SuperComm to spread some sunshine here
February 2, 2004
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Warm thought on these
sub-zero days: It will be sunny when SuperComm 2004 arrives at
McCormick Place June 20. SuperComm, a top global telecommunications
trade show, moves here from Atlanta for a three-year stay.
in Chicago at a time when the telecommunications industry is in
recovery," says Jack Chalden, show general manager. "We
expect 30,000 attendees from over 100 countries to participate."
Welcome news for Chicago's tech sector and tourism industry.
Daley and Jerry Roper at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce were
instrumental in bringing the show to Chicago," says John
Janowiak, senior director, International Engineering Consortium,
the Chicago-based group providing the educational content for
SuperComm. Show owners, the Telecommunications Industry Association
(TIA) and the US Telecom Association (USTA), credit the Chicago
Convention and Tourism Bureau, World Business Chicago and the
trade unions for playing team ball.
backers for Barack
an enormous opportunity to bring more dollars back to Illinois,"
Democratic Senate contender Barack Obama promised a group of supporters
at an event organized by three leaders of the city's tech community.
of the event were: Steve Beitler, chairman of the Illinois Venture
Capital Association and senior managing director of Dunrath Capital,
a local private equity firm; David Jacobsen, partner at Sonnenschein,
and Katherine Gehl, former special assistant to Mayor Daley for
technology and now an investment adviser with Bernstein Investment
Research and Management.
Obama, a state
senator, told the group he first came to Chicago to help displaced
South Side steel workers get retrained. To bring new jobs to Illinois,
he supports Gov. Blagojevich's proposed $200 million Illinois
Opportunity Fund, designed to stimulate venture investing.
early backer of Obama, says, "Barack's been an advocate of
venture capital in the Legislature. Venture capital and private
equity lead to innovation. That means new start-ups, which lead
to new jobs."
CEO of S&C Electric Co., is working to secure the 1,700 jobs
his company provides in the city's Rogers Park neighborhood.
trying to bolster the country's antiquated electric power grid.
makes electrical equipment for big utilities and private companies
that have to move a lot of power around at high voltage. Customers
include Intel, Disney World and Commonwealth Edison. Estey makes
stuff that's like the circuit breaker in your home except on a
much bigger scale.
builds a product, he has to test it to assure it will work. "People's
lives [and the electrical infrastructure] depend on this equipment,"
just plug it in and test it. "It would be like testing a
Lamborghini on Pratt Blvd.," quips Estey. You have to go
to a test track.
there aren't any test tracks in the United States So Estey packs
his products on trucks or rail cars, and ships them to Canada
a proposal for the federal government. Given last summer's blackout
and the strategic importance of the electric power grid, maybe
there should be a test track in the U.S. He'll share the construction
cost for a state of the art advanced technology center located
Electric is willing to commit approximately $15 million worth
of equipment, land, infrastructure and engineering effort. To
finish the project will take another $20 million," says Estey,
who offers to split that last portion with the feds and operate
the facility without subsidy. In today's uncertain world, Estey
thinks it's smart to have a testing facility at home.
Speaks at IIT
CTO Dennis Roberson, now vice provost for new initiatives at IIT
is "bringing in some friends" to share ideas.
the former CTO of Motorola, your friends include entrepreneur
Vanu Bose who's making waves with a new start-up specializing
in "software radio," an innovative approach to cellular
to show up at McCormick Tribune Campus Center at 4:30 p.m. today
to learn more. Bose is the son of Amar Bose, the pioneer in sound
systems and speaker technology. Admission is free.
Krauss is a Chicago based tech-writer and consultant, and senior
vice president for Hostway Corp., Chicago.