MBA Associate, Innovation & Venture Strategy

Term: May 2021 to November 2021

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. Supported by a council of 250+ tech community leaders, ChicagoNEXT leads World Business Chicago’s dedicated effort driving inclusive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy and innovation ecosystem. ChicagoNEXT’s portfolio of programs includes ThinkChicago, the Chicago Venture Summit, and Startup Chicago.

As Chicago’s flagship venture capital conference, the Chicago Venture Summit brings together the strongest local, regional and national venture capital firms with our best and brightest entrepreneurs and industry leaders. The most recent 2018 summit attracted 150+ venture capital firms, 400+ in total attendance, and showcased 100+ of Chicago’s best startups. As an extension of our CVS efforts, Startup Chicago is WBC’s new VC attraction & startup growth program that connects local, venture-ready startups with active investors across the country to accelerate growth. Startup Chicago will manage a database of local startups who are fundraising for venture capital in 2021 and will lead a series of virtual events to engage active investors to connect with Chicago entrepreneurs.


World Business Chicago (WBC) is seeking an MBA Associate for the Innovation & Venture Strategy team (ChicagoNEXT) with their venture programming in 2021.

The Graduate Associate will report to the Venture Program Manager and receiving leadership, engagement, and direction from the ChicagoNEXT Chair, 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 ChicagoNEXT partners and relevant stakeholders on development of virtual events
  • 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.
  • Lead research and discovery of national VC firms and tech-focused investors who have a strong interest in Chicago’s startup ecosystem

Project Management & Operations

  • Serve as primary project manager for the startup database with all partners and startups
  • Ensure that all projects are delivered on time, within scope, and within budget.
  • Maintain comprehensive project documentation.

External Communications

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


  • 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 necessary, and experience working in a startup environment with evolving priorities and processes preferred.


  • Current graduate student enrolled at an accredited U.S.-based university – preferred majors include business, entrepreneurship, marketing and/or STEM-related degrees.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite applications.
  • Financial budget and reporting experience.






  • Dedicate approximately 15 to 20 hours per week as a minimum and up to 29 hours per week as a maximum depending on academic calendar.
  • MBA Associate must be available from May 2021 to November 2021, with an opportunity to extend.



This is a paid position at $18.00 per hour

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

Carrie Simmons

World Business Chicago

177 N State St #500

Chicago IL 60601