Techweek Chicago Conference: Let’s Hear it for the Girls

techweek 2015

Techweek, a national organization bringing together the tech community in six booming metropolises, started in Chicago in 2011 and has recently expanded to Miami and Detroit. The fifth annual event unites hundreds of developers, entrepreneurs, investors and creatives as they hop from bar to offices to discover the latest in tech advances and best business practices over seven days of events and two days of conferences and expos. Techweek Chicago runs from June 22-28, 2015 at Merchandise Mart in a setup below the infamous 1871 start-up space.

techweek 2015

Introducing Female CEO: Katy Lynch

A mere month ago, Techweek announced a new CEO—and she is changing the game. Ms. Katy Lynch brings marketing expertise from SocialKaty, Inc., a social media marketing agency that she started and sold to one of the top digital marketing firms in the city, Manifest Digital.

It’s exciting to have a woman represent a male-dominated industry. Techweek has raised concerns with sexist campaigns, but at the same time, Techweek has also been inviting to the female techie. Last year’s Techweek catered more to women than men in some aspects. In 2013, New Amsterdam Spirits promoted vodka with complimentary shoe shine and a barber shop at Techweek Chicago. At the same time, Techweek also had fashion shows and events by Cheeky Chicago, an online lifestyle magazine for Chicago women.

In 2014, the girls were pampered by ladies promoting vacation packages to Santa Monica, who had curling irons ready to primp hair for a California look. While you were waiting, you could receive a complimentary massage form Message Envy.

After two years of volunteering at Techweek, I’m excited to see how this conference grows.

FLASHBACK: 2013 Techweek Chicago

In 2013, Motorola, which recently joined Google, was the star sponsor and threw one of the best parties on the conference’s opening night. They also kept the party going by supplying secure, free charging stations for Androids and iPhones. During the day attendees were educating themselves about understanding cloud computing and working with the government to launch their ideas, but by night there were a handful of parties spread out throughout downtown and the north side of Chicago. These events featured celebrity appearances from Jenny McCarthy, dance and hula hoop contests (which my guy friend happened to win) for gift cards, and complimentary cocktails at happening places like the now closed, American Junkie and a fashion show at the W Hotel.

FLASHBACK: 2014 Techweek Chicago

Last year, Techweek took to music to power the conference with it’s Future Sound line-up. The Merchandise driveway became the ultimate stage. Bing was the major sponsor last year and after test driving a Tesla, attendees gathered for a magic show and cocktails, and then faded into the night with beats from Tima Fei and JetLag.

2015: What’s in Store

This year, T-Mobile is the main sponsor of Techweek Chicago.

Top women in tech are taking the stage, such as returning start-up founder, Kathryn Minshew of The Muse for a keynote. Other returning headliners include, kCura’s Andrew Sieja, Color Jar’s, David Gardner, and the winner from 2013’s start-up LAUNCH competition, WeDeliver’s Jimmy Odom.

This year’s topics will include robots and advances in mobile payment, as well as educational sessions on branding your company, managing the technical aspect of your business, and CEO sessions like “Entrepreneurshift“, a 2.5 hour lesson in taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your business.

This year, you can get into the expo portion of the conference for FREE. The Expo Pass includes a hiring fair, the expo, and partner events to mingle with the cream of the crop in Chicago’s tech scene.

Come with your resume, a smile, and a business card to meet contacts from companies looking to hire at this year’s hiring fair:

Advanse, Akamai, Capital One, Cisco, Corvisa, DialogTech, Digital People, Guaranteed Rate, Gogo Inflight Internet, InnoVergent, Insurance Auto Auctions, Maven Wave, MBX Systems, Power Reviews, RECSOLU, Rising Medical Solutions, Robert Half Technology, ShopperTrak, SWC Technology Partners, Swoon, Top Hat, Zebra Technologies, and Zoro.

Visit the expo booths in Merchandise Mart:

451 Marketing, ActiveCampaign, Akamai, Alfresco Software, Inc., American Airlines, Applause, App Quality, Inc., Ashford University, AVEPOINT, INC., BDO, Call One, Capital One, Cisco, Corvisa, DialogTech, General Assembly, Gogo Inflight Internet, HaystaqDNA,, iland, Illinois Technology Association, Insperity, Insurance Auto Auctions, Interoute Communications Limited, Keepsayk LLC, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Other World Computing, Proven Business Systems, RideScout, Robert Half Technology, Saggezza Inc., SALT LLC, ShopperTrak, Steadfast, The University of Illinois at Chicago, and WeWork.

For more information about Techweek and to register, click here.

Amanda Whitfield
Amanda Whitfield

Amanda Whitfield is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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