Entrepreneurship

The formation of a new company with a novel idea is one of the most intriguing aspects of the business world today. However, the world of entrepreneurship entails so much more. Join alumni with diverse backgrounds at the entrepreneurship roundtable for learning about how the University of Chicago's undergraduate degree can turn into a meaningful career in entrepreneurship. We will be featuring entrepreneurs from a diverse range of startups and venture capital industry professionals. Students of all backgrounds are welcome to participate and apply the ideas of entrepreneurship to their respective interests.

Roundtable Participants

Arnav Dalmia, AB'13

CEO, FitnessCubed

Mr. Dalmia graduated from the College in 2013 with a degree in Economics. While at the College, he was highly involved with the UChicago Careers in Entrepreneurship, and UChicago Careers in Business programs. As a student, Mr. Dalmia started FitnessCubed, a company that builds products to integrate exercise seamlessly into one's daily routine. He participated in the College New Venture Challenge (CNVC) in which he placed second. After CNVC, he went on to raise almost $300,000 through Kickstarter. His work has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative, and he has been invited to speak at the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting. (Table 35)

Andrew Hamilton, AB'08

Co-Founder, COO, Evolve Security

Mr. Hamilton graduated from the College in 2008 with a degree in Economics. While at the College, he was a member of the men's varsity soccer team. After graduating, Mr. Hamilton joined BofA Merrill Lynch as an investment banking analyst. Mr. Hamilton later went into Private Equity and worked for Lake Capital. Mr. Hamilton decided to forego business school and go the entrepreneurial route and in 2015, co-founded Evolve Security Academy, now the number one ranked cyber security boot-camp in the world. Evolve Security also performs cyber security services with a focus in penetration testing, application security, and enterprise training. He is married with two girls and lives in Chicago. (Table 35)

Jody LaVoie, AB'90

Former Chairman, ArrowStream

Ms. LaVoie graduated from the College in 1990 with a degree in Romance Languages and Literatures. While there, she studied in Paris and was a member of the swim team and Kappa Alpha Theta. Jody started her career with AT&T and SmithBucklin. In 2000, she and her husband founded ArrowStream, a managed services organization providing third-party logistics. Over the next 15 years, the company evolved into a Software-as-a-Service provider, with patented technology delivering dramatic improvement to complex supply chains operations for some of North America's largest foodservice companies. In 2014, Jody assumed the role of Chairman of ArrowStream and was instrumental in establishing a path to sustained profitability and managing the sale to a private equity firm in 2017. She continues to be an active member of the University community, participating in the University of Chicago Women's Forum, mentoring student entrepreneurs, and regularly attending Booth events. (Table 36)

Howard Niden, MBA'84, AB'80

Entrepreneur/Technologist

Mr. Niden graduated from the College where he received a degree and MBA. He has held a variety of positions including Co-Founder, EVP, Chief Product Architect at Textura Corporation. He holds numerous construction payment related patents; CIO for both PwC Consulting and Mayer, Brown, LLP. He is a partner at PwC where he also managed a variety of large-scale strategy and system integration projects for clients in services, consumer products and industrial products industries, such as Kellogg, Westinghouse, GE, Caremark and Sony. He is a lecturer at the University of Chicago (Booth School of Business) where he conceived, designed and taught two separate courses. He currently spends his time working on the development of new early-stage business ideas and volunteers at a variety of organizations. He is also a member of the both the IEEE and ACM. (Table 36)

Andy Pruitt, AB'96

Founder, SieveStream

Mr. Pruitt is a hands-on technologist, entrepreneur, and CTO who has helped start and grow three Chicago area software companies: Backstop Solutions, Data Everywhere, and Digitalwork. He has led teams from zero to 80+ members. He has extensive experience in Java development and database design, and is a committer on a popular Open Source project. Andy graduated from the College with an undergraduate degree in Economics. He currently serves as the CTO of OppLoans, an online lending company based in Chicago. OppLoans originally entered the Inc 500 in 2016, and is at position #219 on the 2017 Inc 500. (Table 37)

Dhrooti Vyas, AB'14, MBA'19

Founder, SensientHR

Ms. Vyas is a tech entrepreneur passionate about helping others achieve their full potential. She graduated with honors and a degree in Political Science and Pre-Medical Training in 2014. While in college, Ms. Dhrooti was involved in the Neighborhood Schools Program, Model United Nations Team/ ChoMUN, and a tech startup focused on medicine access, now called ReliefWatch. After graduating, she worked as a life science focused management consultant in San Francisco before starting her own tech company, SensientHR, focused on helping companies understand how to motivate their people. In her free time, Ms. Dhrooti loves to mentor young entrepreneurs, especially those interested in for-profit startups that create social impact. She is always game for a cup of warm tea and deep conversation regarding how technological innovation will impact the future of society. (Table 38)

Anthony Watson, AB'14

Head of Business Development, ShipBob

Mr. Watson graduated from the College in 2014 with a degree in Economics. While in the College, he played varsity soccer, was a member of the Major Activities Board, Vice President of Psi Upsilon Fraternity, an EDGE Entrepreneurship member, and an order of the "C" officer. He currently is the head of business development at a local Chicago startup called Shipbob which operates as a hyper-local third party logistics partner for small businesses. ShipBob won TechInMotion's "Chicago's Best Startup" award and he personally was nominated for Chicago Inno's "50 on fire" for innovators in the B2C category. (Table 38)

Nate Williams, AB'94

Co-founder / CEO, Flex.io

Mr. Williams is a co-founder and CEO of Flex.io, a web service for integrating data across the Web using serverless data feeds. As a software entrepreneur, he has helped build a range of software ventures, including Gold Prairie, an enterprise solution for preventing payment errors, and Kirix Research, creators of Kirix Strata, a data browser for viewing and working with large data sets over the Web. (Table 37)