Techweek Chicago Preview

TechWeek's Sam Kennedy.

TechWeek kicks off its third annual tech conference & Expo in Chicago next week from Thursday, June 27 through Saturday, June 29.  After hosting crowds of approximately 2500 in 2011 and 6000 in 2012, they expect to set another attendance record and draw close to 8000 participants including entrepreneurs, investors, corporate C-level executives, tech enthusiasts, bloggers, etc. 

“This year’s event will be the largest TechWeek yet, a testament to Chicago’s growing tech economy,” says Executive Director Sam Kennedy.

The Midwest’s largest tech conference continues to grow in stature and, for the first time, will be supported by a major presenting sponsor, Motorola Mobility.  Motorola is the largest tech employer in Chicago.  In addition, Microsoft’s Bing will be the presenting sponsor for the Expo where over 150 exhibitors ranging from startups to Fortune 500 corporations will display and demo their newest innovative products/services in technology.

TechWeek is implementing two key changes based upon feedback from last year’s successful event.  For one, the conference has been shortened from one week to three days which will save attendees time and money. Secondly, the conference has been organized into 8 summits (Dev, Education & Work, Fashion TECH, Finance 2.0, Future of Media, Go International, Startup, and WellTECH) to make it easy for participants to meet the right people and identify their preferred areas of interest.

A major attraction for the tech savvy crowd will be Startup City where 70 pre-qualified startups will compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes.  Attendees will have a golden opportunity to learn firsthand about the latest cutting-edge ideas, trends, and potentially disruptive game-changing technologies.  The companies must have raised less than $2MM in funding and be less than three years old.  Seventeen judges will select the 5 finalists to pitch on the main stage.  

TechWeek continues to broaden its scope and generate buzz as 20 of the 70 startups are located outside of Chicago.  A select few reside on the West and East coast and 5 startups will travel from as far away as Poland.  In November 2012, Techweek hosted its first event in L.A. and will debut in NYC later this fall. There are no official plans for expansion in 2014 but London looms on the horizon.          

If you happen to be a procrastinator, and have not bought your pass, Groupon is offering passes for $10, if you hurry. ❒

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