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Challenge Cup 2016 | Chicago
Tue, January 19, 2016, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM CST
Over 50 cities around the world have joined together to host a global competition to find the world’s most promising companies tackling our world’s biggest challenges. In Chicago, official local host 1871 will run a competition to find their top startups, who will be flown to one of nine Challenge Cup Regional finals. From there, winners of these Regional finals, along with and handful of wildcards, will be flown to the Challenge Cup Global Finals next June in Washington, D.C. There, they’ll compete for over $1 million in cash prizes, gain coveted connections to help them grow and the have opportunity to share their vision on a truly global stage.
You can find full details here: http://www.1776.vc/challenge-cup/
MEET THE COMPANIES
BallotReady | @ballotready
Capital Construction Solutions | @CCSanalytics
Fletch | @fletchapp
Hazel Technologies, LLC | @HazelTechUSA
Helix Health | @Helix_Health_
Indigo Interactive | @IndigoInteract
Learn It Live | @learnitlive
LumenEd | @lumened
Mommy Oasis | @mommyoasisinc
Nature's Little Recyclers, Inc | @NLRWorms
SPLT | @splt
Starchup | @Starchup
TextNinja | @TextNinjaApp
TraknProtect | @TraknProtect
Zulama | @ZulamaLearn
UProspie | @uprospie
MEET THE JUDGES
PAM NETZKY was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s “40 Under 40” in 2011, Ms. Netzky graduated from DePaul University in 1998 with a B.A. in communications. She started her career at Superior Street Capital Advisors, a boutique investment bank that provided equity to small start-up and early-stage companies. In 2001 she co-founded Spa Group, Inc., a salon and spa company that focused on putting salons/spas into commercial properties. In 2007, Ms. Netzky founded Wells Street Popcorn with the goal of delivering the highest quality gourmet popcorn nationwide. In 2010, due to the tremendous untapped demand for a healthier, ready-to-eat popcorn, SkinnyPop Popcorn was born. They started selling to grocery stores in August 2010. As of January 2011 SkinnyPop Popcorn was in 85 grocery stores in the Chicagoland area and now, five years later, are in well over 50,000 stores coast to coast. | @pamnetzky (Instagram) | Facebook
TROY HENIKOFF is a Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners. Additionally, Troy is the Managing Director of Techstars in Chicago. Troy was a Co-founder of Excelerate Labs, which became Techstars Chicago in 2013. He also helps manage the FireStarter Fund, teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Business, is on the board of the Chicago-land Entrepreneurial Center. Prior to Techstars Chicago, Troy was the CEO of OneWed.com, President of Amacai, and co-founder and CEO of SurePayroll.com. Troy built the technology for Jellyvision (creators of “You Don’t Know Jack!”), was the President of Systemetrics, and his first company was Specialized Systems and Software. Troy has an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Brown University and a Masters Degree in Project Management from Northwestern. | @TroyHenikoff (Twitter)
SUZANNE MUCHINE is the co-founder and principal of Mind + Matter Studio, a brand strategy firm that shapes ideas that make the world more beautiful, equitable, sustainable or enlightened. With her long-time business partner (and M+MS co-founder), Rachel Bellow, Suzanne is also the host of the WGN radio show and podcast, The Big Payoff. Before launching Mind + Matter Studio, Suzanne was a founding Partner and Lead Strategist of Frequency540, a strategic communications agency that acquired her first brand strategy firm, ROI Ventures (Return on Inspiration)— a strategy firm that packaged social impact for the marketplace. With Rachel, Suzanne launched and developed ROI Ventures’ incubator (Return on Inspiration Labs, LLC) and its media arm (ROI Distributed, LLC). She was inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2012 for these ventures. A frequent public speaker and guest lecturer at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, Suzanne is also an investor in impact companies, a mentor to entrepreneurs at 1871, TechStars and Impact Engine, and an LP and advisory board member for MATH Ventures Partners. She is a Wexner Heritage Member, and on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (1871), and Piece & Co, LLC.
TOM ALEXANDER is chief operating officer for 1871, one of the largest technology incubators in the United States. His role includes operation of a facility that houses hundreds of startups, business development efforts focused on integrating 1871 into the Chicago technology economy, and external relations efforts with government and media partners.
Previously, Tom served as deputy communications director for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. In his role with the Mayor’s office he oversaw day-to-day communication strategy and long-term planning, including events, written press materials, and coordination among city agencies. He additionally played a leading role on the Mayor’s economic council, working to attract and retain companies and jobs to Chicago.
Prior to his time in the Mayor’s office, Tom served as a senior communications director at the University of Chicago, a policy and communications projects director in the Office of the Governor of Illinois, and a senior disaster analyst for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Washington, DC. He has also worked as a newspaper reporter, editor of an online business publication, adjunct professor of journalism, and was founder of a small sports newspaper.
Tom has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s in public policy administration from Northwestern University. He is a notary public, and was recently selected by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar as a 2014 Edgar Fellow. Tom was selected by the Aparecio Foundation for their inaugural “14 under 45″ class in the summer of 2015. Tom lives in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood with his wife Tiffany, three-year-old son Ben, newborn twins Lyla and Sam, and black lab Johnny Cash. | @tomalexander19 (Twitter)