• coLab Tech Chat: Blockchain and its Commercial Applications

    coLab Evanston Downtown


    Join Evanston Startup at colab Evanston on June 12th for a small conference on blockchain systems and the technology that make them possible.

    Blockchain has revolutionized the financial-technology industry and impacted billions of dollars, get answers from experts on how a system of transactions could impact your industry!

    Imran Khan - General Partner @ Token Daily Capital. Previously at Microsoft leading business development on Azure, IoT and Blockchain.

    Mohamed Fouda - Researcher and investor in the sector of public blockchain and cryptocurrency. He got his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Northwestern Univesity and is now a partner in Token Daily Capital, a venture fund investing in the cryptocurrency ecosystem

    *Light refreshments and beverages served*

  • It's not just WHAT you say, but HOW you say it

    coLab Evanston Downtown


    He is passionate about helping people become better communicators
    through private consulting, workshops, and seminars and has helped
    hundreds of people from university students to entrepreneurs overcome
    their anxiety of speaking, improve their self-confidence, and equip
    themselves with a powerful professional communications toolkit. John
    has the rare ability to connect with audiences of all ages, and
    demographics. From high school students, executive management
    teams, to octogenarians.

    As an inventor - John co-founded the world's first Mayo clinic NEAT
    certified seated leg swing which has touched the lives of countless
    thousands of children, seniors, and adults in over 100 countries across
    the globe by helping them combat one of the biggest health problems of
    our time - sitting - and the negative health consequences that stem from
    a lack of physical activity.

    In addition, for close to 10 years, Chicagoans have enjoyed John's
    creativity, expertise, and results from his premium in-home personal
    training service. He also spent 2 years working with aspiring professional
    baseball players in the Dominican Republic, worked with college athletes
    at the university in Toronto, and currently is also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
    instructor in Chicago.

    In his spare time, John enjoys practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training and
    competing in ultra-endurance races, and traveling overseas. He has
    completed multiple Ironman and ultra-endurance distance swims and

    Compelling, and effective speakers and communicators are not born they
    are trained. In this entertaining and informative learning session, keynote speaker and presentation coach John Godoy provides speaking and communication strategies that will help you get your message across, keep your audience engaged, and have you standing out from the crowd.


    - “Its not just for speeches..It’s everyday communication”

    - Business presentations
    - Speeches
    - Networking and 1-on-1 conversations
    - Social media videos and branding
    - Inter-team communication
    - Inspiring and leading organizations

    - “Talking” vs. “effectively communicating”
    - Fear, Shyness, and the lack of proper training

    - Power positions vs. weak positions
    - The power of speaking clearly

    - Use exercise to mitigate your physiological reaction to stress

    -The anatomy of a speech, business presentation, and video
    - Use stories as “glue”

  • Entrepreneurship & The Growth of Something Great: Panel Discussion & Networking

    IN ORDER TO ATTEND, PLEASE SIGN UP TO THE EVENT HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/entrepreneurship-the-growth-of-something-great-panel-networking-tickets-39705824189

    No one ever said entrepreneurship was easy. From finding the right co-founder to getting your first multi-million dollar round of funding, we deal with A LOT along the way. And, believe it or not, Google doesn’t always have all the answers to your questions!

    That is why we teamed up with some amazing local Chicago entrepreneurs who have committed so much of their time (not to mention hard-earned dollars) into building their own businesses.

    For our event, Entrepreneurship & The Growth of Something Great, we have invited entrepreneurs at different stages of their businesses to participate in an informative and exciting panel.

    We want to shy away from some of those commonly asked questions that we hear at other panel discussions, but to go one step further and drill deeper into our entrepreneurs’ minds.

    PLUS, the audience will have abundant time to ask their own questions.

