An Event For Financial Industry Entrepreneurs and Startups

Join The Financial Startup Revolution...

Join us on December 8 for a deep dive into the exploding world of financial startups. Meet and mingle with your fellow entrepreneurs as you learn how to market, grow and fund a wide range of financial startups.

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Opening Address (1PM):  The Evolution of Chicago's Financial Markets & The Rise of The Startup

Session 1:  It's Simple...You Can't Afford To Waste Money On Marketing Your Startup

In this panel, two financial marketers tell you how to get the most from your marketing as you grow. Whether you're bootstrapping or venture-funded, it's critically important that you get a solid return on your marketing dollars.

  • Panelist: Skip Shean, CEO, 16Wells and former head of marketing at tradeMONSTER and VP, Business Development at optionsXpress

  • Panelist: Gary Kreissman, Founder, Keyversion and Former CEO, Precision Prospects

Session 2: Moving To The Front of the Pack -Growing AUM In The Most Competitive Arena of Financial Services

Asset management is one of the most-popular arenas for financial entrepreneurs. But all new ventures in this space live and die by a single metric - AUM. How do you grow your AUM to a sustainable level? How do you overcome the many obstacles preventing new funds from attracting seed capital? How do you attract large pension and hedge fund investors to your fund? Our session will discuss these topics and much more.

  • Moderator: Michael Cavanaugh, RCM Financial Services and Board President, Small Business Advocacy Council

  • Panelist: Desmond Clark, Wayne Messmer and Associates and former Chicago Bear

  • Panelist: Bill Ulivieri, Cenacle Capital Management

  • Panelist: Tom Young, Kaizen Financial Distributors

  • Alan Grigoletto, VP Education, Options Industry Council

Session 3: How Do I Fund My Financial Startup?

There are many resources aimed at Chicago entrepreneurs. But few of those resources understand the unique needs and challenges of the financial sector. We'll explore those challenges with recently funded startups as well as firms that invest in new financial ventures.

  • Moderator: Mark S. Longo, President, The Options Alliance and CEO, Options Insider Media Group

  • Panelist: David Karrow, Partner, Third Stone Partners

  • Panelist: Gideon Agar, CEO, TradeLegs

  • Panelist: Mark Fields, SVP, Strategic Investment Group, CME Group

  • Kyle Zasky, Partner, SenaHill Partners

Come Learn About, And Network With, Chicago's Financial Startup Community


  • Monday, December 8

  • Program begins at 1pm

  • Networking Cocktail Reception immediately following program

  • (beer, wine and appetizers provided)

For more information, contact Jean Crotty at or 312-234-9594.


  • Arditti Center for Risk Management, DePaul Center

  • 8th Floor

  • 1 E. Jackson Blvd, Chicago


  • Options Alliance Members: $35

  • Non-members: $50