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You can't expect to achieve anything if you never take any risks, and if you don't embark on adventures, you're not going to gain any new experiences. It's simple.
Hear how five local creatives and entrepreneurs went against all odds to pursue their passion, career or side project and turn what they love into what they do. Our speakers will discuss and share tips on:
Hosted by General Assembly and WeWork, you’ll get 5 tips in 5 minutes from 5 speakers, then you’ll get to ask questions at the end. Join us for a fun night filled with a good ol' dose of inspiration and hang around for a drink, delicious cookies donated by Warm Belly Bakery, and a chat afterwards too.
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Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only collective of offline meetups and online resources for mom entrepreneurs that was just named a Top 10 Website for Women Entrepreneurs in 2013 by Forbes. She recently launched her fourth, The Founding Kit, which helps startups get started. A graduate of Brown University and law school, she started a music management firm and then launched a baby jewelry company before creating her current venture. She’s the author of Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, one of the Best Chicago Marketing Speakers in 2014, a co-host of the entertaining business podcast "Breaking Down Your Business," host of the Tip Top Tips for Entrepreneurs video series, gave her own TED talk on 11/11/11, and most recently was dubbed a “mommy mogul” by CNNMoney. In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, baking, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.
Luke Saunders launched Farmer’s Fridge in Chicago in October 2013 after pinpointing a need for healthy meals that were served on the go. Utilizing his background in manufacturing, Saunders developed a concept using state of the-
art software and machinery that would dispense and deliver fresh, wholesome food options in convenient locations.
Saunders was just named to Forbes Magazine's 30 under 30 list for 2016. In addition, Saunders and Farmer's Fridge have been featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Atlantic, O Magazine, In Shape and Cooking Light.
Farmer's Fridge was also named USA Today’s “#1 Takeout in Chicago in 2015,” Time Out Chicago’s “Top Ten Salads in Chicago 2015,” and Thrillist’s “The Ultimate Lunch Loop Guide.”
Saunders started his first business as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis. Upon graduation he helped run two family businesses on the East Coast, which is where he garnered his manufacturing experience. He chose Chicago for the location of Farmer's Fridge because it is a well known food town and a great place to do business.
Currently, Saunders lives in the West Loop with his wife, an attorney, who is also a food lover and dedicated travel partner.
Joe Dela Pena
Co-Founder and Chief Cookie Officer,
Warm Belly Bakery
Joe Dela Pena, Co-Founder and Chief Cookie Officer of West Loop's Warm Belly Bakery, has only one culinary goal: Make food that makes people happy! Some of his earliest memories in the kitchen involve trying to sneak bites of raw cookie dough from his mom's spatula. It's the combination of nostalgia, chef-driven sensibilities, and perhaps just a pinch of naughty decadence that define Joe's cooking style.
Prior to opening Warm Belly, Joe was crowned champion of Chicago Dessert Fest 2015. This past year, he was chosen to create dessert for the James Beard Opening Soiree and later appeared on the Food Network. Outside of the kitchen, Joe enjoys working closely with local charities, playing tennis, and fighting crime.
Michael Donnelly has been planning memorable experiences since her 7th birthday party at Leaps n' Bounds. Now as CEO of Brandless, she carries the same tenacity as her 7 year old self, and leads her team by the idea that "business gets done when people have fun."
Michael has been the force behind some of the Midwest's most popular large-scale tech and business events, including: Techweek, FUND Conference, and most recently, VentureFWD (For Women & Diversity) Summit, Chicago's only conference focused on supporting women and minority entrepreneurs, set to expand to San Francisco, Boston, and Washington D.C. in 2017.
Her vibrant personality shines on camera as an affiliate partner with Entrepreneur Media, where she creates content and reports live at national events for Entrepreneur Network. Additionally, Michael is the founder and co-host of re_define work, a growing digital resource for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Michael resides in Chicago with her pup Lux, serves on the board for a few non-profits including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, and is all about the #scrappytosavvy life.
CEO and Founder,
Vivek Mehra is the CEO and Founder of ParqEx - The Private Parking Marketplace. He's a visionary with over 18 years of technical leadership experience as a developer, architect, CTO, Director and Founder. Mehra has earned Masters degrees in Information Systems and Management from University of Illinois-Chicago and University of South Carolina, respectively.
He is particularly strong at introducing proven tools, methodologies and processes that have slashed development times, improved quality and increased internal/external customer satisfaction.
Mehra's deep technical expertise and hands-on experience architecting and building technology solutions has lead him to two successful startup exits and high-level positions at Fortune 500 Companies.
WeWork provides small businesses, startups, freelancers, large enterprises, and everyone in between with the workspace, community, and services they need to make a life, not just a living. With weekly events, personalized support, month-to-month flexibility, and access to over 65,000 like-minded creators around the world, WeWork is the perfect place to grow your business. Book your tour here.
Warm Belly Bakery is an artisanal cookie bakery located in the heart of the West Loop! Warm Belly is the passion project of Chef Joe De Le Pena and Francis Wisniewski, who are on a mission to make Chicago’s most memorable cookie. Our unique cookies weigh in at 4 oz each and come in yummy flavors like Maple Bacon Bourbon, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake, and Stuffed Nutella. Warm Belly Bakery. Cookies so good, they’re like a hug for your belly!
Plans change. We get it. But if you can't make it to a class/workshop, please email us at least 7 days before the scheduled event date. No refunds will be given after this timeframe.
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