Great news for Chicago entrepreneurship. Google exec Kevin Willer has been named CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC). An affiliate of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the CEC identifies the region’s most promising entrepreneurs and helps them build high-growth, sustainable businesses in the region.
Willer co-founded Google’s Chicago office in late 2000 and has helped grow the Google Chicago office to more than 400 professionals. Willer developed Google partnerships with advertisers and agencies, including Dell, United Airlines, FTD, State Farm, Omnicom, and Publicis. Willer also spearheaded advertising relationships with AT&T, Sprint, Dell and Motorola.
As a resident of Chicago, it’s great to see such a seasoned exec lead entrepreneurship efforts in the Windy City. As technology companies like Groupon, 37 Signals, GrubHub, Appolicious and others see success, Chicago is just another city proving that all innovation and entrepreneurship doesn’t take place exclusively in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...