Jai Das (Speaker)
Managing Director, SAP Ventures
Jai is looking for the next-generation of iconic start-ups which are focused on Cloud computing, Analytics, Digital Media and Mobility and which are leveraging trends like "Big-data", "Consumerization of IT" and "Social-local-mobile Internet". He also leads SAP Ventures' investment activities in India where he is looking for growth stage private companies that are building on the proliferation of mobile-internet savvy Indian consumers and that are building world-class enterprise applications to be delivered globally from India via the cloud.
He spent seven years designing and building software applications as a lead architect and as a product manager at Oracle and at several start-ups. He was also an entrepreneur before deciding to focus on investing in high-growth technology start-ups. Prior to SAP Ventures, Jai worked at two corporate ventures including Intel Capital and Agilent Ventures (formerly part of Hewlett-Packard). He was also a Principal at MVC Capital, a Draper Fisher Jurvetson affiliated late-stage venture fund.
He received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he was awarded the George Hay Brown Prize for academic excellence. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Brown University.
John S. Evarts (Speaker)
CFO & COO, Mediafly
John is the CFO & COO of Mediafly, a technology company providing cloud-based, mixed media delivery solutions to a diverse range of mobile & smart devices. Since joining the technology start-up in March 2010, John has provided strategic, financial and operational leadership resulting in rapid expansion in revenue, Fortune 100 client engagements and global staffing.
Prior to Mediafly, John served as CFO, Director, and Vice President for organizations in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, successfully transforming organizations across a broad range of industries using a friendly and disciplined leadership style.
A graduate of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (XP 74), John enjoys returning to the University of Chicago as invited panelist and Executive MBA recruiter. He has also served as three-time judge for the annual MBA LEADership Case Challenge, two-time judge for the Chicago Booth Global New Venture Challenge, Chicago Booth INFocus mock interviewer, EMBA Executive-On-Call and two-time speaker for the EMBA Breakfast Series. John received his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Miami University and lives in Deerfield, IL.
Jon Morris (Speaker)
Founder and CEO, Rise Interactive
Jon Morris is the founder and CEO of Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency in Chicago which specializes in digital media and analytics. Morris started Rise Interactive as a self-funded company with $10,000, transforming the agency into a multi-million dollar business in eight years. Under Morris' leadership, Rise Interactive has experienced tremendous growth, receiving recognition from the City of Chicago, Inc. Magazine, Five Elms Capital, Fortune Magazine, and The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).
Before founding Rise Interactive, he managed the Internet marketing department for Ketchum Directory Advertising where he received three industry excellence awards from the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association. Before that, Morris founded Net Traffic, which was recognized by ChannelSeven.com as one of the top interactive agencies in the U.S.
As an emerging leader in the digital marketing industry, Morris regularly shares his expertise as a guest speaker. He has presented on main stages, workshops, and webinars for organizations such as Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Search Engine Strategies (SES), American Marketing Association (Chicago Chapter), The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, Online Marketing Summit, iStrategy, and Vistage.
Morris is also a regular columnist for Inc.com. In his column Rise Above It, Morris writes about small business, management issues and digital marketing.
Morris earned an MBA with high honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor's degree from Kenyon College.
Vijay Talwar (Speaker)
President & General Manager of International, Blue Nile
Since April 2012, Vijay Talwar has served as President and General Manager of International at Blue Nile. He served as Interim Chief Executive Officer at Blue Nile from November 2011 to April 2012 and Senior Vice President and General Manager of International from August 2010 to November 2011. From November 2010 to August 2011, he also served as Interim Chief Financial Officer at Blue Nile.
From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Talwar served as the Chief Executive Officer of the William J. Clinton Foundation India, a global 501c(3) nongovernmental organization established to provide healthcare and sustainability programs across India and South Asia.
From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Talwar served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Central Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Nike, Inc., the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Talwar served in various Strategy, Finance and Business Development roles at Nike.
Prior to Nike, Mr. Talwar was a Case Team Leader and Consultant at Bain & Company, a management consulting firm; a Special Projects Manager, Corporate Finance and Senior Internal Auditor at Kellogg Company, a leading producer of cereal and convenience foods; and a Tax Consultant and Audit Assistant at Deloitte & Touche, an accounting firm. Mr. Talwar received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1999.
Eric Weinheimer (Speaker)
President & CEO, The Cara Program
Since 1996, Eric has been the President and CEO of The Cara Program, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive training, job placement, and support services to individuals who are homeless and struggling in poverty. Under Eric's leadership, The Cara Program has created and secured over 4,000 transitional and permanent jobs for Cara graduates. Also, The Cara Program founded and established two leading social enterprises – Cleanslate Chicago and 180 Properties (a joint venture with Mercy Housing Lakefront) -- to generate revenue and provide employment opportunities and on-the-job training to individuals who have significant obstacles to employment, including recent incarceration.
Eric earned a B.S. from Boston College and an MBA. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Service. Eric was selected as a member of the Emerging Leaders Program for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Class of 2011. Eric was also selected as a Chicago Community Trust Fellow for 2013.
Eric was recently appointed by Governor Quinn to the Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Task Force. He serves on the Advisory Board for the Social Enterprise Initiative at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Streetwise, the Social Enterprise Alliance, Chicago Chapter and the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation.