Chicago at SXSW: #ChicagoMade Sendoff Party

On March 7, various Chicago-based companies on their way to this year’s SXSW festival came together for a memorable send off and networking event. Hosted by General Assembly and ChicagoMade, the event brought together Chicago creators and innovators who are collectively thriving to put Chicago on the map as a booming industry for music, technology and business. Taking place at 1871, a local business and technology startup incubator, the event featured presenters from successful Chicago-based companies and drinks provided by Koval and Vice District Brewing.


The event was hosted by Fabian Elliott, founder of Black Tech Mecca, a local organization that aims to unite African-Americans in the technology industry in Chicago and ultimately all over the world. Among the speakers were Bucketfeet CEO and co-founder Raaja Nemani, who stressed the importance of forging global partnerships to boost regional visibility. Rianna Lynn, the founder of FoodTrace, a business-to-business software that allows anyone in the food industry to streamline their businesses by connecting them with their customers, vendors and everyone in between. Other notable speakers included Fred Hoch, CEO of the Illinois Technology Association; Scott Wilson, founder of MINIMAL; Tim Tuten, owner of The Hideout; and Nicole Yeary, founder of Ms. Tech.


ChicagoMade is an organization resulting from a collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events (DCASE), World Business Chicago and Choose Chicago, three organizations that came together to empower local innovators and entrepreneurs in the Windy City. Every year, the organization brings a community of entrepreneurs and artists to SXSW. Beginning in 2014, ChicagoMade hosts a music showcase as well as a trade show at the Austin-based festival, which has included Chance the Rapper, Probcause and The Hood Internet. This year the showcase will boast performers such as Taylor Bennett, Rhymefest, Saba, Mick Jenkins and more. There will also be a ChicagoMade Lounge, an all-day event featuring speakers from local companies and organizations, including Josh Chicoine of CIMMfest and Martin Atkins.

Make sure to keep up with all of the Chicago-based companies and artists at SXSW this week by visiting the ChicagoMade website.



Mooni Salam