Global leaders from science, engineering, technology, entertainment and business
gather in Chicago to educate, inspire and connect with the students who attend EMERGE/NEXT CHICAGO.

2018 Speakers To Be Announced

Victor Mateevitsi

Electronic Visualization, PHD
 Founder of Spidersense Suit

Wearable technologies expert, researcher and currently a PhD student at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago, Victor has been named one of the “20 in their 20s” by Chicago Crain’s Bussiness Magazine and awarded the “Fifty For The Future” award. He has worked for Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Young Guru

Audio Engineer
Founder, Era of the Engineer

Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton has resoundingly earned his reputation as one of the most renowned recording and mixing engineers in music today , having worked with artists such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rick Ross, Drake, T.I., Kanye West and Eminem. Wisened after years of successful endeavors (multi-platinum albums, and multiple Grammy nods) Young Guru has recently been working tirelessly to elevate the discourse of audio engineering philosophy, science and technology, emerging onto the college lecture circuit.

Iyore Olaye

Research and Development
@FormBeauty @Bevel

Iyore Olaye is a technology innovator who is transforming the beauty, cosmetic and technology industries as the lead development Engineer at Walker & Company Brands, backed by 33.3 million in funding with notable investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Nas, and Magic Johnson amongst others. Iyore is a graduate of Cornell University in chemical and biomolecular engineering and the only African American woman to receive a  B.S. degree in the Cornell University Chemical Engineering Class of 2016 .  In 2017, she was was honored as by Forbes’ 30 under 30 in technology.


Senior Automotive Engineer

Rob is mechanical engineering professional at Toyota with over 15 years of experience in engineering vehicle development, automotive body and exterior design, design development, issue management and resolution.  McConnell served as the project design lead for multiple North American Production vehicles including the restyled 2013 Toyota Avalon.


Chris Mantz

Founder, DRIFT Eyewear

Chris Mantz is the owner, founder, visionary and manufacturing guru behind Drift Eyewear, a Chicago-based optical frame manufacturer and wholesaler that makes each individual frame, end to end, in their Chicago west loop facility. He believes that sourcing and manufacturing locally is great for the future; his company has worked with Google Glass and other corporations. Chris believes in patience and the power of an organically grown brand – and Drift Eyewear has built a sustainable company in the city.


Co-Founder, Creative Control

Award-winning film directors Coodie Simmons, who directed ESPN’s acclaimed 30-for-30 documentary “Benji,” about fallen high school basketball star Ben Wilson. Coodie grew up in Chicago and has been committed to making films that depict positive images and committed to cultural storytelling.  He and his partner, Chize Ozah have built a film company, Creative Control, which has produced music videos for Kanye West, rapper Joey Badas$$, Erykah Badu and more.