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

Wednesday, Oct. 4

1 Million Cups Chicago

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

How much? Free!

1 Million Cups is a free, nationwide program in which innovators and entrepreneurs can come together and network over a cup of coffee.


Metro Chicago Export Pitch

When & where: 2-6:30 p.m.; mHub, 965 W. Chicago Ave.

How much? Free!

Ten companies throughout the region will pitch to a panel of judges their plans for expanding globally. Attendees can look forward to an afternoon of interesting pitches, food, drinks and networking.


ImBlackInTech: The Founders Series

When & where: 6-8 p.m.; The Blue Lacuna, 2150 S. Canalport Ave.

How much? $15-20

The event, sponsored by Blue 1647, will feature a panelist of local black startup founders, including Kairos Founder Brian Brackeen and Sugar Gamers Founder Keisha Howard.


Thursday, Oct. 5

TechNexus October Block Party

When & where: 5-8 p.m.; TechNexus, 20 N. Upper Wacker Drive, South Kitchen

How much? Free!

Startup accelerator TechNexus is hosting a block party where attendees can network and socialize with fellow entrepreneurs, VCs, and corporate partners within the TechNexus co-working space. Attendees can expect barbeque, beer and wine.


Saturday, Oct. 7

“Entrepreneurs Star” Midwest Pitch Competition

When & where: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; mHub Chicago, 965 W. Chicago Ave.

How much? $13.99–34.99

The competition, hosted by Build312 and BASIC, is going to give promising startups the opportunity to pitch their concepts to top-tier investors. Competition winners will have the chance to compete with teams in other regions for a $1 million prize.


Tuesday, Oct. 10

 FinTank’s Blockchain Summit

When & where: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; IIT, 565 W. Adams St.

How much? $299-399

Hosted by FinTank and the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business, the event will include leading experts in the field of Blockchain technology, who will share their insights on the impact the technology will have on businesses across a range of industries.


Thursday, Oct. 12

Becoming a Software Developer

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

How much? Free!

The event will operate as a Q&A panel with current developers in Chicago, who will talk about their experience working in the profession. Attendees can expect pizza and time to network.


2017 Healthbox Studio Showcase and Mixer

When & where: 5:30-8 p.m.; Healthbox, 1000 W. Fulton Market, Suite 213

How much? Free!

The event will be a showcase of the 2017 Healthbox Studio, which serves as an accelerator for 10 emerging digital health startups. Attendees will be able to learn more about the companies and connect with local healthcare and tech professionals.


Monday, Oct. 16

Northwestern Mutual’s Reverse Pitch MKE: Chicago Kickoff

When & where: 6-7 p.m.; 1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212

How much? Free!

At the event, part of Milwaukee Startup Week, Northwestern Mutual will ask entrepreneurs to solve common business challenges. Teams that accept the challenge can earn a seed investment of up to $85,000.


Tuesday, Oct. 17

Meet & Greet Dominik Schiener—Co-Founder of the IOTA Foundation

When & where: 6-9 p.m.; Chicago Connectory, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza

How much? Free!

The meet-up will give attendees a chance to meet Dominik Schiener, the co-founder of the IOTA Foundation, and engage in a thoughtful conversation about the state of tech.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

Fourth Revolution Awards

When & where: 6-9:30 p.m., Wintrust Grand Baking Hall, 231 S. Lasalle St.

How much? $300

Hosted by UI LABS, mHUB and IMEC, the event will celebrate those working in regional manufacturing for their leadership and innovation. Additionally, the event will recognize area companies in categories like startup of the year, innovation of the year, and product design of the year.


Friday, Oct. 20

SeedCon 2017

When & where: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Venue Six10, 610 S. Michigan Ave.

How much? $35-55

The annual entrepreneurship and venture capital conference, which is hosted by the Polsky Center and the Chicago Booth Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Student Group, is designed to educate and inspire students and professionals about entrepreneurship and venture capital.


Bronzeville International Summit VI

When & where: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; ComED Chicago Training Center, 3536 S. Iron St.

How much? $0–100

The summit is an all-day meet-up for innovators, community economic development practitioners, local stakeholders and civic entrepreneurs who want to contribute to sustainability efforts for the Bronzeville South Lakefront region.


Friday- Saturday, Oct. 20-21

She Did It Her Way Summit

Where: mHub, 965 W. Chicago Ave.

How much? $100-397

This one-day workshop, hosted by Amanda Boleyn, the host of the podcast, “She Did It Her Way,” is designed for entrepreneurs who have or are planning to launch their own business venture. The workshop will give attendees advice and coaching on how to make sure their venture is sustainable.


Monday-Sunday, Oct. 16-22

Chicago Ideas Week

When & where: Varies

How much? Varies

The annual, week-long event includes panels and networking sessions in which entrepreneurs, tech moguls and thought leaders come together to share their knowledge and expertise, making it the largest ideas festival in the world.


Sunday-Wednesday, Oct. 22-25

Relativity Fest

Where: Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

How much? $1,450

The annual conference, designed to educate the e-discovery community, will include panel discussions, labs and breakout sessions, where attendees can hear from Relativity staff, users and industry leaders.


Thursday, Oct. 26

FUND Conference

When & where: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Venue Six10, 610 S. Michigan Ave.

How much? $150

The conference, now in its third year, connects early-stage investors and growing companies through a day of keynotes, panels and presentations.