The forces of the new economy are more increasingly being driven by today’s progressive entrepreneurs, the emerging technologies, products and services they are creating, and the savvy investors behind them.
While not as high profile as the Bay area or other bastions of startup activity, the Midwest region – from Chicago to Nashville to Louisville, Kansas City and St. Louis and more – has seen a dramatic increase in startup growth and entrepreneurism continues to change the face of the former “Rustbelt” economy.
Startup VooDoo brings together thought leaders in the startup entrepreneurism space together in the center of it all – in St. Louis – to uncover the voodoo behind successful startups, exchange best practices and ideas, as well as to create connections between the Midwest and coastal startup ecosystems.
David is the Chief Executive Officer of Answers Corporation, responsible for setting corporate strategy and driving revenue partnerships for the company. Answers’ mission is to connect consumers and partners with the right answers: through the top Q&A destination Answers.com, which draws 200 million monthly uniques; and via Answers Cloud Services, a leading provider of award-winning SaaS solutions that measure and improve the multichannel customer experience.
Fang Cheng is chief executive officer of Linc, a venture-backed startup based in Silicon Valley, with a mission to make personalized after-purchase experience a reality for every cross-channel retailer. Fang previously co-founded and served as chief operation officer of Touchco, a company focusing on a new touch sensing technology that was acquired by Amazon. Fang additionally has extensive investment management experience leading hedge funds, most recently as vice president and portfolio manager at Millennium Partners, and received a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from New York University.
Jim is an engineer and serial entrepreneur who is most widely known as the co-founder, along with Jack Dorsey, of Square – the revolutionary mobile payment platform which enables anyone with a mobile device to accept credit cards anywhere.
Tim is the Founder and CEO of Boston-based Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) as well as being a Venture Partner and member of the investment committee of New Atlantic Ventures. He is particularly interested in consumer-facing technology products with mass-market potential companies.
Delon served as Director of software engineering for Netscape Communications where he developed encryption technologies for the U.S. Navy. While at Netscape he managed as many as 5,000 employees, helped identify and develop fundamental IP and the Java (swing) language, and sold Enterprise Networking Solutions world-wide.
A serial entrepreneur and investor and cited by VentureBeat as one of the most influential thought leaders in crowdfunding, Sherwood Neiss is the co-author of “Crowdfunding Exemption Framework” which became the basis of Title III of the JOBS Act to legalize equity-based and lending-based crowdfunding.
Publisher of the Silicon Valley Watcher, Tom Foremski will serve as the proctor for each of the featured speakers, leading the question and answer session following the presentations. In 2004, Tom became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger.
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Welcome: Jim McKelvey, Square.com
Opening Keynote: David Karandish, Answers.com
Panel: Scaling startups away from the coasts
Featured Speaker: Delon Dotson, Delotek
Panel: Talking sports with the CEOs of baseball’s Cardinals, football’s Rams, and hockey’s Blues
Most Promising: Three pitches from the Most Promising finalists
Featured Speaker: Tim Rowe, Cambridge Innovation Center
Panel: Building a startup reputation
Featured Speaker: Sherwood Neiss, Crowdfund Capital Advisors
Panel: The fundamental building blocks
Closing Keynote: Fang Cheng, Linc
Most Promising Winner Announced
Happy hour and music performance