1871 – Merchandise Mart 12th floor

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222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza

United States

Invitation to Innovate:  A Global Look at the Chicago Tech Community
World Chicago
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
5:30—8:00 pm
222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Fl.
Chicago, IL
Join WorldChicago as we celebrate the diversity and innovation of the Chicago startup community, one of the fastest-growing and most exciting tech hubs in the United States!

Invitation to Innovate will feature a welcome and introduction to Chicago’s leading tech startup incubator 1871 from Tom Alexander, COO of 1871.

Then hear a lively discussion with tech entrepreneurs from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia participating in the U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program, and Keith Bradley, Managing Director of Blue 1647 and Nihal Advani, Founder and CEO of Georama — two past professional hosts from Chicago who will speak about their reciprocal exchange to explore the tech scene in Croatia.

You’ll also have the opportunity to meet and network with 80 global entrepreneurs from 70 countries coming to Chicago to explore “Entrepreneurship as the Engine of Prosperity and Stability” through the U.S. Department of State’s flagship professional exchange, the International Visitor Leadership Program.

Tickets: $100
Your ticket to this year’s fun-filled celebration of citizen diplomacy and tech innovation includes food, cocktails, instant photo booth, and a silent auction.


For more details about the event, please contact Abbey Jennings at ajennings@worldchicago.org or (312) 254-1800 ext.103.
Tom Alexander, COO, 1871
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.

Keith Bradley, Managing Director, Blue 1647
Keith Bradley has a high-level of commitment to building and managing client relationships through consultative selling. Working across industries such as education, and healthcare, Keith helps ventures big and small to conceive and execute strategies, envision new initiatives, and implement IT solutions. Keith provides high-level management and coordination of all activities related to program services, leveraging both new and existing relationships. Keith guides innovation and overall direction with program and service initiatives with a strong record of driving transformation, operations, communicating with technology-driven people and helping non-technical people understand how technology and business design can impact their life.

Nihal Advani, Founder and CEO, Georama
Nihal is an experienced digital marketer, globetrotter, and Founder & CEO of Georama. Originally from India, he spent his teenage years as an internationally-ranked tennis player before attending the University of Arkansas on a full tennis scholarship. He later transferred to Stony Brook University in New York where he was captain of the varsity tennis team and interned at Google. Upon graduating at the top of his class with a BS in Marketing, he joined Microsoft where he spent five years in various marketing and data roles across Search (Bing) and Display, including as Program Manager for the Microsoft Media Network. When not riding an ostrich in South Africa, windsurfing in Malaysia, or playing the djembe in Prague, Nihal can be found in the Chicago Loop area, dreaming about emerging technologies and playing with his bulldog, Wimbledon.


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