Here's Why Chicago Could Be The New Hub For Social Commerce


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Chicago’s entrepreneurs may be poised to score an increasing share of the roughly $400 billion monthly US retail sector. To wit: venture capital investment increased by about 450% from 2010 to 2011, according to Built in Chicago. In that time, more than 25 e-commerce companies in the Windy City scored funding. Last fall, in a vote of public-market confidence, the market rewarded social-coupon giant Groupon with the second-biggest IPO in tech history, at a whopping $12.5 billion. That minted plenty of new millionaires, soon to be angel investors with particular expertise in social, local commerce. And among many smaller-scale projects from innovation-boosting groups throughout the city, a new tech incubator, dubbed “1871” for the year of Chicago’s phoenix-like emergence from a major fire, is being built in the historic Merchandise Mart with millions of dollars in state backing.You can hear directly from Groupon’s co-founder Eric Lefkofsky and other Chicago innovators at Social Commerce Summit Chicago, the conference on the future of social media and e-commerce on June 7, 2012. Hosted by Business Insider, the Chicago Summit features the Fortune 500 brands, hot startups, and cutting-edge investors that made the Summit in New York an incredible success — with a Chicago twist. Executives from the east and west coasts will speak alongside marketing pros from the Heartland’s major brands. Early-bird tickets are on sale now, so grab your spot.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Eric Lefkofsky, Co-founder, Groupon, and Co-founder, Lightbank
  • Diego Berdakin, CEO, BeachMint
  • Kim Musgrave, Social Media Team Lead, McDonald’s
  • Jill Braff, EVP, Home Shopping Network
  • and many more, announced on a rolling basis!

Themes span the entire purchase funnel, from discovery to click-and-buy, including:

  • Engagement Is The New Marketing: How Do You Do It Right?
  • Bleeding-Edge Strategies In Local And Mobile Commerce
  • Is Social Media Optimization The New SEO?
  • The Key To F-Commerce: Don’t Think Of Facebook As A Marketing Channel
  • From Blah, Blah, Blah To Ka-Ching! — Cracking The Product-Discovery Code

Join us in June! Meanwhile, you can follow @BI_Events on Twitter for updates and discounts.


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