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This article was published on July 12, 2011

5 Reasons You Should Attend Techweek in Chicago

5 Reasons You Should Attend Techweek in Chicago
Hermione Way
Story by

Hermione Way

Founder & Techfluff.TV. Loves social media, video on the Internet. Loves travel & pickled onions Founder & Techfluff.TV. Loves social media, video on the Internet. Loves travel & pickled onions

As the world embraces the Internet revolution, enthusiasts will soon be celebrating in Chicago at Techweek. From the 22-29th July, Techweek will be the biggest technology conference Chicago has ever seen.

The 4-day conference and 4-day expo will take place at Merchandise Mart, Chicago’s largest downtown conference hall. The event is backed by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and will include over 150 speakers across 60 panels and 10 tracks. These 10 tracks cut across every vertical of technology innovation.

There are lots of great technology conferences all over the world, so ‘why is Techweek special’?

The People

Chicago’s Techweek includes a great list of speakers like Craigslist’s founder Craig Newmark, Aneesh Chopra, the CTO of the United States and Jason Fried, the founder and CEO of 37signals as well as Jory Des Jardins co-founder of BlogHer. You can see the full list of speakers here.

The organizers are expecting 2500-3000 other delegates you’ll be able to network with, not just startups and VC’s but a mix of CEOs and professionals from big corporations as well.

The Startups

Chicago’s tech scene is booming according to Techweek’s president and co-founder Jonathan Pasky who says 2010 was a great year for Chicago technology, especially in the startup, Web 2.0 space.

“Chicago is definitely growing as a tech community — the degrees of separation are coming down,” Pasky said. That’s why (startups) have been able to grow as much as they have… In Chicago, it’s been harder in the past to reach them, and that’s why we’ve seen companies leave…Now startups are putting down roots because it’s become a lot easier to make those connections…In the last year, we’ve built a good network around Chicago, so we’re tapped into the tech community and 98 percent of them are supporting this.”

-Techweek’s president and co-founder Jonathan Pasky

Startups will get to compete, launch and demo at the midVentures LAUNCH startup competition and conference which is another conference  being held within Techweek that will be held on Monday July 25th.

The Location

Set on the backdrop of the stunning great lakes, Chicago is the largest city in Illinois and is home to some of the world’s best jazz clubs. There are parties planned every night of Techweek and event partners are putting on an array of fantastic events to get your tech party on.

About The Merchandise Mart

The TechWeek Conference and Expo will take place in The Merchandise Mart from Friday, July 22, 2011, to Monday, July 25, 2011. The Merchandise Mart is the world’s largest commercial building, wholesale design center and one of Chicago’s premier international business locations. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square ft., the Mart spans two city blocks and rises 25 stories.

Alex and Hermione

Both Alex Wilhem, our Midwest Editor and myself will be hosting panels at the conference. I’ll be hosting a panel on Saturday at 9:30am on Women in Social Media with Shira Lazar, creator, executive producer and host of CBS Interactive show What’s Trending and Jill Fletcher, Social Media and Communications Manager at Virgin America.

Alex will be hosting a panel on Digital Reputation: Trust, Reviews, Credibility with Mark Britton, founder and CEO of Avvo, Noah Lang, Head of Business Development at and Melissa Marchwick, Chief Brand Officer at

The Discount

We want you there! So why not come and join in the fun- The Next Web readers will receive 15% discount if you use this link here to sign up- Your discount code is: tw11_TNW


We just heard Valley VC Dave McClure of 500Startups and Geeks on a Plane will be keynoting to all the startups at Techweek on Monday.