TECH cocktail CONFERENCE Preview

May 27, 2008

9:56 pm

Kasbeer HallWith the TECH cocktail CONFERENCE just a few days away we wanted to take a moment to preview our super lineup of speakers. The conference will be taking place on Thursday, May 29, 2008 at Loyola University Water Tower Campus, 25 E. Pearson in Chicago, Illinois and offers two separate session tracks spread between the Kasbeer Hall and Room 208 which offers a more intimate conversational setting.

Special thanks to AOL for sponsoring our first TECH cocktail CONFERENCE event. It is much appreciated and could not be possible with the support.

Check out the schedule below:

8:00 a.m. – The day will start with a continental breakfast.

8:45 a.m. – TECH cocktail co-founders Eric Olson and Frank Gruber giving a brief welcoming address.

9:00 a.m.Mike Domek founded TicketsNow in his Woodstock, Illinois apartment and recently sold it Ticketmaster. Mike will speak about his experiences and how you can start a business anywhere.

9:35 a.m. – There are two sessions to choose from. Kasbeer Hall: Watch the tech leads at community driven startup skinnyCorp/Threadless.com as Harper Reed and Scott VanDenPlas speak with technology agnosticism. The title of our presentation will be “The path to agnosticism.” Breakout Room 208: Find out how Seth Godin’s startup Squidoo leveraged ad supported Web 2.0 business model and became. Brian Williams and Corey Web will discuss the approach they took along with tips on becoming profitable in a session titled “9 Tips to Profitability: How Squidoo Did It.”

10:10 a.m. – There are two sessions to choose from. Kasbeer Hall: Sit in on a panel discussion lead by Sean Ammirati of mSpoke and a ReadWriteWeb contributor will moderate as a great cast of social application experts which includes Keith Schacht, Troy Henikoff, Nick O’Neill and Alex Bard. They will discuss Facebook, widgets and all things social. Breakout Room 208: The FeedBurner design duo of John Zeratsky and Matt Shobe (now with Google) will take a look at how you design products with users in mind.

10:50 a.m. – There are two tracks to choose from. Kasbeer Hall: Adrian Holovaty creator Django, ChicagoCrime.org and now EveryBlock will discuss starting up in the Midwest and avoiding the Silicon Valley Echo Chamber. Breakout Room 208: Mike Macadaan of AOL and Ant Creed of Intuit will be in the breakout session solving problems by taking an innovative approach in a very hands on session called “Innovate in 30 Minutes.”

11:25 a.m. – There are two sessions to choose from. Kasbeer Hall: What is the deal with partnerships? Are they good or bad? How do you know? Nick Fera founded a Chicago-based company called Parlano which was acquired by Microsoft last year and will hope to help answer these very questions and more around partnerships. Breakout Room 208: Micah Baldwin, from the Colorado-based search company Lijit, has made it his quest to be the #1 Douchebag on Google and he will explain. Micah will break the session into two parts. Part 1 will discuss how SEO is no longer just about content, code and links, but now includes the intertwining of personal brand into any SEO plan. Part 2 will be a site review, with session goers being able to have Micah review their sites from an SEO perspective and provide insight and suggestions in real time.

11:45 a.m. – LUNCH BREAK

12:00 p.m. – During lunch Your Inner CEO author Allan Cox will coach us all along as we look for that inner CEO.

12:30 p.m. – After lunch Jason Fried, founder of Chicago-based 37signals, will share his experiences about what works and what doesn’t in web development and how the unconventional methodologies followed by 37signals give it an edge.

1:05 p.m. – Two sessions to choose from. Kasbeer Hall: A panel moderated by Nate Westheimer and made up of Evan Brown, Daliah Saper, Gary Barron & Ed Mullen will discuss legal and accounting as they are an essential part of starting and running a business. Breakout Room 208: Jared Goralnick of AwayFind offers up productivity hacks and tips of social media, email and business.

1:40 p.m. – Two sessions to choose from. Kasbeer Hall: A panel moderated by Sean Ammirati and made up of PR, marketing and social media experts, Danielle Wiley, David Armano, Frank Gruber & Geoff Livingston, explore creating a brand leveraging social media. Breakout Room 208: Jason Rexilius of HostedLABS will tell his story and explain cloud computing and how it can be used to help your business scale.

2:25 p.m. – Two sessions to choose from. Kasbeer Hall: A panel moderated by Shawn Bolan and made-up of three very talented women, Jen Consalvo, Genevieve Thiers & Blagica Bottigliero, will discuss how important it is to understand your audience. Breakout Room 208: Do you understand the Semantic Web? Fraser Kelton looks to help you understand it better.

3:00 p.m. – Finding funding for your business can sometimes be a challenge. Eric Olson will moderate the panel of experts, Matthew McCall, Kirk Wolfe, Rob Schultz, Bruce Barron & Brad Feld, as they offer their expert perspective and experiences.

3:35 p.m.Dick “The Wizard” Costolo, CEO/founder of FeedBurner which was acquired by Google in 2007, will offer up an open forum for asking questions in a session called “Ask the Wizard.”

4:10 p.m. – Changing the wine world with Wine Library TV and transforming a tradition wine business with the help of social media Gary Vaynerchuk will bring the thunder and explain how he did it. You are definitely going to want to hang around to see Gary anchor the full day of speakers.

4:45 p.m. – Finally, Eric and Frank will give details on the evening proceedings – TECH cocktail Chicago 8 mixer event at John Barleycorn Wrigleyville.

Check out the full TECH cocktail CONFERENCE schedule. Hope to see you there!

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.

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