Innovation is the voice of new generation.
The forces of the new economy is increasingly being driven by innovation — led largely by today’s progressive entrepreneurs and the savvy investors behind them who are delivering emerging technologies, products and services.
While not as high profile as the Bay Area, Austin, Boston or other bastions of innovation and startup activity, the Midwest region – from Chicago to Nashville to Louisville, Kansas City, Omaha, St. Louis, Champaign-Urbana and more – has seen a dramatic increase in the growth of innovative startups and entrepreneurism that continues to change the face of the former Rustbelt economy.
Startup VooDoo brings together thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the geographic center of it all – St. Louis – to uncover the voodoo behind innovation, 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: Ed Domain
Opening Keynote: Robert Scoble, Rackspace
Panel: What’s next in cyber security innovation
Pitches: Top 3 “Most Promising” Midwest startups
Lunchtime Q&A between technology journalist Tom Foremski and 2014 Most Promising winner – Learncore
Conversation: Debbie Barta of Simplify Commerce by MasterCard discusses thinking like a startup inside a global corporation
Panel: Startups innovating communications technologies for corporate America
Keynote: Maxine Clark, founder, Build-A-Bear
Panel: Accelerating startups with executives from top U.S. accelerators
“Most Promising” Midwest startups award announcement
Keynote: Erik Moore, founder, Base Ventures
Closing Keynote: Sam Altman, Y Combinator
Panel: Ingredients to winning the Accelerate St. Louis Startup Challenge
Arch Grants summer cohort announcement
AFTER PARTY, hosted by Arch Grants, at the Downtown T-Rex