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Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 2014 (DEF 2.0)

DEF (Defense Entrepreneurs Forum)

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM - Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 12:00 PM (CDT)

Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 2014 (DEF 2.0)

Registration Information

Registration Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Admission Ended $100.00 $0.00
A Gift of Support
We understand that some people can't make it to DEF 2.0 but still want to support the DEF mission of creating a cadre of defense innovators. All donations go directly to making the conference a successful event that inspires the grassroots innovator movement.

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Event Details

What is the purpose of the 2014 DEF 2.0 conference?

DEF2014 is more than a conference to mingle and hand out business cards. It will be a unique opportunity to interact and connect with fellow military and veteran entrepreneurs to push your ideas forward. The conference is a combination between a TEDx-like forum and a Start-Up weekend. It is your chance to first learn about how to successfully sell your idea from experts in industry and proven entrepreneurs. Then, you’ll be given the opportunity to present your idea before a board of peers, military leaders and accomplished civilian businessmen.

Where will this conference be held?

DEF 2014 Conference will be held at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on Friday and Saturday. It is located approximately 3 miles south of “The Loop” or Downtown Chicago.  We will wrap up the conference Sunday morning at The Bunker @ 1871 in the Merchandise Mart.

What are the dates of the Conference

The conference will be held Friday 24 - Sunday 26 October 2014.


What does $100 get me?


Our goal is to keep DEF as open as accessible as possible.  Your $100 registration fee includes breakfast for three days, lunch for Friday and Saturday, coffee all 3 days, and hosted happy hours.  The remaining funds go towards venue fees (which we have worked to keep as minimal as possible), and registration materials.  Our goal is simply to break even -- and facilitate an environment conducive to the free flow of ideas.

Need a hotel? Perhaps share a room with another DEF attendee?

We've blocked 20 discounted rooms for DEF attendees at the Sheraton Four Points - Address: 630 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611 Phone:(312) 981-6600.

If you're interested in splitting a room with another DEF attendee to save on costs, you'll have the opportunity to let us know during registration. We'll then connect you with other DEF attendees who are open to the idea.

Who is invited?

This conference is primarily directed towards inspiring military and veteran innovators of all ranks. Both government civilian and military personnel are invited to attend to include senior leaders. Academics and private industry leaders are also invited to share innovations and ideas that support national security and government processes.

Who will be speaking at this conference?

We’ve compiled a list of proven innovators from all branches of the the service along with well-respected entrepreneurs, business leaders and senior military officers. Also featured are veterans who became entrepreneurs, finding success in the outside world utilizing the skills they gained while serving with front-line units. Current emerging leaders will be able to hear their stories, interact with them, and take lessons in entrepreneurship back to their home commands. Along side these veteran-entrepreneurs, attendee’s will have access world renown faculty members from the University of Chicago, whose life’s work is focused on bringing needed change to status quo organizations.

What is the format of the conference?

There are three main elements to the weekend: Morning plenary talks, Afternoon, senior leader-led case studies, and the Sunday morning pitch competition.

Friday and Saturday morning will consist of 20-25 minute DEF talks by emerging military and civilian leaders. These folks will give a presentation to the all participants in the Forum about trends shaping our world. Some are theoretical, some more practical, but all will be thought provoking and non-traditional.

Friday and Saturday afternoon will be spent in 30 person break out groups for case studies written and facilitated by senior military and civilian leaders and academic experts. These will include flag officers from each of the services and acclaimed business school professors expert in creating organizational change. You will have the opportunity to attend 4 per day, the design is highly interactive. The 2-3 pages cases will be disseminated prior to the conference, you will read them, and then work through the courses of action with the person who originally lived it.

Finally, Sunday will be a pitch competition at the 1871 incubator in Chicago. Eight entrants will pitch their transformational Defense ideas to a panel of 5 esteemed military and civilian innovators. They will judge the proposals, and award a cash prize to the winning teams. Further details about the Innovation Competition will be made available soon.

Each night, there will also be an optional, hosted happy hour – we believe these evenings are the most valuable part of the Forum, as they allow unstructured conversations and true relationship building to occur unconstrained.

Specific speakers and case study facilitators will be announced as we get closer to the Forum!

Have questions about Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 2014 (DEF 2.0)? Contact DEF (Defense Entrepreneurs Forum)

When & Where

University of Chicago Booth School of Business
The Gleacher Center
450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM - Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 12:00 PM (CDT)

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DEF (Defense Entrepreneurs Forum)

DEF promotes collaboration and innovation between emerging military leaders and civilian counterparts, providing a professional network and tools to shape units and organizations for the future.

  Contact the Organizer
Defense Entrepreneurs Forum 2014 (DEF 2.0)
Chicago, IL Events Networking

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