ScaleUp 2021

05/12/2021 9:00 am – 4:00 pm CST Virtual

All day

  • Corporate
  • Growth Stage

Learn best business practices from tech experts at the 5th Annual ScaleUp Chicago, happening virtually on May 12, 2021!

Presenting sponsor


Join us virtually on May 12, 2021 for an exciting lineup of Chicago tech leaders at ScaleUp Chicago. At ScaleUp, you’ll be able to connect with peers, discuss best practices for scaling business, share and hear stories from Chicago tech, and so much more!

This year’s program integrates 1871’s full tech continuum of founders, growth-scalers, and corporate innovators for a day of learning, networking, and sharing stories of success. Check out last year’s blog recap!



Single ticket: $75

1871 Member

Single ticket: $0


Coffee connect

8:30 AM - 8:55 AM

BYOC and join us for Coffee 101. You’ll learn how to choose the coffee that’s right for you, get the most out of your coffee grind, and other general tid bits about how to channel your inner barista!


Alex Corsi, Head Cafe Manager, Brewpoint

Opening Panel

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM


Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871

Elizabeth “Betsy” Ziegler is the first female CEO of 1871, now the Number 1 ranked university affiliated -tech incubator in the world. Previous to 1871, Betsy was the Chief Innovation Officer at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, responsible for portfolio innovation as well as integrating technology into the Kellogg educational experience. From 2011 through September 2015, she served as associate dean of degree programs and dean of students.

Jeremie Bacon, Co-Founder & CEO, The Forge: Lemont Quarries

Entrepreneur and CEO in the B2B SaaS and outdoor recreation industries with a 20-year track record of success in organization building, sales & marketing execution, operations, and financial management. Jeremie is the co-founder of The Forge Adventure Parks, which designs, builds, and operates large-scale outdoor recreation parks to exhilarate, entertain, and educate guests of all ages and abilities.

Amanda Lannert, CEO, Jellyvision

Amanda Lannert is CEO of Jellyvision and has been a key figure in driving the company since its founding in 2001. Her focus at Jellyvision is on the company’s strategy, improving processes to better scale operations, partnership development, and customer acquisition to continue fueling the company’s growth. Under Amanda’s leadership, Jellyvision has grown to serve more than 1500 mostly Fortune 1000 clients with ALEX, the most helpful employee decision support platform on the planet. 

Doing Well and Doing Good: Community Engagement and Impact at Any Stage

10:00 AM - 10:35 AM

Now more than ever, companies are called not just to do well in their business endeavors, but to do good in the communities where they work. Get simple ways to scale up community engagement and social impact while also growing the company.


Colleen Costello, Head of Social Impact, Relativity

Colleen Costello is the Head of Social Impact at Relativity, a Chicago-based software company. For the past five years, Colleen has helped scale Relativity’s community engagement and corporate social responsibility programming to best meet the needs of the company’s global community. She began her career as a high school teacher through the Teach For America program where she eventually served as a Director of Development. Colleen is passionate about education, technology, and workforce development.

Organizational Design for Growth: Creating Methods Amongst the Madness

10:45 AM - 11:30 AM

Join us to hear effective strategies and how to approach change management and process, from the people side of things when your company is faced with big changes or growth in a short amount of time,


Jimmy Holloran, Principal, ParkerGale

Jimmy is responsible for working with portfolio companies on talent strategy focusing on organizational design and development as well as communication both within each company and across the portfolio. Prior to joining ParkerGale, Jimmy worked on talent strategy at Home Chef, a venture-backed meal kit company, and Bain & Company working with clients on a variety of engagements including growth strategy and organizational re-design.

Michelle Mesina, Vice President of People, Hazel Technologies

Michelle leads Global Human Resources at Hazel Technologies, where she is responsible for the overall talent strategy, platform, and services that will drive and support Hazel’s growth, while cultivating and preserving its unique culture. She is an accomplished HR executive, recognized thought leader and trusted advisor to business leaders. Michelle brings a breadth of experience from start-up, high growth, and transformative environments.

Carolyn Kwon Montgomery, Vice President of People, Pangea Money Transfer

Carolyn is currently the VP of People at Pangea Money Transfer, a global payments fintech with offices in Chicago and Mexico City, which was recently acquired by Enova International. At Pangea, Carolyn serves as a partner to the CEO and leadership team to design and implement people solutions that support business growth and employee engagement. Prior to Pangea, Carolyn was an HR Business Partner at Centro, supporting the company’s sales, media services, finance, and marketing functions.

Elles Skony, Head of People, XSELL Technologies

Elles is currently the Head of People at XSELL Technologies, a fast growing start-up headquartered in the West Loop of Chicago. Elles is responsible for all things talent strategy, acquisition, people operations and more, and is passionately focused on scaling their best in class culture. Previous to XSELL, Elles was Vice President of Talent Management at Centro, a privately owned digital media SaaS company, who has won many best place to work awards including Crain’s, Fortune, AdAge and others.

The Growing Role of Machine Learning & AI in a Post-COVID World

11:40 AM - 12:15 PM

AI and Machine Learning can be used to make faster, more accurate decisions and improve the customer experience. Hear best practices that you can apply to improve your own company’s performance.


