August 7, 2018 – Monthly Venture Capital Investment Series

Three companies will presented in the usual BNC format.

They each had 10 minutes to answer the following six questions:

What’s the product or service?

Why will the customer buy it?

What’s AMAZING about the management team?

How does the company make money?

What traction does the company have?

How does the investor make money?

The 15- 20 minute structured Q & A with the audience, surrounding the six questions, will follow each presentation.


First Approval Source is a profitable technology-based provider of outsourced Finance and Insurance (F&I) services to Marine, RV, Powersport and Independent Automobile Dealers. This represents 39,000 dealers potentially doing $2.2B in financing each year and leaving $4B on the table annually.

In 2017 they recorded $1.3M in revenue.

Currently, they serve profitably as the Finance Manager for dealerships in those industries who either do not have this function or who are just really bad at it. By converting their current technology from SalesForce and other commercially available subscription- based solutions to solution specific proprietary technology they reduce their costs and open the door to licensing their solution to others.

Nexus A.I. is a Chicago-based technology company that serves over 500 brands as clients. The Company’s first product, ConceptDrop, pairs brands with a vetted community of creative freelancers. Nexus A.I. helps brands make informed resource decisions through the power of data science. At Nexus A.I., they believe that talent is equally distributed, but opportunities are not. Their goal is to build an infrastructure that can help bring opportunities to the most talented people.

Nexus A.I. is a 500 Startups Company that was named to 50 On Fire, LinkedIn’s Next Wave, and the 100 Coolest Companies in Chicago.

If you could not make this meeting, join us on TUESDAY, September 4th.

July 10, 2018 – Monthly Venture Capital Investment Series


iConsumer – Shop and get to have the experience of getting free bitcoin and shares in a publicly traded company. Over 1700 stores including eBay, Staples, L.L. Bean, Walgreens, 1-800-flowers. Easy to sign up for free.  Here’s iConsumer’s link……………  Sign-up near the bottom of the webpage. Also available as an app for iOS and Android.

CERES –  CoolMellon, via the first ever Initial Coin Offering (ICO) executed as an SEC publicly tradable security, issued the first digital Cryptocurrency (the CERES coin)  to solve the banking obstacles faced by the $20B legal cannabis industry as well as being an alternative investment vehicle for the $100B Cryptocurrency market.

Their CERES coin provides peer-to-peer methodology for conducting secure and auditable financial transactions in the legal medicinal and adult use cannabis industry. They provide solutions to problems facing patients/customers, doctors, growers, processors, dispensaries, bankers, investors, auditors and regulators. The CERES coin also serves as an alternative investment asset for holders of various Cryptocurrencies.

June 5, 2018 – Monthly Venture Capital Investment Series


PowerTech Water Solutions

PowerTech Water LLC (PTW) is developing a water treatment technology that removes total dissolved solids, including salts, corrosive minerals, and toxic metals, with reduced energy, cost, waste, and chemicals used compared to other available separation processes. PTW’s solution will compete with membrane separation processes for deionization and desalination such as reverse osmosis and nanofiltration, which are energy intensive and sensitive to fouling. For example, PTW projects that its solution will reduce seawater desalination cost by reducing energy consumption, capital equipment investment, membrane replacement costs, and energy use by 50% or more. Membrane fouling come from three main sources: particles, minerals, and biological growth. Significantly, PTW’s solution maintains long life salt separation operation in the presence of particles, minerals, and organics that would foul reverse osmosis systems.

Verbal Transactions

Customer Retention and High Call Center Employee Turnover are big problems for companies. Verbal Transactions’s Call Center Training Simulator uses Artificial Intelligence to ensure new Customer Service Reps are “Live Call Ready Agents”.

Vision III Imaging

V III’s Innovative Parallax Imaging Technology brings a three dimensional enhancement to regular displays.

June 21, 2018 – City of Chicago’s Small Business Center on the Road Expo

Keynote Speaker:
Maria Pinto
Fashion designer and artist Maria Pinto is the creative voice behind M2057, a high-fashion high-function women’s clothing line. She has dressed iconic women like Michelle Obama, Brooke Shields and Oprah, and her designs have been featured in publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, the New York Times.

Also Offered
    • Business consulting services to entrepreneurs.
    • Contract procurement, financing and insurance information.
    • Availability of financial advisers to address business questions.
    • One on one tax counseling sessions offered by The Center for Economic Progress.
    • Legal advice and support provided by The Law Project
    • Networking sessions with other attending entrepreneurs.
  • Professional assistance from business consultants to begin the licensing process

May 2, 2018 – Monthly Venture Capital Investment Series


Oval Brand Fire Products – Innovating Unparalleled Fire Protection Products

Oval produces and sell the world’s only UL Listed, fully code compliant fire extinguishers… and they are not round! Oval’s fire extinguishers allow for the ability to completely recess them in standard depth framed walls, making for an easier retrofit and better design flow for new construction. This solution saves money and usable square footage. Oval’s extinguishers fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) AND all other relevant fire, safety and accessibility codes.

Cloud Realty – Rent Payment Service & Apartment Brokerage for Foreign Students

There are 370,000 exchange students from China in the US and that number is trending higher every year. China limits the amount of currency individuals can transfer outside of the country to $50,000 a year.This severely restricts the liquidity of Chinese exchange students in the US. After tuition, rent is the largest expense for a foreign exchange student. The biggest problem for Chinese Nationals in the US is PAYMENT.

Cloud Realty’s solution facilitates Chinese Yuan to US Dollar rent payments, bypassing their money transfer limits in a seamless apartment acquisition process for Chinese nationals.

Givenly – Corporate Gifts Made Easy

Givenly is a Chicago based company founded in 2015 and located in River North. They believe that relationships matter, and that Gifting is a key pillar for nurturing and growing professional and personal relationships.

Givenly helps organizations build loyalty, grow sales, and save time by making it convenient and simple to send or automate gift and incentives to their professional network on important occasions throughout the year.

Givenly partners with gift vendors across the country to deliver a truly unique and tailored gifting experience. Givenly’s core mission to help companies nurture loyalty with their valued business relationships by simplifying and automating gift-giving so that they have more time to focus on what matters most – their people and their company.

April 3, 2018 – Monthly Venture Capital Investment Series


FanFood – Order your favorite concessions directly from your smartphone
Say goodbye to waiting in lines! With the FanFood app you can watch more of the action and never miss the big play – They help stadiums build amazing experiences! If you saw them in September, they’ve since successfully closed their round and are organizing their next round. They’ve also added more stadiums to their customer base.

Shurpa – We Make Delivery Delightful
Shurpa is changing the way online purchases are delivered. They design consumer-centric delivery operations that yield faster shipping times and better experiences for customers, allowing companies to compete on the only physical touch-point of e-commerce. Shurpa is the ultimate last-mile solution for ecommerce. They are changing the way purchases are delivered with powerful tools for people who sell online, while also providing matchless transparency and control for consumers.

Elite Amateur Fight League – The Future Fights Here
The Elite Amateur Fight League is a nationally competitive team based Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization comprised of individual teams to form a league. Each team is made up of 7 fighters, one per weight class. Their format is similar to the most successful sports leagues in America. In season two, teams will participate in a playoff style tournament to determine a champion. Their league is designed to improve the amateur MMA landscape by providing a platform for national level talent to compete against each other and gain national level exposure while providing fans of the sport a single portal to watch the future stars of mixed martial arts.

March 7, 2018 – Monthly Venture Capital Investment Series



Develops and commercializes innovative multi-sensor cardiovascular medical devices for optimal diagnosis and therapy of heart diseases, to improve the  lives of patients.


What if, instead of exercising, we could just PLAY? SymGym is a fun, new way to play games, compete with friends, and workout using a resistance based exercise device, video game controller, and gaming platform. Instead of tedious treadmills, you get a fun and immersive experience that’s both interactive and social WHILE getting a workout.

The interactive, augmented reality workout is based on the SymGym controller. SymGym uses bodily movement to control video game actions to make your work out interactive. By using a range of resistance that incorporates game level and game action, lifting heavy objects are now harder to move than lighter objects and running uphill requires more effort than running downhill.

Dimensionally Yours

You wouldn’t buy shoes that are too big or blinds the wrong size for your windows, so why buy furniture that doesn’t fit your space? Dimensionally Yours uses a unique design and manufacturing process that allows you to choose the furniture you want in the exact size you need it.

Dimensionally Yours manufactures custom sizes to order and sells direct to the consumer. They avoid all the middlemen that add non-value adding supply chain costs. By streamlining the business model they are able to use higher quality materials and construction methods than the competition.

March 3, 2018 – City of Chicago’s Small Business Center on the Road Expo

Keynote Speaker:
Kamau Murray, U.S Olympic Coach
Kamau Murray has coached tennis hopefuls all the way to Olympic gold and the U.S. Open. From the tennis court to business, Murray shares his secrets that inspire and motivate for maximum performance.

Also Offered
    • Business consulting services to entrepreneurs.
    • Contract procurement, financing and insurance information.
    • Availability of financial advisers to address business questions.
    • One on one tax counseling sessions offered by The Center for Economic Progress.
    • Legal advice and support provided by The Law Project
    • Networking sessions with other attending entrepreneurs.
  • Professional assistance from business consultants to begin the licensing process

February 23, 2018 – 20th Annual Transportation Symposium and Business Exchange

This was an exciting event that provided an opportunity for small, minority and women-owned businesses to network with government and transportation stakeholders.
Prime contractors mentored and taught small business owners how to successfully compete for transportation industry contracting opportunities.

Department of Procurement Services – 2018 Construction Summit

The Department of Procurement Services – 2018 Construction Summit event was held on Wednesday Feb 7, 2018 at the JLM Center.

This was a great opportunity for prime contractors, sub-contractors, and companies in construction-related business to learn about upcoming contract opportunities and network with industry and government representatives.

Attendants received details of opening construction projects and job order contracts (JOC). They were also able to meet and network with government an industry representatives including the following:

    • City of Chicago User Departments
    • Chicago’s buying Sister Agencies
    • Government Agencies Representatives
    • Assist Agencies
    • Trade Unions/Employment & Labor Representatives