Join us for fnChicago Chapter Summer Happy Hour!
Along with some networking, bites and drinks, join our early startup ecosystem panel! We’ll pull back the veil on venture capital, incubators and accelerators with experts in this space. Limited space, RSVP here!
Venue: Near Chicago City Hall. Register to find out where. Hosted drinks and apps.
fnChicago Chapter Leadership Team
About the Panel
Josh Furstoss is a 2x Founder, the head of Founders Network Chicago, a venture partner at Executive Enterprise Fund and a mentor at Alchemist Accelerator where he focuses on Govtech & AI-based SaaS. Josh began his career in the govtech space and successfully ran four back to back Go-to-Market Strategies on sequential M&A’s. During this time he focused on C4ISR solutions ( Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)) Ranging from Intelligence mapping, Encrypted Communications, Video Surveillance and Ballistics identification.
For 20+ years, Jason has been an advocate for entrepreneurs by connecting them to growth resources such as investors, advisors, and strategic partners. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Propellant Ventures, which is a Seed stage fund that invests in the growth of Chicago and the greater Midwest across a broad range of powerful, diverse, and leading-edge B2B industries. Prior to launching Propellant Ventures, Jason was a Principal at Alumni Ventures Group (AVG) and led due diligence for Bascom Ventures, which is a venture capital fund that invests in seed, growth, and later stage companies with a Wisconsin alumni connection. In addition, Jason launched and currently runs the Chicago chapter of Founder Institute, which is the world’s largest entrepreneur pre-seed accelerator for technology companies. Further, Jason is an adjunct faculty member of DePaul University and teaches classes on entrepreneurship.
Prior to co-founding TAWANI Ventures, Will was a Co-Operating Partner at Real Talk Live, a venture-backed booking platform that facilitates video chats with athletes, celebrities, and industry leaders. Previously, he worked as a freelance data analyst and completed a full-stack coding bootcamp. Will started his career at OneChicago, an all-electronic futures exchange. Will holds a BA in Economics, Poli from Northwestern University.
Janine Kick is the co-founder of Kerosene Ventures, a platform that connects founders with early-stage investors. Janine has spent the better part of her career working with technology startup founders in support of their venture raises most notably at Kapow and Project44.
Janine is passionate about helping entrepreneurs navigate the process of raising capital. She has experience scaling startups and their teams across the US and has helped the founders she’s supported to raise upwards of $100M. She is a Mentor for Future Founders, mHUB and Next Gen HQ.
Janine is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and has spent the last 10 years in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends & family (including her puppy, Hound!), traveling, and trying out new Chicago restaurants.
Desiree Vargas Wrigley is a Latina serial entrepreneur, Chief Innovation Officer at P33 and Executive Director of TechRise by P33, a muti-stakeholder initiative to provide capital, community and connections for Black and Latinx tech founders. She is also the co-founder of the Josephine Collective, a group focused on helping women and people of color angel invest in high potential startup. Prior to P33 Desiree founded Pearachute, a company that helps parents and children drop into the best family activities in town. Desiree also co-founded GiveForward, the world’s first crowd giving platform for people facing a major life event. Under her leadership, the company helped friends and family contribute nearly $160M to loved ones in need.
After graduating from Yale, Desiree worked at the Kauffman Foundation as a specialist in entrepreneurship and at Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors. She taught New Venture Discovery at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Desiree has been named Inc’s 30 Under 30, Crain’s 40 Under 40, one of Parents Magazine’s Most Inspiring Moms, one of Forbe’s Women to Watch, and has appeared on Shark Tank, closing one of the largest deals on the show to date. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her 2 young sons, stepdaughter, and crime-fighting husband.
Craig Bradley is chair of the firm’s Startups & Venture Capital practice and one of Chicago’s leading attorneys for emerging companies. He represents a broad array of businesses, entrepreneurs and investors in venture capital, seed-stage, private equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, corporate organizational and governance matters, securities law, license agreements, partnering and other arrangements for the sharing of technology and industrial know-how, intellectual property protection and key employee compensation agreements and plans. Craig has a special focus on serving as primary outside counsel for emerging software, life sciences, internet, communications and other technology companies. Craig likes to get involved with founders of new entities on the ground floor and help them build a state-of-the-art legal foundation. This puts them in the best position for friends and family, seed-stage and venture capital fundraising. Craig also provides general corporate counsel that assists businesses in addressing day-to-day organizational and governance issues and to achieve near- and long-term strategic objectives. Craig lectures at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business, and speaks regularly before legal and industry groups on issues related to business finance and emerging technologies. While in law school, he served as a member of the Indiana Law Journal.
About Much Shelist
Much Shelist Law Firm is one of Chicago’s top law firms that represent companies in every phase of growth and development, including idea stage, entity formation, angel financing, venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and beyond.
Are you a full-time tech founder? Be our guest and request an invite to see if you qualify for membership.
Are you a full-time tech founder? Be our guest! During COVID, we’re making our events available to tech founders everywhere. Enjoy a complimentary ticket to come learn from fellow tech founders, partners and investors. Already used your complimentary guest pass? Request an invite to see if you qualify for membership.
About Founders Network:
Founded in 2011, Founders Network offers lifelong peer mentorship to over 600 tech startup founders globally. Our platform, programs and high-touch service facilitate authentic experience sharing, warm introductions and long-term professional relationships. Additional benefits include over $500k in startup discounts and promotion to 2,000 newsletter readers. Members are located in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, London and other tech hubs. Each month our Membership Committee admits a new cohort of full-time tech founders who are nominated by an existing member. Learn more about us here