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Scale Your Everest, Preparing to Succeed in The Death Zone of High Stakes Entrepreneurship with Erik Severinghaus

April 13 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


Join us for this virtual session as we hear from Erik Severinghaus, a serial entrepreneur, who breaks down what it’s really like to build a startup and the importance of taking care of yourself when building your company.

Meet Erik

I am a serial innovator and entrepreneur who’s helped create products with hundreds of millions of dollars of sales and businesses with hundreds of millions of dollars of exits in businesses ranging from technology platforms to pizza franchises. My companies and opinions have been covered in Forbes, Fortune and The Wall St. Journal.

I have an undergraduate degree from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. I’m also an alumnus of Techstars, Chicago’s 1871, and a variety of other entrepreneurial incubators.

During the spring you’ll find me living and dying by the success of the Tar Heels in the tournament, and come summer time I’m in the right field bleachers of Wrigley cheering on the Cubs, often with my amazing wife.

I’m also an avid endurance athlete, twice completing Ironman triathlons and climbing some of the world’s tallest mountains. In 2018 I successfully summitted Mt. Everest.


Climbing Mt. Everest was the second hardest thing I have ever done. The second nearest I have ever felt to dying.

The first is being an entrepreneur.

During my career, I’ve closed down 6 companies, losing over $2MM of investor capital in organizations as wide ranging as tech startups, consultancies, and even a board game business (the games from which I literally could not give away). I have been let go twice, including from a side job selling Cubs charity raffle tickets. I was once called “the single worst investment ever made” by a prominent Chicago investor. I have had investors renege on deal terms and give me fake wire transfer numbers while assuring me that the money I needed to avoid bankruptcy was on the way. I have watched trusted mentors rip off my business ideas and release them as their own. The entrepreneurial journey has cost me an engagement, a best friend, a six-figure bank account, and probably a few years of my life. Sometimes I can barely make it out of bed in the mornings thanks to a herniated disc in my back.

These struggles have made me who I am and are the keys that unlocked the achievements above.


April 13
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm