Venture Conference Chicago


4.3.2019 - 4.4.2019


The Westin Chicago River North 320 North Dearborn Street Chicago, IL 60654

Premier Sponsors

The Premier Event Covering The New Age of Venture Capital in the Built World.


2018 marked the greatest year of venture funds flowing into the built environment nearly tripling the value that we saw the year prior. It appears we’ve entered a new age of investment interest in the space and we can’t wait to talk about it.

Our second annual Venture Chicago Conference is a multi-day premium event that brings together the built world’s leading investors and hottest startups for a deep dive into the trends and themes shaping the new era of Venture in our industry. This year we’ll touch on FinTech, Intellectual Property, and Acquisitions, all while speaking with investors and startup founders on their experiences, advice, and outlooks into the promising market we operate within.

We’ll be shining a light on the intersection of finance and risk management and technology, with special guests from Aon, XL Innovate, and American Family Ventures, among others.

On Day 1 we will be hosting our Demo Day Competition. BuiltWorlds has many opportunities to hear from some of the industry’s leading technology startups. Demo Day provides the opportunity for startups to present their game-changing solutions to actual investors interested in built world technology across categories like ConstrucTech, PropTech, Smart City Tech, and FinTech.

Click Here to view Judges or Apply to Compete


Venue Details | April 3 – 4


Day 1 | Venture Demo Day Competition

Wednesday April 3, 2019
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Westin Chicago River North | 320 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
Learn more or Apply to participate in Demo Day

Day 1 | Networking Reception

Wednesday April 3, 2019
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Westin Chicago River North | 320 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654

Day 2 | Venture Conference Sessions

Thursday April 4, 2019
8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Location: Westin Chicago River North | 320 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654


See below for full agenda & session details


Minas Apelian

VP, R&D & Global Director of NOVA External Ventures, Saint-Gobain

Kyle Beatty

Principal, AmFam Ventures

Adam Bridgman

Partner, HOLT Ventures

Todd Burns

President, Project & Development Services Americas, Jones Lang LaSalle

Jesse Devitte

Co-Founder & General Partner, Building Ventures

Matt Gagne

Research Manager, BuiltWorlds

Chase Gilbert

CEO, Built Technologies

Brian Hinman

Chief Commercial Officer and Head of EMEA, Aon IP Solutions, Aon

Peter Grant

CEO, Safesite Solutions

Lauren Lake

Co-Founder, Bridgit

Michael Latiner

President, Treehouse/Clayco

Jim Lichtenwalter

News Analyst, BuiltWorlds

Martha Notaras

Partner, XL Innovate

David Wald

CEO and Co-Founder, Aclaimant

Steve Wightman

CEO, BuildPay


Startup CEOs

They’ve got an amazing new technology that will revolutionize the built industry. They have vision, energy, grit, and a great business plan. They’re only missing one thing – cash.

Executives of Venture Firms

They are taking the pulse of the industry, scanning the room for the next technology that will make it BIG. They know how to get a business off the ground and bring in major cash.

Leaders of Corporate Innovation Programs and Investment Groups

They see that technology is constantly changing. At any second, a new trend could disrupt their business. They need to stay ahead of the curve and make sure they are in control of industry changes. They know that the best way to dominate the industry is to invest in cutting-edge tech.


Day 1 Schedule

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Westin River North

Demo Day Competition

Demo Day provides the opportunity for startups to present their game-changing solutions to actual investors interested in built world technology across categories like ConstrucTech, PropTech, Smart City Tech, and FinTech.

View Judges or Apply to Participate Here

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Westin Chicago River North | 320 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654

Networking Reception

Day 2 Schedule

8:00 AM – 8:40 AM
Westin Chicago River North | 320 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654

Good Morning Breakfast

8:40 AM – 9:00 AM

Opening Remarks & Keynote: State of Venture in the Industry

BuiltWorlds Research Manager, Matt Gagne will be walking through where the built industry is in 2019 with regards to the world of venture capital. Gagne will touch on the BuiltWorlds 2018 Year-in-Review, the Venture Deals 50 List and how the past few years of innovation in the space has been shaped by financing.

9:05 AM – 9:35 AM

Investors Panel

Kyle Beatty, Partner, American Family Ventures | Martha Notaras, Partner, XL Innovate | Adam Bridgman, Partner, HOLT CAT Ventures

2018 was a big year for venture financing in the built world. Our industry saw ample high profile investments and financial moves from investment funds. As the adoption of technology on jobsites and within construction organizations increases, investors are steadily seeing the construction field as fertile ground for investments. In this panel, we’ll sit down with some of the key players, who are pouring money into tech solutions for the AEC space, and figure out their strategies and plans moving forward.

9:40 AM – 10:00 AM

Networking & Refreshments

10:05 AM – 10:35 AM

FinTech "Showcase" in the BuiltWorld Panel

Moderator: Matt Gagne, Research Manager, BuiltWorlds | David Wald, CEO, Aclaimant | Chase Gilbert, CEO, Built | Peter Grant, CEO, SafeSite | Steve Wightman, CEO, Buildpay

As the built industry continues to adopt technology at rapid rates, one of the most common tech applications we are seeing is FinTech. From lending, to insurance, to payment processes, these applications help owners and project managers keep track information, risk claims, and contracts. During this panel, we’ll be showcasing a few of these FinTech solutions, and demonstrating how they can help you with your next project.

