Troy Henikoff

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Troy Henikoff is the Managing Director of TechStars Chicago, is a manager of the FireStarter Fund, teaches Entrepreneurship and Digital Marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, is a Faculty Coach for University of Chicago / Booth’s New Venture Challenge, is on the board of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and an advisor to Hyde Park Angels. His last 25+ years have been spent starting, running, and advising early stage technology companies. TechStars is the premier technology accelerator in the world, based in Boulder, CO. In 2009 Troy co-founded Excelerate Labs here in Chicago and served as its CEO since 2011. Excelerate was ranked as the #3 accelerator in the country by the Kauffman Foundation and by Forbes Magazine. In its first 3 years, Excelerate had 30 companies go through its program and they raised more than $30 Million in that time. In February 2013 TechStars and Excelerate partnered to create TechStars Chicago which Troy is now running. FireStarter Fund is a venture fund that makes seed stage investments in Chicago based digital technology companies. As CEO of OneWed, Troy led the relaunch of, a wedding website that provides the largest online database of wedding vendors, detailed ratings and reviews and a smart, unique voice for wedding planning tips and advice. OneWed was Sold to Nearlyweds in Seattle in 2010. Troy co-founded, an Internet-based payroll service bureau focused on companies with fewer than 100 employees. A two-time Inc. 500 honoree, SurePayroll grew into the largest Internet payroll provider and the fifth largest payroll company in the U.S., managing billions of payroll dollars annually before being acquired by Paychex, Inc. in 2011.