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Driving Innovation and Growth



Reservations Required:   
March 19, 2019

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Lower Level Amenity Center
150 N. Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL  60606
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In 2018, GCV Analytics tracked 2,775 deals worth an estimated total of $180 billion.  While the number of deals increased on a year-on-year basis -- 14% compared with the 2,427 transactions reported in 2017 -- the total value of corporate-backed VC rounds grew by 55%, reaching an all-time high. 

Join Global Midwest Alliance, program host Polsinelli and sponsor, Square 1 Bank, for the 4th Midwest Corporate Venturing Conference, a half-day program focused on issues that matter to the corporate venturing community in the Midwest.  

Leading experts will share their insights into the role of corporate venturing as an enabler of innovation and growth, and share thoughts on the following: 

    > What is driving the surge in corporate venturing?
    > How is corporate venture used for strategic innovation?
    > What do corporations expect from their venture arms?
    > How to achieve a strategic return as well as a financial return?

Our fireside chat keynote presentation will cover perspectives from senior management at companies that are setting up new corporate venture arms.

The Innovation Panel will present the technologies of six early-stage companies in the lighting, battery, drone interceptor technology systems, food and agriculture industries. These are revenue positive companies that are targeting partnerships and market opportunities for multinational or cross-border innovation to achieve success in the U.S. and international markets.

The Corporate Venturing Panel will include insights into opportunities for corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to discuss ways to optimize their partnerships. 

Attendees will meet and interact with associates, friends and new contacts, including experts, Midwestern venture capitalists, CEOs and entrepreneurs, who will provide a perspective on the future of corporate venture programs and their increasingly strategic value to innovation.

Seats are limited. Please register on or before March 15, 2019.
4th Midwest Corporate Venturing Program:
Corporate Venture Driven Innovation 

About Our Host and Sponsors
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 850 attorneys in 22 offices. Ranked #30 for Client Service Excellence* and #10 for best client relationships** among 650 U.S. law firms, Polsinelli was also named among the top 30 best-known firms in the nation***. The firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, mid-market corporate, labor and employment, and business litigation. *2019 BTI Client Service A-Team Report. **2017 BTI Industry Power Rankings. ***2018 BTI Brand Elite

Square 1 Bank is a division of Pacific Western Bank, a Los Angeles-based commercial bank with over $24 billion in assets. A full service financial services partner to entrepreneurs and their investors, Square 1 provides clients flexible resources and attentive service to help their companies grow. Square 1 offers a broad range of venture debt, treasury and cash management solutions through offices in top innovation centers: Atlanta, Austin, the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Durham, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Global Midwest Alliance is a business-led, region-wide organization dedicated to transforming the Midwest into an internationally-recognized leader in innovation and business growth. The Alliance aligns and integrates resources throughout the Midwest helping businesses to grow by leveraging existing resources to develop new products and find customers throughout the world. The Alliance is the Private Sector Liaison Office for the World Bank and a member of Global CONNECT. Through these and other affiliations, the Alliance facilitates access to global business opportunities for Midwest business through 160 groups in 107 countries around the world. The Alliance offers educational and networking opportunities through a variety of programs and resources designed to promote innovation, technology development and access to global opportunities in the clean technology, energy, food, logistics, manufacturing and water industries. 

​Global Midwest Alliance is headquartered at Coalition: Energy

Member of

MARCH 18, 2019
Opening Reception Hosted by Energy Foundry at mHub, 965 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642 

Last year's Corporate Venturing Conference included a well-received panel exploring the intersection of corporate innovation and the growth of accelerators around the country. Today, more companies are finding value in building relationships with the early stage tech sector while at the same time traditional accelerators are moving beyond their initial formats for cultivating entrepreneurs through lean startup-inspired coaching, investment, mentoring and rigorous execution. This year's opening reception picks up on that trend with an introduction to Project North, a corporate venture-focused program created by gener8tor, one of the nation's top 15 accelerators.

Welcome Remarks  
Jason Blumberg, CEO and Managing Director, Energy Foundry

Reception Keynote Introduction
Allen Dines, Executive Partner, WISC Partners

Reception Keynote
Troy Vosseller, Co-Founder, Gener8tor

MARCH 19, 2019
Midwest Corporate Venture Conference at Amenity Center, 150 N. Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL 60606

​Registration, Networking & Qualified Introduction

Welcome & Opening Remarks
Tony Nasharr, Shareholder, Polsinelli

Keynote: A Fireside Chat
Shez Bandukwala, Managing Director Investment Banking, KPMG Corporate Finance LLC
Reese Schroeder, Managing Director, Tyson Ventures

Innovation Panel
Sponsored by Polsinelli
Moderator:  Adam Weiss, Shareholder, Polsinelli
Harjeet Bajaj, President and CEO, Savormetrics, Inc.
Savormetrics produces AI-driven portable sensing devices that provide food companies with meaningful food safety and quality metrics using real time sensing technologies (Canada)

Louis Brun, CEO, Sollum Technologies, Inc.
Sollum revolutionizes greenhouse lighting to create optimal growing conditions that increases yield
and improves efficiency (Canada)

Robert Burbury, CEO, The Healthy Grain Pty Limited
The Healthy Grain is a leader in the provision of natural, nutritionally dense, patented wholegrains that enhance the health and well-being of people worldwide (Australia) 

Mike Casper, CEO, FLEx Lighting, LLC
FLEx’s technologies have created the world’s thinnest lighting system that provides critical lighting solutions for the rapidly expanding category of Reflective LCDs to enhance the viewability and extend battery life of mobile, wearable and flexible devices of the future. 

Samir Mayekar, CEO, NanoGraf Corporation
NanoGraf is a battery materials venture developing silicon-graphene anodes for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries that offers higher battery capacity and faster charging rates, all while being produced via a low cost solution chemistry-based manufacturing process (U.S.) 

Rick Whittaker, Chief Executive Officer, AirShare, Inc.
AirShare designs and manufactures drone interceptors and control systems to detect, track and safely mitigate wayward or malicious drones (Canada)  

Coffee and Networking Break

Corporate Venturing Panel
Moderator:  Karen E. Kerr, PhD, Executive Managing Director, New Industrial, GE Ventures 
Saikat Dey, Co-Founder and CEO, Guardhat
Duncan McCallum, CEO, Digital Alloys, Inc.
Brian Schettler, Managing Director, Boeing HorizonX Ventures  
Michael T. Young, General Manager, Caterpillar Ventures  

Program Wrap Up
5:30-7:30 p.m.

8:00 a.m.

​8:30 a.m.

8:35 a.m.

9:20 a.m.

10:20 a.m.

10:40 a.m.

11:40 a.m.

2018-19 Corporate Venturing Advisory Committee
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