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Chicago offers a huge array of professional organizations that promote education and networking.  There are so many events that you could have a full time job just trying to attend them all.  If you are thinking of getting out of your office at least a few times a year to pick up new ideas and make new connections (which we strongly recommend), here’s a list of some of our favorites local groups:

Chicago Technology Community

Built in Chicago.  Built In Chicago is a community resource for “digital professionals” working to build great web and mobile businesses. Thier mission is to connect, educate and promote the growing digital community in Chicago.


Product Strategy, Development and Management

Chicago Product Management Association.  ChiPMA, The Chicago Area Product Management Association, is all about helping Product managers and related fields to get better at designing, building and launching digital products and services. Modeled after the Silicon Valley Product Managers Association (SVPMA), ChiPMA’s meetings expose members to current trends in innovation, product strategy, product marketing, development approaches and the latest tools and technologies.  Whom it’s for: Software and Digital Product managers and related fields like user experience design, software development, and product marketing.

Chicago Lean Startup Circle.  The Chicago Lean Startup Circle is a group of smart and driven high-tech entrepreneurs that have learned how to discover customers and build products they want.  Lean Startups achieve success faster than most because they get out of the building to talk to customers, validate business model assumptions as quickly and cheaply as possible, use agile  development to decrease time to market and leverage continuous deployment to learn as fast as possible.

Product Development and Management Association (PDMA).  We are the premier organization focused on managing organizational and innovation processes for consistently producing commercially successful new products and services.  We hope you will join us in building a meaningful community of project managers, service/product developers and innovation managers in the greater Chicago metropolitan area.  We offer opportunities to build skills and share knowledge and foster personal contacts.

Innovation Roundtable.  The University of Chicago Booth School of Business’ Innovation Roundtable is open to anyone with an interest in innovation as it is related to the identification, development and commercialization of new products and services. Programs feature practicing innovation professionals leading discussions on concepts, tools and best practices for improving innovation activities within companies.

Big Data and Data Science

Data Science Chicago brings together people interested in data science: the analytical “statistics and machine learning” side, the creative “visualization and design” side, the verbal “communication and story-telling” side, and especially the area in-between those extremes. Our members are professionals, students, consultants, and entrepreneurs that love data and understand the potential value it brings for society, business, and government. Meeting topics are varied and range from tutorials on new technologies and their applications, success stories from practitioners, cutting-edge academic data science, and social activities. Long, boring talks will not be tolerated 🙂 All are welcome — to attend, to meet others, and to contribute to the community!

Big Data and Analytics Roundtable - Chicago Booth

The Big Data and Analytics Roundtable provides a forum for members of the Chicago Booth community (alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends) to understand the methodologies, frameworks, tools and applications of big data and analytics across industries and functions.

Healthcare Information Technology


MATTER is a Chicago community of healthcare entrepreneurs and industry leaders working together in a shared space to individually and collectively fuel the future of healthcare innovation.

HIMMS is focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.  We are a diverse group of experienced healthcare professionals working in the greater Chicagoland area.  We work at hospitals, corporate health systems, consulting firms, vendor organizations, universities, and a wide variety of other organizations.  Our members range from CEOs, CIOs, and other senior executives to analysts and students. We have technical members and clinical members.

Chicago Health 2.0 is a subchapter of the national Health 2.0 group. We are focused on discussing and showcasing health-related technology with an emphasis on the Chicago area. We tend to focus on initiatives which result in making health and healthcare more efficient, cost effective, and accessible.  At our meetings, we profile start-ups and individuals such as EMR/EHR, personal health records (PHRs), information therapy (Ix), patient/caregiver communities, patient/doctor communication, fitness/wellness, remote monitoring, patient engagement/education, and much more.


Project Management

Chicago Agile Project Management Group.  Meet other local Agile enthusiasts interested in sharing experiences in Agile & Lean project management practices, tools, and coaching and teaching techniques.

User Experience (UX)

Interaction Design Association (IxDA).  IxDA is the Interaction Design Association, a network dedicated to the professional practice of Interaction Design.  The Chicago area chapter of the  Interaction Design Association (IxDA) global exists to bring together local area designers in all disciplines that overlap with interaction design, whether it be product, digital, space, research, or even business, that strive to create user-centered design solutions.

Internet of Things (IOT)

IoT Chicago logo

Internet of Things Chicago.  Explore design practices, technologies, and opportunities around new information networks of physical “things” embedded with sensors and actuators – from roadways to running shoes – internet enabled, sensing the environment, communicating, combined with smart devices and cloud, providing real-time data creating new information networks, new business models, and really cool stuff. A cross-pollination of ideas from creative thinkers, designers, engineers, researchers, data scientists and entrepreneurs to create meaningful and tangible solutions that will make the Internet of Things (IoT) more human, ubiquitous and commercially viable.