Joe DeCosmo, Chief Technology and Analytics Officer, Enova

Joe joined Enova in 2014. As Chief Analytics and Technology Officer, Joe leads a multi-disciplinary analytics team that provides end-to-end data and analytic services including data warehousing, business intelligence, business analytics, fraud, credit risk and marketing. His team supports the global online financial services offered by Enova International and delivers on-demand decision-making technology and real-time predictive analytics services to clients through the Enova Decisions® brand.

Lunch Break

12:15 PM - 1:00 pM

OKRs and Transitional Roadmaps: How Technology Teams Can Drive Progress

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

How do we prioritize when every goal is exciting and, well, so big? Objectives and Key Results and Transitional Roadmaps can help your technology teams transform the company strategy in an actional, measurable way to create progress and drive innovation.


Carla Pajak, Principal Product, Kin+Carta

Carla Pajak is a Principal Product Strategist from Kin + Carta, a global consultancy focused on bringing technology, data, and experience together to drive connected outcomes for our clients and their customers. Carla has worked with numerous enterprise clients in a multitude of ways, from helping to define and refine visions and opportunities to strategizing required initiatives and sequencing for best go to market targets. Carla has knowledge of the end-to-end journey and enjoys working with clients to help turn their ideas into a valuable reality.

James Poulton, Vice President, Portfolio & Strategy, Products and Solutions Group, Zebra

James leads the Intelligent Edge Solutions (IES) division at Zebra Technologies, which is responsible for identifying and developing industry-leading Internet of Things (IoT) solutions used for mission-critical, multi-market environments and use cases. With more than 20 years of product management and marketing experience, Mr. Poulton brings the dynamic leadership and innovative product design experience needed to drive the Zebra Enterprise Asset Intelligence (EAI) strategy forward.

Christine Stone, Global Head of Technical Program Management, Groupon

Currently leading Groupon’s Global PMO and Agile transformation, Christine honed her skills at VW/Audi, EMC2, McDonald’s and other organizations. Leading technical change and developing people is a natural part of Christine’s approach. She is an organic connector of technology and people, a leader who specializes in measurable progress, a mentor to many, a partner to one, a parent of four, and an author of articles on tech strategy and a book on work-life balance called The Parent Track: Work-Life Balance Hacks to Elevate Your Career and Raise Good Humans.

Girish Ramachandra, Technology Industry Leader, Wipfli

Girish Ramachandra leads the national Technology Industry practice at Wipfli. Over the past 21 years, he has been an entrepreneur himself and has worked with a number of technology companies helping them to scale up to the next level. Girish leverages his experience and knowledge of how technology can optimize operational efficiencies and maximize growth potential, to help start-ups and/or scale-ups, and investors collaborate and establish sound business models.

Impacting Your Bottom Line With Company Culture

2:00 PM - 2:35 PM

Companies often spend significant time determining how to increase revenue, scale, and prevent losses, yet so few recognize one of the leading indicators to YoY Growth – your company culture. Your culture not only defines and supports your brand, but data proves that the companies with the strongest culture outperform those without time and time again.


Christina Brady, President, Sales Assembly

With 15+ years of overall sales experience, and 10+ in leadership for B2B Tech companies, Christina has a proven track record of leading organizations to growth & profitability through creative, strategic, and targeted global and domestic sales. She has a genuine passion for building culture, coaching & developing leaders, and producing top-performing sales teams across small to enterprise organizations in various industries. Christina uses her experience to impact and support B2B Tech organizations across the US in her role on the executive team at Sales Assembly, where she is additionally building out new programs and participating in ongoing public speaking engagements.

Jaron Kent, Regional Vice President, Enterprise Corporate Sales at Salesforce

Jaron is currently the RVP of Enterprise Corporate Sales in the Manufacturing Install Vertical covering the West and Central territories at Salesforce. Jaron comes with 10+ years of leadership experience across companies like Signpost, Glassdoor, and now Salesforce. Jaron’s success comes from leading organizations to high level results as it relates to new logo acquisition through strategic planning with creative approaches. Throughout his years in sales leadership, Jaron has developed an immense passion for culture cultivation with a strong inclusivity narrative.

Closing Fireside Chat

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM


Mike Gamson, CEO, Relativity

Mike first joined the Relativity team in 2017 as a member of the advisory board. He got the unique opportunity to get to know the company’s business and team extremely well before stepping up to the role of CEO in 2019. Mike brings over 20 years of recruitment, sales, and product marketing experience to Relativity.  In his former role at LinkedIn, Mike oversaw LinkedIn’s Global Solutions Organization (GSO) for its more than 30 offices worldwide, focusing on servicing corporate customers in three primary areas — talent solutions, marketing solutions, and sales solutions. 

Betsy Ziegler, CEO of 1871

Elizabeth “Betsy” Ziegler is the first female CEO of 1871, now the Number 1 ranked university affiliated -tech incubator in the world. Previous to 1871, Betsy was the Chief Innovation Officer at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, responsible for portfolio innovation as well as integrating technology into the Kellogg educational experience. From 2011 through September 2015, she served as associate dean of degree programs and dean of students. 


We’re thrilled to open our call for sponsors for this year’s ScaleUp Chicago. There are three sponsorship tiers – Presenting, Gold and Silver. For more information, please contact Derrick Davis at [email protected].