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Driving Innovation and Growth



Reservations Required:   
September 23, 2021

8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Lower Level Amenity Center
150 N. Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606

Corporate venturing is an important and growing part of the innovation ecosystem in the Midwest and throughout the world. The number of corporate venture companies has more than doubled since this program began six years ago. While Covid-19 has changed the corporate venturing landscape, it is clear that the innovation economy has emerged from the pandemic alive and well with a new sensitivity to the changing business economic and social landscape.  

After a pause in investing at the outset of the pandemic, venture deal-making has continued to grow. Now more than ever, a company’s ability to recognize and extract value from innovation will separate success from failure. Corporate venturing continues to offer companies a direct path to reap strategic and financial rewards from new business models, emerging technologies and disruptive innovation. Startup companies increasingly view corporate venture companies as important partners in building value.

Join Global Midwest Alliance and sponsors, the Consulate General of Canada, K&L Gates and Polsinelli, for the 6th Midwest Corporate Venturing Program. This year's half-day program will focus on current thinking from key leaders in corporate venturing on the opportunities and challenges for corporate venturing in the post pandemic world.

Areas to be covered include:

            Managing successful corporate venture programs in turbulent times;
            Accessing new opportunities in innovative technologies and solutions;
            Supporting entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses, both in the Midwest and globally;
        •    Investing in early-stage technologies and driving innovation; and
            Achieving a strategic and financial return.

The program will include discussion of the current state of corporate venturing and the opportunities and challenges of corporate venturing in the post pandemic world. The Innovation Panel brings a global perspective with international companies bringing promising, novel technologies to the energy, health care and logistics sectors. This year, we have selected senior executives from revenue-positive, emerging companies from the United States and who will be showcasing their technology solutions and are looking to enter or build their U.S. market presence via investment and or partnership opportunities.

The Corporate Venturing Panel will provide insight into the relationship between corporate venture companies and their portfolio companies and how these relationships help the portfolio companies grow. The panel includes a diverse group of individuals with experience leading corporate venture capital 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. 

Seating will be limited - masks will be required. Please note that all speakers and attendees must sign a Covid Vaccine Questionnaire (if vaccinated) or show proof of a Covid-negative result within 72 hours of the event. Please register on or before September 20.

6th Midwest Corporate Venturing Program
Corporate Venturing: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities

About Our Host and Sponsors
Allstate Strategic Ventures (ASV), founded in 2015, is the corporate venture capital arm of Allstate Insurance Company, a leader in the property and casualty insurance market in the United States. We invest in entrepreneurs whose disruptive technologies — ranging from insurtech to new mobility models to deep and frontier tech — will help shape the future of the insurance industry and adjacent sectors. ASV has a long history of strategic investing and has built a world-class portfolio of companies. 

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. 

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

Registration, Introductions and Networking

Welcome & Opening Remarks
George Vukotich, Founding Director, Center for Research Innovation and Smart Cities, University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Keynote: A Fireside Chat
Moderator: Allen Dines, Executive Advisor, WiscPartners
Speaker: Scott Powder, President, Aurora Advocate Enterprises, Inc.

Innovation Panel
Sponsored by Polsinelli
Moderator:  Anthony Nasharr, Shareholder, Polsinelli
Ashlie Benson, Chief of Staff, Agricycle Global​
Agricycle Global sells low-barrier agricultural technologies to preserve food loss from our network of 40,000 farmers and sell their upcycled ingredients to CPG manufacturers and under our own brands worldwide. (United States)

Jason Lee, Founder and CEO, SmartCone Technologies Inc. 
SmartCone Technologies Inc. is an intelligent infrastructure eco system that enables use cases like Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), AI on the edge, distributed processing on the edge, indoor/outdoor positioning, next-generation asset and freight tracking systems, and more. (Canada)

Gaurav Mishra, CEO, RehabPulse, Inc.
RehabPulse is the first ever Durable Medical Equipment Online Marketplace with insurance integration” and has become a one-stop shop for accessing life enhancing medical products and solutions. (United States)

Harpreet Singh, CEO, Child Health Imprints USA Inc.
Child Health Imprints is engaged in the development and application of IoT, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics to make an early diagnosis of critical diseases and improve the quality of healthcare provided to neonates. (United States)

Ritobrata Sur, CEO, Indrio Technologies, Inc.
Indrio Technologies builds laser-based chemical sensors to increase efficiency while reducing downtimes, operating costs and environmental impacts across various sectors including automotive and manufacturing. (United States)

Linda Zadeh, CEO, Epic Semiconductors 
EPIC Semiconductors has developed microscopic Artificial Intelligence (AI) sensor chips on nano-scale (“Smart Dust”). Its small size allows it to be easily embedded into everyday objects. (Canada)

Networking Break

​Corporate Venturing Panel 
Sponsored by Allstate Strategic Ventures
Moderator: Beckett Jackson, Director, AEI HorizonX
Tarik Galijasevic, Managing Director, Allstate Strategic Ventures
Haley Keith, Chief Executive Officer, MITO Materials
Jake Labrie, President, Carrier Business Unit, Next Gear Solutions
Ginger Rothrock, Ph.D., Senior Director, HG Ventures

​Closing Remarks
Jason Blumberg, Co-Founder 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.

The 2021 Corporate Venturing Advisory Committee
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View Opening Reception Arm Chair Discussion
 with Brian Schettler, Head of AEI HorizonX hosted by K&L Gates