    The Timeline:

    5:30-6:30 Networking

    6:30-7:00 Panel Discussion

    7:00-7:30 Audience Q&A

    7:30-8:30 Networking

    Our Panelists:

    Michael Timpone (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeltimpone/): Founder @ Kapow (https://www.kapow.com/)

    Kapow connects companies with venues to book unique client events online in real-time. Our curated marketplace offers a more efficient way for companies to book events designed to acquire, engage and retain clients. Our suite of online tools covers events from start to finish at no additional cost. Kapow has received 1.6M in funding to date and is continuing to bring amazing events to corporations.


    Ross Peterson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rosswpetersen/): Founder @ Blitsy (https://blitsy.com/)

    Ross is a serial creative entrepreneur who has launched multiple businesses over the past few years. His first business, ScrapHD, was acquired on September 15th, 2010. Since then, Ross has acted as the Director of Digital Infrastructure for Michaels, as well as launched and grown Blitsy, which has received nearly $12M in Funding.


    Sarah Perkins (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahaperkins/): Founder @ DesignerShare (http://www.designershare.com/)

    Sarah Perkins is the CEO and co-founder of DesignerShare. DesignerShare is the first truly peer-to-peer marketplace for women to rent their designer clothing and accessories to one another, which launched in Chicago March, 2017. Sarah has loved fashion her whole life, and spent many years trying to convince others her taste is “exquisite” and not “expensive.” She has visions of outfits based on mood and vividly dreams in color. She holds a marketing degree from Santa Clara University and her Masters in journalism from DePaul University.


    Lucas Ward (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucaslward/): Founder @ Kin Insurance (https://www.kin.com/)

    Kin is an InsureTech startup revolutionizing the $100B Property Insurance industry by using data and technology to streamline the process from application to claims. Kin is Lucas’ 3rd startup and has received $4M in funding. His first business, Fundspire, was acquired in 2012


    The Space:

    We will be hosting this event at MakeOffices in River North. The location will be able to comfortably seat approximately 150 attendees and is located directly across the street from the Merchandise Mart.

    Beer, Wine, and Soda will be served.

    Event Hosted & Moderated By:

    VisualFizz (http://www.visualfizz.com/): Chicago's experiential and digital marketing agency. Connecting Emotions + Experiences Back to Digital Marketing.

    Our Space Sponsor:

    MakeOffices (http://makeoffices.com/): Delivering turnkey, affordable coworking and shared office space to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Chicago, Washington DC, and Philly. Book a Tour Today!

    Our Community Sponsors Include:

    IN ORDER TO ATTEND, PLEASE SIGN UP TO THE EVENT HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/entrepreneurship-the-growth-of-something-great-panel-networking-tickets-39705824189

  • VisualFizz Talks for the Greater Good Series: Poverty & Homelessness

    MakeOffices at Magnificent Mile

    Please click here for the official Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/visualfizz-talks-for-the-greater-good-series-poverty-homelessness-tickets-36277424754) page.

    VisualFizz Talks for the Greater Good Series: Poverty and Homelessness

    This Event’s Theme: Marketing For the Greater Good: How To Put A Dent on Poverty & Homelessness

    “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks” -Jeff Hammerbacher, one of Facebook’s first 100 employees


    Poverty and Homelessness Rates Remain HighGoals: Help Fight Poverty and Homelessness, starting in our local communities.

    What Actions Can We Take In Our Communities to Combat These Social Issues?

    Summary: Marketers and Entreprenuers are smart people. They have a deep understanding of the way people think and are able to sway opinions, sell items to those who didn't even know they needed them, and expose truths about the world.

    We know that the brains of marketers and entrepreneurs are hard-wired to solve old problems in new, innovative, and creative ways. We know that you have a day job, which does not always leave a lot of time to devote towards volunteering to make your community a better place. We also know that each of us brings a unique set of skills, experiences, and ideas to the table, and we think there's a great opportunity to put those experiences to good use. The purpose of VisualFizz (http://www.visualfizz.com/)Talks For The Greater Good Series is to better utilize the incredibly smart and savvy brains of marketers and entrepreneurs for the greater good of our communities.

