Badger Startup Summit | 2017 Program
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2017 Program

2017 Disruptive (r)Evolution Program


8:00 am Registration opens, continental breakfast


8:40 Welcome: Badger Startup Summit Co-chairs

  • Matt Younkle, Forward Festival Chair, CEO
  • Allen Dines, Executive Partner, WISC Partners

The Badger Startup Summit is all about building networks.  This event brings the varied participating and supporting entities that comprise Madison Startup Ecosystem into one room, in one time window.  The Summit is a deep dive into Madison’s tech scene networks.

Many of the entities here today are hosting events later in the 2017 Forward Fest.  Use today to check them out and plan your days for the remainder of the 2017 Forward Fest.

If you don’t make several new connections today, we aren’t delivering.


8:45  Disruptive (r)EVolution Showcase – Part I

You hear about them all the time.  Cutting edge ventures developing new approaches to customer problems by leveraging exciting new

technologies. How are WI entrepreneurs involved in developing new products that could bring disruptive change?  This session includes a procession of WI entrepreneurs who are crafting their ventures in these new technology niches. These presentations will cover the space the company plays in and how it is differentiating itself from ventures elsewhere. (Presenters to be announced)

9:45 Break

10:00   Disruptive (r)EVolution Showcase – Part 2


11:15 Keynote  – Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the Wisconsin Idea

Erik Iverson, Managing Director, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation


12:00 Lunch at the Million Cups VenFair

The Million Cups VenFair opens in the adjoining Atrium.  Grab lunch at the buffet and roam the VenFair’s 20 tables – the top 20 entities that define the Madison Startup Landscape – each one is here in partnership with a supporting host.  Make this lunch session into your own movable feast touring the Madison entrepreneurial landscape.  Make the connections you need whether it be partners, employees, customers, investors, consulting skills. Watch for details and how to become a part of the landscape.  Thanks to our table hosts that have sponsored their partner organization.  Each has skills and resources that complement Madison’s high tech scene.

Hosts:  Rachel Neill and Drew Coursin, 1 Million Cups and CarEx Consulting Group

2:00 The MERLIN Pitch and Re-Play

Introduction by Susie Younkle, Program Director, MERLIN Mentors

Our signature pitch session returns but this year in partnership with MERLIN Mentors.  VenFair participation morphs into a speed dating event for Madison’s newest entrepreneurs.  It’s like Musical chairs for entrepreneurs but no one gets cut out of the process.  20 tables, 20 entrepreneurs.  Each starts at a different table of 5-8 attendees.  Rotate to the next table every 15 minutes – 7 minutes to pitch, 7 minutes of feedback and discussion.  See the Pitch & rePlay page for details.  

Logistics and Expectations  Dennis Barnum, MERLIN Mentors and Director of Operations, Thalchemy.

4:00 pitch wrap-up

Dennis Barnum

4:15 pm concluding remarks/adjourn

Allen Dines, Matt Younkle

Move on to the High Tech Happy Hour – Anniversary Edition

Registration Opens Early June

$45 Early Bird (closes July 15)

$75 Advance Registration (closes August 10)
$100 at the the door

Find it

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
The Hector Deluca Forum
330 North Orchard Street
Madison, WI 53715


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