Press Release
January 15, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Brings Together Leading Women in Chicago's Tech Start-Up Scene

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined the inaugural meeting of a new “Women Who Launch” series, which brings together leading women in Chicago’s tech start-up community with leading female City officials as part of the administrations’ continuing efforts to create opportunity for Chicago’s booming technology industry.

“Chicago’s technology economy is thriving, creating thousands of jobs and generating interest from around the world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We are seeing unprecedented growth in this key sector, from established international corporations to start-ups designed by Chicagoans. As we continue to work to create opportunity in this dynamic sector, it’s critical for the City to collaborate with everyone involved.”

The inaugural meeting was comprised of female entrepreneurs who own digital start-ups in Chicago and operate out of the co-working center 1871 located in the Merchandise Mart. The entrepreneurs discussed the challenges and opportunities they face with Brenna Berman, the City’s First Deputy Chief Information Officer, and Jaime Rhee, the City’s Chief Procurement Officer. This series will consist of quarterly meetings to maintain a continued dialogue about how the City can help support women-owned digital start-ups.

The launch of this new series comes one week after Mayor Emanuel appointed Chicago’s first ever technology industry diversity council. The Council on Diversity in Technology will work closely with Chicago’s Office of New Americans, as well as ChicagoNEXT, to ensure that their recommendations dovetail closely with the ongoing efforts to make Chicago a welcoming city, as well as ChicagoNEXT’s efforts to attract technology businesses to the city.

Under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, the City of Chicago has fostered diversity in other areas of the City’s business community, through innovative programs run by the Department of Procurement such as the diversity business initiative. These programs allow the government of Chicago to encourage private sector adoption of important public policy objectives, and have resulted in strong growth and positive outcomes for minority business owners throughout the City, as well as the business community as a whole.

 

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Photo Caption: Mayor Emanuel Brings Together Leading Women in Chicago's Tech Startup Scene.

Photo Credit: Brooke Collins - City of Chicago

 

“Women Who Launch”: Connecting with The Women of 1871

Today marks the kickoff meeting of the “Women Who Launch” lunch series. This series involved regular meetings between leading female entrepreneurs housed at Chicago’s thriving co-working center for digital startups, 1871, and the City’s leading female tech official, Brenna Berman, Deputy Chief Information Officer. The goal, following the announcement of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first ever Technology Industry Diversity Council, is to support women in Chicago’s booming tech industry.


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