The 2012 Forward Technology Conference represents the summer's best opportunity to spend a day networking with some of the area's top entrepreneurs and hearing from experts on a wide range of topics relevant to your technology business. Whether you're thinking about launching a startup business or you're an experienced entrepreneur, you'll find this conference relevant and insightful.
The theme for this year's conference is "barriers and plateaus". The sessions are geared to address barriers and plateaus like raising capital and customer acquisition head-on, giving you and your business the tools and connections you need to take your next big step.
Location: Memorial Union, Tripp Commons (2nd floor)
Parking recommendation: State Street Campus Garage (aka 'Lake Street Ramp')
9:00 am - Registration opens
9:00 am - Continental breakfast and networking
Sponsored by: School of Business at Edgewood College
10:00 am - Panel: Remembering Your First Time
Moderator: Matt Younkle, Co-Founder: Murfie
Panelist: Claus Moberg, Founder: SnowShoe
Panelist: Jonathan Baran, Co-Founder: healthfinch
Panelist: Justin Beck, CEO: PerBlue
Panelist: John Biondi, CEO: Xolve
For many first-time entrepreneurs, raising outside capital is the first big barrier encountered. We've put together a panel of successful entrepreneurs to remember back to their first time raising outside capital. They'll tell their inside stories and take the mystery out of closing your first round.
11:00 am - Featured Speaker: Dave Winer, Editor: Scripting News, Inc.
Dave Winer has been described as one of the most prolific content generators in Web history. From scripting to web services to blogging to podcasting, Dave has been ahead of just about every major online trend going back to the precursors to the modern Internet. Dave will talk about all the places he's been and provide us with unique insights on where things are headed and the trends that matter.
12 noon - Lunch break (on your own) and Networking Tent
1:00 pm - Panel: Women in Startups
Moderator: Amy Gannon, Assistant Professor and Faculty Director: Career Development Programs - Edgewood College School of Business
Panelist: Toni Sikes, General Partner: Calumet Venture Fund
Panelist: Liz Eversoll, CEO: SLM Technology LLC, Owner: Eversoll Consulting, LLC
Panelist: Laurie Benson, CEO: LSB Unlimited
Panelist: Jami Morton, co-Founder: SnowShoeFood, Inc
Panelist: Jackie Mortell, President: Smart Solutions
The glass ceiling in the corporate world has been well documented, but why aren't more women starting their own companies? We've assembled a panel of succesful enrepreneurs to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities encountered by women launching new businesses. They will explore with us some of the most meaningful moments in their journey, how they overcame and/or navigated through barriers, and some tips they have for other women as they found and grow their businesses.
2:00 pm - Panel: Customer Acquisition
Moderator: Rob Sieracki, Founder: Ox Optimal
Panelist: Stephan Spencer, Co-author: The Art of SEO
Panelist: James Moore, Chief Revenue Officer: Simpli.fi
Panelist: Grant Deady, Managing Director: ZenoGroup
Some companies go viral after launch, but these are the exceptions. Most of us need to work hard to acquire customers. Our power-packed panel includes experts in search engine optimization, retargeting and public relations. We guarantee this panel will open your eyes to new ways to profitably bring new customers to your business.
3:00 pm - Ice cream break
Sponsored by: SupraNet Communications
3:30 pm - Panel: Accelerators
Moderator: Shawn Broderick, prior Managing Director: TechStars Boston
Panelist: Ilya Lichtenstein, Co-Founder: MixRank (Y Combinator)
Panelist: Dale Emmons, Co-Founder: Vidmaker (TechStars)
Panelist: Eric Martell, Co-Founder: U Connect (Gener8tor)
Panelist: Andrew Hoeft, Founder and CEO: Date Check Pro (94labs)
Accelerator programs are as popular as ever. All promise to put your company on a fast track... in exchange for equity. Is the tradeoff worth it, and how do the various programs differ? We've assembled a panel with a cross-section of companies from TechStars, Y Combinator and Gener8tor to find out.
4:30 pm - Keynote: Rimas Buinevicius, CEO: RoWheels, Lead Member: Madcelerator
Few Wisconsin entrepreneurs have taken their startup public or engineered the sale of a division to a Fortune 100 company. Rimas has done both. Now Rimas is back in the world of startups. Hear the inside story of the growth, IPO and acquisition of Sonic Foundry and how Rimas is applying those lessons learned in Madcelerator.
Evening Reception - 5:30 pm
Location: Memorial Union, Tripp Commons Deck
The Memorial Union Terrace is second to none as a summer venue for a party. We've booked some prime outdoor space overlooking the Terrace for a fun networking event that will bring together conference attendees and other participants in the week-long Forward Technology Festival. Enjoy appetizers, soda and beer while they last, with a cash bar available for any desired additional indulgence.
Contact us for more information, and follow us on twitter: @fwdtech
Special thanks to our sponsors:
Hardin Design & Development
Madison Gas & Electric
Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media
The School of Business at Edgewood College
UW Office of Corporate Relations