CHICAGO, IL - In the heart of Chicago's Fulton Market District, the Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food has risen as the crowning jewel of the region's venture and startup ecosystem. With a national reputation to its credit, the summit brings together a diverse and dynamic cohort of over 1000 stakeholders spanning investors, founders, innovators, and corporate executives for three insightful days of discussion and networking.
The event, spearheaded by World Business Chicago, casts a spotlight on the burgeoning domain of the future of food, an area witnessing rapid evolution and drawing increasing global interest. Mayor Lightfoot, echoing the sentiment of the summit, accentuated the unyielding spirit of Chicago's entrepreneurial landscape, expressing faith in the city’s steadfast dedication to nurturing startups and forging it as a nexus for food innovation and investment.
Furthermore, in a revelation by the World Business Chicago Research Center, Chicago has been heralded not merely as a significant metropolitan for food production but as the preeminent hub for food bioengineering and production in the U.S. Astoundingly, 60% of Chicago's startups, since the start of 2022, have ventured into trailblazing food products via biotechnology.
Mark Tebbe, the Innovation and Venture Council Chair of World Business Chicago, reminisced about the journey from the inaugural summit in 2014 to its current status as a global magnet attracting investors to Chicago's ample investment prospects.
This year’s Chicago Venture Summit is particularly noteworthy, registering over 1000 participants representing more than 450 distinct entities including corporations, startups, universities, and more. The summit boasts an impressive startup portfolio, with significant representation from founders of color and female founders. The global allure of the Chicago Venture Summit series is evident with the high influx of international startups.
In terms of content, the Chicago Venture Summit, Future of Food 2023, promises rich discussions and insights, with keynotes from industry giants such as Ferrero, Quaker Foods, and Ajinomoto. The agenda also features thematic panels on startups, markets, and corporate innovation, interspersed with special remarks and partner-led events.
The overarching theme of inclusivity and diversity was echoed by Michael Fassnacht, CEO & President of World Business Chicago, who celebrated the summit's unwavering commitment to these values, underscoring the strategic advantage of cultivating diverse perspectives to spur innovation.
The summit's success, undeniably, is attributed to the generous support of its sponsors and partners, a testament to Chicago's robust collaborative ecosystem. Their commitment to driving growth in the food and agriculture sector is palpable, as demonstrated by their enthusiastic testimonials. BMO, Cleveland Avenue, Cooley, Edelman, Ferrero, Mars Wrigley, Microsoft, Quakers Foods North America, and Shapack have been instrumental in turning this event into the pinnacle of food innovation.
As the Chicago Venture Summit convenes at 167 Green for the fourth time since 2021, the venue stands as an emblem of its pivotal location and state-of-the-art design, accommodating various innovative companies.
In alignment with World Business Chicago's mission, the summit also channels its proceeds towards philanthropic causes, supporting initiatives like Don's Chicago Dream, the Greater Chatham Initiative, and La Casa Norte.
The Chicago Venture Summit Future-of-Food 2023, thus, is not just a conference; it's a manifestation of Chicago's leadership, diversity, innovation, and commitment to a brighter, inclusive future in the realm of food.