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by Shay Howe, Robert Gadd, Aaron Silvers, Kris Rockwell and Steven Hoober
The Float Mobile Learning Symposium will bring together leaders to explore mobile-related topics from a business and mobile development perspective. The event will take place in the auditorium of startup incubator 1871, located on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart, just four floors above Techweek.
As a consulting firm that combines learning expertise with mobile development, Float will bring thought leaders from across the country to the Windy City to discuss all things mobile, including design, development, security, games and strategy. Speakers include:
Shay Howe, user interface engineer at Groupon
Steven Hoober, author of Designing Mobile Interfaces
Aaron Silvers, chief learning officer at Problem Solutions
Kris Rockwell, CEO of Hybrid Games and ImpactGames
Robert Gadd, president and chief mobile officer at OnPoint Digital
The Symposium will feature a morning session focusing on business and strategy and an afternoon session targeting designers and developers. The event lasts from 9-5.
For more information, please visit floatlearning.com/symposium.
Chicago is home to a handful of business incubators, co-working spaces and other initiatives launched in recent years, putting the Midwest on the map as a new alternative to long-popular tech hubs like California’s Silicon Valley, Boston and New York.
The recent successes of companies like Groupon and GrubHub have garnered international attention making the Windy City a popular breeding ground for entrepreneurial activity. Techweek’s setting in this emerging marketplace offers an opportunity to become affiliated with the newest game changers and technology professionals in the industry.
Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-founder of Uber, is already a veteran startup entrepreneur. The style and function of his mobile platform embodies his personal sense of efficient luxury. He'll talk about his story, past ventures and new adventures as he takes Uber to the global scale.
Startup City Expo
by Ben Milne
Disrupting Visa: A Dwolla Story --- Ben Milne, founder of Dwolla, was a local merchant turned innovator. When he couldn't tolerate anymore the pain he felt every time he paid fees to credit card companies, Ben decided to let that hurt motivate him. Find out how this young 29-year-old entrepreneur grew a company based in Iowa into a multimillion dollar business, and in doing so, disrupted the payment industry.
Talent is the fuel that powers today’s knowledge economy, and providing technology to help corporations improve their HR operation is an $8B market in the United States. Advances in cloud-based technology and the plummeting cost of building new enterprise applications is creating amazing opportunities for HR-focused tech entrepreneurs. What does the future hold in HR technology, and where are the biggest opportunities? What are today's corporations looking for when they buy from a startup, and how are these companies getting funded? In this all-star panel hosted by Lisa Leiter of Crain's Chicago Business, you'll hear about successes and failures from three seasoned tech entrepreneurs, a top VC in the HR tech space, and a Fortune 100 executive who will tell you exactly how to sell your new HR app in the big leagues. A must-attend panel for anyone in HR technology!
by GaryShapiro and Iain Shovlin
This panel would be comprised of local tech PR and social medial professionals, geared toward startup entrepreneurs and other tech professionals who may be interested in growing their business via focused and effective communications. How do you communicate what makes your business unique in such a competitive tech industry?How do you communicate your uniqueness in the ultra-competitive tech industry? What are some proven techniques for using PR to grow your business? What does a good PR campaign look like for an emerging tech business? How do you use social media properly and to your advantage? How do you build both your company and personal brand via communications? The unique PR challenges and stories related to technology.
Why is there so much free digital technology? Video games, web services, social services and full length movies are just some of free technology we often use everyday. What is the real value or motive behind creating a product that is just going to be free for the consumer? Why is it ok to think about monetization later in today's entrepreneur environment? The presentation format will show examples and the history of web influenced tech and become an open discussion about the importance and motives for free and open tech services.
by Leah Busque
How do you take your great idea and turn it into a successful business? What, exactly, does the lifecycle of a modern startup look like? How can a startup leverage massive technological movements - such as those in social, mobile and location-based technologies - to build a hyper-local marketplace, while, at the same time, scaling globally? In this presentation, TaskRabbit's founder, Leah Busque, will explain just that.
Leah will outline TaskRabbit's founding story - from the company's inception in 2008 to today - detailing how the company is leveraging technology to redefine the concept of a neighborhood. She'll touch upon the necessity of good mentors and advisors (and how to find them), as well as how to start and grow a business with a hyper-local strategy, while scaling globally.
With so many different levels of infrastructure, it can become challenging to decide where you site or application should reside. Should you be virtualized? Should you be sticking to just one infrastructure type? What about a hybrid approach? This brief discussion will help you to get a better grasp on how to embrace the cloud, hybrid servers or straight up bare-metal. We'll discuss various scenarios and match them with the best infrastructure solution.
