|Special thanks to our keynote speakers Seth Godin and Fred Vallaeys, as well as all of our Rapid-Fire Presenters!|
“Google’s Rules for Innovation”
FREDERICK VALLAEYS, one of Silicon Valley’s foremost online marketing thinkers, has been instrumental in developing and advancing products and services at one of the world’s most innovative companies – Google.
Indiana professionals at all levels from companies small to large should take advantage of this rare opportunity to hear from a leader who helped to shape major segments of our industry, as well as influenced its future.
Focus on One Thing and Make It Remarkable
DAVID WASILEWSKI | Founder, WhatNext.com (Former COO of Spanx)
David Wasilewski will share his secrets to building up his start-up, Spanx, from a concept of footless pantyhose to a $150+ million dollar global phenomenon. It’s the same lesson he’s applying to his new start-up, WhatNext.com, and something that can be very applicable to other start-ups determining their most effective path for growth.
David Wasilewski is CEO and founder of WhatNext.com, a social health platform for firsthand insights into cancer treatments and experiences. A serial entrepreneur, David also co-founded and served as COO for Spanx, a men’s and women’s apparel company that he helped grow into a $150 million venture.
Worth a Thousand Words: Creating Your Visual Content Strategy
ALLISON CARTER | Director of Communications, Roundpeg
It's not enough just to blog anymore. With the rise of Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook's increased emphasis on pictures, you have to have great visuals, too. Learn why you need a visual content strategy, and discover quick tips to building a visual content strategy that builds your brand and gets people clicking.
Allison Carter is director of communications for Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing firm that specializes in helping small businesses become big businesses. She spends most of her days up to her elbows in words, working with small businesses to tell their unique stories through strategic social media use and rousing copywriting.
Building SaaS for the Small-Medium Business Market: Why Enterprise Isn’t Always Better\
CHRIS BYERS | CEO, Formstack and
CHRIS LUCAS | Vice President of Business Development, Formstack
A lot of focus when starting a new software company is on the money to be made by selling to the enterprise market. Often overlooked, though, is the value of building software that meets the needs of the millions of small and micro businesses. Chris Lucas and Chris Byers of Formstack will talk about how you can build a profitable business without hiring sales people and instead by shipping product quickly and iterating your way to a growth business.
Chris Byers is the CEO of Formstack and runs the day to day operations of the company. He has been a fan/user of Formstack since 2006, assisted in the first round of funding, and joined the team in 2010. Chris is a graduate of Anderson University.
Chris is the vice president of business development at Formstack. He is passionate about setting the vision for Formstack’s in-bound marketing program and discovering new ways to drive web traffic and leads. Chris is a graduate of Purdue University.
The Changing Landscape of Covering Small Business and Entrepreneurship
ANDREA MUIRRAGUI DAVIS | Associate Editor/Online Editor and author of the Small Biz Matters Blog, Indianapolis Business Journal
Trends and observations on Indiana’s small business and entrepreneurship environment, and the challenges and opportunities facing the state’s largest business print publication in the new media world.
Andrea Davis joined IBJ as a reporter in August 2001, moving to Indianapolis from Jacksonville, Fla., where she worked for three years as an editor at The Florida Times-Union and coordinated coverage of the historic 2000 presidential election. A graduate of Ball State University, Davis spent six years at The News-Sentinel in Fort Wayne.
Insight into a Software-as-a-Service Company Formation
DOUG COLLINS | Founder & CEO, AppealTrack
During a consulting project five years ago, Doug Collins discovered an absence of viable software solutions for a niche market. Ultimately, the project resulted in new industry-specific software that focused technologies to save time and enhance customer relationships. Doug will share his business development story and the critical decisions that led to forming AppealTrack. He’ll speak candidly about key lessons he’s learned along the way.
Since 2008, Doug has worked with property tax professionals to develop an effective appeal management solution for the property tax industry. Doug’s career started in information technology in the mid 1990’s. He spent several years in technical roles at Arthur Andersen’s business consulting practice, where he consulted in a variety of different industries.
From Art Major to Entrepreneur: Follow Your Passion but Don't Ignore the Surprises
TARA ELDER | Founder, Simply Helpful
Tara Elder recently launched her own startup Simply Helpful to aid other entrepreneurs and business leaders overwhelmed by their to-do lists. The new concept grew out of Elder's experiences working for others and some market research.
An unlikely entrepreneur, Elder was an art major in college before switching to psychology. Jobs in event planning and education admissions were followed by some soul searching and the adventure of a lifetime.
Tara graduated from Indiana university with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She now utilizes her degree to guide her clients through the often murky and overwhelming waters of the entrepreneurial world where execution of tasks often takes a back seat to pitching big ideas and getting in front of prospective clients.
Everything I Learned About Raising Seed Capital in Eight Minutes
JAMES BURNES | Founder, PatentStatus IP Software
Over the course of eight months, James Burnes met with more than two dozen angel investors and pitched some of Indiana's most established seed capital groups trying to secure funding for his intellectual-property law software as a service. Learn about the failures and successes of this effort including tips like “how to get a story deck down to 10 slides” and other things aspiring entrepreneurs should know.
James Burnes is founder and CEO of PatentStatus, a patent law software company that provide virtual marking, patent utilization mapping and other IP software to corporations. For 15 years, James has been a leader in Internet consulting, web strategy and new business ventures.
