Kris Petersen

Entrepreneur and Director of Product Strategy in Chicago, Illinois

Kris Petersen

Entrepreneur and Director of Product Strategy in Chicago, Illinois

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I'm a seasoned startup founder/operator with deep product experience and more than a decade of work in logistics and supply chain technology. I've been coding for fun since the age of 13, but my education and early professional career was primarily business-focused with a hint of industrial engineering.

My career began with 6 years inside the consulting arms of IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers in their supply chain practices. Multiple side hustles and thousands of hours of night and weekend coding binges later, I was recruited to join Lightbank, a $200M early stage VC fund, as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

My E.I.R. position lasted less than a year as I quickly took one of my side projects out of the dark with $1M seed round from several prominent Chicago-based VCs, including Lightbank, Pritzker Group, and Chicago Ventures. Two years later, after a small pivot, a second round of VC funding, that company was acquired. I've since gone on to be a founding CTO and CEO in two more VC-funded companies. One was acquired and the other failed.

In 2016, I had the opportunity to work with a previous investor of mine and join his company, Uptake, as a Director of Product Strategy. The decision was a no-brainer.

From the time I was a child, one thing has remained constant. I am a builder. Hard work and learning is my addiction. I've been very fortunate to meet some great people who have opened up some truly amazing opportunities for me. My work has been covered in print and on television including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CBS, NBC and many other prominent media outlets. I've guest lectured on the topic of entrepreneurship and startups at some of the country's top MBA programs including Kellogg School of Management, Booth School of Business, and Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.

  • Work
    • Uptake
  • Education
    • University of Illinois