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2014 Chicago Innovation Awards Scholarship Ceremony

Chicago Innovation Awards

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (CDT)

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Event Details


We invite you to join us for the celebration of our 3rd annual Chicago Innovation Awards Scholarship Competition hosted in partnership with the IIT Stuart School of Business on Wednesday, April 9th.

Out of 110 students who competed in this year's competition, we will be awarding $10,000 to the winning students, courtesy of the Chicago Innovation Foundation and the IIT Stuart School of Business. The top winner will present his/her idea to an audience of local industry leaders, following a welcome introduction from special guest Dr. Harvey Kahalas, Dean of the IIT Stuart School of Business.

We have assembled a panel of Chicago innovators, from start-up entrepreneurs to large corporations, who will discuss innovation and entrepreneurship, and reveal how they made careers for themselves in Chicago. 
The panel includes:



Dr. Harvey Kahalas
Dean & Professor of Management and Economic Development
IIT Stuart School of Business
Tom Kuczmarski
Chicago Innovation Awards
Kuczmarski Innovation 

Kevin Willer
Partner & Co-Founder
Chicago Ventures
Matt Matros
Protein Bar
(2013 winner of the Chicago
Innovation Awards)
Kate Shubert
Chicago Regional Sales Manager
Disney Institute
Andrew Nieman
Co-Owner & Director of
Business Development
(2013 Up-and-Comer Winner of the
Chicago Innovation Awards)
Sharon Schneider
Co-Founder & CEO
Moxie Jean 
 (2013 Up-and-Comer Winner of the
Chicago Innovation Awards)

Appetizers and drinks are complimentary. Seating is limited so please register soon if you would like to attend. 
Details and schedule for the event are as follows:

Wednesday, April 9th
IIT Stuart School of Business
565 W. Adams St.
Chicago, Illinois 60661

5:30pm - 6:30pm: Appetizers, drinks, and networking
6:30pm - 7:30pm: Student awards presentation and panel discussion
7:30pm - 8:00pm: Appetizers, drinks, and networking

We look forward to seeing you as we continue to celebrate the creative spirit of the Chicago region!

Panelist Bios:

Tom Kuczmarski, senior partner and president of Kuczmarski Innovation, is a nationally recognized expert in the innovation and development of new products and services. The author of six books and many articles, Mr. Kuczmarski has taught product and service innovation at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management for 31 years. Mr. Kuczmarski is the founder and co-chair, along with Dan Miller, of the Chicago Innovation Awards, which recognizes each year the most innovative new products, services, business models and processes developed in the Chicago area.


Kevin Willer is a Co-founder and Partner at Chicago Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund where he oversees fund management, deal sourcing and investments, and working directly with portfolio companies. Kevin was formerly the President & CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, which manages, operates, and programs 1871, a co-working center for startups building their early-stage businesses located at Merchandise Mart. Previously, Kevin co-founded the Google Chicago office, where he helped grow the office to more than 400 professionals and led relationships with some of Google’s largest marketing partners in the Midwest. Kevin was named to Crain’s 2011 “40 Under 40” list as well as Crain’s 2012 Tech 50 list. He is a Director of The Economic Club of Chicago and is a Trustee of his alma mater, Loyola Academy, as well as a Regent at Loyola University in Chicago. 


Matt Matros is the founder of Protein Bar, the go-to destination for individuals seeking healthy and delicious menu options on-the-go. After three and a half years in brand management for Kraft Foods, Matt applied his own personal health achievements and food industry expertise to this original business concept, which now has fourteen locations open with another seven in development. Matt was the inaugural recipient of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award in 2012 and was named to Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” class of 2012. Protein Bar was also a recipient of the 2013 Chicago Innovation Award.  Matt was also named to Chicago Magazine's 2014 Top 100 Most Powerful people in Chicago list.

Kate Shubert is a Chicago-based regional sales manager for Disney Institute. She is responsible for cultivating relationships with Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin companies interested in developing or enhancing a corporate culture focused on leadership, customer service, and innovation. Kate began her career at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, where she worked in sales and management, then moved on to serve as regional vice president for Wilson Learning, where she created the Pharmaceutical Practice Group. She joined Disney Institute in 2011 from Better Communications in Boston, where she was Vice President of Sales. 

Andrew Nieman is co-owner and Director of Business Development for SceneTap, based in Chicago. Since launching in early 2011, the company has raised over $3 million in funding and has built a client list that includes some of largest beer & liquor companies in the world. Andrew previously lived in Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates, working in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi government on the successful growth of the city’s media, tech and entertainment sectors. 

Sharon Schneider is the co-founder and CEO of e-commerce innovator Moxie Jean, the “Upscale Resale” destination for high quality, like-new baby and kids’ clothes. Moxie Jean was voted by moms as the “Most Awesome” online consignment site through the Red Tricycle Awards in 2013 and was a 2012 portfolio company of renowned tech accelerator Excelerate Labs (now Tech Stars Chicago). Sharon is also an instructor in entrepreneurship at The Starter League (formerly Code Academy) and a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Technology Diversity Council. 


Gold Sponsors


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Corporate Angel VIP Members




Major Contributing Sponsors




Founded by Tom Kuczmarski of Kuczmarski Innovation and Dan Miller
Have questions about 2014 Chicago Innovation Awards Scholarship Ceremony? Contact Chicago Innovation Awards
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When & Where

IIT Stuart School of Business
565 W. Adams
Chicago, IL 60661

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (CDT)

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2014 Chicago Innovation Awards Scholarship Ceremony
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