    That's why we're inviting a limited number of innovative and intelligent minds to discuss and analyze the current state of Poverty and Homelessness in our community and the deeper repercussions at hand, then put their heads together to do what entrepreneurs and marketers do best - find tangible ways to solve real problems. Whether it’s starting small in our local neighborhoods or on a national scale, we want to know: how can marketers use their unique experiences to make a difference?

    What To Expect:

    5:30-6:15pm: Networking

    6:15 - 7:00pm: Small group breakout and brainstorm discussions

    7:00 - 8pm: Presentation of group solutions, large group discussion on soutions presented

    We'll start with a small breakout session to discuss the current state of the topic, important questions, problems, variables, and finally, solutions. After the small breakout sessions and brainstorm, we will reconvene as a group for an outcome-focused discussion.

    If a plausible and accomplishable solution is discovered, 100% of ticket proceeds will go towards taking immediate action to help improve the current state of the problem(s) in our Chicago communities.

    Again, this event will be limited to 20-30 people. The focus of the event is to create real and meaningful connections. NO forced elevator pitches, no pitching your latest startup or autobiography.

    We will serve beer, wine, and a non-alcoholic option.

    We look forward to seeing you!

    -The VisualFizz Team

    This event is sponsored by:


    Furnished, move-in ready workspaces, all-inclusive amenities (fast WiFi, free coffee & beer, 24/7 access), organic networking opportunities. It's everything you need to grow your business.

    Check out their Chicago Locations here: Make Offices (https://makeoffices.com/locations/)


    We understand that to inspire a marketing campaign that evokes emotion and meaningful interactions, we need to be submerged in our globally driven world.

    Visit the VisualFizz website here: VisualFizz (http://visualfizz.com/)

    Please click here for the official Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/visualfizz-talks-for-the-greater-good-series-poverty-homelessness-tickets-36277424754) page.

  • Utilizing User Experience To Solve Pain Points in Our Lives

    MakeOffices at Magnificent Mile

    In order to attend, you have to sign up to the event here (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/utilizing-user-experience-to-solve-pain-points-in-our-lives-tickets-34551933764).

    We live in a world with a lot of beautiful design and a lot of crappy design.

    Whether it’s navigating a website, driving through city streets, or walking through a newly built home, design plays a fundamental role in almost everything that we see and do.
    User Experience (UX) can be defined as every aspect of the user’s interaction with a product, service, or company when interacting with a specific design. Bad User Experience sucks.

    This event will pinpoint how to Utilize User Experience To Solve Pain Points in Our Lives. Our topics of conversation will include a wide variety of questions including Web/Mobile Design, Future Trends, Urban Design, Connectivity of Design, and more…

    We will hold a panel discussion with 4 panel experts on June 6th at 5:30-8:30.

    Schedule will be as follows:

    General Networking & Drinks
    Panel Discussion & Q/A
    General Networking & Drinks

    In order to attend, you must sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/utilizing-user-experience-to-solve-pain-points-in-our-lives-tickets-34551933764

    Panel Experts include:

    Scott Kitun- CEO of Technori (http://www.technori.com/)

    -Scott is the CEO and host of the Technori Startup Showcase and the weekly WGN Radio show titled, Technori LIVE. Technori Meetup is a group of impassioned entrepreneurs, developers, designers, tech companies, investors and general tech enthusiasts who have a deep love for Chicago and who want to see our emerging tech community flourish.

    Beckie O’Connor- Partner & Digital Creative Director of Convier Collective (http://www.conviercollective.com/)

    -With over a decade of Design and Art Director experience, Beckie lives & breathes Design. She is currently the partner and digital creative director of Convier Collective. Convier Collective takes its name from the French word *convier* meaning to invite or suggest, because they are all about coming together to collaborate as a team, creating strong messages and inviting an audience to connect with brands.

    Billy Sweetman- Product Designer at Headway (http://www.headway.io/)

    Billy is a product designer at Headway. He works on the design team, guiding clients through Compass and bringing products to fruition with visual design. Compass helps mitigate risk of starting a new product or feature, by understanding & empathizing with your customers to make better business decisions.

    Portfolio (http://sweetdesignman.co/)

    Amber Vasquez- Senior UX Designer at Eight Bit Studios (http://eightbitstudios.com/)

    Amber is a passionate UXD strategist with a love of leading teams and developing new processes. She works at Eight Bit Studios, a smart, fun, rowdy, team of pixel-slingers from the Midwest, crushin’ it for brands on their mobile and web initiatives.

    Portfolio (https://ambersvasquez.com/)

    This event is sponsored by:


    Furnished, move-in ready workspaces, all-inclusive amenities (fast WiFi, free coffee & beer, 24/7 access), organic networking opportunities. It's everything you need to grow your business.

    Check out their Chicago Locations here: Make Offices (https://makeoffices.com/locations/)


    We are a team of experienced marketing strategists/experts/entrepreneurs who have the self-driven know-how and the marketing expertise necessary to push boundaries, bend rules, and create unforgettable brand experiences.

    We understand that to inspire a marketing campaign that evokes emotion and meaningful interactions, we need to be submerged in our globally driven world.

    In order to attend, you have to sign up to the event here (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/utilizing-user-experience-to-solve-pain-points-in-our-lives-tickets-34551933764).

  • Let's Have a Sales Conversation: Identifying and Solving Sales Questions

    Hello everyone,

    Hope you are all doing well on these beautiful summer days! I just wanted to let you know that we will be having a speaker join us for another great event with Startup Evanston Meetup group.

    Mary Dombrowski is a Sales and Business Development Consultant with over 25 years of experience from corporate, start up, and entrepreneurial environments. After years of working in marketing and in support of sales teams, she developed her own expertise in sales and business development through starting her own business and sales, as a sales person for a pre-eminent business coaching company, and now as a sales and business development consultant. Mary has personally sold multiple millions of dollars in programs and services for herself and her clients. It is a personal passion to teach others how to effectively lead sales conversations and grow their own businesses.

    At its core, a sales conversation is helping someone come to a decision about identifying and solving a current problem. In our excitement to close a sale, however, oftentimes we start rattling off the list of all the services we can provide and how we can help a person or an organization which sends our prospect into a tailspin of options without context. They become confused about what is the right solution, and a confused mind never buys. In this workshop, you will learn the art of asking questions and uncovering needs in order to position yourself as the solution, as well as how to uncover and address common objections. Bring your real-life examples of sales that didn't close, and we'll discuss a different approach.


    · Become more confident and authoritative in your sales conversations.

    · Learn how to close more sales, more effectively by letting prospective clients articulate their needs allowing you to position your services accordingly.

    · Stop wasting time with prospects who aren't ready to buy. Learn the questions to ask to determine whether you have a qualified prospect, and whether that prospect is the decision maker.

    · Learn strategies to get in front of more prospects (we won't be talking about content marketing or online marketing - this is for people doing one-on-one sales conversations) and position yourself as a leader in your industry.

    Cost: $5 per person

    Date: Tuesday, September 15 at 6:30-8:15 (Presentation will start promptly at 6:45pm)

  • An Intro to Git: 2 Sessions About The In's and Out's Of Using a Repository

    Completely unfamiliar with git?
    Want to brush up on git for your next idea?

    Elliott Post, founder and lead developer of Ellytronic Media, will be teaching a 2 session seminar on git, the powerful repository tool used for countless of projects.

    The seminar covers setting up git, learning how repositories work, working alone in a git repository, and working with others in a git repository. Attendees should bring their own laptop to all seminar sessions.

    Seminar dates are as follows:

    Tuesday, August 4th 7-8:30pm

    Wednesday, August 5th 7-8:30pm

    The seminars build upon skills learned in the previous session. By the end of the two days, attendees will be branching, cloning, and committing files to their own repositories.

    In order to create quality content and provide excellent training, we do ask for a $95 dollar admission fee. This one time fee will cover both sessions.

    For any questions about material or details, please email Joshua Lustig at