At CEO (Boardroom Media) we track over 1,000,000 startups and over 5,000,000 people who hold key positions in these companies. We use this directory of startups to highlight top employees, founders and board members we think deserve more appreciation than they are currently getting.
This list showcases the top Chicago based CEO’ operating in the B2B space. If you think a CEO’ is missing from this list, feel free to contact our editor on [email protected].
The individuals on this list have been included because of exceptional performance in one of the following categories:
- Innovation – Operating as a key part in an extremely innovative business or startup.
- Growth – Operating as a key figure in the growth and upscale of a market leading business or startup.
- Management – Showing exceptional management skills.
- Societal impact – Putting their business on the map for their positive societal or environmental impact.
Our Data – We source our data from OSINT (open source intelligence) and public directories such as Crunchbase, SemRush and many more. The data from these sources should be treated with a degree of caution and verified yourself.
CoFounder and CEO of Logik.io
Chris leads our strategic sales & customer success teams. Chris brings ten years of experience successfully deploying BigMachines solutions to realize business process improvements for our customers. He comes to BigMachines from Case Corporation where he was Business Unit Manager for two global business units. He began his career at Case’s Technology Center for Advanced Manufacturing, where he directed productivity initiatives that included the selection and procurement of new technologies and manufacturing equipment. Chris brings extensive experience in designing, manufacturing, selecting and procuring manufactured products and holds two design patents. Chris earned a BS and MS in engineering from MIT and was awarded a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship at MIT.
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About Logik.io: Logik.io is a next generation configuration technology company focused on improving the selling capabilities of the customers.
CEO of MarketTime
Happ brings decades of experience as an entrepreneur and B2B marketplace leader. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of sales, marketing, and executive leadership for MarketTime and its software solutions uniting manufacturers, sales teams and retailers in the gift, home, toy, apparel and accessories, housewares and outdoor living industries. Happ joins MarketTime with a successful track record of building innovative technology companies from the ground up. He is a proven entrepreneur having built two highly successful startups, raising venture funding, and formulating an exit to a public global B2B marketplace. Along the way, he cultivated experience developing SaaS platforms and building large-scale B2B networks. Happ has previously served as co-founder and investor in Goby, a disrupter in the ESG and FinTech industries, where he built the first cloud-based SaaS platform as a service model in its space, raised multiple rounds of financing, and built a customer base to include Fortune 500 companies. As co-founder of blueSolutions, which was acquired by Hubwoo in 2008, he acted as CEO and chief revenue officer, growing the business while eventually exiting to the leading public global petrochemical marketplace. At Ariba (ARBA), he worked closely with Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi in building the world’s largest B2B network, Ariba Network, with 195 million items and a $50 billion annual spend. While in leadership at Empirian he built a SaaS offering connecting pharmacies with patients to lower prescription drug costs. And while serving at PwC he built the world’s largest B2B vertical, Covisint, with 85,000 companies and 500,000 users.
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About Empirian Health, MarketTime, ReadySpaces, Rise Buildings: MarketTime provides a global b2b wholesale marketplace and applications for sellers and buyers.
Founder & CEO of CDM Media
Follow Glenn Willis:
About CDM Media: CDM Media is leading B2B technology marketing and media firm that specializes in engagement with C-level executives.
Founder and CEO of TechNexus Venture Collaborative
Entrepreneur and community builder. Founder of [TechNexus](http://www.technexus.com), a venture collaborative where more than 200 companies have grown, co-founder of an inner-city [charter school](http://chicagotechacademy.org), and founder of a tech industry [trade association](http://illinoistech.org) for more than 700 member companies. Active advisor and board member of several organizations.
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About TechNexus Venture Collaborative: TechNexus Venture Collaborative is a venture capital firm that provides early-stage funding, startup programs, and strategic capital.
Co-Founder, CEO of 2ndKitchen
Nick is a management consultant, graphic designer, and creative strategist in San Francisco, CA. Nick has works at the Strategy and Operations arm of Deloitte Consulting and is the founder and chief designer of LLOBE Design, one of the fastest growing design agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nick also founded Side/Project/SF, a community that links ambitious entrepreneurs through groundbreaking side-projects.
