Global Midwest Alliance
HomeAbout UsProgramsPSLOMeetings & EventsPartnershipSponsorshipNews

Driving Innovation and Growth



Reservations Required:   
September 23, 2020

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


The last several years have seen an upswing of interest in corporate venturing, as companies in all sectors seek to find ways to improve their market positions and competitive strength while dealing with the changing business economic and social landscape. Building relationships with emerging companies in the tech sector has been a favored pathway to innovation. Corporate venture capital operations have been integral to that effort, affording access to new approaches that strengthen existing market positions while opening doors to new markets.

​Join Global Midwest Alliance for the 5th Midwest Corporate Venturing Program. This year, 50 South Capital and the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund (ILGIF) are co-hosting the program, which will explore how private equity and venture capital can effectively collaborate with corporate venture firms.

This year's half-day program will focus on issues that matter to the corporate venturing community. Leading experts will share their insights into how corporate venture compares to private equity and venture capital firms. The panelists will also share thoughts on how the corporate venturing community can successfully collaborate with private equity and venture capital funds to:

  • Access new opportunities in food, food technology, retail technology, agri-sciences, financial services, hardware, software, blockchain and deep tech;
  • Support entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses both in the Midwest and globally;
  • Invest in early stage technologies and drive innovation; and
  • Achieve a strategic return as well as a financial return.

The Corporate Venturing Program's Fireside Chat returns as a keynote discussion. The keynote presenters representing both corporate venture and venture capital will help compare and contrast the opportunities and challenges of partnering with each of their respective asset classes to develop and commercialize emerging technologies. 

The Innovation Panel brings a global perspective with international companies bringing promising, novel technologies to the manufacturing, energy and logistics sectors. We have selected senior executives from revenue-positive, emerging companies that are showcasing their technology solutions who are looking to enter or build their U.S. market presence via investment and or partners opportunities.

The Corporate Venturing Panel will include insights into how private equity, venture capital and other alternative asset managers can work with the corporate venturing community to find greater opportunities to support entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses both in the Midwest and globally. The panel includes a diverse group of individuals with experience leading corporate venture capital firms, as well as venture capital and private equity firms that invest across the spectrum of emerging technologies.

Attendees will hear from industry experts, venture capitalists from across the Midwest, institutional limited partners, CEOs and entrepreneurs, who will provide a perspective on the convergence of opportunities for both corporate venture programs, non-corporate venture capital firms and their increasingly strategic value to innovation.  

5th Midwest Corporate Venturing Program
Corporate Venturing: Leading Innovation for Tomorrow

About Our Host and Sponsors
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 900 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Recognized by legal research firm BTI Consulting as one of the top firms for excellent client service and client relationships, 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, middle-market corporate, labor and employment and business litigation. Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California. 

​50 South Capital Advisors, LLC is an alternatives asset management firm designed to meet the core, strategic needs of investors seeking access to alternative assets. Its highly experienced team works closely with a wide range of investors to fulfill their specific investment objectives and create lasting relationships. 50 South Capital's investment philosophy focuses on providing access primarily to small- to mid-sized funds that offer unique and differentiated sources of return, and is a wholly-owned, non-banking subsidiary of Northern Trust Corporation. 50 South Capital Advisors currently manages $9.1 billion in assets across a suite of global private equity, global venture capital, private credit and strategic opportunities investment strategies. Today, the firm is comprised of 25 investment professionals with over 120 years of collective private equity investment experience. The investment team is supported by an additional 23 fund administration and operations professionals. Since its inception, the firm has invested in more than 190 partnerships representing over 100 unique GPs across nine countries. 

​The Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund (ILGIF), an impact investment fund, invests in ways that attract, assist and retain quality technology businesses in Illinois. On August 29, 2018, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced an increase to the amount of investment capital available in ILGIF, increasing the total to approximately $1 billion in investment capital over 10 years from the State's existing investment portfolio to be invested with Illinois venture capital, growth equity and private debt investment firms on a recurring basis. The goals of ILGIF are to: (i) Deliver strong investment performance for Illinois; (ii) Drive economic development for Illinois; (iii) Foster a more connected, inclusive and engaged entrepreneurial and venture community in Illinois; (iv) Support diversity and inclusion to enable worthy fund managers and grow promising technology companies; and (v) Integrate sustainability factors to increase expected financial returns and minimize projected risk.

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. 

Member of


Welcome & Opening Remarks  
​Michael Frerichs, Treasurer, State of Illinois​

Keynote: A Fireside Chat
Moderator: Shez Bandukwala, Managing Director, Investment Banking, KPMG Corporate Finance LLC
Wayne Boulais, Managing Director, Tensility Venture Partners
Tarik Galijasevic, Managing Director, Allstate Strategic Ventures

20-Minute Break


Innovation Panel
Sponsored by Polsinelli
Moderator: Anthony Nasharr, Shareholder, Polsinelli
Megan Glover, Chief Executive Officer, 120Water Audit
120WaterAudit is a platform that water professionals across the country rely on 120Water to streamline their most complex drinking water initiatives. Our platform is comprised of sample & filter kits, cloud-based software, and services that public water systems, government agencies, and facilities leverage in order to eliminate data silos, act on regulatory requirements, and execute the last mile of compliance, which is often the most burdensome. In use at over 180,000 locations, 120Water enables clients to manage and execute water programs at scale while saving operational resources. By simplifying water quality and inventory programs, our clients are able to focus on the important work of protecting public health. (United States)

Indranil Roychoudhury, Exec. Vice President, Guardhat Inc.
Guardhat is the world's leading IoT industrial safety technology developer specialized in developing wearables, infrastructure and software platforms to provide a safer and more productive work environment with the mission of revolutionizing the industry standard for workforce safety and connectivity. Guardhat combines intelligent proprietary software with modern wearable technology to offer an all-encompassing safety system that actively monitors a user's safety, health and work environment (United States)

Paul Savage, Senior Advisor, Nextek Power Systems, Inc.
Nextek Power Systems designs and manufactures low-voltage power distribution products under its Direct Coupling® trademark. Nextek delivers whole turn-key systems that run on direct current (DC) which it makes from a grid AC input, onsite DC sources like solar PV and Batteries, or any combination of the three. (United States)

Andrew Boswell, CEO, Inc.
Rimot provides organizations with continuous insight into their remote business critical infrastructure. Rimot provides turnkey remote monitoring as a service to maximize reliability of critical equipment in the field and minimize its downtime, disruption and maintenance cost. (Canada)

Michael Gotlieb, CEO, Solace Power Inc.
Solace Power has become a leading developer of intelligent wireless power-based hardware and software solutions. We are a B-to-B company that enables our customer's products to become truly mobile or autonomous by eliminating physical connections and powering products though air, walls or windows. (Canada)

Willemijn Schneyder, CEO and Founder, SwipeGuide,
SwipeGuide simplifies work with effortless digital and visual instructions. SwipeGuide facilitates the continuous improvement of processes through on-the-job training and bottom-up knowledge sharing. (The Netherlands)

20-Minute Break


Corporate Venturing Panel 
Sponsored by 50 South Capital
Moderator: Trey Hart, Senior Vice President, 50 South Capital
Gareth Asten, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Acre Venture Partners
Liza Benson, Partner, Moderne Ventures
Richard Tait, Partner, Valor Equity Partners

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

8:30 a.m.

8:35 a.m.

9:05 a.m.

​9:25 a.m.

10:25 a.m.

10:45 a.m.

11:45 a.m.

2019-20 Corporate Venturing Advisory Committee
Copyright © Global Midwest Alliance, 2020.  All rights reserved.  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use