Our History

Idea Lunchbox started as a Creative Agency but evolved into an International Accelerator. The creativity of primary students inspired the name. A child’s creativity is the highest of them all and during recess, the one that has the best “lunch” is the king/queen of the recess with the highest power of trade. That’s how we see ourselves, as queens and kings of recess, with the highest creativity of all. We are a startup helping other startups and professionals succeed.

Our Mission Is Our Vision

“To bridge, strengthen, and expand global entrepreneurship and collaboration.”

Our Fierce Leaders

flavia bio

Flávia Andrade – Partner and CEO

Flávia Andrade is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but has been living in the United States for almost 20 years. Flavia’s professional background includes expertise in business internationalization, marketing and branding strategies, user experience design, user interface architecture, graphic design, responsive site development, higher education teaching, and curriculum development.

Parallel to assisting startups at Idea Lunchbox, Flavia also assists the Chicago Women’s Business Development Center as a panel judge for their startup presentations and is an organizer with 1 Million Cups Chicago, helping with startups pitch and community integration. Recently, Flavia has also been invited to participate in the Forbes Chicago Business Council.

Some of Flavia’s achievements include being invited to train Affinity Express’s Production Design Department in India that has 500 employees. As a Multimedia Specialist at Career Education Corporation, she assisted in improving the quality of the online class materials and presentations. As a Creative Director at Allegra Printing, a child company of Allegra Network, she developed their pilot Creative Department, expanding their scope to offer creative services in print and web.

During her professional academic career at DeVry University, Flavia was a part of the National Advisory Board, consisting only of 7 Professors and the National Deans,revising and creating classes and curriculum. Flavia was a subject-matter expert in several classes, as well as having a pivotal role in the design and implementation of several innovative pilots that were replicated nationwide. She was also the Chicago Public Schools Subject-Matter Expert on Responsive Design, training teachers.

Flavia has earned an Associate’s Degree in Marketing, two Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Visual Communications and Interactive Media, and a Master’s Degree in Project Management with a focus on E-Commerce.


Kat Carolan – Partner and CCO

Some of her achievements include working together with the VP of Handle, a mail organization app, to create the branding, UX/UI, and marketing launch strategy of their startup. The rebrand and redesign included a new color palette, focused on font usage and a responsive layout. To be able to participate in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013, she helped Handle redefine their web and mobile products while partnering with PR and creatives to execute a successful event marketing strategy.

After leading the successful launch of Handle, Kat worked with Organic Inc. on a number of design-related projects for an outstanding client portfolio, such as Nike, Wells Fargo, Quaker, and Toyota. When Kat was in Chicago, she worked as a Senior Designer at Critical Mass, one of the largest Advertising Agencies of Chicago, IL. During her career at Critical Mass, she was responsible for the development and execution of a variety of projects for Fortune 500 companies, such as Hewlett Packard, AutoNation, Harley Davidson, TE Connectivity, Moen, AutoTrader.com, Nissan Commercial Vehicles, Infinity Owners Portal, Nissan LEAF, and Nissan Owners Portal.

Academically, Kat graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art Schaumburg, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interactive Media Design, and also has completed undergraduate coursework in Fine Arts Photography at Columbia College in Chicago.

jessica bio

Jessica Ramirez – Partner and CMO

Jessica Ramirez is a digital marketer with experience in social media, SEO, paid search, and web design and development. She has worked for clients in healthcare, education, entertainment, and food industry. For example, DeVry University, Univision, American Egg Board, and Houston Methodist. Some of her achievements include being one of Rise Interactive’s pioneer in cross-channel marketing, resulting in a 15% decrease in CPC in a number of high-spending accounts. Jessica’s role as a senior internet marketing consultant led 250+ doctor profiles pages to increase up to 575% YoY in a six month period. Her experience in web design and development, digital marketing, and love for international business makes her a great asset for this company as she is able to combine several channels to provide greater results and meet the client’s goal.

Jessica Ramirez graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and a minor in Portuguese. She also graduated from DeVry University with an Associate’s Degree in Web Graphic Design. She is also fluent in English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese.

jay bio

Jay Japra – Partner and COO

Jay Japra is Idea Lunchbox’s newest addition as Chief Operating Officer, and his expertise lies in business administration and economics. After experiencing the traditional finance and global manufacturing worlds, in managerial positions, he lept into the entrepreneurial world. Jay was invited to lead, as a CEO, an Educational Technology startup from Boston, MazeFire, which was founded by a Professor of Neuroscience. Today, Jay is on the path of helping many startups both domestically and internationally through IL. He was also selected to participate in the upcoming MIT Entrepreneurship Global Bootcamp, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the end of July. Applying MIT’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship approach coupled with his economic, Edtech, and manufacturing (supply chain) experience, Jay will help guide startups through their own challenges.

Jay graduated from the Boston University Collaborative Degree program with Bachelors in Economics and Business Administration (Finance concentration). Overall he has 7+ years of work and volunteer experience where he developed skills in data/financial management/analysis, project management, and a variety of others, especially as an entrepreneur the last 2 years. His leadership skills were particularly sharpened in Saint-Gobain’s inaugural Essentials of Leadership Program. While continuing to learn and advancing his skills, he hopes to make a positive difference in the world. He also hopes to enjoy adventurous travel, heartfelt cooking, attentive sporting, and overall fulfilling experience.

Our Collective Industry Experience Sample

Wells Fargo Logo
Univision Logo
Uber Logo
Foster Farms Logo
Quaker Oats Logo
Harley Davidson
Southern New Hampshire University Logo
Sapient Razorfish Logo
North Shore University Health System Logo
Moen Logo
MerchMart Logo
Kraft Logo
Hyatt Logo
Houston Methodist Hospital
Toyota Logo
Curse Logo
Abbot Laboratories Logo
Nike Logo

Our Collective Startup Experience Sample

Draker's Brewing
Sandhill Coffee
Level Trading Field
Learn District
St. Christopher's Foundation for Children
Aspire Edu Logo
Balodana Logo
Coobo Logo

Our Startup Support System

Women's Business Development Center
Forbes Councils
Chicago Tribune
1 Million Cups Chicago