Graduate Associate, Chicago Venture Summit 2020 – ChicagoNEXT

Graduate Associate, Chicago Venture Summit 2020 – ChicagoNEXT

January 2020 to April 2020

World Business Chicago is a public-private, non-profit partnership that drives inclusive economic growth and job creation, supports business, and promotes Chicago as a leading global city. ChicagoNEXT leads WBC’s World Business Chicago’s dedicated effort driving inclusive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy. Governed by a council of technology leaders, ChicagoNEXT strategic focus areas include capital, talent, industry and community.

As Chicago’s flagship venture capital conference, the Chicago Venture Summit (CVS 2020) brings together the strongest local, regional and national venture capital firms with our best and brightest entrepreneurs and industry leaders. CVS 2020 offers one-on-one access to emerging companies, convening of local Fortune 500 leaders and national attention to Chicago’s growing startup scene. Invited entrepreneurs will feature promising technology companies that are seeking post-seed financing. Attendees will also get an inside look at how prominent venture capital firms assess investment opportunities, learn strategies of corporate venture arms and hear how Chicago’s universities develop top talent and entrepreneurship. The most recent 2018 summit attracted 150+ venture capital firms, 400+ in total attendance and showcased 100+ of Chicago’s best startups.


World Business Chicago (WBC) is seeking a Graduate Associate to aid the ChicagoNEXT team in the program management of the Chicago Venture Summit 2020 (CVS 2020).

The Graduate Associate will serve as the primary coordinator of the 2020 summit, reporting to the ChicagoNEXT Director and receiving leadership, engagement and direction from the ChicagoNEXT Chair, the Chicago Venture Summit 2020 Steering Committee, World Business Chicago leadership and other relevant stakeholders. The Graduate Associate will have an interest in Chicago’s technology and venture capital community and some experience working with technology companies, venture capital firms and/or financial companies. The Graduate Associate will have excellent project management, organization and communication skills, and an ability to thrive in complex environments and manage multiple work-streams simultaneously.


Program Development

  • Work with stakeholders to develop event agenda and themes
  • Support, and in some cases lead, outreach efforts to speakers

Venture Capital & Technology Community Engagement

  • Successfully manage multiple relationships with various stakeholders in Chicago’s venture capital and technology community.
  • Manage and build sponsorship program.

Project Management & Operations

  • Serve as primary project manager for CVS 2020 with all partners and vendors including ChicagoNEXT and the CVS 2020 steering committee.
  • Ensure that all projects are delivered on-time, within scope and within budget.
  • Maintain comprehensive project documentation.

External Communications

  • Manage and support communications strategy with selected partners to advertise and build awareness of CVS 2020.
  • Contribute to communications products, including outreach plans, press releases and blog posts to drive awareness of CVS 2020.
  • Manage maintenance and updates for program website and other relevant digital and social media assets.

Event Production

  • Manage event logistics, including vendor relationships, venture capital participation, and corporate engagement for all ThinkChicago programs and related initiatives.
  • Support development of program content, activities and promotional strategy.


  • Ability to work effectively across a variety of skill areas, including project management, communications, content creation, event planning and execution.
  • Awareness of and experience working within Chicago’s venture and technology community.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including WBC staff, board members, government stakeholders, and outside advisors.
  • Self-starter with the ability to work independently as well as with a team; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.
  • Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills.
  • Commitment to deliver against deadlines; ability to handle high priority and pressure situations.
  • Entrepreneurial approach is a must, and experience working in a startup environment with evolving priorities and processes preferred.


  • Current graduate student – preferred majors include finance, entrepreneurship and marketing.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite applications.
  • Financial budget and reporting experience.


  • Dedicate approximately 20 hours per week as a minimum and up to 30 hours per week as a maximum depending on academic calendar.
  • Available from January 6 to April 30, 2020


If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to:

Carrie Simmons

World Business Chicago

177 N State St #500, Chicago IL 60601