A professional entrepreneur with multiple successful start-ups under his belt, Joe is now founder of BOSI Global – operator of the bosiDNA.com platform – which powers entrepreneurship programs around the world and BOSIFast50 - an award-winning growth accelerator and fund for second-stage companies. Winner of numerous awards for his impact on global entrepreneurship, Joe is author of Entrepreneurial DNA - a critically acclaimed book based on his multi-year research into entrepreneurial behavior. He is also a TV show host and featured expert to the media on topics related to entrepreneurship, small business and innovation.
John Barley is the co-founder and CEO of Solemn Oath Brewery, a Naperville-based production brewery that began in 2012. Considered one of the fastest growing breweries in the country, Mr. Barley and Solemn Oath continue their mission with a focus on Belgian-inspired and barrel-aged beers. With no year-round offerings, each year the brewery moves swiftly through dozens and dozens of beers across a range of styles in search of what’s new.
As a security strategist and philosopher serving in the IT Security space, Joshua Corman’s cross-domain research highlights adversaries, game theory and motivational structures. A passionate advocate who “fights for the user” and the oft neglected public good, Corman’s research has shifted toward the rise of hactivism, internet governance, cyber-conflict, and the growing tensions between technology and civil liberties. He co-founded of Rugged Software and IamTheCavalry , was named a Top Influencer of IT in NetworkWorld and serves as a Fellow with the Ponemon Institute. Corman received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy, graduating summa cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire.
After leaving a successful career in the media industry in 1996, Jim Elliot became a full-time volunteer by founding Diveheart, a not-for-profit that helps build confidence and independence in individuals through scuba diving. Jim’s inspiration came from his daughter who was blind from birth, and developed tremendous self-confidence after learning how to downhill ski. Passionate about scuba diving since the 1970’s Jim decided to replicate his daughter’s experience, but in the forgiving weightless environment underwater which provides perfect buoyancy and balance to individuals who might otherwise struggle on land.
Julie Friedman Steele is the CEO of The MetaSpace, a social enterprise committed to civic innovation, social ventures, new manufacturing, and the human condition. Most recently, Friedman Steele opened The 3D Printer Experience, the first 3-D printing retail outlet of its kind in her hometown of Chicago, which was nominated this year for the 2013 Chicago Innovation Awards. Friedman will also have the distinct honor of writing the entry on 3-D printing in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Before starting The 3D Printer Experience, Friedman Steele lived in Los Angeles where she worked as a writer, producer and editor of the Genesis Award-winning documentary, Best Friend Forgotten, with actor David Duchovny. Friedman also counts Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as a friend and trusted adviser to her thriving business projects.
Leah Guzowski is an energy policy scientist in the Decision and Information Science division at Argonne National Laboratory and serves on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. She currently leads the Argonne’s multidisciplinary Energy Security team creating innovative, integrated systems approaches to inform global energy security solutions that are affordable, reliable, safe, sufficient and sustainable. Prior to joining Argonne, Leah’s work spanned private industry and international trade development and policy, with particular interest in the research, development and commercialization of energy technologies. Leah graduated from Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She also studied economics and policy at the University of Oxford (UK).
Jeff Hyman founded Retrofit after he and his wife shared a life changing experience at an exclusive weight loss resort. They were assigned a team of experts who helped them change their mindset, focus on long term results, and reconstruct the way they ate and exercised. Through Retrofit, Jeff seeks to bring that same intense, successful experience to people throughout the country. Jeff is an entrepreneur at heart with a lifelong passion for creating innovative and human-powered companies. This fundamental belief in the potential of those around him led to a career in the talent management field, where he was Founder and CEO of three internet-based services companies. He served as SVP of Sales & Marketing for Ameritox, a private equity-owned healthcare services company, and before that he was the first VP of Marketing at Dyson – makers of awesome consumer products. Jeff is an active member in Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He holds a BS from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
On top of writing and producing for major label acts such as Aiva the Great and Wu-Tang Clan, Zak “Fox” Jablow performs marketing consulting work for the firm the Fox and the Mule. As if that weren’t enough, Zak also owns and operates an invite only, boutique recording studio in Wicker Park. He’s been writing and producing songs for major and indie artists for nearly 10 years, launching careers of Chicago heroes like Chance the Rapper and Kids These Days. Despite his busy schedule, Zak has been teaching Music Business courses in Columbia’s AEMM department for close to three years (specifically Business of Music and Applied Marketing: Music Business).
Brendan Kiburg received a PhD in physics from the University of Illinois on the MuCap experiment, which studied muon capture on the proton at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. He is now a 2nd year Lederman fellow at Fermilab working on the Muon g-2 experiment, which recently shipped a 50-foot electromagnet from Long Island New York to Fermilab. The experiment studies an internal property of the muon called the magnetic moment in order to discover previously unseen particles.
Nick Sarillo is the founder and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub – the sixth busiest independent pizza company in per-store sales in the United States. Founded with the purpose of providing the community with an unforgettable place where families could relax and have fun, Nick’s Pizza & Pub has margins nearly twice that of the average pizza restaurant and boasts an 80 percent employee retention rate in an industry in which the average annual turnover is nearly 150 percent. His insights have been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, Inc., Fast Company and Investor’s Business Daily.
At the age of 12, Emerson Spartz founded MuggleNet, the #1 Harry Potter website, which attracted 50 million page views per month. By the age of 19, Spartz became a New York Times bestselling author after publishing his first book. He is now one of the world’s leading experts on internet virality and has been featured in major media including the Wall Street Journal, CBS Evening News, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. As the CEO of Spartz Inc, he runs one of the fastest-growing digital media publishers with 160 million page views per month. The Spartz media network of eighteen websites includes OMG Facts, GivesMeHope, and SmartphOWNED.
Dustin began his career in alternative education over ten years ago as a recreation leader at Brehm Preparatory School. Since then he has created and led numerous summer camps and after-school programs. Currently he is an educator at Chicago Children’s Museum and director of Tinkering School Chicago. Dustin creates authentic and empowering hand-on experiences for children and does so with passion and an unyielding curiosity.
Latvian born and Chicago-bred, Katarina Visnevska discovered her passion changing the way people experience classical instruments upon coming to the United States at the age of 16. In Chicago, Katarina was exposed to the world of house and hip-hop. Her curiosity (and frequent appearance) in the Chicago nightclub and DJ scene opened up a new outlets and possibilities of musical expression. This intrigue for live performance and DJ collaboration has led Katarina to numerous residencies at stylish venues including Roof at The Wit Hotel, Cuvee, The Underground, Double A (the lounge below Mercadito), and Lumen. She has also been a featured guest performer for Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago House, Chicago Ideas Week, Christie’s, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Italian Chamber of Commerce, Macy’s, Moet Hennessy, Neiman Marcus, New Orleans Evacuteer, Posse Foundation, Service Club of Chicago, Starwood Resorts, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, Veuve Clicquot, and Vogue. In 2013 Katarina joined Bonafyde Record Label and is recording a debut solo EP.