The Women Driving Chicago's Digital Renaissance: Part 3

October 8, 2012

In this monthly series, Built In Chicago will highlight some of the most important players in our digital ecosystem: the women. From entrepreneurs to technologists, investors to academic leaders, and corporate innovators to developers, women play important and diverse roles in dozens of local organizations. Every month, we'll introduce you to five women worth knowing. Through these exclusive interviews, get to know these women through their likes, experiences, and maybe even their secrets. 

Know a female leader worth profiling? Send your nomination to Amina Elahi ([email protected]). Include her name, title, organization and a 140-character description of why she deserves to be featured.

Caralynn Nowinski

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WHAT DO YOU DO?
My job is to make connections between the University of Illinois community and the outside world that foster tech commercialization and talent retention.

HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
It all started as a class project, and one thing led to another…Next thing I knew I was running a small biotech startup. Although we shut it down four years later, it was an amazing experience.

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
Listen – especially when negotiating a deal. People love to fill silences. Chances are that you will get a better understanding of the other side’s motivations if you just listen.

READ MORE

Genevieve Thiers

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WHAT DO YOU DO?
[I’ve] founded several companies in the Chicago area. The first, Sittercity.com, is America's first company to take caregiving services online.

THE REASON YOU BECAME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I saw a pregnant mother climbing stairs to post flyers and had the idea for a place to screen sitters, like an online dating site for parents and caregivers.

THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
I think the best advice I ever got was from my husband–to be proactive, not reactive. You never get anywhere by just reacting.

READ MORE

 

Mandy Pekin

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WHAT DO YOU DO?
I'm the VP of Marketing for GrubHub. We help hungry people across the country order whatever they’re craving, wherever they are.

THE REASON YOU BECAME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I’ve joined progressively smaller companies through the years, and found that I loved each one even more than the last.

THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
It doesn’t matter if the people around you don’t understand your career decisions–do what you’re passionate about and follow your instincts.

READ MORE

Rona Borre

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WHAT DO YOU DO?
Founder/President/CEO of Instant Technology, a nationally-recognized, full-service IT talent management firm; entrepreneur and community leader; mom to three.

HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Armed with a $100K loan and a passion for understanding what my clients and consultants were seeking, I started from the basement of my home with my bulldog Henry.

THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
Surround yourself with a strong advisory group and support. Mentorship is invaluable. Having dynamic people around you will help you succeed.

READ MORE

Stephanie Burke

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WHAT DO YOU DO?
Founder/CEO of Veritas Health–providing trusted information to help people with chronic pain conditions.

HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I was motivated to get off the sidelines (consulting) and into the game, to build something unique and lasting, and to have more control.

THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
A lot of good advice comes from people saying you can’t do something. Saying “you can’t” spurs me on to figure out how to make it happen.

READ MORE

nominate someone

Nominate your favorite woman for future installments of The Women Driving Chicago's Digital Renaissance by emailing Amina Elahi ([email protected]). Include her name, title, organization and a 140-character description of why she deserves to be featured.

 

The Women Driving Chicago's Digital Renaissance:

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Part 5

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