A panel conversation hosted by Chicago Booth professor Waverly Deutsch on the impact of COVID on small business and entrepreneurship.

5 PM PST | 7 PM CST | 9 AM HKT


Online Webinar
Los Angeles, California

Event Details

Join us for an engaging discussion on the impact of the COVID pandemic on small business and entrepreneurship.

An all-star panel hosted by Chicago Booth professor Waverly Deutsch will examine how small businesses and entrepreneurs have pivoted in reaction to the restrictive and fast-changing business environment brought on by the pandemic. The conversation will also look to the future for small business and entrepreneurs as we begin to recover and return to a new normal in 2021.

We'll have plenty of time for Q&A, so please bring your questions.


No Charge


Register Online

Zoom information will be shared after registration.

Deadline: 1/28/2021

Speaker Profiles

Waverly Deutsch (Moderator)
Clinical Professor and Academic Director of University-Wide Entrepreneurship Content, Chicago Booth

Waverly Deutsch teaches the Global New Venture Challenge class for Chicago Booth's Executive MBA program. She has been a full-time coach for the annual New Venture Challenge, the #1 rated academic entrepreneurship accelerator, since 2002. Waverly Deutsch created Building the New Venture, a unique course on entrepreneurial execution, and taught it for 15 years. In 2004, she was awarded the USASBE Innovative Teaching Pedagogy for the YourCo simulation that parallels the class and allows students to develop and run a mock startup through all phases of early operation. In 2012, she became one of the faculty coaches for the companies in the Polsky Center Summer Accelerator Program. From 2006 to 2009, in conjunction with the University of Chicago's Collegiate Scholars Program, Deutsch pioneered and taught an intensive summer seminar entitled Elements of Entrepreneurship in which promising high school students from the Chicago Public School Systems turned an idea into a business plan in two weeks. In 2015, Deutsch was honored with the Phoenix Faculty award for her contributions to the Booth student community beyond the classroom.

Michael Montagano (Panelist)
CEO, Kitchen United

Michael is the Chief Executive Officer and a Member of the Board of Directors of Kitchen United. Prior to his role as CEO, Michael served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for the company, where he led capital formation initiatives securing institutional financing partners, Google Ventures, Fidelity Investments, and G Squared, as well as the major strategic partners, RXR Realty, DivcoWest, and Rich's Food Products.

Michael is a seasoned executive with extensive experience raising institutional funding, scaling and achieving exits for venture-backed companies. His background with capital markets range from institutional equity (VC and PE) and debt financings to liquidity events through M&A and IPOs. Most recently, he shepherded PowerFlex Systems from seed-stage to acquisition by a Fortune Global 100, Electricite de France (ENXTPA:EDF). Steeped in the food-tech space, Michael previously helped thousands of restaurants enhance their digital presence and online ordering capacity through an innovative venture-backed tech solution.

Prior to his 10 years leading venture-backed companies, Michael practiced M&A and corporate finance law for one of the world's 50 largest law firms, Faegre Drinker LLP (then Baker & Daniels, LLP), working primarily with large private equity firms. Additionally, he currently sits on the Board of Directors for Dog Haus World Wide, one of the country's fastest-growing national restaurant chains.

He received his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and his Juris Doctorate from Indiana University's McKinney School of Law.

Michael grew up in a restaurant family, anchored by an Italian restaurant and a neighborhood grocery store and butchery founded by his grandparents. Michael resides in Pasadena, California with his wife, Dr. Bethany Montagano, and son, Joey, a proud Polytechnic Panther.

Jill James (Panelist)
CEO, Sif Industries

Jill is a coach for self-funded, first-time womxn founders to put them in a fast lane to CEO success. A former banker, financial planner, MBA, and start-up COO. Jill hopes to advise the next generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners to self-sustain.

Kimberly Marsh (Panelist)
Co-Founder and COO, Ezza

Kim is the Chief Operating Officer of Ezza Nails, a scalable, tech-enabled, nail care experience that caters to busy working professional women. Kim and her cofounder started the business while at Booth and were a top finisher in the New Venture Challenge in 2017. Since then, they've launched three locations in Chicago with over 1000 members. Prior to business school, Kim worked in management at Teach For America and was the Executive Director for an education non-profit start-up. Kim obtained a BA from Yale University in history and had concentrations in entrepreneurship and finance during her MBA at Chicago Booth.


Michael Vermillion, '90