Jimmy Odom is director of inclusive entrepreneurship at ChicagoNEXT, the tech arm of World Business Chicago.
He previously held state government positions including senior policy adviser at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
In May 2017, in a Medium.com post announcing his resignation as acting assistant director at the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, Odom said the state hasn’t given enough attention and resources to minority business development.
“Prior to accepting this position, I always stated I would step down in my role if I believed the Illinois’ leadership towards helping the community was no longer a genuine priority. Unfortunately, that day has come,” he wrote.
Odom took a government role in 2015, about three months after the acquisition of Chicago-based WeDeliver by Deliv, a larger competitor.
WeDeliver was founded in 2012 after winning Startup Weekend Chicago. Its first product, WeDeliver for Business, helps local businesses sell products online and deliver them. In 2014, the company introduced WeDeliver Locally, a free app for iPhone and Android.
“My mom, Camille Odom, always said, ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated,’” Odom told Blue Sky. “I’m always hopping out of my skin as a CEO and entrepreneur and getting in the eyes of the customers. I think this subconsciously has guided me the entire time.”