DePaul FoundersWeekends start tonight, inspiring future of entrepreneurialism

DePaul University’s entrepreneurial acceleration booster, DePaul C.E.O. kicks off its four-week FoundersWeekends tonight as a program for first-time entrepreneurs and recent graduates with a venture idea looking to establish the right team. 

Tonight’s opening event pulls together 14 young CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs to share their startup stories to budding students looking to follow in their footsteps. With DePaul C.E.O. President, John DeOrian, organizer and serial entrepreneur Elbert Clayton designed the discussions to be roundtable style, believing panel discussions to be less authentic and accessible, Clayton says.

He also wanted more opportunities for students to hear success stories organically and be inspired beyond the classroom.

“We want to be that hub that generates innovation outside of DePaul,” Clayton said. “The goal is to have a conversation with a new person, hopefully one that may offer them an opportunity or a job or even give advice for their idea.”

Speakers include Doejo founder and CEO Phil Tadros, who bought his first coffeeshop at 19 and has been building businesses and his digital agency ever since; Kris Petersen, CEO of DealsGoRound, a secondary marketplace for daily deals; Jonathan Pasky, co-founder of midVentures, on the helm of tech startup business and legal strategy; and others.

Each table will have a separate speaker with seating for up to 12 individuals at each table for a one-on-one discussion around our four principle topics: Building A Brand That Breathes Your Company Mission (with the above mentioned speakers), Recruiting Great Co-Founders For Your Start-Up, Creating A Disruptive Business Model On Day One, and Launching A Product From A Napkin Idea.

At the end of each 20-25 minute discussion, the event attendees will be able to rotate to another table to listen to another speaker, according to

“This allows the students to ask the questions that they want to get out of this event,” Clayton said. 

The events are open to the public if you go to and register. Tonight’s kickoff, “Listen, Learn & Launch” will be held at DePaul University’s downtown campus, 1 E. Jackson, 9th Floor, from 6pm – 9pm with an after party mixer (with food provided) at Pazzo’s Cucina Italiana from 9pm – 1 am. For more information contact

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