Annual Conference

13th Annual Entrepreneurship Law Conference

Friday, March 16, 2018

9 am - 2 pm

From the initial idea to launching a new venture, an entrepreneur encounters legal questions every step of the way.

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law's Annual Entrepreneurship Law Conference is designed as a forum to explore various legal issues that entrepreneurs face when considering new ventures. Each year, a series of panel discussion provide practical, relevant information and an on-site law clinic provides more focused conversation.


Ben HernandezThis year, Benjamin Hernandez (JD-MBA '13), CEO of NuMat Technologies, will be presented with the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and will deliver the keynote speech.

Panel Topics

Food(ie) Entrepreneurs


  • Nate Cooper, Co-Founder & President at Wise Apple
  • Kim Dobbins, Founder at Simple Squares
  • Matt Galo, Partner at Schiff Hardin
  • Emily Groden, Legal Counsel at The Alinea Group and Tock
  • Shayna Harris, COO at Farmer's Fridge

Moderator: Darren Green, Senior Lecturer, Northwestern Pritzker Law

Taking on Regulated Industries


  • Charlie Bachtell, CEO and Co-Founder of Cresco Labs
  • Jonathan Gunn, CEO & Co-Founder of Briteseed
  • Anna Remis, Partner at Sidley Austin
  • Laurie Tenzer, General Counsel at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Moderator: Jim Speta, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for International Initiatives, Northwestern Pritzker Law

The Conference is being hosted by Northwestern Law's Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center and the DPELC student group. We are also grateful to our sponsors.

Food and beverages will be provided.


Space is limited. Based on past experience we expect the conference will be fully subscribed. Attendees come from various backgrounds, including start-up executives, aspiring entrepreneurs, financiers, service providers, thought leaders, and students from law, business, and engineering schools as well as high school students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes. Due to this overwhelming interest, please register early to reserve your spot.


Parking Information

The nearest paid parking structure is located at 222 E. Huron (C-Lot, Huron-St. Clair Self Park), but there is also street parking. You must enter the main law school entrance at 375 E. Chicago Ave., between Levy Mayer Hall and the Rubloff Building. Other doors may be locked.
Parking Information | Driving Directions

Distinguished Entrepreneur Award Recipients

2015 Entrepreneurship Conference Keynote Speaker Tom Morsch
Tom Morsch, 2015 Keynote Speaker and Distinguished Entrepreneurship Award Recipient, with DPELC client Julie Peterson (left) and Esther Barron (right).
  • 2017 Nazar Yasin, Founder and Managing Partner of Rise Capital and Founder and Executive Chairman of MarcoPolo Learning
  • 2016 Stuart Frankel, Chief Executive Officer of Narrative Science
  • 2015 Tom Morsch, Founder of Small Business Opportunity Center at Northwestern Law
  • 2014 Joe Dwyer, venture capitalist, technologist, and serial entrepreneur
  • 2013 J. B. Pritzker, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Pritzker Group
  • 2012 Tom Churchwell, Managing Partner of Midwest Venture Partners and Founder of ViMedicus, Inc.
  • 2011 Chuck Templeton, Founder of
  • 2010 Marc Schulman, President of Eli's Cheesecake
  • 2009 Buzz Ruttenberg, Founder of Belgravia Group
  • 2008 Howard Tullman, venture capitalist, technologist, and serial entrepreneur
  • 2007 Matt Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer of
  • 2006 Randall Kaplan, Co-Founder of Akamai Technologies and Founder of Jump Investors