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The Innovator's Guide to Chicago

The Innovator’s Guide to Chicago

February 27, 2019 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm


What does it take to find success in Chicago’s innovation community?

We think it comes down to TWO THINGS:



Speaker Bios:

Jodi Navta joined SMS Assist as chief marketing officer in June 2018. She is at the helm of marketing, brand, and communications strategy; sales strategy and enablement; product development; lead generation; and more. Prior to SMS Assist, Jodi was at Coyote Logistics, where she built the integrated marketing and communications function from the ground up, quickly growing market share. Jodi was a member of the management team that oversaw Coyote’s growth from $300 million to $3 billion and led the company through a $60 billion acquisition by the United Parcel Service (UPS). Pre-Coyote, Jodi held a number of roles in operations, marketing and communications, and strategy as a four-time entrepreneur in the B2B and B2C spaces.

Linda Mallers is the CEO of FarmLogix, a 2013 Chicago Innovation Awards winner and a 2016 winning team of The Food To Market Challenge. FarmLogix’ patent-pending platform connects farmers and producers with institutional buyers while maintaining source, sustainability, and food safety data through the warehouses of the nation’s largest distributors. FarmLogix offers services to 5,000+ school districts, universities, corporate cafeterias, national parks, healthcare organizations, non-profits and state departments of education across 47 states. In Q1 2017 FarmLogix launched The Open Fields Project, a logistics-enabled search engine and open marketplace that connects the public to farms, producers and distributors of sustainable and healthy foods based on their individual search criteria.  

Matt McCall is Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital. Previously, Matt was a Founding Partner with DFJ Portage. Matt has invested in over 60 companies and 500 financings over 23 years, including investments in 8 startups that went on to get acquired by such companies as DreamWorks, Amazon, Google, HP, Disney, & Ticketmaster. Named in Crain’s “40 under 40”and “Top Tech 25” list. Matt is also the founder & trustee of the McCall Family Foundation, which is focused on encouraging social entrepreneurship and global human rights. 

Brian Krause is the VP of Global Marketing & Communications for Molex. Brian oversees the Molex global brand, website, advertising, public relations, and commercialization and promotion of Molex products worldwide. Molex customers represent the world’s largest manufacturers in the world in industries including consumer electronics, automotive, medical, and data/telecom. Molex is also a three-time Chicago Innovation Award winner in 2008, 2010, 2014, and 2018.

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