Ramon Rodriguez is the founder of collaborate.biz, an on-line platform that helps government contractors unlock millions of dollars in revenue by partnering with Minority, Women and Veteran-owned businesses. Collaborate.Biz helps companies find, vet, and connect with partners through its proprietary selection and matching process.
Prior to Collaborate.Biz, Ramon led multi-million dollar brands at some of America’s most admired companies, including Procter & Gamble, Conagra, and Abbott. Through strategic partnerships, innovation, and brand building activities, Ramon helped grow a variety of international brands ranging from $300K to $2Bn in annual revenue. Ramon also has a strong technology background, working at Accenture, TenFold Corporation, and Mercury Interactive, where he developed and implemented mission critical, web-based solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Ramon holds S.B. and M.Eng degrees from MIT, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
EngineeringPeople provides a full range of comprehensive engineering services in design and product development. We continually evolve to answer industry demands and today we offer outsource engineering services, onsite staffing and an online resource tool for engineers and employers.
Jim Montelongo launched his engineering, design, and innovation business right out of college almost 25 years ago. Along with holding a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, Jim earned an Executive MBA degree from Bradley University. He most recently completed the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Program. In addition, Jim was selected by Stanford and trained to be a mentor to future business leaders accepted into this entrepreneur program.
Fluxee is a virtual reality company whose first chapter is focusing on the real estate industry, both residential and commercial. Founded in May of 2016, Fluxee began leveling the learning curve and making virtual reality accessible to everyone. Then, in November 2016 Fluxee was accepted into the inaugural cohort of the 1871/IHCC Hispanic technology incubator.
Fluxee is changing the current model of unflattering and misleading 2D pictures of properties into an immersive virtual reality experience. By simply snapping and uploading photos to the Fluxee platform, users are granted immediate access to a shareable virtual scene of a selected property. Through Fluxee, realtors will not only gain wider exposure for their listings but will be able to save time by attracting qualified buyers to showings and increase their closing rates while decreasing lead times. Fluxee is positioning itself to be the virtual reality tool for the everyday realtor.
Arthur John Mortega Jr. (A.J.) received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Development from DePaul University. His career spans 10+ years within the game development industry, starting out in arcades, PC, and mobile, then working on game titles for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Kinect, PlayStation 3&4, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS platforms. Earlier in his career he was a competitive video gamer for 7 years.
eSports is a fast growing industry with tournaments and events seeing hundreds of thousands of attendees globally, over 100 million viewers online, and prizes in the millions of dollars. A career as a professional video game player is now a reality and colleges and universities are beginning to incorporate eSports into their athletic programs.
Game Seed is offering the first of its kind eSports academy, offering professional development and certifications in video game coaching, tournament organization, and streaming/broadcasting production.
Licentiam offers a first-of-its-kind front-end solution developed by healthcare professionals, for healthcare professionals, to both streamline and expedite the physician licensing process. The platform is designed to feed into existing state licensing systems, resulting in significantly reduced processing times; and enabling health regulators, for the very first time, to share information across state lines.
Mark Vargas is co-founder and president of Licentiam – a tech startup, and one of twelve companies internationally named to Chicago-based technology incubator 1871 and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Hispanic-owned tech-startup cohort – the first of its kind in the United States.
Most recently, Mr. Vargas was a principal at a government and public affairs consulting firm where he advised high profile political leaders, government officials, business executives, companies and trade associations on issue advocacy and message development, crisis preparedness and management, media training, media relations and government affairs.
Paladin is a tech platform working to close the justice gap by making pro bono easy, accessible and inspiring for legal employers and legal service organization.
As co-founder and COO of Paladin, Kristen Sonday is responsible for operations management and business development in helping mobilize the United States's 1.3 million attorneys to increase access to justice through the power of pro bono.
After graduating from Princeton, Kristen joined the U.S. Department of Justice, where she worked on international criminal affairs in Mexico and Central America. After the DOJ, she joined the founding team of Grouper (Y Combinator W’12), learning how to build startups and use technology to scale networks. Kristen is a Fellow for Stanford’s Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program, and a Google for Entrepreneurs Code2040 Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
Kristen is also a 2017 ABA Woman in Tech to Watch as a result of her access to justice work through Paladin.
Marco Alcala is the co-founder of Pyroweb, an online company providing its' clients with fire code compliance solutions through a web based platform. His clients currently include major metropolitan areas within the Southwestern and Midwest regions of the United States, which he is looking to expand upon in the very near future.
Before devoting his work full-time to Pyroweb, Marco served as the General Manager for one of the largest fire safety companies in the Midwest for five years. Notable clients served include McDonalds, United States Postal Service, and Chicago Public Schools. He also spent 8 years prior to that engineering software change environments for Fortune 100 companies.
Marco acquired his Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Management & Information Systems (OMIS) from Northern Illinois University.
Satira is the first and only platform by comedians, for comedians. The platform provides online comedy education, a comedic social network, and a gig economy for all types and levels of comedians. Satira is based out of Chicago, IL - home to some of the best up and coming, raw, and diverse talent in comedy.
Victoria Elena Nones is a Chicago based entrepreneur, musical comedian, and dog mom. She owns and operates a successful boutique providing pet care, retail, and pet focused events (SIT Social: A Dog Lounge) and is thrilled to be part of this incubator for her next venture, Satira. When it comes to comedy Victoria has trained and performed with places such as The Second City, Improv Olympic, Chicago Women's Funny Festival, and more. Her work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, NY Magazine, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, ELLE Magazine, and Jezebel, including others. She currently serves as executive director of Women In Comedy, NFP and is working to increase gender parity in the comedy industry.
Tandlr is a peer-to-peer tutoring platform that connects students who need help in any class with qualified tutors, on-demand or scheduled. Student tutor graduates have gone on to jobs at companies such as McKinsey & Company, PWC, Amazon, Deloitte and many more.
As founder and CEO of Tandlr (Teach and Learn), Pablo Mitre is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and growth strategy of the company. After running his own tutoring company throughout college, Pablo launched Tandlr to help millions of college students around the world excel academically and professionally.
Prior to Tandlr, Pablo attended the Kelley School of Business (May '15) where he double majored in Finance and Corporate Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Jorge Samayoa is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer for Tripmate, a software platform that connects travelers with locals. He worked at Procter and Gamble for 8 years as a Brand Builder, managing brands like Pampers and Always for Latin America. Besides his corporate experience, Jorge has been active in the entrepreneurial community: He founded JS Lockers, a safe place to store valuable things while you’re running, and served as a strategy consultant for CPG SMBs in Panama.
VestLo is a FinTech company that operates an Illinois investment based crowdfunding platform. VestLo provides access to investment opportunities previously not accessible to all Illinois residents. We make it easy for Illinois companies to raise funds by crowdfunding the investment needed directly from Illinois investors.
Investing locally will benefit local communities and boost our local economy. Investors see the return on their investment in the form of monetary returns and through improvements in their local community, city, or state.
With the passage of the new Illinois Equity Intrastate Crowdfunding law, all residents of Illinois for the first time have an opportunity to invest in local startups and small businesses.
The portal creates an efficient and transparent new avenue for startups and small businesses looking to raise capital. Until now, these private investment opportunities were only available to accredited investors.