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ICNC & The Hatchery Chicago’s Opening Doors – Unlocking Innovation

December 1, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm CST


Enter the future of innovation! Network with industry professionals, sample from West Side’s emerging brands, and engage with trending topics. Plus, in partnership with third-party delivery app Grubhub, we’re presenting the Grubhub x The Hatchery Chicago Kitchen Pitch Contest, where five businesses will pitch live to a panel of experts to win up to one year of free private kitchen space in The Hatchery. Also thanks to Grubhub, each ticket purchased receives a unique code for $15 off your next Grubhub order of $25 or more!

All funds support our non-profit mission of helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses, and enhancing economic development and job creation on Chicago’s West Side. Contact Natalie Shmulik ([email protected]) and Steve DeBretto ([email protected]) for support opportunities.

Each ticket purchased gives a free ticket to a West Side resident. Are you a West Side resident interested in attending for free? Reach out here.


Keynote Speaker:

Howard Migdal is the Chief Executive Officer of Grubhub where he leads all aspects of the business, including Grubhub’s network of millions of diners and hundreds of thousands of restaurants and delivery partners. Howard also serves as the executive vice president of North America for Just Eat Takeaway.com, Grubhub’s parent company. His North America segment responsibilities include oversight for SkipTheDishes in Canada in addition to his role as CEO of Grubhub in the U.S. He was previously chief executive officer of SkipTheDishes where he played a critical role in driving growth for the food delivery network, which is the largest in Canada. Howard was responsible for leading the company’s operational and strategic initiatives for more than four years as the company’s chief operating officer before being appointed chief executive officer. He brings more than 16 years of experience in food delivery, having co-founded GrubCanada, Canada’s first national food delivery platform in 2008.


Judging Panel:

Taylor Mason is the owner of Taylor’s Tacos, a taco shop and catering kitchen located in Chicago, IL. They specialize in authentic street style tacos with a whole lot of soul! From the west coast to the west side, Taylor’s Tacos have all the flavor and they will certainly give you somethin‘ to taco ’bout! What started as a fun way to bring friends together in sunny California has blossomed into an awesome taco shop that is about bringing folks together all in the name of tacos!



Jeremy Joyce is the heart and soul behind Black People Eats, LLC. He’s the brain behind a digital advertising company that celebrates black-owned food and beverage businesses in the most fun and engaging way. Jeremy and his team are all about putting black-owned establishments in the spotlight. They love to work with companies on campaigns to make the black culinary space shineBut, Jeremy isn’t just about the sizzle; he’s also got a big heart. He’s the driving force behind the Black Owned Restaurant Relief Fund where he has donated over $100,000 to help out black-owned eateries and make a real difference.  Why focus solely on black-owned places? Because Jeremy and his crew believe in giving them a global voice and sharing the love for their flavors and stories. Jeremy’s journey started when he noticed these incredible restaurants weren’t getting the attention they deserved. So, he decided to be the change and put them on the map. From savoring amazing dishes to giving back to the community, Jeremy and Black People Eats, LLC are all about making the culinary world a more exciting and inclusive place. 


Kristen Ashley is owner of Cleo’s Southern Cuisine. Growing up in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Ashley’s focus was always her family. She developed a love for cooking Creole and started making all of the southern dishes she learned for her family and friends. They couldn’t get enough and encouraged her to start a catering business. In 2014, she traded her microphone for an apron and started Cleo’s Southern Cuisine, named after her late-grandmother, Cleo. After five successful years of offering Creole-inspired Southern comfort food and creating a large following in Chicago, she opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in May 2019. Just four blocks from where Ashley grew up, the entire staff was comprised of her family – her mother, dad, brother, aunt and cousin – and her passion turned into a family business. In 2021, Cleo’s expanded and opened a second location at the prestigious Time Out Market in Chicago’s West Loop. After a year of award-winning success, the hometown football team took notice and invited Ashley to open a location inside of Soldier Field. Ashley then began catering for the Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls and most recently the Chicago Sky. In late 2022, Cleo’s expanded again to the official second brick-and-mortar location in the Loop. Ashley is now in the finalization stages of opening a larger restaurant blocks from where this all began – Bronzeville. 



December 1, 2023
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm CST
Event Categories:


The Hatchery
135 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 60612 United States
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