CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - April 05, 2017) - The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) announced today the keynote speakers for the Inaugural Chicago Tech Summit. In its first year, the Chicago Tech Summit, presented by ITA and Enova, is an opportunity to connect with fellow innovators, influencers, executives, and entrepreneurs to celebrate and identify ways to improve Chicago's tech ecosystem.

"This first of its kind Summit will explore crucial components of Chicago's current tech ecosystem, such as cross-vertical collaboration and talent," said Julia Kanouse, ITA CEO. "We will concurrently be looking to the horizon with presentations on venture-enabled innovation, the changing face of capital, and the future state of Chicago tech."

The keynote presentations include:

  • Thomas Parkinson, Founder, Senior VP and CTO of Peapod presenting "We Were All Start-Ups When We Started." Although there has been a lot of focus in the past few years about the growth of Chicago's new technology community, companies like Peapod have been around for a while, quietly building on our history of innovation to change the way they (and we) do business. Parkinson will share how Peapod transformed the grocery industry, survived the dot-com bust and now is evolving its business to focus on data and information.
  • Chris Gladwin, Cofounder & CEO of Ocient; founder and former CEO of cleversafe presenting "Building Billion Dollar Businesses in Chicago." cleversafe is an often-touted example of a successful Chicago tech company. But getting there wasn't easy. Gladwin will share an honest look at what it was like in Chicago ten years ago, providing a critical look at the challenges he faced and how the evolution of Chicago's tech scene impacted cleversafe's growth. Gladwin will also share what he believes we need to move forward as a tech community and how Chicago could drive many more billion dollar businesses.

See the full Chicago Tech Summit schedule and request an invite at

The day-long summit will feature presentations from companies such as: Peapod, InContext Solutions, Ocient, kCura, Groupon, Yello, Enova Decisions, Strata Decision Technology, Synap Software Labs, and Jump Capital.

About ITA
The Illinois Technology Association (ITA) scales Illinois tech companies. With innovative resources that allow members to collaborate with each other, build their talent networks and elevate their local and national presence, ITA is the region's strongest advocate for fostering innovation and growth. Founded in 2005 and supporting 500-plus growth-stage tech companies, ITA has a rich history of driving the business forward. For more information, visit, follow @ITAbuzz on Twitter or find us on LinkedIn.

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Gary Hotze