Michael Alter

Clinical professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth

Michael Alter is a clinical professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth. He was previously the executive chairman (and former interim CEO) of Vanco, the largest provider of electronic payment solutions to the faith-based and education communities. Prior to Vanco, Michael was the CEO of The Tie Bar, the number one e‐commerce destination for stylish men’s accessories, and before that, he was a cofounder and CEO of SurePayroll, a SaaS technology company that is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paychex. Michael cofounded SurePayroll in 2000 after six years as a consultant with McKinsey and Company. Prior to business school, Michael worked in various sales positions at IBM.

Michael is an active board and advisory board member for leading industry and entrepreneurial organizations, including Vanco, MAX Digital/FirstLook, First Stop Health, Big Time Software, Quevos, and, previously, Nambe. He is a member of the JDRF international board of directors, a member of YPO Gold, and a former officer of the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization. A past recipient of the Illinois Technology Association CityLIGHTS CEO of the Year Award, Michael has been a nationally-recognized spokesman on business issues, having served as a columnist for INC.com and appeared regularly in media outlets nationwide, including Bloomberg TV and the Wall Street Journal. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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