Pat Ryan Jr.

Chairman, Chicago Ventures; Founder and CEO of INCISENT Labs Group

Pat is the Chair of Chicago Ventures’ Investment Committee and Founder and CEO of INCISENT Labs Group.

Pat Ryan is a two time technology and three time social entrepreneur who lives in Chicago with his wife Lydia and their three children.

Technology Entrepreneur

Pat founded two B2B cloud software (SaaS) companies that have been ranked among the fastest growing software companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine in its Inc 500 rankings (MAX Digital #3 2014; FirstLook #4 2008). He is currently the Founder and CEO of INCISENT Labs Group, his holding company and incubator for creating new technology companies. Pat holds a United States patent in expert system technologies with members of Northwestern University’s Artificial Intelligence DevLab.

Pat is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Penske Corporation, a $28 billion diversified global transportation holding company.

He actively engaged in Chicago’s tech community as:

  • A member of the Executive Committee of 1871 (, Chicago’s new digital start up hub
  • Host of the monthly Chicago Founders’ Stories series @1871
  • Co-Chair of ChicagoNEXT, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s leadership initiative to grow and support Chicago’s tech ecosystem

Social Entrepreneur

Pat started his career as a teacher on Chicago’s West Side and has been a social entrepreneur in education for over twenty years. He was awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Northwestern’s Kellogg School for his pioneering work in transforming urban education. Pat’s first social entrepreneurial venture, the Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC)pioneered alternative paths to teacher certification in Illinois leading to the landmark legislation that opened up Chicago to national teaching organizations like Teach for America. Pat also founded:

  • Alain Locke Charter School — Located in the heart of Chicago’s West Side, Alain Locke Charter School achieved the #1 test score gains in the history of Illinois’ standard tests and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 7 charter schools in the United States best “Closing the Achievement Gap”. The school serves as a laboratory as well as a demonstration site to train emerging school leaders in “achievement accelerating” school leadership.
  • The Accelerate Institute — A partnership with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Accelerate is the first urban principal training program to develop “achievement accelerating” school leaders. Accelerate has prepared leaders for schools in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Houston.

Law Enforcement

Prior to his entrepreneurial business and civic endeavors, Pat attended the Chicago Police Academy where his classmates elected him “Outstanding Recruit.” Pat’s work in law enforcement included work as a narcotics investigator focused on major gang narcotics activity in the inner-city of Chicago; in this role he received a commendation for leading a $1.1 million cocaine seizure.


Pat is a graduate of Georgetown University, earned a Master’s in Business Administration from the Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a Juris Doctor cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law.


Pat is the former Chairman of YPO Chicago, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. He is a Trustee of Northwestern University and a member of its Executive Committee, as well as a Director of World Business Chicago. Pat was a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute as well as a Global Leader for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Check out his insights and interviews with Chicago’s best founders on his blog, Cooler by the Lake, or on Twitter @PatRyanChicago.