Here are our picks for the best networking events, panels and pitch sessions in Chicago for the month of December. If you have a submission, email it to

Friday, Dec. 1

The Fall 2017 University of Chicago Innovation Fund Finals

When & where: 7:30-11:30 a.m.; Polsky Exchange North, 1452 E. 53rd St.

How much? Free!

Biotech applicants from the University of Chicago, Argonne National Lab, Fermilab and the Marine Biology Laboratory will compete for up to $250,000 in capital.


Girl Scouts Girls Only Coding Workshop

When & where: 6:30-7:45 p.m.; Codeverse Studio, 819 W. Eastman St.

How much? $49

The event, designed for girls in elementary school, will teach them how to code, as well as let them interact with high-tech objects, like movable color-changing spotlights and 3D printers.


Monday, Dec. 4

A Day in the Life of a Data Engineer

When & where: 6-8 p.m.; DevMynd, 2035 W. Wabansia Ave.

How much? Free!

The event will include a panel of women from different companies that will talk about their careers as data engineers.


Parent Workshop—Coding 101 for Parents

When & where: 10-11 a.m.; Codeverse, 819 W. Eastman St.

How much? Free!

The event, hosted by Codeverse, will be a hands-on and collaborative basic coding class.


Tuesday, Dec. 5

Why Kids Should Learn to Code

When & where: 5:45-7 p.m.; Codeverse, 819 W. Eastman St.

How much? Free!

The event will inform attendees on why it’s important to equip children with tech and coding skills they’ll need to be successful in their future educational and professional lives.


Wednesday, Dec. 6

1 Million Cups Chicago

When & where: 8:30-10 a.m.; 1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212

How much? Free!

The event will feature two startup founders in the 1 Million Cups program, who will share their experiences building a company. The free, nationwide program educates, engages and accelerates early-stage startups. Attendees can expect networking and Dark Matter coffee.


Thursday, Dec. 7

Startup Weekend Chicago Re-Launch

When & where: 6-8:30 p.m.; Techstars, 1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212

How much? Free!

The event will give interested startup founders a chance to learn about Techstars and what the startup weekend in 2018 will entail. Attendees will meet the Chicago tech community’s movers and shakers, and have access to drinks and snacks.


BuiltIn Brews at Trustwave

When & where: 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Trustwave, 70 W. Madison St., Suite 600

How much? $5

Attendees can expect drinks and networking with employees at Trustwave, a company that helps businesses fight cybercrime.


“Got Funding? Now what?”

When & where: 6-9 p.m.; MHub, 965 W. Chicago Ave.

How much? $15-20

The event, which will merge Chicago’s tech scene with a nightlife atmosphere, will provide advice on how to take on investments and allocate monies correctly. Attendees can expect drinks, a DJ and networking time.


Brew & You: How to Lead Millennials

When & where: 2:30-4 p.m.; 549 W. Randolph St., Suite 400

How much? Free!

The lunch event will give attendees insight on how to manage and work with millennials.


Friday, Dec. 8

The Final Dec Bootcamp Chicago Demo Day + Graduation

When & where: 4:30-6 p.m.; Dev Bootcamp Chicago, 1033 W. Van Buren, 3rd Floor

How much? Free!

The organization is hosting a graduation ceremony for its final cohort of the year.


Saturday, Dec. 9

How Am I Building This: FinTech

When & where: 2-5 p.m.; CoGen Coworking, 1132 S. Wabash Ave., 2nd Floor

How much? $11.99

This FinTech event will give attendees a chance to network with Chicago-based business owners, entrepreneurs and startup founders, like Joshua Gordon Blake from Pangea, George Vukotich from FinTank and Rachael Olson from Enova International.


Monday, Dec. 11

The Future of FinTech is Female

When & where: 5-7 p.m.; Morningstar, 22 W. Washington St.

How much? $20-30

The event will feature women from Chicago’s FinTech ecosystem, who will share their stories on how they’ve established themselves as influencers in their industry. Panelists include Kristen Thiry of K+H Connection, Heather La Freniere of Silicon Valley Bank, Kristi Ross of tastytrade, Collen Sullivan of Sullivan Wold Kailus, Jason Henrichs of FinTEx and Rumi Morales of Rumi Ventures.


Wednesday, Dec. 13

Holiday Bash Featuring Startup F*ckups

When & where: 6-9 p.m.; WeWork State Street, 100 S. State St.

How much? $5

Attendees can expect to hear stories from multiple startup founders about the mistakes they have made while building their companies.


Thursday, Dec. 14

Bunker Brews Chicago—Holiday Edition

When & where: 5-8 p.m.; WeWork State Street, 100 S. State St., 4th Floor

How much? Free!

The holiday-themed happy hour, hosted by co-working company WeWork, will feature stories from veteran entrepreneurs on their experiences starting a business.


Saturday, Dec. 16

Chicago Inventors Annual Christmas Potluck Party

When & where: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Blue Lacuna, 2150 S. Canalport Ave., 2nd Floor

How much? $20

The event will feature Jennifer Turner, a certified public accountant, who will discuss how businesses can structure themselves for financial success in 2018.


Thursday, Dec. 21

Elmhurst Co-Working Connection

When & where: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Elmhurst Public Library, 125 S. Prospect Ave., 2nd Floor, Elmhurt, Ill. 60126

How much? Free!

The monthly event will give attendees a chance to network with entrepreneurs and small business owners.


Thursday, Dec. 28

Hack Night

When & where: 6-9 p.m.; 1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor

How much? Free!

The event will give female coders a chance to learn from and collaborate with each other.