RubyMotion is a tool that lets Ruby developers write native iOS apps using the Ruby language. It's based on MacRuby which is an implementation of the Ruby language for Mac OS X. This talk will introduce RubyMotion with some simple live code demos and a twist of TDD. The level is introductory; you don't need to know Ruby or iOS to attend.
How Small Businesses Are Generating New Customers, Buzz and Money Online
The panel will reveal various online strategies that engage core communities around a project idea, use the internet to raise money and ultimately, how to combine both efforts to achieve business success. Learn why money is not the only benefit of crowdfunding, how successful small business owners are turning their customer bases into evangelists, and how you can do the same for your business or idea.
Moderated by : Adam Chapnick / Indiegogo / @adamchapnick
by Jeff Hyman, Subbu Arumugam, Jenna Rose, Joe Dwyer, Elizabeth Park and Kevin Smith
Building Traction for Early Stage Digital Technology Products with Incomplete Teams: Lessons You Can Learn from Innovators, Accelerators and Investors in the Health Tech Space
In the startup world, we are seeing an importance of procuring talent over raising capital. Low capital requirements, willing investors and a dearth of technical co-founders translates to easier fund raising when "traction" is validated.
But how do you build traction without tech talent? This is the conundrum that is currently stifling innovation in a mature environment for digital startups in all industries.
Startups aiming to disrupt healthcare require multiple stake-holders to join hands - for them, it doesn't stop with recruiting a technical co-founder. Learn how health tech startups have been dealing with the "team" problem for a bit longer than their friends in non-health tech digital industries. How do you attract, vet and retain talent?
This panel will highlight how to build products with a partial team and get traction as an initial goal to recruit co-founders, reach profitability or raise early funding - via discussion between innovators, accelerators and investors in the digital health tech startup space. It's not as easy as reading lean startup blogs - but we'll make sure you leave this session with actionable ideas..
by Allison Cerra
Based on 30 in-depth interviews and a quantitative study of 5,000+ consumers across the U.S., a new study by Alcatel-Lucent provides keen insights into online identity and trust, with some interesting twists. The findings break down into three key personality traits that exist in each of us simultaneously, and give clues about our online identity, interactions and beliefs. These traits correlate in interesting ways with the brands we love, the brands we buy, and what we’re willing to pay. This session will help companies understand the Love vs Trust issue – and learn how to capitalize on their presence on that spectrum.
Does the thirst for adventure = success in entrepreneurship? These startup stars seem to exemplify such a statement.
Casey Neistat, a prolific YouTube filmmaker with an HBO television series. But before he discovered the wonders of digital video technology, he was a dishwasher who got a girl pregnant at the age of 17.
Blayne Candy is co-founder of Showcall, Inc., a special event production company that has produced such events like Pope Benedict's visit to Washington DC, Presidential inaugural events, and most recently, the Chicago NATO summit. In his spare time, Blayne is an adventurer, an avid cyclist, snow boarder and surfer.
Sean Avery, is a former NHL star turned entrepreneur. You may have heard his attention-grabbing activities on and off the ice. Now, he's working on a startup. Find out what it is on this panel.
This session is moderated by the lovely ladies of ADrinkWithChicago.com
by Tom Ziemba
Partner Session Presented by BDO
Structuring executive compensation programs for start-ups or early stage companies is a critical part of the evolving business model. This session will address design issues associated with each compensation component including base salary, annual incentives, long-term pay, and equity opportunities.
Seven Deadly Intellectual Property Sins and How to Avoid Them: Tech start up companies face many challenges in their race to reach business milestones while balancing a stretched too thin budget. Often these companies recognize the importance of Intellectual Property but lack guidance on how to timely apply their limited resources. Our panel of experts will discuss seven common mistakes that companies make and share tips on how to create a solid intellectual property platform that will help deflect potential challenges while keeping your company on a targeted path to growth.
