On March 10th, TechRise, Verizon and 1871 hosted a virtual event for 300 people in Chicagoland’s tech community to talk about closing the resource gap facing Black and Latinx early stage founders in Chicago and solutions to close that gap. The event featured panelists and speakers from the Chicago tech community, Black and Latinx co-founders, and leaders from across the Chicago business community. Speakers included Verizon’s Nia Mathis and Steven Shaw, alongside former  Penny Pritzker; Sherrel Dorsey, The Plug; Betsy Ziegler, 1871; and many more.

Below is a summary video of the event, the full event video, and individual break out panels and speakers. To learn more about TechRise and its ongoing mission to support early stage founders in Chicago, visit


Black Business-Ready Panel

June 20, 2022
Watch SGA Central Region leaders Nia Mathis, Steven Shaw, and Tupac Hunter chat with Chicago baker and entrepreneur Johnathon Bush, Founder of Not Just Cookies. The group discussed their personal...

Weekly Citizen: 5G and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Could Help End the Digital Divide

April 19, 2022
By Hazel Trice Edney, 4/8/22 The last two years have underlined what we already knew: the digital divide in America is real and has consequences for millions of Americans. An...

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US Tech Future is a Verizon-led community-focused initiative working to engage the local community in a discussion about technology and how it can improve the lives of local residents for their benefit and the benefit of the community as a whole.

Our mission is to engage with citizens and community stakeholders in USA to provide information on how technology can work to have a dramatic impact on the way we work and live in our communities.