Chicago TALK Preview: What Can We Learn from Billion Dollar Startup Workplaces?

Your company may not be valued at over $1 billion, but that shouldn’t stop you from designing your workplace like it is! Find out how tech’s hottest startups are using innovative workplace solutions to support their billion dollar ideas. We hosted the first TALK of this series in D.C. on June 23 (check out the recap here), we’ll be in Chicago on July 30, and in San Francisco on August 11. Tickets for Chicago are available here.

The "Speakeasy" at LinkedIn's Chicago office, where the event will take place. Photo credit: IA Interior Architects, via Crain's Chicago Business.
The “Speakeasy” at LinkedIn’s Chicago office, where the event will take place. Photo by Eric Laignel.

Join us on Thursday, July 30 at LinkedIn‘s Chicago office for a discussion about what we can learn from billion dollar startup workplaces. Tickets are available here, and act fast — early ticket buyers will have the option to select a ticket for an exclusive tour of the space! Top workplace experts, venture capitalists, and representatives from billion dollar startups will address what types of space best support a culture of collaboration, engagement, and ideation, how technology is integrated into spaces to support innovation, how these billion dollar startups leverage social networks, and how it overlaps with the workplace.

For more on the inspiration for the topic behind these TALKs, check out parts one, two, and three of our recent series, “How the New Economy is Changing the Workplace”. For a recap of the D.C. TALK on June 23, click here.

Meet the panelists

Mark Davis, Global Workplaces Services Manager, LinkedIn

Mark has 21 years of facilities management experience, most recently with PayPal and LinkedIn. He caught the built space bug young, working for his father, a general contractor in Southern California. Presently, he manages LinkedIn’s Omaha campus—two buildings, clocking in at 110,000 square feet.

Dan Kraiss, Principal, BOX Studios


Dan focuses on applying his design expertise and business acumen to making sure that BOX Studios excels in corporate office design as well as base-building rehabilitation, new construction, health care, hospitality, fitness centers, and high-end retail sectors. As a working principal, he contributes to the firm’s collaborative philosophy and outward vision. He joins us on this panel specifically to discuss the design work he has led for billion dollar startup Groupon.

Paul Singh, Managing Director, 1776

Paul is a managing director at 1776 and a general partner in 1776’s Seed Fund. Prior to 1776, Paul was the founder of Disruption Corporation (acquired by 1776) and a general partner in Disruption’s post-seed venture capital arm, Crystal Tech Fund. Paul has founded a few startups of his own and spent time at PBworks, AOL, and Symantec. He joins our panel to discuss the link between workplace and a startup’s success.

Neil Schneider, Senior Designer, IA Interior Architects

As a senior designer at IA Interior Architects‘ Chicago office, Neil has provided successful design solutions for well-established and innovative brands including LinkedIn, Dyson, JLL, Amazon, United Airlines, and McDonald’s, to name a few. Neil’s designs are a reflection of his longtime advocacy for providing the client with options that align with their goals and needs.

John Roa, Founder and CEO, ÄKTA

John is the CEO and founder of ÄKTA, an experience design agency based in Chicago. In 2014, ÄKTA was named one of the top 10 fastest-growing, private companies in Chicago and recognized as one of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America. John founded ÄKTA after a successful exit from a video game marketing agency in 2007. He joins us on this panel to discuss how the workplace has supported the company’s rapid growth.


6:00-6:45 PM Doors open + Networking over refreshments
6:45-8:00 PM Panel discussion + Q&A
8:00-8:30 PM More networking

Drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Get tickets now to snag your seat!

A special thank you to our event sponsors, AgilQuest, Humanscale, FOX Architects, and IIDA!

If you are interested in sponsoring this TALK, or another upcoming TALK, please email [email protected] for sponsorship details.

More from Natalie Grasso Cockrell

Not Your Average Spec Suite: The Explosion of Tech Suites in Chicago

BOX Studios Ferdinand Dimailig on the influx of tech suites in the...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *