Techweek 2012 will welcome more than 5,000 participants, 2,000 brands, 300 speakers, 200 sessions and 100 exhibitors to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, June 22-26. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will kick-off the conference with a keynote speech Friday, June 22, at 9:30 a.m.
In its second year, Techweek, is a leading technology conference and trade show where companies ranging from startups to the Fortune 500 network and engage, offering exhibits, demonstrations and discussions on how new technologies and products are changing the way companies do business.
This year's theme focuses on the life cycle of an emerging technology business from "Think" to "Learn" to "Start" and "Grow," enabling attendees to discover how companies like Groupon and GrubHub achieved success in the heart of the Midwest. In addition to Mayor Emanuel, key speakers include Orbitz CEO Barney Harford, Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick, and former NHL star Sean Avery, who will reveal the details of his new startup.
"Techweek has helped champion the Midwest tech explosion by gathering passionate and entrepreneurial-minded people to celebrate vast possibilities and opportunities in technology and innovation," said Arabella Santiago, executive director, Techweek and co-founder of StartupLive. "The conference is the perfect platform for unexpected pairings, disruptive discussions and innovative education revolving around entrepreneurial culture."
Along with five full days of programming, Techweek 2012 includes a "Startup City," offering a sneak peek of the newest ideas entering the market and a LAUNCH competition where one winning startup will receive more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. A hiring fair, gaming lounge showcasing Chicago's growing gaming industry, and multiple daily events, including a Food Truck Face-Off and exclusive parties after each conference day round out the schedule.
Conference Overview: From Idea to Scale in Five Days
Each day of Techweek will feature one part of the life cycle of an emerging technology business:
Day 1 – Think: Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite and Maya Liebman, CIO of American Airlines, will provide an overview of how small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals can turn their ideas into reality at a fraction of the cost.
Days 2&3 – Learn: Includes workshops and eye-opening presentations about the latest on programming languages and design practices from expert instructors like founder and CEO of 37signals, Jason Fried.
Day 4 – Start: Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of Uber; Matt Mickiewicz, co-founder of 99 Designs; Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit; Ben Milne, CEO of Dwolla; among others will share their stories of hardship and success throughout their ventures.
Day 5 – Grow: Focusing on the importance of technology in the economy, the last day of Techweek presents discussions on late-stage private companies including insight from Lightbank founder, Paul Lee, GrubHub CEO, Matt Maloney, and Bryan Johnson, chairman of Braintree.
Beyond the Exhibition Hall
In addition to the five days of dynamic programming Techweek also includes:
Startup City, a space for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to demo their products and network with potential investors and customers.
LAUNCH, Techweek's startup competition where 35 pre-qualified startups will demo their products and services in Techweek Startup City. The final five will compete on the main stage inside the Techweek conference; one winning startup will receive over $100,000 in cash and prizes.
The Gaming Lounge, designed to educate attendees about Chicago's little-known diverse and fast-growing gaming industry, the massive space will feature new games from fifteen Chicago game developers of all varieties – many games will be shown for the first time.
A one-day Hiring Fair, where hiring managers with 40-50 companies from Chicago and beyond will discuss job opportunities and career development from noon-5PM on Saturday, June 23 at the Merchandise Mart. Entry is free with a resume.
About Techweek 2012
Techweek is a leading technology conference and trade show where startups to Fortune 500 companies exhibit, demonstrate and discuss how new technologies and products are changing the way companies do business. A must-attend technology industry event, the second-annual Techweek conference takes place June 22-26 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and includes five full days of programming, a Gaming Lounge, "Startup City," highlighting the startup ecosystem's creativity and variety, along with a sneak peek of the newest ideas entering the market, a hiring fair and multiple daily events and networking parties. Techweek 2011 succeeded in connecting more than 1,200 unique tech companies and brands from all over the world.