DeepTechU Venture Conference Returns, Highlights Deep Tech Innovation in the Greater Midwest

The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is once again hosting DeepTechU, a venture conference that brings together global investors and deep tech startups in the greater Midwest.

“Last year’s inaugural DeepTechU was the largest venture conference in the Midwest and demonstrated the breadth and heft of the region’s deep tech community,” said Jay Schrankler, associate vice president and head of the Polsky Center. “The University of Chicago is thrilled to partner with more than a dozen research universities and national labs to showcase the latest deep tech startups coming out of our institutions.”

Taking place May 3-5, 2022, the all-virtual conference will feature quick pitches and discussions with industry experts, investors, and entrepreneurs.

>> To register for DeepTechU, click here.

“After the success of last year’s conference, which drew nearly 1,000 attendees from across the globe, we are excited to once again unite science and capital to advance breakthrough innovations that may transform how we live and work,” said Juan de Pablo, executive vice president for science, innovation, national laboratories, and global initiatives at the University of Chicago. “As home to multiple world-class universities, with leading efforts in materials science and engineering, biological engineering, sustainability, energy research, quantum information sciences, data science and AI, as well as two preeminent US Department of Energy Laboratories, Argonne and Fermilab, the Midwest is uniquely positioned to lead in deep tech.”

The goal of DeepTechU is two-fold: provide investors with early looks into cutting-edge deep tech innovation coming out of universities, national labs, and other organizations in the greater-Midwest, and educate faculty inventors and other researchers about how to successfully raise capital for their startups.

“This event offers incredible exposure to emerging technologies that could save lives, streamline business, and improve society in numerous ways,” said Nancy Sullivan, CEO and managing director of Illinois Ventures. “The Midwest is rife with deep tech innovation and talent ready for investment to leap from the lab to the market.”

Sullivan will provide opening remarks for University of Chicago President Paul Alivisatos, who will lead a keynote address on Deep Tech and the Great Wave of Innovation. Additional featured talks include a fireside chat between Megan Clifford, associate laboratory director at Argonne National Laboratory, and Andrea Belz, division director of industrial innovation and partnerships at the National Science Foundation, as well as a conversation between Kayla Lee, product manager for strategic alliances for IBM Quantum, and Brad Henderson, CEO of P33, a nonprofit focused on driving inclusive growth for Chicago’s tech sector.

“The confluence of academic, industry, and investor perspectives at DeepTechU reflects the strength of the region’s growing deep tech ecosystem,” Henderson said. “From quantum technology to the life sciences, Chicago and the greater Midwest are poised to be at the center of bringing deep tech innovations into the real world.”

The conference is presented in collaboration with Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, Chain Reaction Innovations at Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois Institute of TechnologyIndiana University, Innovation Crossroads at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Northwestern University, Rutgers University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). It is sponsored by World Business Chicago.

“Chicago is home to one of the best university and research innovation ecosystems in the world,” said Michael Fassnacht, president and CEO of World Business Chicago and chief marketing officer for the City of Chicago. “World Business Chicago is proud to sponsor DeepTechU 2022, a first-of-its-kind effort that will demonstrate how important Chicago’s deep tech startups are to our city’s growing reputation as the place to be for tech innovation.”

For more information and to register for the conference, visit

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyze your use of products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts.