Nine Companies Graduate from IHCC’S IL Tollway Technical Assistance Program

Nine companies, ranging from carpentry and snow removal to project management firms graduated on Wednesday, March 14th from IHCC’s Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Program. The goal of the program, which began in October 2017, is to prepare is to prepare minority, veteran, and women-owned small businesses to participate as prime and sub- contractors on highway and vertical construction contracts.

Each company participated in two full-day group conferences and individual coaching sessions designed to help the business owners identify their pain points, build financial understanding, and work on a business plan. On Wednesday, each business owner pitched their company to an audience of prime contractors, as well as representatives from the Illinois Tollway, Chicago Transit Authority, Illinois Department of Transportation, Forest Preserves of Cook County and PACE. Afterwards, they were able to engage in one-on-one networking with representatives from twelve prime contractors, including ComEd and others.

The list of companies includes:

  • Julio Arteaga, Arteaga Landscape & Erosion Control, Round Lake Beach
  • Bhagvanji J. (BJ) Parecha, Buildex Electronics, Wheeling
  • Allan Velasquez, Greatness Steel Inc., Chicago
  • Marco   Romero, iBuilders Corporation, Chicago
  • Hector  Caballero Jr., Junkvets Inc., Lansing
  • Jackie  d’Escoto, Maginox, Aurora
  • Raj Khanna, Market Contracting Services, Chicago
  • Tom Numbere Jr., PCG Consultant Group, Chicago
  • Joyce Gye, S & M Plow Corp., Chicago

“We are proud of the participants’ accomplishments as they have progressed through the program,” said program director Kelley Francis. “They’ve hired new team members, applied for certifications and have focused on business development. We are confident they will continue on their paths to success with the Illinois Tollway and other agencies.”

IHCC is one of seven organizations working in partnership with the Tollway to manage the Technical Assistance Program throughout Northern Illinois.  The next cohort will begin in Fall 2018. For more information, contact Kelley Francis, Program Director at (312) 425-9500.

Message from IHCC Board Chairman Juan Gaytan

Dear IHCC Community:

I wanted to take a few minutes to give you an update on what IHCC’s new board has been working on so far in 2018.

As you may know, in January IHCC expanded it board and added six new board members.  We’re excited to have a renewed sense of energy and drive at the board level. These new board members were strategically selected to help maximize engagement and to help take IHCC to the next level. 

I’m happy to report that the IHCC board has been hard at work in 2018. We’ve already held two multiple-hour training and development sessions to ensure the board and the leadership team are strategically aligned to deliver value consistent with our mission “to cultivate knowledge, connections and collaboration to effect transformational social change and achieve sustainable economic impact through entrepreneurship.”

In addition, I wanted to make sure that you are aware of all of all of IHCC’s upcoming events and opportunities. As always, our talented team of business professionals is here to help you strengthen and grow your business, please reach out to them with any questions.


Juan Gaytan
Chairman, IHCC Board of Directors 

IHCC CEO Omar Duque to Speak at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto

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The 1871 + IHCC Hispanic Tech Incubator will be highlighted next week at the World Incubation Summit in Toronto, Canada at a fireside chat hosted by IHCC CEO Omar Duque and 1871 CEO Howard Tullman.

The World Incubation Summit (WIS) brings together an exclusive, international group of university-linked incubation programs for a two-day conference. WIS is organized by UBI Global, a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping and highlighting the world of business incubation and the DMZ Incubator at Ryerson University, the leading business incubator for technology start-ups in Canada.

Duque and Tullman will lead a fireside chat focusing on how other organizations can develop mutually beneficial partnerships that promote diversity and inclusion and facilitate strategic opportunities. Since 2016, IHCC and 1871 have partnered to launch a first-of its kind incubator program for Latinx-led startups. The 1871 + IHCC Technology Incubator has successfully graduated 25 Latinx founders from the program and 14 founders are currently participating in the third cohort. Cohort companies have raised more than $2 million in early stage capital, secured contracts with Fortune 100 firms and gone on to notable accelerators including Elm Spring and Techstars.

“We’re excited to share how the partnership between IHCC and 1871 has led to the creation of an action-oriented community that provides Latinx tech founders with the tools and resources they need to scale successful ventures," said IHCC CEO Omar Duque. "We hope that organizations in attendance will walk away with ideas for their own strategic collaborations to increase diversity in the international tech space."

Learn more about the World Incubation Summit by visiting the conference website.