Rise Interactive

One South Wacker

United States

[MADE IN CHICAGO WEEK] Trending in Tech

Tuesday, 17 November 6 – 8 pm CST

About This Event
Join us for the closeout event to Made in Chicago Week with our partner, Time Out Chicago, as we hear keynote speakers from tech companies born in Chicago talk about their perspectives on local innovation and growth. You’ll hear from the best leaders right here at home about how products can change a traditional industry, how corporations can foster ingenuity within the startup scene, and how company culture can be made into an invaluable resource for innovation.

About the Experts

Chris Taylor General Manager, Illinois & Indiana,

Nicole Yeary President & Founder,
Ms. Tech

Nicole has led the company, Ms.Tech, a Chicago based company focused on seeing more women start and scale companies, as the founding President since 2014. She has spent over fifteen years in leadership positions for Fortune 500 companies in various capacities such as Direct Sales, Marketing Services, and Learning Development. She spent several years helping build a startup within a corporation that collectively became the most profitable unit. Nicole now invests her time advising and guiding the next generation of startup companies, something that she has been passionate about the last seven years.

Since 2010, Nicole has made it her mission to see more women capture the resources needed to build scalable startup companies. In just under a year, Ms. Tech was recognized in “Crain’s Guide to Networking” as one of “Six Great Tech Groups, practically guaranteed to commune with the scene’s best and brightest!”

Nicole delivers and shares her expertise by serving select advisory boards, in addition she is a member of Yellow Tractor Project’s founding Board of Directors. She is a sponsoring member of the United Nations, UN Women, Social Enterprise Alliance, Internet Society and OpenID. Most recently Nicole was recognized as one of Chicago’s “Top 100 Innovators” by Tribune, as one of “Today’s Chicago Woman” 100 Most Inspirational Women, and awarded MAFA Masters Honoree as an “Industry Entrepreneur Emerging Leader,” and recognized on “Huffington Post’s Women In Tech.”

Ezra Galston Senior Associate,
Chicago Ventures

Suk Shah Chief Financial Officer,

Suk Shah is the CFO of Avant, an online marketplace lending platform that is changing the way consumers obtain credit by lowering the costs and barriers of borrowing. Suk oversees the finance team in addition to the human resources team, a role he’s taken on to ensure that Avant’s rapid growth is not at the expense of its culture.

At its core, Avant is a tech company that is dedicated to creating innovative and practical financial products for all consumers. Avant has secured more than $1.4 billion in funding to date and more than 200,000 loans have been issued through the Avant platform. Avant has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TechCrunch, Fortune, Bloomberg and Crain’s Chicago Business and Avant was named to Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies list for 2015 as well as Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startups list for 2015.

Prior to Avant, Suk was the CFO of HSBC’s Commercial Banking business in the US and Canada, a $40bn loan portfolio which has expanded significantly over the past 2 years. Suk began his career with GE and spent 8 years with the company in various roles including Audit, Operations and FP&A. Suk has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Information Systems from the University of Illinois and an Executive MBA from Northwestern.


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