Annual Conference

15th Annual Entrepreneurship Law Conference

Friday, February 7, 2020

9 am - 1 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. Student registration is free if registered in advance. This program has been approved for a total of 1.5 general CLE credit hours in the state of Illinois. Click here to access the written materials for CLE credit. 

We are able to offer several scholarships to cover the full registration fee. If you are interested in applying to receive a scholarship and having your fee waived, please e-mail Allie Reid at

Conference Schedule



This year, Neal Sáles-Griffin, Managing Director of Techstars Chicago, will be presented with the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and will deliver the keynote speech.

Panel Topics

Building Businesses and Working with Start-up Lawyers - An Entrepreneur’s Perspective

  • Nico Aguilar, CEO and Co-Founder, Speeko
  • Amy Garber, Chief Intellectual Property Officer and Co-Founder, Hazel Technologies
  • Mert Iseri, CEO and Co-Founder, SwipeSense
  • Lucas Philips, Chief Growth Officer and Founder, BrewBike
  • Valentin Saportas, CEO and Co-Founder, MortgageHippo

Legal Issues and Working with Entrepreneurial Clients - A Lawyer’s Perspective

  • Laurie Bauer, Partner, Latham & Watkins
  • Gina Marek, Partner, Gunderson Dettmer
  • Ken Obel, Principal, goodcounsel
  • David Willbrand, Partner, Thompson Hine

Moderator: Darren Green, Faculty, 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.

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).
  • 2020 Neal Salés-Griffin, Managing Director, Techstars Chicago
  • 2019 Myra Pasek, General Counsel of Ouster
  • 2018 Benjamin Hernandez, CEO of NuMat Technologies
  • 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