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About 2ndKitchen, LLOBE: 2ndKitchen enables businesses without a kitchen to serve food seamlessly using a custom menu from nearby restaurants.
CEO & Co-Founder of Five to Nine
Jasmine Shells is the CEO and Co-Founder of Five to Nine. Jasmine moved to Chicago after college and noticed meeting new people and finding the go-to spots in the city was hard. She found this was the same situation for most transplants and led her to create a social community for millennial professionals embarking on a new journey. Five to Nine believes in building a strong community over shared experiences. The company currently has over 2000 members and is continuing to grow with their action-packed member socials and events. Jasmine and her company have been featured in TED, Chicago Inno, the Chicago Tribune, Technori and Bootstrapping in America. Jasmine is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame and loves to dance salsa and previously lived in Spain. In addition to her passion for connecting people, she loves to inspire others to create their own opportunities and take the leap.
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About Five to Nine: Five to Nine manages & evaluates virtual event programming so you can focus on building the employee experience.
CEO & Founder of Tada Cognitive Solutions also referred to as TadaNow
Guha is Chairman of CGN Global with over 20 years of experience managing complex business challenges and defining unique approaches for strategy and collaborating with other leaders to drive strategic transformational change within global firms.
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About CGN Global, Tada Cognitive Solutions also referred to as TadaNow: TadaNow leads Supply Chain Software Market providing real-time E2E visibility, collaboration & orchestration using digital twin technology.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mondopoint
Prior to founding Mondopoint, Jim worked for BD Diagnostics where he was a Diagnostic Account Executive. Jim managed the sales strategy for a portfolio of consumables and capital equipment instruments across a strategic territory of clinical laboratory departments, including microbiology, molecular, and virology. His sales leadership resulted in the first North American customer for the company’s Kiestra Total Lab Automation Equipment. Jim began his career working for the Medical Products & Services division of Cardinal Health. As he moved through roles of increasing responsibility, he significantly exceeded the goals set forth in each of his positions, which culminated in his being awarded the Cardinal Health Champion’s Club. This achievement represents consistent, exemplary performance over a minimum 6 year period. Jim’s core business philosophy revolves around customer collaboration and consultation to build innovative healthcare solutions. For over 10 years, Jim has been closely involved in the operational efforts at multiple acute care hospitals and reference laboratories to assess thousands of new products and technologies. He has helped these provider organizations understand their supply decisions in the complete context of cost, quality, and outcomes. By modeling competing products’ differentiators and total cost of ownership, Jim has helped many organizations understand the impact their product purchasing decisions have on patient care and the bottom line. Jim holds a B.S. in Marketing from Marquette University.
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About Mondopoint: Mondopoint helps healthcare providers negotiate, monitor, and enforce product performance guarantees with suppliers.
Founder & CEO of Spring
Joe is the Founder & CEO of Spring, the #1 rated financial wellness benefit in the US. He coined the term “financial justice” and gave a TEDxTalk to that end: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azk_ObDWkqk Additionally, he is the author of both “Rogue Finances: The “Un-system” Designed to Help You Become Financially Healthy, Successful, and Awesome” and most recently, “A Brief Discourse on the Definition and Tenets of Financial Justice” He understands the financial challenges and opportunities Americans face each day and he is building a new kind of financial company that strives to be the polar opposite of the entrenched status quo. His perspective is drawn from a variety of experiences including working at Google, teaching middle school math on the West Side of Chicago, and having created a loan underwriting system for the he Capital Good Fund, one of the country’s largest microfinance organizations. He is an avid coffee drinker, a reader, a bibliophile and an angel investor.
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About Inverted Ventures, Spring, The Economic Club of Chicago: Spring provides a holistic, unbiased financial wellness benefit to companies to increase employee recruitment, productivity, and retention.
Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer of Anthem Marketing Solutions
Mr. Keenan has focused on helping clients implement sophisticated, data-driven marketing strategies over the past decade as a principal at Anthem Marketing. He provides cutting-edge thinking to leading clients in the retail, consumer products, food service, online and publishing industries. He has developed tools and methodologies that standardize and streamline analytic approaches to improve speed of deployment and depth of insight for client projects. Prior to Anthem, Mr. Keenan worked as a CRM and Database Marketing strategist for a number of marketing agencies including Leo Burnett and Wunderman, serving clients including Sears, Equifax, Philip Morris, and Citigroup. Earlier, he served as Vice President – Analytic and Client Services for Datawealth, where he helped Sainsbury’s, the second-largest UK grocery retailer, to create an innovative consumer targeting and offer-delivery system based on loyalty-card shopping history. Mr. Keenan also worked as a database marketing consultant for Kestnbaum Consulting, serving clients including Motorola, American Airlines, and Discover Card, and as a portfolio analyst for Citigroup. Mr. Keenan holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s in Math/Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.
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About Anthem Marketing Solutions: Anthem Marketing Solutions creates analytic marketing strategies and develops media marketing concepts for B2B and B2C marketers.
President & CEO of Renaissance Acquisition Holdings
Pierre Fréchette has 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry in North America and Europe. He founded Renaissance in 2010 in partnership with RoundTable Healthcare Partners after leaving his role of President & CEO at Sandoz Canada Inc., a position he held since 2004 when Sandoz, a division of Novartis, acquired Sabex Holdings Inc. from RoundTable. Mr. Fréchette was President & CEO of Sabex at the time of the acquisition by Sandoz. Under Mr. Fréchette’s leadership, Renaissance built a strong portfolio of companies including Confab Laboratories and DPT Laboratories in the contract development and manufacturing segments plus Renaissance Pharma and Prestium Pharma for the commercialization of niche generic pharmaceuticals and mature brands. Mr. Fréchette received his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and his diploma in Business Administration from the University of Sherbrooke.
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About Renaissance Acquisition Holdings: specialty and generics business.
Founder and CEO of Menu3
Follow Viktor Makarskyy:
About Menu3: Menu3 is a software company that develops 3D enabled products and platforms.
CEO & Co-founder of Foodjunky
CEO & Co-founder at foodjunky
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About Foodjunky, NTL Consultants: Foodjunky is an online platform that allows people in small or large groups to order food from restaurants.
CEO & Co-founder of StoryBolt
Nassim Abdi, Co-Founder and CEO of StoryBolt Nassim Abdi is an entrepreneur and educator, dedicated to using the medium of documentary film to raise awareness of critical global issues. As the co-founder of StoryBolt, she set out to provide corporate and academic institutions with access to short documentary films from across the world: the platform offers on-demand streaming of over 3,300+ short films from 112 countries, tackling subjects including mental health, gender equality, food security, and wartime trauma. Most importantly, StoryBolt connects audiences with the filmmakers themselves, initiating vital conversations through live Q&A sessions. The key insights which shaped StoryBolt’s business model were drawn from Nassim’s personal experience. Born and raised in Iran, she studied journalism at the University of Tehran and starred in an internationally acclaimed film, Secret Ballot (Sony Pictures, 2001), which won the Special Director’s Award and the UNICEF Award at the Venice Film Festival and broadly distributed on Netflix, Prime Videos, and many other video platforms. Shortly after the film’s release, Nassim moved to the US as a graduate student, where she was invited to several Q&A sessions related to the film; at the same time, she was studying educational leadership and went on to do a Ph.D. in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland (UMD). She subsequently pursued a career in higher education, teaching courses on women’s studies, alternative education and transnational feminism, at universities including UMD, Purdue University-Fort Wayne and Worcester State University. Nassim has always been driven by a core belief that education is the most powerful force to change the world. Nonetheless, she realized that she needed to innovate a new method of teaching to help audiences engage with stories outside their experience. As a young teacher, Nassim faced the difficulties of conveying the impact of war to American students. When the class failed to connect with her own experience during the Iran-Iraq war, she