveloperSimplex Investments
Adi Kwatra, Founder, Colorz of Life & Strategy Developer, High Frequency Algorithmic Trading Hedge Fund Adi Kwatra, an engineering graduate from IIT Roorkee and University of Southern California and a candidate of the CFA Institute, uses his expertise in Investments, Computer Sciences and hardware based acceleration of computationally intensive algorithms while working as a Senior Strategy Developer at a Start-up High Frequency Algorithmic Trading Hedge Fund in Chicago. In his spare time, he co-founded the non-profit called Colorz Of Life, which believed in spreading cultural awareness by celebrating festivals from different cultures and spending quality time with the elderly at assisted living homes. He also actively volunteered as an Entrepreneurial Mentor for 3 years at BUILD which promotes entrepreneurship among youth. He is a 2012 SLP Fellow and Co-Program Leader for the founding class of SLP Chicago.
Aksh GuptaFounder/ CEOOccasion (Acropolitan Labs)
Aksh Gupta is the CEO of Occasion, an OpenTable-style online booking and payment engine for local merchants. Occasion, as a standalone product, grew out of a market need Aksh identified while building another company. Aksh comes from a family of three generations of entrepreneurs. Aksh launched his first business at the age of 19. Aksh has a Masters degree in Economics from DePaul University and is currently working towards a Masters in Applied Statistics. Aksh is a 2014 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Amelia ChenStrategic Partnerships ManagerJellyvision
Amelia Chen is the CEO and co-founder of Simplify Chicago, a luxury concierge service offering our most commonly requested services on a single platform. Prior to founding Simplify, Amelia was trading equity and commodity options with a proprietary trading shop in Chicago. Amelia has also worked at JPMorgan as a Private Wealth Management Analyst catering to the financial needs of individuals and families in the North Shore area. She also has her Series 7 and 63 license. An alumnus of Northwestern University, she graduated with a Bachelorâ€™s degree in Economics/International Relations. Amelia is passionate about helping busy professionals create more time for themselves. She is a 2014 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago. She currently works as the Strategic Partnerships Manager at Jellyvision in Chicago.
Ariana NeunerCo-CEO, Co-FounderInHub
Ariana is the Co-Founder of InHub (www.theinhub.com), the first online platform designed for institutional investors and fiduciaries to complete the investment advisor selection process in an efficient, organized and diligent way. Prior to starting InHub, she worked at Graystone Consulting, Morgan Stanleyâ€™s elite institutional consulting division where she worked with retirement plans, foundations and family offices in all aspects of their accounts. Ariana holds a degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was recently recognized by Worldwide Whoâ€™s Who for Innovation in Finance & Technology. She has a specialty in investment consulting & fiduciary guidance, and is passionate about solving problems & inefficiencies is this space. She is 2014 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Aris George MichalopoulosCEO & FounderEmpeopled
Aris Michalopoulos is the founder and CEO of Empeopled, a community-based conversation platform that delivers its users a feed of better content and conversations related to their interests. Prior to empeopled, he worked at Citadel Investment group, where he was a director of crude derivatives trading. This is Arisâ€™ third social media company, he founded a college social network, WhoUp.com in 2004 and a mobile social networking exchange application, Snex, in 2008. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Chicago, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2005. Aris is passionate about transforming social media into a medium of action and believes that by bringing political structure to social tools, we can help the world solve the worldâ€™s biggest problems. He is a 2014 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Atish DoshiThe Black Sheep
Detroit born, Illini-bred, collegiate/student space focused entrepreneur
Ben Reid, Founder & CEO, Foodie Registry Ben is the Founder & CEO of Foodie Registry (www.foodieregistry.com), THE wedding registry for restaurant date nights. Under Ben’s watch, Foodie Registry has expanded to 5 US cities, 140 restaurant partners, and has seen significant customer and sales growth. Prior to Foodie Registry, Ben was a successful equity options trader and educator at boutique proprietary trading firm PEAK6 Investments. Ben is an expert in startup operations, the gifting and wedding businesses, and financial derivatives. Ben holds a degree in Marketing from Michigan State University and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Ben is an avid runner and traveler - he has run in two marathons and met his (Chicagoan) wife backpacking in Germany! Ben strongly believes empowering startup activity and entrepreneurship is the key to global economic growth and prosperity. He is a 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Brian BauerManaging Partner100Waters Group
Brian Bauer, Founder & President, Kurfuffl Mr. Bauer is the Founder & President of Kurfuffl, a social platform that tallies, tracks and organizes the formal, informal, friendly or foe-ly competitions of your daily life. Bauer has built a reputation as a valued leader for startup business ventures, using his well rounded experience in mergers and acquisitions, business process and human capital management to propel high growth businesses to reach their potential. As the Vice President of Operations and Client Services at Cellit, he acted as the internal mobile stakeholder for numerous Fortune 500 companies and nationally recognized brands. Bauer served as Vice President & General Manager of Barrington Interactive, which included the ground-up creation of a self-sufficient technology, content and sales division with a focus on hyper-local news and information. In his spare time, Bauer is an avid triathlete. Bauer received his B.S. in Business Administration from Truman State University and graduated cum laude from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business’ Executive Program. He is a 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Brian BuschePresident & CEORendition Multimedia and Inc.
Brian Busche, Founder, BankBadger Brian Busche is the Founder of BankBadger, an online banking application intended to help parents teach their kids about managing money in the digital age. Brian currently works at Leo Burnett, where he is a Senior Creative Technologist, leading the development of Web-based marketing projects for Fortune 500 Brands. Brian has also worked at Rendition Multimedia, a company he started in 1999 which lead to the creation of RPMworld in 2001. RPMworld Virtual Drag Racing became a profitable online game, and is one of the early examples of a virtual economy, real-time multiplayer interaction, and affiliate syndication of a Flash game. He is an expert in Adobe Flash development, and Actionscript programming. Brian was lead developer on a team which received a Webby Award in 2010, for Raytheon’s “Sum of All Thrills” interactive learning xperience. He holds a degree in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa, and became a Macromedia Certified Flash Developer in 2004. He is a fan of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. Brian is passionate about bringing children and parents together through mutual online game play and educational software. His current venture aims to leverage the Internet to educate children about managing their money with the direct involvement of their parents. He is 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Bryon FinkeFounder / Product & GrowthMarketSquare
Bryon Finke, Founder, Furnishly Bryon is the founder of Furnishly, an early-stage Chicago startup that is establishing a more efficient marketplace for second-hand furniture in urban environments. Bryon currently works as a management consultant for Accenture specializing in strategy & business development. He has most recently spent time in the firm’s Products Innovation group, working to build new businesses with sizable revenue streams internally. Additionally, he has spent time building financial models for energy and life sciences clients. Bryon enjoys following market trends and staying on top of today’s most exciting consumer technology companies. He holds a BS in Enterprise Systems Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign.
Chris CampbellChief Tracking OfficerReview Trackers
Chris Campbell is the Chief Tracking Officer of Review Trackers, a tool that helps multi-location businesses track online reviews. Prior to Review Trackers, he worked at Lakeshore Branding, where he lead digital strategy. Chris has has consulted with clients such as PepBoys, Nissan and Party City. He is an expert in digital marketing and operations. Chris was awarded the entrepreneur of the year at DePaul University in 2009. He holds a degree in Communications from DePaul University. Chris is passionate about helping startup communities grow and helps run Startup Weekend events around the world as a volunteer facilitator. He is 2014 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in Chicago.
Chris LundTandem Lane
Entrepreneur focused on strategy and biz dev; former healthcare investor