2014 Social Impact Summit Sponsors

Without the help of our unreasonable sponsors, the Social Impact Summit would not be possible. The following companies and organizations have made a statement about their value in other organizations and individuals that are actively working to make a positive impact on the world. We can't thank them enough for their support! 

Platinum Unreasonable Changemaker:

Headline Sponsor

Product Development Technologies, Inc. (PDT) is a global, full-service product development firm with over 125 employees worldwide. Since 1995, PDT has been providing comprehensive product development services to clients via a proven, process-driven approach. Team members have expertise in a wide range of product development disciplines, including product strategy, design research, industrial design, user experience and interface development, electrical and mechanical engineering and software development, laser scanning, and tooling.
Grounded in creativity, our work is balanced by a solid understanding of our clients’ business, the needs of their customers and demands of their markets. PDT’s award winning product designs have been recognized by BusinessWeek, The Industrial Designers Society of America, Design Journal, The Consumer Electronics Association, Inc. Magazine, Chicago Athenaeum of Architecture & Design, Parametric Technologies Corporation and more.

PDT CEO Mark Schwartz was the mentor for the winning team of the 2013 NIU Social Venture Competition Course. You can learn more about his dedication to social entrepreneurship here

Visit PDT's website to learn more

Gold Gamechangers:

Impact Engine.png

Sponsoring Pitch with a CAUSE

Impact Engine is a 16-week accelerator program that supports for-profit businesses addressing today’s societal and environmental challenges. We empower entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors to make a collective impact on society by applying smart business principles to the world’s greatest problems.

We don’t believe in compromising impact for profits or vice versa. A fallacy exists that mission and profits are mutually exclusive, and we’re determined to change this mindset. If we’re successful, impact entrepreneurs will have access to the support they need; traditional entrepreneurs will start to include mission into their business models; and more investors will take note of the highly profitable opportunities that exist among impact companies.

Visit Impact Engine's website to learn more

Ted Gonder Keynote Sponsor

Orbus Exhibit & Display Group is the trade’s one stop shop for everything displays – from portable signs and display products to custom solutions. Orbus is a privately owned group of companies that specialize in the manufacture and supply of trade show displays, trade show exhibits, banner stands, architectural wayfinding signage and fabric exhibit solutions.

Visit Orbus's website to learn more about Orbus

Marc Lane Keynote Sponsor

By providing dedicated courses, enriched academic experiences, and a rich variety of special events, programs and co-curricular activities, the University Honors Program seeks to promote and sustain academic and social fellowship among its community of academically motivated students who are committed to pursuing excellence in their studies and their lives. The program enhances a student's college education by combining the excellence of a select program and unique advantages with the opportunities at the center of a major research university.

Visit the NIU Honors Program webpage to learn more

Chester Kolodziej

Lunch Sponsor

Chester Kolodziej, and NIU alum, is the Executive Director of Freedom Field Renewable Energy, Inc. He has 35 years of management experience in manufacturing, product distribution, and service delivery.  Since 2002, his experience spans a broad range of advanced technologies: Renewable Energy, Nanomaterials, Industrial Ceramics, RFID, Sensors and Cloud Based Analytics, and Carbon Fiber technologies. Mr. Kolodziej has worked with multiple start-ups and has consulted for companies such as Becker Wind Energy, Advanced Composite Industries, Rock Wind Venture Partners, Materials Modification, Inc., and BioVantage Fuels.

Silver Differencemakers:


Microfinance Panel Sponsor

Social Venture Partners Chicago is a partnership of philanthropic leaders who invest time, expertise and money in innovative nonprofits that have the potential to make meaningful and sustainable improvements within the Chicagoland community. SVP’s goal is to help nonprofits to be as effective as possible in delivering programs and services by helping to build their organizational capacity.

Visit Social Venture Partners' Website to learn more

Breakfast Sponsor

NIU's Department of Management in the College of Business is proud to support CAUSE’s 2014 Social Impact Summit.  Committed to developing social entrepreneurs, the department offers courses, fellowships, scholarships, and extra-curricular activities to help students gain the skills, knowledge, and networks necessary to solve social problems of the world using business principles.  The department offers the Minor in Social Entrepreneurship, Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Social Venture Competition and social venture consulting opportunities.  Students also gain international experience in social entrepreneurship through travel to Mexico for internships and study abroad opportunities as part of the Social Venture Consulting and Microfinance classes.

Visit NIU Mangagement's webpage to learn more

Social Startups Panel Sponsor

NGOLD is an interdisciplinary center that serves undergraduate students, faculty and researchers, and nonprofit leaders in the northern Illinois region and beyond. Our mission is to enhance civil society through the work of nonprofits and other forms of public service.

