Developing an Entrepreneurial Venture That Succeeds with Kevin Willer

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Kevin Willer Can you imagine what it would be like to start at Google in 2000 (it launched in 1998) and be instrumental in the company’s advancement? Kevin Willer can. He worked for Google until 2011, when he became a partner in New World Ventures and president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. In this CareerCast, Kevin will share his vision, lessons learned, and insights on how to identify and enable high-potential entrepreneurs to build the next generation of high-growth companies.

Aired September 16, 2011

Kevin Willer is the president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC). In this role, he leads the CEC’s efforts to identify and enable high-potential entrepreneurs to build the next generation of high-growth companies in the Chicago area. He is also a partner in New World Ventures.

Prior to the CEC, Kevin cofounded the Google Chicago office in late 2000. In his 10-plus years with Google, Kevin helped grow this office to more than 400 professionals. In his initial business development role, he created partnerships with large marketers and agencies including Dell, United Airlines, Sears, State Farm, Omnicom, and Publicis. From 2005 to 2011, Kevin led the telecom industry practice, where his teams managed Google’s marketing partnerships with several of the largest telecommunications corporations, including AT&T, Sprint, and Motorola. In his additional role as head of office, Kevin led the civic-development efforts for Google’s Chicago office. Kevin formed partnerships with various stakeholders including city and state governments, universities, nonprofits, industry associations, and entrepreneurial organizations. Prior to Google, Kevin held sales and business-development positions at CMGI, an early internet incubator, and US Robotics, the pioneer in modem technology started in Chicago.

Kevin is actively involved in several civic and charitable organizations. He is a director of the Economic Club of Chicago and a trustee of his alma mater, Loyola Academy High School. He is a member of the 2010 Class of Emerging Leaders at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and served on Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Council of Technology Advisors. Kevin also serves on the boards of Children’s Memorial Hospital, WHITIA, World Sport Chicago, Urban Students Empowered, the Illinois Technology Association, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Kevin earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, and studied at the London School of Economics.

Kevin, his wife, Victoria, and their children, Jacqueline and Max, reside in Chicago.

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