- All Community
Post originally posted at TigerStartups.
From June 22 to June 26, Chicago will showcase what everyone in Chicago already knows about, a thriving tech scene, home to thousands of entrepreneurs, startups and innovative companies. The showcase is Techweek, an annual Chicago technology conference and expo, that is growing with the Chicago’s technology community itself. What that means is, almost everyone in Chicago involved with the tech community will be on hand for the most exciting week for Chicago’s tech community, full of learning, innovation, prizes and parties.
Techweek began as MidVentures, founded by Geoff Domoracki and Jonathan Pasky. They started as midventureslaunch in 2010 but with Chicago’s tech community exploding and put on the map with the incredible growth of Groupon, Geoff and Jonathan, launched Techweek in 2011. According to Techweek, Techweek 2011 succeeded in connecting over 400 tech startups and 800 tech companies with government officials including Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the United States and Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, along with international technology leaders including Dave McClure, Founder of 500 Startups and Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist.
For Techweek 2012 Conference & Expo, it will signal the coming of age for Chicago’s digital community, with over 500 speakers, 2000 technology companies, and 5 new summits including the International Summit, Green & Clean Tech Summit, Financial Tech Summit, Health Tech Summit and Techweek LAUNCH, the startup competition event.
Techweek, the largest Midwest conference and expo, is becoming nationally and internationally recognized. Companies such as Google, Microsoft, OnStar, Orbitz and Cars.com are major partners and exhibitors of Techweek 2012. Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist and a keynote speaker for Techweek 2011, said, “I was really impressed by the technology renaissance happening in Chicago. Usually Silicon Valley or New York City gets this attention, so I was pleasantly surprised by everything going on in Chicago.”
Techweek expects a total of 5,000 participants, 2,000 unique brands, 300 speakers, 200 sessions and 100 exhibitors. All this will be at the Merchandise Mart, which is becoming a tech center itself, not just the home of Techweek but 1871, the collaborative incubator community, started this year and home to already dozens of Chicago startups.
Besides the speakers, exhibitors, the many lectures and meetings, one of the more forward looking events is LAUNCH, Techweek’s startup competition, where 35 pre-qualified startups will compete and demo their products and services. The final five will compete on the main stage inside the Techweek conference. Guest judges will feature a panel of venture capitalists and influential key technology figures. The top 5 teams will move on to a final round of pitches and Q&A on the conference main stage. The winning startup will receive over $100,000 in cash and prizes.
If Techweek 2012 is anything like Techweek 2011, look for more innovation and growth from Chicago on display, where it is no longer a “second city” anymore when it comes to digital innovation.
As a participant of Techweek 2011, I was looking forward to Techweek 2012. Unfortunately I will be out of town during the conference. However TigerStartups will send a writer out to report on the conference.
Techweek still has tickets available and we were able to work out a deal with the organizers of Techweek (June 22-26th in Chicago) to get 20% off conference+expo passes. For a limited time you can save $115 on admission. Use the discount code (sp_techweek_12) when you register. For more information on Techweek, including the daily schedule, go to their website here.