How Marketing Intelligence Impacts Company Financing
JENNY VANCE | President, LeadJen
Start-ups face a classic Catch-22 when trying to raise capital: investors want to see a revenue stream before committing funds, but start-ups need funding to launch products and attract customers. Jenny Vance demonstrates with real life examples how lead generation efforts that specifically develop market intelligence while filling the sales pipeline solves this challenge. For example, LeadJen helped a local data storage company fill its sales pipeline with $2 million in sales in the first year, which positioned the company to attract more than $30 million in funding.
Jenny Vance is one of the leading women entrepreneurs in Indianapolis. She is the founder of LeadJen, a lead generation company, which she has grown to nearly 100 employees serving hundreds of companies across the United States ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500. She also is the co-founder of Jesubi, a CRM software solution.
Business Consulting, Research, and Connections to Resources at No Cost
JACOB SCHPOK | State Director, Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC)
The ISBDC is Indiana's premier business consulting organization offering advice and resources to starting and growing businesses. Funding for the ISBDC comes from public and private partnerships which means consulting is at no-cost to entrepreneurs.
In this rapid-fire presentation, you will learn about some of the complementary resources available through the ISBDC office. Examples are below.
Jacob Schpok is the Director of the Indiana SBDC. Prior to becoming Director, Jacob worked for the ISBDC in a number of roles, co-founded two businesses, earned an entrepreneurship and small business management degree from Ball State University’s entrepreneurship program, and spent his youth in South Bend Indiana cutting his teeth working for a family business.
There’s a Better way to Pitch Your Business
MATT HUNCKLER | Founder & President, VERGE
1.) Prepare like a pro: how to get clear on desired outcome. 2.) How to make an instant connection.
3.) When to be simple and direct and when to communicate without being explicit. 4.) How and when to effectively use visuals. 5.) How to stay goal-focused while staying open to unforeseen opportunities. 6.) When to give them what they want and when you should leave them wanting more. 7.) How to follow up in a way that moves the relationship forward.
Matt Hunckler is a committed business adventurist with a knack for online marketing, branding, and starting up. He currently leads startup community efforts with Verge, a 2,000-member platform for software startup founders, developers, and investors. Hunckler built and sold his own business before coming to the Indianapolis tech community as an entrepreneurial Orr Fellow.
Turning a Good Idea into a Great Startup
KEVIN HITCHEN | Co-Founder, Localstake
TIMOTHY J. CAPEN | Partner, Ice Miller LLP
Coming up with a business idea is the easy part. Walking away from secure jobs and executing on that idea is much more difficult. Kevin Hitchen of Localstake, a new locally-focused venture capital concept connecting businesses and investors, will talk with Tim Capen of Ice Miller about the lessons learned in their first year at a startup.
Prior to founding Localstake, Kevin worked in investment management at the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) and at J.P. Morgan. Kevin received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from Butler University. He hold the Series 24, 7, 79, and 66 securities licenses and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)charterholder.
Timothy J. Capen is a partner in the Firm’s Business Group. Capen concentrates his practice in corporate and securities law and in the representation of emerging growth companies and venture capital and private equity funds. He has extensive experience in venture capital financings; private placements; private equity/venture capital fund formations, operations and portfolio company transactions.
Why Open Source is Good for Your Business
CALVIN HENDRYX-PARKER | Chief Technology Officer, Six Feet Up
Most of us have heard of "open source" - the idea that developers all over the world are writing code and sharing it with others to use, modify, enhance and more. Even though open source is still invisible to the average web user, it powers high-profile destinations like Facebook, Firefox, the United Nations and even WhiteHouse.org. There is a free alternative to each product of the Microsoft Office suite.
But open source is more than just software, it's also learning materials and hardware prototyping. Open source has definitely crossed Indiana borders; chances are your organization already includes people who have embraced the revolution. Learn more about the benefits of open source innovations and how these ideas are applied to more and more areas of our lives.
A Hoosier who moved to California after graduating from Purdue, Calvin Hendryx-Parker came back to Indiana in 2003 to grow Six Feet Up, a company that works on sophisticated web projects using open source. As Chief Technology Officer for Six Feet Up, Calvin is responsible for researching cutting-edge advances that could become part of the company’s technology roadmap.
“He Said, She Said”: The Creative Class & the Future of Indiana's Workforce
Erika Smith | Columnist, Indianapolis Star
Matthew Tully | Columnist, Indianapolis Star
The U.S. coasts and mountains may get more than their fair share of attention, but the fatalistic notion that geography is destiny does not ring true when it comes to the "creative class" and American cities with dense STEM concentrations.
Yes, California will likely continue to have more technology firms and employees than we do in Indiana, but that doesn't prohibit the Hoosier state from making itself even more appealing to the creative class and the companies that covet professionals in the fields of science and technology, design and architecture, arts, entertainment and media, healthcare, law, management and education.
Join Indianapolis Star columnists Erika Smith and Matthew Tully for a rare, live on-stage version of their popular "He Said, She Said" dueling columns and discussion.
Erika D. Smith is a metro columnist for The Indianapolis Star, where she covers issues related to diversity, neighborhood redevelopment and mass transit. She joined The Star in August of 2005 as a business reporter and a technology columnist. Prior to moving to Indianapolis, she lived and worked in Akron, Ohio, where she worked first as a copy editor and then as a business reporter at the The Akron Beacon Journal.
Matthew Tully is the political columnist for the Indianapolis Star. His columns on public schools have helped drive debate over education reform in Indiana. Tully’s commentary has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Education Week, and he has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and numerous other
national media outlets.