tried another tactic: screening a short documentary film and inviting the filmmaker for a Q&A session. The reaction from the students was radically different; from that moment on, Nassim resolved to use film as a tool to foster cultural awareness and empathy. Together with her co-founders, she gathered a team of dedicated individuals and launched StoryBolt in 2017. As the company enters its next phase of development, Nassim has become a major spokesperson for the use of social documentaries in education: she is an accomplished public speaker, and has presented at conferences and screenings throughout the US. She has been interviewed on public radio (WBEZ), and is a regular speaker at events run by the Comparative and International Education Society. Based in Chicago, she is a key figure in the city’s film and entrepreneurship scene, and she is committed to helping young people to flourish; she serves as a mentor for the city’s Big Brothers Big Sisters initiative, and is a keen supporter of Launch X, Northwestern University’s young entrepreneurs’ program. StoryBolt started as a resource for academic institutions, but has since expanded to become a powerful tool for corporations to educate and engage their employees. As the CEO of a thriving tech company, Nassim has seen her career take many forms: journalism, acting, teaching, and entrepreneurship. Her vocation, however, remains resolutely the same: to give a voice to underrepresented communities, and to promote radical global change through the power of visual storytelling.
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About StoryBolt: The marketplace of storytellers for employee engagement solutions
Co-Founder & CEO of SpringFour
Under Rochelle’s leadership, SpringFour became a Certified B Corporation, of which only 2,200 such organizations exist worldwide, won the 2015 Promontory Financial Group’s Empowerment Award for Financial Innovation, was a finalist for Google for Entrepreneur’s program for Women Founders and was selected for the WiSTEM program at 1871, Chicago’s Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship and was chosen as the Top Venture for the Points of Light Civic Accelerator Spring 2017 program. SpringFour was one of six fintech companies chosen for the BMO Harris/1871 Fintech Partnership Program and in 2017 was a finalist for the BAI Global Innovation Award for its work with U.S. Bank, Chicago’s Fifty on Fire Award and the Midwest Women in Tech’s Fintech Award. In 2018, SpringFour was named by FinXTEch/Bank Director as a finalist for the Most Innovative Solution of the Year for its work with U.S. Bank. Ms. Gorey has more than 20 years of experience in public policy, government relations, homeownership and asset building fields through her consulting and employment. She has a bachelor’s degree from James Madison College of Michigan State University and a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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About SpringFour: SpringFour’s technology platform connects consumers to local financial health resources, tools and products. SpringFour is a B2B solution.
Chief Executive Officer of Venminder
James Hyde is Chief Executive Officer with Venminder. Bringing his characteristic boundless energy to the role, James is committed to driving meaningful growth and creating extraordinary experiences for customers and employees alike. James is most passionate about the use of elegant code to streamline cumbersome processes and help businesses to succeed. James has led an impressive career driving fintech and SaaS companies to achieve rapid and sustainable growth. Most recently, Hyde was instrumental in propelling Braintree to evolve from a startup phase to one of the most successful global payment processors. Braintree sold to PayPal in 2016 where Hyde continued his role until now. Prior to Braintree, Hyde served as SVP of Sales at iPay Technologies. Under his sales leadership, iPay became one of the largest independent bill pay providers in the United States with a 40 percent market share when it sold to Jack Henry and Associates in 2010.
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About Venminder: Venminder is a SaaS platform that guides and streamlines third party risk management.
Founder and CEO of Gather Voices
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About Gather Voices, Kindred, University of Chicago: Gather Voices is a company that helps organizations to easily collect, manage, and share user-generated videos.
CEO of Peanut Butter
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About Peanut Butter: Student loan assistance as an employee benefit
CEO/President of New World Associates
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About New World Associates: New World Associates is a vibrant marketing consulting firm servicing some of the largest names in the wireless/cellular industry!
Founder & CEO of Businesset LLC
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About Businesset LLC: Largest online B2B marketplace without broker. Businesset.com is an online platform for the global wholesale and retail trade