Technology Entrepreneurship in a Turbulent Economy:Survival Strategies + Smart Management = New Opportunities

November 24, 2008

4:27 am

Presented by the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) and the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
8:00 – 11:30am
200 S. Wacker Drive, 15th Floor

$35 registration fee; $20 for ITA members
All Students, DePaul Faculty & Staff: $5 (Must present Student/DePaul ID at door)

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How do you launch, grow, and run your company with so much uncertainty? If you’re an entrepreneur, you do it creatively but also strategically. You must make tough decisions and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. You must be reactive to what is happening around you but also proactive about potential opportunities.

In this panel discussion, you’ll hear experienced technology entrepreneurs and experts talk about what they’re doing with their firms during these difficult times, and what you can do with yours. What are they doing to protect and build their sales pipeline? How are they managing, and funding, research and development? How are they dealing with cash flow challenges? What about employee morale?  These questions, and more, will be discussed in great detail.  The panelists will not only share what they are doing, but also what you can do with your firm. Bring your questions and concerns (heck, even your insecurities) to what promises to be a spirited, engaging, and insightful discussion.


Jim Jacoby, Founder of Manifest Digital. Jim Jacoby is a business strategist, seasoned user experience specialist, and entrepreneur.  In the early 90’s, Jim identified that the organizations attempting to integrate business strategy, brand, and technology were onto something, but going about it in the wrong way. From early lessons as a regional Director of Account Management at one of the major “dot-bomb” integrators (marchFIRST), Jim distilled core processes that could actually integrate. Further, he discovered the starting points that would ensure that these divergent offerings not only coexisted, but delivered unique value when integrated.  Jim started Manifest Digital in May of 2001 and it has grown from a small core of design-focused individuals into a 50-person industry leader with integrated technology, strategy, and marketing roles. The cross-functional teams in this thriving company are capable of delivering conceptual solutions and seeing those through to production with a wide range of clients.

Bret Johnson, Director of the Homeland Security Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (HSIEC) at Northwestern University. He joined Northwestern in 2000 and helped launch Illinois’ first Illinois Technology Enterprise Center (ITEC) and served as assistant director until 2005.  Bret has also held engineering and management positions at GE Astrospace, Northrop-Grumman, 3COM and Grayhill Inc.  His educational background includes a master’s in Science Technology and Public Policy from The George Washington University, a master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bret lives in Evanston with his wife, Kendra, two boys, Alex and Trevor.

Matt Moog, Founder of Viewpoints Network. Matt Moog founded Viewpoints Network, an exciting website that taps into the need for people to share their personal experiences, in August 2006.  He spent the previous ten years at Q Interactive/CoolSavings where he joined the company as its fifth employee and ran the sales and marketing function.  From 2001 to 2006 Matt served as President & CEO while CoolSavings was publicly traded, and then took the company private in a sale to Landmark Communications. Prior to CoolSavings he worked for Microsoft in a variety of business development and sales roles.  Matt is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of Francis Parker School.  He has three boys, Max, Charlie & Eli, a wonderful wife Lucy, and lives in Chicago.

Barbara Rapchak, Founder and CEO of Leap of Faith Technologies. Barbara invented a patented tele-health device that was selected as one of the “World’s Best Technologies”, and a pediatric oncology product that received the “World Wide Web Health Award”. Barbara was awarded the U.S. SBA Tibbetts Award for Leap of Faith Technologies for its innovations in e-health, led various research and development teams, and is a committed technology partner and collaborator. She has been the Principal Investigator on twelve Small Business Innovation Research Grants and Contracts from the National Institutes of Health, and serves on a Scientific Review Panel for the Institutes. Prior to founding Leap of Faith Technologies, she held research positions for Amoco and American Can Company, and an executive position at Bio-Imaging Research. Barbara has a bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of Notre Dame.

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Mark Bebawy (@markbebawy) is a Washington, D.C. metro native with a passion for all things web, social media, and startup related. Mark has an extensive background in technology, having worked in the field running his own IT consulting company that catered to small business.

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