ACG Chicago Joins 30+ Organizations to Celebrate Growth at The Entrepreneurship Bash

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Accelerators, incubators, and key advisers join angel, venture capital, and private equity investors and gather with entrepreneurs and executives driving sustainable innovative growth in Chicago.

The Founders Panel of Successful Entrepreneurs
...featuring the “Founders’ Panel” with four world class company founders [who] started from scratch & blazed a trail to over $100 million successes.

Chicago is now ranked as one of the United States’ and world’s most successful start-up cities. In addition to big names like Orbitz, CareerBuilder, and Groupon, Chicago continues to turn out hundreds of successful and innovative start-ups each year by maintaining a pace of a new company every day or two. On November 6th the Association for Corporate Growth of Chicago is proud to combine efforts with over thirty co-hosting organizations for the 4th Annual Entrepreneurship Bash at the Galleria Marchetti. The bash will be a night of networking for entrepreneurs, connectors, and support organizations featuring a “Founders’ Panel” with four world class company founders for inspiration. Mahendra Vora, Ken Hunt, Rishi Shah, and Patrick Spain all started from scratch & blazed a trail to over $100 million successes.

T. Kendall “Ken” Hunt is the founder, chair, and CEO of VASCO Data Security International, Inc. VASCO is an international developer and provider of strong authentication products to protect users conducting online transactions and currently does business in over 110 countries. Prior to founding VASCO in 1984, Hunt served as president and CEO at several high-tech companies including Secured Services, Inc., AOS-Hagenuk B.V., and Deltak, Inc. He is the chair of the Midwest Council of TechAmerica and the former president of the Belgian Business Club of Chicago. Hunt currently sits on several university advisory boards including the President’s Council at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Miami. He also serves on the advisory board of the Posse Foundation, which provides full college scholarships to urban, minority youth.

Rishi Shah, CEO and Founder of ContextMedia, has been an entrepreneur since birth. At the age of 12, he established his own home computer consulting firm, which was later acquired by Best Buy. He founded ContextMedia in 2006 to help deliver contextually relevant media services to patients with chronic diseases. In addition to his duties at ContextMedia, Rishi advises several early-stage companies, and in 2009, he was recognized by Crain’s 40-Under-40. He has also started several non-profit initiatives, including the Urban-Suburban Domestic Exchange Initiative, a program sponsored by the Gates Foundation to facilitate cross-school interaction. An Oakbrook, Ill.-native, Rishi is an avid fan of the Chicago Bulls, ancient Indian philosophy and new media.

Patrick Spain is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded four Web-based companies. Co-founder and long-time chairman and CEO of Hoover’s, Inc., Spain led the company from a small book publisher in 1992 to a profitable, publicly traded online business information services company with $31 million in revenue in 2001 with a sale to D&B in 2003 for $119 million. Spain was also the founder, chairman and CEO of HighBeam Research, which he started in 2002 and sold to Cengage Learning in December, 2008. He also co-founded and serves as executive chairman of Newser, a news filtering and summarization service with an audience of over three million readers each month. He founded his current start-up, First Stop Health, because of his own unsatisfactory experience with the healthcare system and his desire to improve that experience for others. He sits on the boards of several public, private, and not-for-profit organizations.

Mahendra Vora is the founder and Managing Director of Vora Ventures, a unique technology holding group in Cincinnati region; Mr. Vora brings 22+ years of experience as an information technology executive and dynamic motivator. He has helped co-found and sell multiple successful technology ventures to Fortune 500 companies including Intelliseek (now Nielsen Buzzmetrics), SecureIT (now part of VeriSign) and Pioneer Systems (now part of Unisys). Mr. Vora is also the founder and creator of the Vora Technology Park, one of the most advanced technology parks in the country.

Craig Miller, CEO of ACG Chicago, noted “The 2013 Entrepreneurship Bash continues to bridge the organizations, networks, professions and companies in the Chicago area. We recently published the backgrounds of the 32 co-hosts at the country’s largest private equity conference a couple weeks ago and will continue to work with these and other will organizations to connect key individuals across sectors and continue to spur the growth of Chicago’s flourishing start-up ecosystem.” For more information about the Entrepreneurship Bash or about other networking forums presented throughout the year, call 877-224-6389.

About ACG Chicago
ACG Chicago is the premier association of leading authorities on corporate growth. As the largest regional network in the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), ACG Chicago boasts a membership of 1000 foremost professionals who form a diverse organization and knowledgeable network of corporate executives, capital sources, and key advisors. ACG Chicago focuses on the needs of these professionals to build unparalleled opportunities for networking, deal-making, personal growth, and professional development. Visit or call 877-224-6389 for more information.

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Craig Miller
ACG Chicago
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