Chairman, ChicagoNEXT, Associate Professor, University of Chicago
After many years of judging and mentoring in Booth's New Venture Challenge, Mark Tebbe brings a wealth of successful entrepreneurial experience into the classroom by leveraging his founding of two NASDAQ-listed corporations as well as direct involvement in numerous start-up and high-growth companies over the past thirty years. As both an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Chicago Polsky Center, Tebbe aids students in their entrepreneurial efforts and helps other professors enhance their classes. Outside of the classroom, in addition to being a prolific angel investor, Tebbe serves as Chairman of ChicagoNEXT, a dedicated public-private effort to improve Chicago's competitiveness in science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
In 1984, Mark founded Lante Corporation (NASDAQ: LNTE) a Chicago-based technology-consulting firm in which he served as the CEO and Chairman. Using a $10,000 credit line on his credit card, Tebbe launched the technology advisory firm that helped to create over 250 new businesses as well as building backend infrastructure and websites for established companies including Microsoft, Dell, American Airlines, American Express, and Charles Schwab. After going public in February 2000, Lante was taken private with SBI Group in September 2002 and sold (as Razorfish) to aQuantive in July 2004.
In September 2004, Tebbe was Co-Founder, Vice-Chairman of the Board and Lead Director of Answers Corporation, (NASDAQ:ANSW). Building on his inspiration to create a productive website to aid his son on a school essay, Tebbe co-conceived the answers.com website which became one of the Web's leading Q&A publishers and was sold to Announce Media in July 2011.
Tebbe also served as an Operating Executive at Lake Capital where he was involved in guiding and aiding numerous portfolio companies with strategy development, operational refinement, and execution monitoring, as well as investment evaluation, structuring and negotiation. Over the years, Tebbe has been a consultant to executive management of many leading companies including American Express, Dell, and Microsoft, as well as nonprofit organizations such as National Park Service, United Nations, and World Economic Forum. Tebbe has also served as a board member of SBI Group, Accent Software (NASDAQ:ACNTF), Divine Interventures (NASDAQ:DVIN), Elexos Corp. and Selective Search, Inc., ZixIt (NASDAQ:ZIXI) and OCTuS Software (NASDAQ:OCTS) with renowned Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell.
Tebbe is a recognized and published industry expert on emerging technologies whose insights have appeared in leading national publications including BusinessWeek, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal. In light of his service to the University of Illinois, where he earned his B.S. in Computer Sciencce - Engineering degree, Tebbe was honored with the Chicago Illini of the Year Award, as well as the national Alumni Honor Award for Distinguished Service. He has received numerous awards and honors including University of Illinois College of Engineering's "Alumni Award for Distinguished Service" Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" Finalist, Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Inductee, Crain's Chicago Business's "40 under 40", Crain's Chicago Business's "Tech 50", Microsoft's "Solution Provider Partner of the Year", and Sm@rt Reseller's "Smart 25" Executive.
Tebbe also serves on the boards of Enova (NASDAQ: ENVA), TechNexus and Raise.com as well as is a Board Advisor to Merrick Ventures. He also serves on the boards of many civic organizations including 1871 (Executive Committee Member), Big Shoulders Fund (Board Member), Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (Executive Committee Member), Economic Club of Chicago (Technology Committee, Program Committee), Field Museum of Chicago (Trustee, Executive Committee Member, Technology Committee Chair), mHUB (Executive Committee Member), UILabs (Executive Committee Member), World Business Chicago (Executive Committee Member). Mark and his wife also support numerous children-oriented, educational, and environmental causes.