We are pleased to offer an undergraduate major in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) that prepares students for challenging and rewarding careers. CLCE majors are given the opportunity to choose an area of emphasis in Advocacy, Arts and Humanities, Enterprise, Environment, and Global engagement so that courses are tailored to their unique interests. Classes are taught by faculty from the NGOLD Center and a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, economics and NIU's nationally ranked business and public administration programs.

Visit NIU NGOLD's webpage to learn more

Green Panel Sponsor

Welcome to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies at Northern Illinois University. We encourage research, scholarship, artistry and entrepreneurship across our campus, by promoting the professional development of faculty and graduate students, facilitating the submission of grants and contracts, and seeking connections to accelerate the creation, integration and application of new knowledge. We celebrate the accomplishments of the talented faculty, staff and students who contribute to NIU’s success as a student-centered, public research university.

Visit NIU Division of Research and Graduate Studies' webpage to learn more

Bronze Helping Hands:

The Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy (ESE Institute) has been at NIU since 2009 and collaboratively engages faculty from the College of Liberal Arts & Science, College of Engineering & Engineering Technology, Health & Human Sciences, and the College of Law. The ESE Institute is home to the Environmental Studies major, which started in 2012 and has rapidly grown to include over 100 students who are engaged in interdisciplinary projects, research studies, and internships across the region. The ESE institute also engages the campus in sustainability projects such as the Goodwill, Not Landfill collection, the native plant garden, and green office certification.

Visit NIU Institute for the Study of Environment, Sustainability, and Energy's webpage to learn more

NIU's Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) is a group of researchers dedicated to helping public and non-profit sector decision-makers implement efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective approaches to social, economic, and information management issues. We involve NIU students and faculty in projects that build stronger regions through innovation and collaboration.  We focus on five outcomes:  reinvigorating local economies, supporting local governments, promoting balanced communities, informing sound decision-making, and reskilling the workforce. 

Visit NIU Center for Governmental Studies webpage to learn more

Eric Wasowicz is an Investor and Advisor with Channel Clarity LLC, an Internet marketing company focused in the higher education and financial services verticals and an Investor and Board Member of NxtTeam, Inc. the largest provider of Oracle education in the United States.  He is also an investor and advisor with Positon Tech, LLC a specialized replacement football cleat company founded in the Northern Illinois University Entrepreneurship Program and is an advisor to Keyword First an Internet Marketing agency based in Schaumburg, Illinois.  Eric also teaches Applied Entrepreneurship at Northern Illinois University.

Visit Keyword First Digital Marketing's website to learn more

College Housing Group, Inc. (CHG) provides quality rental housing with an honest and detailed approach.  Our professionalism, and respect for others, has led to continued long standing relationships with the local community and our tenants.  Our rental office is located at Stadium View II Apartments at 1315 W. Lincoln Hwy #118, and open 4 days a week, or by appointment.  We have a 24 hour emergency line and great working relationships with numerous local contractors to react promptly and professionally.  The owner, Brad Rubeck, is also the 2014 President of the DeKalb Area Rental Association (DARA).  

Visit College Housing Group's website to learn more

GT Mobility.PNG

Don Gereau is a national leader in Nonprofit Management. He formed GT Mobility to assist organizations in achieving their mission. GT Mobility has created opportunities for Don to assist and support a diverse array of Nonprofits across the country. His work covers Strategic Planning, NPO Succession Planning, NPO Executive Compensation Process, Surveys and Ongoing Support. Don is active in a wide variety of Community Services he served as a Member of the Illinois Attorney General’s Disability Rights Advisory Council.  He served as Chair of the Illinois Special Olympics and is a Founding Member and Vice-Chair of the Illinois Special Olympics Foundation. Appointed by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Don served for two years as Vice-Chair of Outreach for International Special Olympics. He has been a member of the Transition Committee for the offices of the Illinois Attorney General and Illinois Secretary of State. He served as Co-Chair for (ACCSES) A National Disability Advocacy Association based in Washington D.C.
Don has a B.S. from Northern Illinois University College of Business-Organizational Management. He served as Chair of Northwest Illinois Education to Work Partnership and a Member of the Standards Review Committee for the Illinois State Board of Education. Don is a Past Member of the Northern Illinois University Alumni Board of Directors and Served on the Northern Illinois University Athletic Board of Directors. Don had the privilege to serve as Student Body President while attending NIU on a Division IA Athletic Scholarship. In 2010 Don established a scholarship award for the NIU Student Association President. He resides in Galena Illinois with his wife Kathryn.


Interested in becoming a sponsor?

If you are interested in sponsoring the Social Impact Summit, please contact CAUSE VP of Fundraising Ricco Ramos at riccoramos@niu.edu. You can learn about our sponsorship packages by viewing our

2014 Social Impact Summit Sponsorship Prezi.

Eventbrite - 2014 Social Impact Summit Sponsored by Product Development Technologies