Upcoming Events

May Luncheon – Startup Chicago: Designing for Chicago's Growing Companies

Wed May 21 · 11:30 AM - 01:15 PM · East Bank Club

East Bank Club
500 N Kingsbury
Chicago, IL 60654

smps_startup_chicago_invite_fWith Chicago being one of the fastest growing hubs for entrepreneurship, tech, bio and startup companies, this panel with address how space in Chicago is evolving to meet the needs of growing companies.

What are these companies really looking for in the Chicago market and in the service providers they choose? Get an end users perspective on the building search process, the build out process, must have amenities and how/why they are designing space the way they are.



  • Mandy Graham, Design Strategist, Gensler Chicago
  • Pat Flavin, Executive Director, MATTER
  • Brad Serot, SVP, CBRE
  • Shradha Agarwal, Co-Founder/Chief Strategy Officer, ContextMedia


Bernstein_SSteven H. Bernstein, Director – Workplace Solutions


Steven, a strategic portfolio planning and workplace leader, specializes in the provision of strategic advice for the set up, operation and delivery of large capital programs and construction projects. His areas of expertise include project feasibility and development, business case approval, project planning and control, program monitoring for agile workplace environments. He has almost 15 years of successful project delivery experience and a proven track record of advising private sector clients on projects in locations throughout the Americas, United Kingdom, Europe, Africa and Asia.

About Our Panel:

Serot_BBrad Serot, Senior Vice President
CB Richard Ellis

Based in CBRE Chicago’s downtown office, Bradley A. Serot is currently a Senior Vice President, joining the firm in 2000. Mr. Serot is one of CBRE’s most prominent tenant representation brokers, having been involved in over 5,000,000 square feet of transactions valued at more than $3 billion. Through his perseverance and leadership, he is largely responsible for establishing the firm’s dominant tenant representation market share in downtown Chicago.

Throughout his career, Mr. Serot has been retained by the top digital media and technology companies in Chicago. Based on his extensive experience, he has a full understanding of the unique needs of growing companies. With his exclusive focus on tenant representation, Mr. Serot’s clients benefit from his extensive background structuring and negotiating commercial leases, developing comprehensive and strategic real estate plans and delivering results based on each clients’ unique business needs.


  • CBRE Top 225 Producer Worldwide (2009, 2011, 2012)
  • Colbert Coldwell Circle – 2009, 2012 (Top 100 Producers in CBRE Worldwide)
  • Downtown Top 10 Professionals (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Graham_MandyMandy Graham, Design Strategist
Gensler Chicago

Mandy Graham is a Design Strategist with 15 years of experience. In her role as a researcher, facilitator and communicator, she gathers quantitative and qualitative information about people, organizations, communities and cities to inform design. She works with many industries including technology, manufacturing, and consumer product goods companies to help them get the most from their real estate investments.

Flavin_PPat Flavin, Executive Director

Mr. Patrick Flavin is an entrepreneur and corporate lawyer with over 15 years of experience in the life sciences field. Mr. Flavin has helped to build several life sciences companies in the Chicago area, including MediChem Life Sciences and Advanced Life Sciences, both of which he helped to take public on NASDAQ while serving as each company’s chief legal executive. As an attorney, Mr. Flavin has served as counsel and advisor to several area companies in the medical device, diagnostic, health IT and drug development space. In addition to his experiences as chief legal executive, Mr. Patrick Flavin also co-founded a venture capital fund to invest in and manage early-stage life science companies in the Midwest. Before working in the industry, he served as an Assistant Counsel to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

MATTER is a community of healthcare entrepreneurs and industry leaders working together in a shared space to individually and collectively fuel the future of healthcare innovation. We’re here to build heroic new businesses to improve people’s lives. To inspire change. To embrace experimentation. To do something that matters.

Located in Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart, MATTER’s downtown location offers immediate access to a wealth of cutting-edge technology and premier medical institutions. Opening Fall 2014.

Agarwal_SShradha Agarwal, Chief Strategy Offier & Co-Founder

ContextMedia co-founder Shradha Agarwal has always had a passion for communication and launched her first media enterprise at age 9. While building ContextMedia from the ground up, she branded the healthcare media company as for-benefit, a successful for-profit enterprise that exists for social benefit, and focused on organizational culture architecture. Having led ContextMedia’s product development strategies for media and technology, Shradha currently designs and oversees the expansion initiatives that have doubled the company’s growth year-over-year.

Shradha is also an angel investor, conference speaker and startup advisor, mentoring at the Founder Institute, serving on the board of Northwestern Student Holdings, and participating at 1871, CEO, IIEE, The Executives’ Club of Chicago and Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Shradha, along with co-founder Rishi, was honored at the White House as Empact’s top 100 young entrepreneurs in the country. Shradha was also recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the Tech 50 individuals leading Chicago’s startup wave.

As a broadcast journalism alum of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a concentration in economics and international relations, Shradha’s prior experiences have taken her into newsrooms at NBC and CLTV. At NU she founded the Northwestern Business Review and served as the Editor-in-Chief developing the mission, plan and operations for the bi-annual magazine still distributed. She was featured by the NU Alumni Association as 1 of 30 most promising graduates in her class of 2,000 students.

Having lived in Delhi, Calcutta and Singapore, Shradha says she’s drawn to big cities. Now living between Manhattan and Chicago, she loves the energy of the former and the warmth (all pun intended) of the latter. A speaker of five languages, she enjoys traveling and has been through Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia fascinated by learning new cultures. Shradha is also a music and dance enthusiast, having once run her own dance troupe fusing Contemporary and Classical forms.

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Cost: $50 members | $95 non-members

Walk-ins will be charged an additional $25 for day of registration. Walk-ins are anyone desiring to register after the registration close at 5:00 pm the Monday prior to the program.