Chicago Alumni Gathering

Monday, November 18, 2013

Join President John Anderson for a Chicago alumni event at 1871 featuring a program on innovation. At this event, you will hear from student speaker Dane Christianson (third year ME), who is the inventor of the X-Cube, a more challenging successor to the Rubik's Cube. Additionally, a panel of IIT young alumni entrepreneurs will share their knowledge and behind-the-scenes stories of their startups. 

This event will kickoff Global Entrepreneurship Week—the world's largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare. 

Panel members: 

Hazem Dawani (CPE '01)
Chief Executive Officer, OptionsCity Software, Inc. 

Tarek Fadel (LAW '03)
Founder and CEO, AdaptiGroup LLC. 

Rich Komaiko (LAW '12)
Co-Founder, Amicus Media LLC.

Zahra Tashakorinia (M.S. DSGN '12) 
Co-Founder, TT Design Labs (acquired by Logitech) 

Be sure to join IIT on Friday, November 22, 2013 for the finale of Global Entrepreneurship Week. This event will feature guest speakers, student organizations, and competiton winners, as well as an exclusive networking opportunity with VIPs featuring successful tech entrepreneur Idris Kothari. View more information and register online. 

222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212
Chicago, IL 60654

Lauren Shelby at 312.567.5030 or
Register online

There is no charge for this event. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be provided during the program.

About our Speakers

Dane Christianson
Dane Christianson is currently a 3rd year mechanical engineering undergraduate student at IIT. He is the inventor of the X-Cube, a more challenging successor to the Rubik's Cube. Last December, Christianson used the Idea Shop's 3D printer to make a prototype of his puzzle, which rapidly garnered a great deal of interest on the internet. In response, he formed Moving Parts LLC to bring the puzzle to the market. Over the summer, he launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the project, which successfully raised startup capital to bring the X-Cube into mass production. The X-Cube has been successfully developed and will make its first appearance in Marbles the Brain Store this Christmas. 

Hazem Dawani
After graduating from IIT in 2001, Hazem Dawani found his first job with a small software company in Chicago’s suburbs using the IIT Career Management Center. After two years, he joined one of the city’s most prominent trading firms, Chicago Trading Company, and quickly identified an opportunity to excel. Realizing it was a unique time for the firm, he became part of the software team to find a solution to the firm’s electronic trading initiative. Dawani then led a team to build and implement a successful market making platform that helped transition the business. It was this experience that opened his eyes to entrepreneurship. Along with two IIT alumni, he co-founded OptionsCity Software, Inc. in 2006. As chief executive officer, Dawani led the business development aspects of OptionsCity, as well as the products’ direction and the company’s global expansion. Today, he leads a profitable company with more than 55 employees in Chicago, New York, and London and was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business Top “40 under 40” in 2012. 

Tarek Fadel
Tarek A. Fadel is the founder and CEO of AdaptiGroup LLC. AdaptiGroup was created in 2003 to address the need for greater and more intelligent use of technology in bar exam preparation. The AdaptiBar® Online Multistate Simulator & Prep program launched early the following year and today prepares thousands of students annually in more than fifty countries and all fifty States.   

Fadel graduated from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in May 2003 and is a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois. While in law school, Fadel served as president of the Student Bar Association (SBA) and was awarded the SBA President of the Year Award by the American Bar Association (ABA). He also received the Bar & Gavel Award for outstanding service to his classmates, as well as the Award for Distinguished Service to the Law School. Prior to attending law school, Fadel served as a consultant to numerous Fortune 500 companies on technical issues related to Y2K compliance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from DePaul University in 1998. 

Fadel recently ended his two-year term as president of the Alumni Board of Directors at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is a member of the ABA Young Lawyers Division's Truth in Law School Education Committee. He is also a member of the Women in Law Committee of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and a past member of the Legal Education, Admission and Competency Standing Committee of the ISBA. Fadel has served as an ISBA delegate to the ABA's Young Lawyers Division Assembly and also served on the ISBA Young Lawyers Division Council. He currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Richard Komaiko 
Richard Komaiko founded AttorneyFee in 2011 to expand access to justice through market mechanisms, particularly free flow of information and increased liquidity. Komaiko has extensive experience in the legal technology nexus, web strategy, and economic policy. He is a member of the strategic advisory committee of the ABA Center for Professional Ethics and the author of a peer-reviewed book on legal sociology. He is a 2012 graduate of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Illinois.

Zahra Tashakorinia
Zahra Tashakorinia earned her master’s degree in design from IIT Institute of Design in 2012. As a student, she co-founded TT Design Labs where she designed and created new iPhone accessories such as JustMount and TidyTilt. Tashakorinia and Tarnow (her business partner) developed TidyTilt for a 16-week school project and turned it into a business—today it is one of the most funded and successful design projects on, with 2,232% more funding than its initial goal. It has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, and ABC 7 News. TT Design Labs successfully launched three products and distributed them to more than 80 countries around the world in less than 18 months. The company was acquired by Logitech, and TidyTilt (along with a companion product) will be Logitech’s first mobile phone accessory. While serving as co-CEO of TT Design Labs, Tashakorinia began her post-college career as a design strategist for Sears Holdings Corporation, where she planned and conducted design research to find new opportunities for Craftsman to develop its product line and rejuvenate brand language; she also led and planned the design process in national and international projects within RD&D Pest Control for SC Johnson. Tashakorinia is currently working at Logitech to help build and develop the mobility business and pursue her vision on creating products that enhance users’ lifestyles. 

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