1 North State Street, Suite 1500
Women in Tech Demos & Drinks
Tech in Motion
Thursday, March 31, 2016 6:00pm
To celebrate Women’s History Month, join Tech in Motion in learning about the hot Chicago companies that are founded, co-founded, and run by women!
We’ve invited companies from an array of industries to come out an demo their apps and products and talk about how their company is changing tech in Chicago. The only thing they’ll all have in common is that they’re all founded and/or run by women! Bring your questions and your business cards, and we’ll provide the food and drink.
Our Demo-ing Companies
The Brrrilliant booth will showcase what it’s like to be a woman in tech, the current challenges and opportunities, and what we can do to make the tech world a welcome place for more women. You will be able to speak to women about their experiences, get and give advice, and share your story. Add your voice to the collective call to make a difference for women in tech.
Brrrilliant is a technology partner to entrepreneurs and established organizations who are innovating digital products. We guide and facilitate the discovery of products that users desire, using Lean Startup techniques and architecture strategies. We develop prototypes, MVPs, and continuously delivered, full-scaled software in an iterative, incremental, and evolutionary manner as Agile experts and full-stack developers. We partner, we listen, we advise, and when you are ready, we help you to hire and train your in-house team.
Chereesca Bejasa, Founder and CEO of Brrrilliant
Chereesca started her journey in tech in 1999 at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign when she changed her major to Computer Science and Math as a means for creating solutions for the changing world. She has since spent 16 years as a leader in various companies and consulting firms propelling IT initiatives to successful outcomes in a variety of technical and management roles. She founded Brilliant as an answer to two needs: 1) the need of innovators for a true partner in developing their technology in a lean and discovery-based manner, and 2) the need for women and minorities in tech to find an organization that works for them. To start, she’s aiming for a 30-hour standard work week that allows employees to balance their home lives without taking a back seat in their career.
Chereesca is a woman with an endless passion for innovation and social impact. She lives for change and bravely takes on large initiatives with tremendous determination. Perhaps she developed this willpower while growing up in an impoverished home with a single mother and four siblings, working herself from the age of 14 to help ends meet, and finally finding relief when the last one graduated from college in 2013. Or perhaps she developed it during her long tenure in the male-dominated field of technology. Whatever the case, these struggles are not a source of complaint, but experiences that Chereesca honors and from which she draws continued inspiration.
liftUPlift is the world’s first e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses, where anyone can shop directly from women makers and entrepreneurs for everything from soap to software.
There is a functional prototype of the liftUPlift Marketplace open for shoppers at liftUPlift.com. We are currently developing the next generation of our technology, which will be a unique blend of online shopping, social networking and visual bookmarking, like Amazon meets Facebook meets Pinterest.
There has never been more momentum behind women supporting women, and we make it easier than ever. Through liftUPlift, women can channel their enormous purchasing power into women building businesses, to create a tidal wave of opportunity for women worldwide.
Corielle Heath, Founder & CEO of liftUPlift
Corielle Heath Laaspere is a 27-year-old woman from Chicago on a mission to empower women worldwide. In 2015, Corielle founded liftUPlift, the world’s first e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses. That same year, she cofounded liftUPlift Worldwide, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to ending violence against women, along with Rachel Jones and Cynthia Corso Heath.
As the CEO of liftUPlift.com, Corielle is building the first global alliance of women-owned businesses. As President of liftUPlift Worldwide, Corielle works with businesses and organizations to create programs and partnerships dedicated to ending VAW.
Corielle explains, “Empowering women is my greatest passion, and my career is in technology. There was no tech company working to empower women as much as possible, so I created it. liftUPlift is the extension of my life’s work.”
Cubii : Shivani Jain, Co-Founder & CMO
Mohop is the first company to create mass customizable footwear via your smartphone, by combining on-demand 3D fabrication with emerging body scanning technology. We love exploring where cutting edge digital technologies meet traditional artisanal techniques. We are passionate about comfortable shoes that both fit your style and fit your foot, women in STEM, and conscientious relationships with people, animals and the environment.
Annie Mohaupt, Founder of Mohop Shoes
Annie grew up on a small sheep farm about 100 miles west of Chicago. Her degree is in architecture, and she worked in the field for close to 7 years. Annie started making sandals in 2005 as an experiment to see if she could indeed make sandals. It was more work than she expected. Fast forward to today, Annie has become a leader in Chicago’s tech community, bringing digital manufacturing to the masses.
TraknProtect helps businesses make the most efficient use of their inventory and their employees time. TraknProtect is an inventory tracking and analytics platform that provides real-time location of key inventory assets to cut time it takes employees to find these items for enhanced customer service by employees and greater employee efficiency. In addition, we provide data analytics and insights to help businesses make smarter inventory purchasing decisions to help capital costs and drive their bottom line.
Parminder Batra, Co-Founder & CEO
Parminder is a former attorney who initially embarked on the entrepreneurial journey to solve a problem for other moms & professional women that she herself faced – to know what she and her children had in terms of personal “stuff” (electronics and other items) and know where it was at all times, even when you weren’t at home.
But as the company evolved, they realized there were better uses for the product for other businesses to be more efficient – and that resulted in a pivot for TraknProtect into the hotel and car dealership sectors. Today, TraknProtect helps companies make the most effiicient use of their employees’ time and their inventory using bluetooth beacon technology.
Although Parminder is not an engineer by background, she has learned extensively about the technology and is able to guide the development of the product. But Parminder is passionate about empowering other women through her work with the Chicago Foundation for Women, Pratham and by mentoring several young attorneys and entrepreneurs. As a woman entrepreneur, Parminder firmly believes that the only way to succeed is to lift other as you climb.
DigitalGroundUp : Reva Minkoff, Founder & President
dough, Inc. is a financial content and technology company includes tastytrade, and dough, a highly visual trading platform that makes investing interactive, educational and mobile. dough.com launched in January 2014 and is the first mobile and online platform to make trading and investing visual. tastytrade and dough.com were designed to appeal to various investment levels, from beginner to active, all with a mission to increase financial literacy around investing. dough is redefining the investment experience for the new age investor, providing new and different technology using engaging content. dough has raised the bar on what consumers come to expect as more competitors join the industry, and presents consumers with a new way of active wealth management.
Kristi Ross, Co-CEO & President
Kristi Ross is Co-Chief Executive Officer and President of dough, Inc., an online financial education and investing platform that was formed by the April 2014 combination of two companies, tastytrade and dough. Prior to the combination, Ross had served as President of tastytrade and CEO and President of dough. Previous to that she was Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of thinkorswim, an online trading platform that was bought by TD Ameritrade in 2009, and also held the roles of CFO and Senior Vice President of Sales/Marketing for Chicago Securities Group/Automated Trading Desk Specialists. Ross also has served on a number of private company boards, including dough, Inc., Sun Holdings, L.L.C., and Cheddar’s Casual Café. She holds a B.B.A. in accounting from St. Norbert College.
PinkThink : Makeda Ricketts, Founder & CEO
ZipFit Denim : Alex Batdorf, Co-Founder & CMO
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