The discussion will provide the audience with basic knowledge of legal devices available to protect a product or idea. The information will be relevant for inventors, start-ups and small to mid-size business owners who need to understand the basics of intellectual property and how the failure to protect such assets can lead to catastrophic losses. They will also discuss the contracts that you should have in place in order to protect your IP and discuss various provisions that are necessary to protect IP properly.
by Jon Morris
SEO: How understanding your analytics gives you the edge
Jon Morris, CEO and Founder, Rise Interactive will take the audience on a deep dive into understanding the key data points that will help move the needle with your SEO investment. This session will go beyond the basics of search engine optimization and will give actionable items around Prioritization, Content Development and the Analytical data points to be monitoring. Attendees will also learn about the growing practice of Interactive Investment Management and how to manage their online spend in a manner that will produce higher ROI. Morris will use real world examples drawn from his experience working with some of the world’s largest and best known brands on how to create a personalized SEO roadmap. The Roadmap looks at 6 key factors in determining the appropriate way to prioritize your SEO efforts. These factors include: 1. Analysis of a keywords by category; 2. Your current coverage in the category against all others; 3. An understanding of content needs; 4. Your probability for ranking success; 5. The relevance of the keywords to your business and 6. Your estimated ROI.
At almost four years old, SMC Chicago is the largest, most established social media organization in Chicago. Meet our board and give input. Find out how tech and social intersect, personally and professionally. Learn how Chicago's locals connect to a powerful global organization. See how you, too, can join in!
Moderator, Barbara Rozgonyi, Founder Social Media Club Chicago will be joined by several board members. SMC Chicago board members include Jeff Willinger [@jwillie], Carolyn Martin [@CM_socialmedia], Elly Deutch [@deutche] and Caleb Gardner [@calebgardner]
by Jeff Lawson
by Jeff Hoffman
by Marques Gunter and Guillaume Decugis
From entertainment media and news to daily deals or social photos, our information society becomes more and more effective as organizations and end users have the ability to 'remix' and re-publish media. Instead of a large audience subscribing to a few publishers, remixed media enables anyone to curate a new media feed for a more specific and targeted audience. How have startups innovated in the remixing media space, and what are the best practices for corporations to empower their users to remix media? How is content quality and reputation preserved when everyone becomes their own publisher? What new types of media are not- but should be- remixed next?
Today’s fashionistas get lot more than an e-commerce site and Online shopping cart for their retail therapy needs and thirst for style. From Rent-the-Runway to etsy.com, you’ll find a community of the trendiest who can find the latest couture or the hottest vintage pieces with a few taps of the fingertip.
by Shahed Khan, Matt Michelsen and Matt Jacobson
From all sides, they go all out! See the 17-year-old that’s $1.1 million closer to his dream of changing the way you get things done, the 20-year-old Peter Thiel funded entrepreneur redefining assistive mobility aids, and the CEO of Lady Gaga's start-up that’s creating new ways of building communities. They push the limits, make mincemeat of conventional wisdom, and blaze new paths to fulfill their visions. Be informed. Be involved. Be there!
by Henry Vogel
Local merchants have gone from zero mobile technology to a flood of mobile loyalty programs, daily deals, payment and mobile web solutions. 66% of US Smartphone owners use their phone to aid in shopping in 2012. How can local merchants capture these mobile consumers in a cost effective & scalable method?
"Content is King": the importance of tonality and editorial content
Quality of Your Audience vs. Quantity of Your Audience: What's really more important?
The power of Influencer Marketing: your friends are your best marketers
Social Media Perceptions: how to create brand voice, foster engagement, earn trust and create a true community
It's more than just a party: utilizing local events as key marketing tools and leveraging them for sales opportunities
How staying authentic impacts your growth
YOU are your brand: the power of understanding that "you, yourself" is synonymous with your business
What makes a female niche powerful, unique and attractive to advertisers?
Stories from the Silicon Prairie: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Outside of the Valley
The Silicon Prairie is experiencing a momentous shift in the development of technology startups. Spurred by pro-business state and local environments, lower costs of doing business and a depth of engineering and technology experience, technology-based companies are starting in, and relocating to, the Midwest at unprecedented levels. Infrastructure investments that include the Google Fiber for Communities Project along with entrepreneurial resource partners like the Kauffman Foundation have helped create an environment ideally suited for innovation and company creation. Events such as BarCamp, Startup Weekends, Creative Capital Pitch Sessions and the annual Big Omaha conference are just a few of the many events occurring regularly throughout the Silicon Prairie.
Polsinelli Shughart and Silicon Prairie News have brought some of the Midwest’s leading entrepreneurs and thought leaders together for a panel discussion on building an entrepreneurial ecosystem outside of Silicon Valley. The panel will share their stories and discuss the benefits and challenges to starting and growing a technology company in the Midwest, including insight into raising early stage capital in flyover country.
22nd–26th June 2012