10:40 AM – 11:20 AM

Fireside Chat: Jesse Devitte on Building Ventures

Jesse Devitte, Managing Director & Co-Founder, Building Ventures

Last year, Borealis Co-Founder Jessie Devitte started Building Ventures, a fund-company focused on investing in solutions for the built world. After closing its $53 million fund in December, the firm is ready to invest in companies dedicated to building a better world. Our News Analyst, Jim Lichtenwalter, will sit down with Jesse and talk about Building Ventures, its goals, and the fund’s next moves.

11:25 AM – 11:55 AM

Fireside Chat: Mallorie Brodie & Lauren Lake on Bridgit

Mallorie Brodie, CEO & Co-Founder, Bridgit | Lauren Lake, Co-Founder, Bridgit

In this Fireside, our Research Manager, Matt Gagne, will sit down with the Co-Founders of Bridgit, Lauren Lake and Mallorie Brodie. The two will explore their experience creating a project management software startup in a field largely dominated by giants like Autodesk, PROCORE, and Oracle. Additionally, we’ll dive into the complexities around obtaining funding despite this competition, and the dynamic of growing a successful business with two founders.

12:00 PM – 12:40 PM


12:50 PM – 1:40 PM

Keynote: Valuing the Intellectual Property in Startups

Brian Hinman, Chief Innovation Officer and Head of EMEA, Aon Intellectual Property Solutions

In 2018, Aon acquired Intellectual Property firm 601West, in an effort to help clients assess and manage rapidly growing IP risk. IP is truly the most valuable asset in today’s business world. We’ll be hearing from Aon’s Chief Innovation Officer for its Intellectual Property Solutions Group on the decision to build out an expertise in IP and how it plans to drive value in our largely intangible economy.

1:40 PM – 2:20 PM

Topic Breakout Session

1. Thinking about intellectual property in your business.

2. Sourcing startups for an accelerator program, incubator, or portfolio.

3. Current landscape: Sources of data for acquisition pricing, underwriting, and more.

4. Where is the value of thoughtful FinTech solutions in construction?

2:25 PM – 2:55 PM

Incubators, Accelerators & Open Innovation Initiatives Panel

Minas Apelian, Vice President, R&D Global Director of NOVA External Ventures, Saint-Gobain | Andrew Ackerman, Managing Director, Dreamit| Mike Latiner, President & Principal, Treehouse Adventures | Todd Burns, Global President of Project Development & Management, JLL

While venture capitalists and investment funds give startups cold, hard cash, incubators and accelerators often offer young companies monetary assistance and other vital resources. Industry expertise, connections, product-market fit testing, and education are often necessities for new startups. This panel will focus on what incubators and accelerators do to help startups in ways just beyond providing cash.

2:55 PM – 3:05 PM

Closing Remarks

Matt Gagne, Research Manager, BuiltWorlds

3:05 PM – 3:35 PM

Network Reception


Wednesday April 3 from 5:30PM – 7:30PM

Location: Westin Chicago River North | 320 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654

Join us for an intimate evening of drinks, hors-d’oeuvres, and networking with Future Workforce speakers, special guests, and BuiltWorlds Standard, Enterprise, and Strategic Members. We keep the guest list small and the drinks cold so you can focus on making the connections that matter. Space is limited and tickets will sell out.

Sign up using your event access code below.

The Westin Chicago River North 320 North Dearborn Street Chicago IL 60654


BuiltWorlds Members can use the access code below to unlock tickets.

Interested in Attending?

LEARN MORE ABOUT Venture Chicago

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Learn more about the benefits of joining our Member Network, which include event tickets, access to attendee lists and recorded footage of our best talks.

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How do I get tickets?

All BuiltWorlds Events are exclusively for BuiltWorlds Members. Learn more about becoming a member here.

Already a BuiltWorlds Member? Login into your Digital Portal to view the member code or email for more help.

What's included in the ticket?

Access to all sessions at the conference.
Continental breakfast, lunch, and all-day refreshments.
Participation in BuiltWorlds Research-led breakout sessions.
Access to available white papers, speaker presentations (per speaker consent) and event attendee portal.
Invitation to the VIP Kick Off Party (for Standard, Enterprise, and Strategic Members).

What do I do if I can't attend?

Once redeemed, tickets can only be canceled and replenished to member accounts up to 30 days prior to the start date of the event. After that, unused tickets may not be replenished to the member’s account.
To do so, please email For more information on our event and ticket policies, visit Terms and Conditions

Where should I stay?

All parts of our Venture Conference will take place at the Westin Chicago River North. If you want to be near all the action, you can find a room there in our discounted room block!

How do I book a discounted room?

The Westin River North is offering a limited rate for $319 for the night of Wednesday, April 3. Cutoff date for special rates is Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Online booking forms are available here.

Which airport should I fly into?

O’Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) are both nearby. Rideshares, taxis, car rentals, and public transit (CTA) are easily accessible from both locations.

How do I access the event?

Proceed through the hotel lobby and check in with BuiltWorlds staff.

Is parking available?

Westin River North offers valet parking for $69 daily; on-site parking $49 daily; off-site parking $13 daily.

Where can I get more questions answered?

We’re happy to help you! Please contact our Events Coordinator, Alex Maksymec, at for any and all questions!