Abin Kuriakose is Director of ChicagoNEXT – World Business Chicago’s dedicated initiative driving inclusive growth and opportunity for Chicago’s tech economy and innovation ecosystem. Supported by a council of 200+ tech community leaders, Abin leads ChicagoNEXT’s portfolio of programs and initiatives focused on access to capital and talent, driving innovation through industry and university partnerships, inclusive entrepreneurship, and global strategic partnerships. His portfolio of programs include the Startup Chicago, the Chicago Venture Summit, ThinkChicago, and the Blackstone Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Previously, Abin was ChicagoNEXT’s first program manager for ChicagoNEXT from 2016-2018 where he led the 2017 and 2018 Chicago Venture Summit and a public engagement strategist for 270 Strategies – a consulting firm founded by key Obama 2008 & 2012 campaign advisors. Abin began his career in Cook County Government, where he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Public Policy and Director of Community Affairs & Engagement for the Board of Commissioners (Bridget Gainer – Tenth District) – the county’s legislative and governing body. During his time in government, Abin specialized in public policy development, legislative affairs, and community engagement. He served as the lead policy staffer for the Cook County Board’s Pension Committee and Workforce, Housing, and Community Development Committee. He also developed OpenPensions.org, one of the first open-data platforms in county government.
He is especially passionate about civic engagement and empowerment – especially with youth, immigrant, and New American communities. In November 2019, Abin was appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker to the State of Illinois’ Asian American Employment Plan Advisory Council; he’s also a Young Leaders Council member of the Millennial Action Project (based in Washington DC). He’s a mentor for both Techstars and the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. Previously, Abin served on boards of New Leaders Council Chicago, Heartland Health Centers, and the Chicago South Asian Arts Council.
In 2017, Abin was recognized as one of “35 under 35 Young Leaders Making An Impact” by Chicago Scholars.
Abin attended DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business where he was the recipient of the DePaul Scholar’s Award. He is a 2018 Civic Leaders Academy (CLA) Fellow of the University of Chicago, where he received his certificate in civic leadership. A Chicago native, Abin was born and raised in the city’s northside neighborhoods and a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs.