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Tentative Agenda

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

8:30am  Registration

9:00am  Welcome Remarks 

Speaker: Ms. Jennifer Clark, Region 10 Advocate, SBA Office of Advocacy

9:05am  Moderator Introduction and Remarks

Moderator: Mr. Jonathan Sposato, Chairman of GeekWire.com and Former CEO of Picnik

9:20am  Interview: The Office of Advocacy’s Mission and its Innovation Initiative

Moderator: Mr. Jonathan Sposato, Chairman of GeekWire.com and Former CEO of Picnik

Panelists:

Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration

Ms. Claudia Rodgers, Deputy Chief Counsel for Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration

10:00am  Keynote Address

Speaker Mr. Michael K. Young, President University of Washington

Focus: Tech transfer plays an important role in commercializing innovation and reaping the economic benefits of converting ideas into products and services - in some instances creating whole new markets entirely or solving a long-standing global challenge.  President Young's experiences both at UW and University of Utah give him a broad perspective of the range of factors that impact the commercialization process - from funding and investment, to patent concerns, to immigration status, to government approvals, to tax considerations, and more. His comments and suggestions for removing barriers to innovation and unleashing growth will be a critical addition to the day's dialogue between government agencies and entrepreneurs.

10:30am  Break

10:45am  Panel: Small Business Innovators: The Public/Private Relationship

Moderator: Mr. Jonathan Sposato, Chairman of GeekWire.com and Former CEO of Picnik

Focus: This discussion will highlight the experiences of entrepreneurs as they have started and grown their companies and have interacted with government as a part of that process.  Their experiences will serve to frame a discussion of unique issues that start-up companies face, with an eye toward public and private solutions. 

Panelists:

Mr. Chris Bajuk, Co-Founder and CEO of UrbanHarvest

Ms. Linden Rhoads, Vice Provost of the University of Washington Center for Commercialization
Mr. David Roberts, Chairman and CEO of PopCap Games
Dr. Matthew Silver, Founder and  CEO of Cambrian Innovation Inc.
Dr. Grace Wang, Division Director, Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), National Science Foundation

12:15pm  Lunch

1:30pm  Panel: Maximizing Entrepreneurship: Showcasing Innovation Accelerators

Moderator: Mr. Jonathan Sposato, Chairman of GeekWire.com and Former CEO of Picnik

Focus: Many organizations fill the crucial roles of enablers and accelerators in local entrepreneurial ecosystems. The resources and services they provide come in different forms, but often these organizations convene events that bring entrepreneurs together with potential mentors, co-founders, managerial talent, funders, subject matter experts, and business service providers. This session will highlight two examples of this type of organization, Startup Weekend and Northwest Entrepreneur Network (NWEN). They will SHOW us what they do in a high-energy, audience participation exercise that puts the participants in the position of working with them. These demonstrations will set up the framework for a discussion of the role these organizations play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the impact they are having on entrepreneurial activity and ultimately entrepreneurial success. 

Panelists:

Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration

Ms. Lindsay Andreotti, CEO of Brilliance Enterprises and the Brilliance Foundation, Co-Chair Startup Washington

Dr. Christine Kymn, Economist, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration
Mr. Marc Nager, CEO and Co-Founder of Startup Weekend and Members of the Startup Weekend Team
Mr. Franck Nouyrigat, CTO and co-founder of Startup Weekend
Mr. Daniel Rossi, Executive Director, Northwest Entrepreneur Network and Members of the NWEN Team

3:00pm  Break

3:15pm  Panel: Driving Innovation—Emerging Capital Strategies

Moderator: Ms. Rebecca Lovell, Chief Business Officer of GeekWire.com

Focus: Panelists will discuss emerging innovative funding options such as crowd-funding and revenue-based loans.  Angel investors and VCs will share their ideas on how to increase investments flows to entrepreneurs and small businesses.  Panelists will discuss where they see the most investment activity now and in 2013: by sector, geographic region, or investor type.  What do these trends tell us about the innovation climate and how to optimize it?

Panelists:

Mr. Greg Gottesman, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group

Ms. Catherine Mott, Founder and CEO BlueTree Capital Group/BlueTree Allied Angels, Former Chairman Angel Capital Association
Mr. Andy Sack, Founder and Chairman of Lighter Capital; Executive Director, TechStars; Managing Partner, Founder's Co-op
Mr. Wil Schroter, Founder, Fundable.com
Ms. Danae Ringelmann, Co-Founder of Indiegogo


4:45pm  Closing Remarks

Speaker: Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration

5:00-6:00pm Reception 




Speaker and Panelist Biographies

Dr.Winslow Sargeant

Winslow Sargeant

Dr. Winslow Sargeant is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s sixth Chief Counsel for Advocacy, appointed by President Obama August 19, 2010. As Chief counsel, Dr. Sargeant directs Advocacy’s operations, including overseeing federal agency compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, conducting research on the U.S. small business sector, advocating for small businesses within the federal government’s agencies and rulemaking processes, and fostering public awareness of small business contributions and concerns. Previously, Dr. Sargeant served as managing director of Venture Investors, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin. The firm provided seed and early-stage money to high-potential health care and IT companies. From 2001 to 2005, he was program manager in electronics for the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. In 1997, Dr. Sargeant and partners cofounded Aanetcom, a “fabless” semiconductor integrated circuit design company.

Claudia Rodgers

Claudia Rodgers

Claudia Rodgers serves as the Deputy Chief Counsel for Advocacy in the U. S. Small Business Administration and has been with the office for 15 years. As deputy, she manages the daily operations and statutory responsibilities of the Office of Advocacy. In addition, she represents the Chief Counsel in his absence. She also coordinates presidential executive orders (EO) and congressional mandates as they affect the Office of Advocacy and is the lead on RFA training and regulatory matters as they relate to EO coordination. Previously, Claudia served at the Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the White House Domestic Policy Council. 

Jennifer Clark

Jenn Clark

Jennifer Clark is the Regional Advocate for the Office of Advocacy representing SBA Region 10—the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. She has 19 years of domestic and international experience in marketing strategy and new product development, human resources, and startup/change management. Prior to serving as regional advocate, she was the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Director of Human Resources for President Obama's 2008 election campaign and went on to serve on the presidential transition team. Previously she co-founded Veracity Analytics, LLC, a management consulting firm whose clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and non-profits. Prior to that, Clark worked at the opposite end of the size spectrum, for leading global market research and consumer package goods companies. Those roles took her across the United States and to London and Stockholm. Clark has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a bachelor of arts from Bryn Mawr College.

Jonathan Sposato

Jonathan Sposato

Chairman of Geekwire.com and Former CEO of Picnik
Jonathan is currently the Chairman of Geekwire.com, the region's top technology news site. He also has the distinct honor of being the first person to sell 2 companies to Google. As the CEO of Picnik, Jonathan created a category-defining (1st search result for “photo editor”) online photo editor to profitability and reached over 60M visits a month.
Prior to Picnik, Jonathan founded Phatbits which went on to become Google Gadgets. Prior to Phatbits, Jonathan was a Senior Manager in Microsoft’s consumer division, personally delivering the next level of thought on key Microsoft properties to chairman Bill Gates and the company’s leadership, as well as driving the development of award-winning software applications, video games, and social communications applications.

Michael K. Young

Michael Young

Michael K. Young is the 31st President of the University of Washington. As UW President, he leads the nation’s top public university (2nd among all universities) in competing for federal research funding. Since he took office in July 2011, the University has embarked on an ambitious plan to double the number of new companies based on UW research, thereby helping to propel ideas more effectively out of UW labs and into our economy where they will improve lives. A champion of ensuring that students from all walks of life have access to quality education, President Young is committed to providing an even more supportive environment for faculty and staff to build on the University’s many strengths in innovation, collaboration, and interdisciplinary inquiry in order to engage the world’s most complex challenges and expand learning opportunities for students.  
A Professor of Law, President Young has a proven track record of academic leadership. Prior to his appointment at the UW, he served as President and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Utah. Under President Young’s leadership, Utah raised its stature nationally and internationally. It led the nation in the number of new companies generated from university research, significantly raised the academic profile of the student body, expanded international education, and built more than 2 million square feet of new research and teaching facilities. Before assuming the presidency at Utah, he was Dean and Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School, and he was a professor at Columbia University for more than 20 years.
President Young is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School and has broad experience across legal, public service, and diplomatic arenas. He served as a law clerk to the late Chief (then Associate) Justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has held numerous government positions, including Deputy Under Secretary for Economic and Agricultural Affairs and Ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs in the Department of State during the presidency of the first President Bush. He also served as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom from 1998-2005, chairing the Commission on two occasions.
A respected scholar of international human rights and religious freedom, President Young has published extensively on a broad range of topics, including the Japanese legal system, dispute resolution, mergers and acquisitions, the legal profession, industrial policy, international trade law, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and international environmental law. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. 

Chris Bajuk

Chris Bajuk

Chris Bajuk is the Co-founder & CEO of UrbanHarvest, a hyperlocal urban farming startup based in Seattle.  He earned both his MBA and M.S. in Real Estate degrees from the University of Washington and a BS in mechanical engineering from the United States Naval Academy.  Chris has worked previously in various capacities for the U.S. Navy, Cadman, McKinstry, and Wright Hotels.  He serves on the Board of the Washington State Corporate Real Estate Network (CoreNet), and is a committee member for the NAIOP Developing Leaders and Urban Land Institute Young Leaders groups.  Chris is passionate about urban agriculture and the smart utilization of land resources.  

Linden Rhoads

Linden Rhoads

Linden Rhoads is Vice Provost of the University of Washington Center for Commercialization, which seeks to commercialize discoveries emerging from research conducted at the UW. Previously, Rhoads was a veteran executive in the Seattle high-tech community. She co-founded or served as an active director or interim CEO of several successful Seattle-based startups, including ChiliSoft, Singingfish.com, AdRelevance, GBI, and Nimble Technology. A graduate of Smith College, Rhoads majored in geophysics. While working full time, she attended the UW School of Law, where she focused on intellectual property. Rhoads has been an active member of the UW community, serving on the board of the Washington Technology Center, the Dean’s Advisory Board at the School of Law, the steering committee for the school’s capital campaign, and the campaign committee for the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering.

David Roberts

David Roberts

David Roberts, Senior Vice President and General Manager
Dave joined PopCap Games in 2005 as the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, overseeing all aspects of the company’s operations and guiding PopCap through the adolescent stage to corporate maturity. He brings more than twenty years of entrepreneurial and technology experience. Previously Dave served as an executive for Visual Communications Group, a leading global provider of stock photography (acquired by Getty Images in 2000). Prior to that Dave was founder, chairman and CEO of Definitive Stock, a stock photography company providing royalty-free and rights-protected images using world-class on-line search, delivery and commerce systems. He also founded Diamar Interactive, a CD-ROM developer and publisher that created award-winning titles for adults and kids alike. Dave previously held senior management positions at Aldus Corporation (overseeing the company’s flagship PageMaker product line) and Apple Computer (as one of the first employees of its software spin-off Claris Corporation) during those companies’ most dramatic growth stages. He holds a bachelors degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Dr.Matthew Silver

Matthew Silver

Matthew Silver, PhD: As Founder and CEO of Cambrian Innovation Inc., Matt has eleven years of experience at the intersection of engineering design, entrepreneurship, and innovation strategy. At Cambrian Innovation he leads a team of 15+ employees in the commercialization of advanced energy and water technologies with particular focus on product architecture, intellectual property strategy and business development. In this capacity he has negotiated and closed seed, corporate and series A equity financing rounds, led the team to the win the nation-wide Clean Tech Open (formerly Ignite Clean Energy prize), and been Principal Investigator of nine technology development projects, including five Phase I and four Phase II projects, funded by the NSF, EPA, USDA, and NASA. Prior to founding Cambrian Innovation, Matt co-founded Intelligent Action Inc., an MIT spin-out providing strategic decision-making capabilities based on patent-pending software algorithms developed during his masters degree. He has worked previously in the NASA Executive Office on agency-wide launch vehicle design strategies and participated in two field seasons in the Canadian Arctic to test advanced life support and logistics technologies in extreme environments for the Canadian Space Agency and the MIT Strategic Engineering Group. Matt speaks widely on innovation strategy and entrepreneurship, with particular focus on capital intensive energy and water innovation, and in 2011 he testified before the United States Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on the government’s role in early stage innovation. He has published over 15 academic and conference publications on engineering design and innovation strategy and is a co-inventor on six patent applications. Matt received a doctorate in Engineering Systems and two masters in Astronautical Engineering and Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a Bachelors degree in Astrophysics and Art History, cum laude and with honors, from Williams College in 2001.

Dr. Grace Wang

Grace Wang

Grace Wang has been the Division Director of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships Division at the National Science Foundation (NSF) since February of 2012.  Grace joined NSF in June 2009 as a Program Director for the SBIR/STTR Program.  She also served as the Cluster Leader for the Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (NM) Cluster in SBIR/STTR Program. Before joining NSF, Grace was a Senior Development Scientist at Hitachi. Grace started her career as an Advisory Development Scientist at IBM.  Grace is the recipient of many leadership and technical achievement awards. Grace holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. 

Lindsay Andreotti

Lindsay Andreotti

Lindsay Andreotti is Chief Executive Officer of Brilliance Enterprises and the Brilliance Foundation, and a visionary leader who has assisted in the start, growth, and development of over 100 companies, small and large, in public, private, and nonprofit arenas. She also co-chairs Startup Washington, focusing on strengthening the ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the state. Lindsay has directed her attention to the systems and psyche of the human side of business to create significant results. In her 25-year career, she has coached hundreds of executives and leaders and is passionate about instilling the mindset of entrepreneurship in next-generation entrepreneurs. She teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Washington, Seattle University, Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT), and soon, Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She serves on the board at Vendaria Media, Inc. and LWIT’s bachelor of technology in applied design program. She is an expert facilitator of conversations in innovation and entrepreneurship worldwide. 

Dr. Christine Kymm

Christine Kymm

Dr. Christine Kymn joined the SBA’s Office of Advocacy as a Regulatory Economist in April 2012. In this position, she evaluates the economic impact of proposed regulations on small businesses. Kymn previously served as a policy analyst in the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. There she specialized in environmental air, toxic chemical, and energy regulations, analyzing estimated costs and benefits. Kymn received a Ph.D. from George Mason University and a law degree from George Mason’s School of Law. She was the recipient of the Robert A. Levy Fellowship in Law and Liberty, an interdisciplinary post-graduate program that brings the tools of economics to legal problems. She has taught economics at Washington and Lee University and was a visiting professor at the George Mason School of Law. Her fields of expertise include law and economics and public economics.

Marc Nager

Marc nager

Marc Nager is the CEO and Co-founder of Startup Weekend NPO. Marc saw the opportunity to acquire Startup Weekend, LLC, and to transform it into a nonprofit in early 2009. Startup Weekend has found a way to help others pursue their passions, solve real problems, and have an impact on the world around them. Startup Weekend has landed Marc in over 60 communities around the world where he’s observed and helped thousands of early stage startups. Startup Weekend’s efforts have garnered exposure in almost every major media outlet around the world. Marc sees entrepreneurship as the single most transformative and important factor driving the advancement of human welfare. It is something that can be both taught and learned, and Marc's on a mission to ensure the world takes advantage of that. 
 

Franck Nouyrigat

Franck Nouyrigat

Franck Nouyrigat is the CTO and Co-founder of Startup Weekend (startupweekend.org), working on the 21st century equivalent of the Industrial Revolution: the Entrepreneurial Revolution. He believes that creating entrepreneurs should be a strategic focus for developed countries. His Startup Weekend research, in partnership with academics, uses the format as an experimental platform to study the earliest stages of entrepreneurship. Originally from France, Franck has a master’s degree in computer science from Ecole Centrale d'Electronique, and a specialized master’s degree from École des Hautes Études Commerciales of Paris. Having starting as a hacker at age 5, Franck has worked in industries including open source and sales and consulting for FT500. He founded ventures including the first ever crowd-funded customer buyout platform in 2008 (Podlife) and a consulting company specializing in the creation of innovative business models (idpops). He has contributed to the Parisian startup ecosystem since 2002 (Internet team, teaching C programming, various entrepreneurial meetups, Le Camping, and Startup Weekend

Daniel Rossi

Daniel Rossi

Daniel Rossi is the Executive Director of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network (NWEN), with more than a decade of business development experience in media companies from the Economist Group to the Seattle Times Company. Most recently he served as CEO and Co-Founder of a University of Washington based technology startup, Nanocel. He won the 2009 University of Washington Business Plan Competition, was Seattle's sole representative in the 2010 national Clean Tech Open, and was named one of the 2010 Innovators of the Year by Seattle Business Magazine. Daniel earned his undergraduate degree from the Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Washington with a focus in entrepreneurship. He serves as a judge and coach in the annual University of Washington Business Plan, Seattle University, and SIFP Competitions. 

Rebecca Lovell

Rebecca Lovell

Rebecca is the Chief Business Officer of GeekWire, overseeing all business initiatives including operations, advertising, and sponsorship, and organizing and running GeekWire events. After a decade of operations management and business development in the corporate world, she caught the startup bug and served as the Program Director for the Alliance of Angels, then the Executive Director for the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. Having screened, coached and advised hundreds of entrepreneurs, she currently serves as a mentor for both Tech Stars and the Founder Institute, and teaches a class on venture capital investing in the UW MBA program.

Greg Gottesman

Greg Gottesman

Greg Gottesman, is Managing Director of Madrona. Greg joined Madrona in 1997 and currently serves on the boards of AdReady, Bocada, BuddyTV, Cheezburger, Decide, Intrepid Learning Solutions, Nimbic, ThinkFire, ThisLife, and WildTangent.  He is the founder, current board member, and former CEO of Rover.com.
Greg managed the firm's investments in Dantz Development Corporation (prior to its acquisition by EMC), Rendition Networks (prior to its acquisition by Opsware), Singingfish.com (prior to its acquisition by Thomson Consumer Electronics), LiveBid.com (prior to its acquisition by Amazon.com), and AdRelevance (prior to its acquisition by Media Metrix). Before joining Madrona, he worked as an Associate of the Boston Consulting Group.
Greg serves on the boards of Startup Weekend and the Evergreen Venture Capital Association.   He is an advisory board member of the University of Washington Technology Transfer Office and an investment committee member of the W Fund.
Greg is the author of three books.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Washington Business School, where he teaches a class on entrepreneurship.
Greg graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors and distinction from Stanford University, with honors and distinction from the Harvard Business School, and with honors from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
When not working, Greg spends time with his wife and three kids, watches too much reality TV, and regularly injures himself playing non-contact sports.

Catherine Mott

Catherine Mott

Catherine Mott is a Founder and CEO of BlueTree Capital Group and BlueTree Allied Angels located in Wexford, PA (suburb of Pittsburgh, PA.), with a satellite office in Erie,PA.   BlueTree Allied Angels is one of 370+ professionally managed private (angel) investor networks in US and Canada.  As of December 2011, BlueTree Allied Angels has invested ~ $20+ million in 32 start-up companies.  Ms. Mott is the past Chairman of the Angel Capital Education Foundation, an organization that researches angel capital, tracks angel capital, and provides education to bring professionalism and ethics to the industry.   In July 2010, she was named Chairman of the Board of the Angel Capital Association, the professional trade association for Angel Networks and Angel Funds in the U.S.  Most recently, in September 2011, Ms Mott was one of 21 individuals selected for the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies.
Ms. Mott has been a speaker/panelist at national and regional conferences: the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF) annual conference, the Angel Capital Association annual summit, the State Science and Technology Initiative (SSTI) Annual Conference, as well as the Michigan Growth Capital Conference, North Carolina’s Angel Investor Summit, Ohio Venture Association, and the National Governors’ Association.  In 2009, she served as a Corporate Ambassador for the US Dept of State representing professional managers of Angel Networks in the US.
Catherine has been quoted or featured in many professional industry publications as one of the few women who represent the industry of angel capital/venture capital – Red Herring, The Scientist, The New York Times, Erie Times, PA KeyNotes, Wall St Journal, The Angel Journal, TEQ, Pop City, FanFare, and the Pittsburgh Business Times.  BlueTree Allied Angels was listed in INC magazine in 2009 as one of the Top 50 angel investors networks in the US.
Previously, Catherine had founded Synergetics Sales Performance Group, (formerly Strategic Sales Solutions), and Indigo Capital Development, LLC.  In 2002, she was recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business.
Prior to forming her own businesses, Catherine worked 17 years in corporate banking management where she served in senior management roles for investment sales/wealth management, commercial lending, business development, and retail expansion. Today, Ms. Mott uses these experiences and her education to bring together capital and prime investment opportunities.
Catherine holds an MBA in Finance, a BS in Education and a Masters Degree in Education.
Board Directorships, former and current:   Mass Mutual’s Women Advisory Board; RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc.; Angel Capital Association (ACA); Angel Capital Education Foundation; Grove City College Entrepreneurship Program; Thiel College Board of Directors; Chatham College Women’s Entrepreneurship Program; Duquesne University’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Council; Carnegie Mellon University’s Olympus Advisory Council, the U.S. SEC Advisory Council for Emerging Companies.
Professional Affiliations: Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association

Andy Sack

Andy Sack

Andy has over 15 years experience running and investing in high tech businesses. Most recently Andy co-founded Lighter Capital to use revenue-based finance to disrupt the small business lending industry. Andy is also the Managing Director of TechStars Seattle and a Managing Partner of Founder’s Co-op.
Prior to Lighter Capital, Andy was the co-founder and CEO of Judy’s Book, a local search social network.  Prior to founding Judy’s Book in 2004, Andy co-founded three successful Internet technology companies: Kefta, a leading provider of real-time customer interaction solutions (acquired in 2007 by Axciom); Abuzz, an enterprises knowledge management solution that was named number one in the Internet software category by Red Herring Magazine and the top company to work for by Boston Magazine (acquired by New York Times Digital in 1999); and Firefly Network, an Internet company that pioneered internet personalization technologies (acquired by Microsoft). Andy also spent time as an entrepreneur in residence for SOFTBANK Venture Capital (now Mobius VC) where he founded and served on the board of three companies: BodyShop Digital, Quova, and Kefta.
Andy currently serves on the board of and advises a number of companies including: zango, Cooler Planet, and Orange Line Media. Andy was also a founder and board member of Students for Responsible Business, and is a regular lecturer at the University of Washington Business School.
Andy received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1990, and his MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Andy lives in Laurelhurst with his wife and two children.

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter

In 1994 at age 19, while a still a student at the Ohio State University, he began his first company, Blue Diesel, an interactive marketing agency serving clients such as Best Buy, BMW, and Eli Lilly.  As CEO of the company, Wil grew Blue Diesel from his dorm room beginnings to over $60 million in capitalized billings in just over 5 years.  Wil sold Blue Diesel to inChord Communications, joined their Board, and helped the company grow to over $600 million in annual billings.
In 1995 Wil founded Virtucon Ventures, a technology incubator for startup companies whose focus is on using the Internet to create a new breed of companies in a host of industries.  Virtucon’s startups include the Swapalease.com, Go BIG Network, GotCast.com, Affordit.com, Bizplan.com, Unsubscribe.com, and Fundable.com.
In 2002, Wil launched Swapalease.com, an on-line marketplace for automotive leasing.  Within just three years Wil grew the company from a pure startup to the world's largest automotive finance marketplace, with over $2 billion in vehicles listed on its service.
In 2004 Wil founded the Go BIG Network, one of the pioneers in online fundraising for startup companies.  Since then over 330,000 companies have come to Go BIG looking for funding with millions invested.
In 2006 Wil founded GotCast.com to connect aspiring talent to on-camera roles.  GotCast soon became the leader in on-line talent casting, and now casts for every major network and show on television.
In 2008 Wil founded AffordIt.com to help consumers purchase large ticket items by turning big prices into smart, affordable payments.  Affordit is backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, Founders Fund, Crosscut Ventures and Baroda Ventures.
In 2009 Wil founded BizPlan.com, an on-line business planning and management tool that helps upstart entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable plans and great companies.
In 2010 Wil co-founded Unsubscribe.com, to help people get rid of junk mail.  Unsubscribe was backed by Charles River Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, First Round Capital and Ron Conway and was sold over a year later to Trusted ID.
In 2011 Wil co-founded Fundable.com, a crowdfunding platform for startup companies to take advantage of the JOBS Act, allowing anyone to get early stage funding for their ideas.

Danae Ringelmann

Danae Ringelmann

Danae Ringelmann co-founded Indiegogo to democratize fundraising.  Passionate about helping artists and entrepreneurs embrace crowdfunding, Danae speaks often at conferences.  Recent speaking engagements include SXSW, MAD Hong Kong, Ted, Big Omaha.  Fast Company Magazine recently named Danae one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Technology.
Prior to Indiegogo, Danae was a Securities Analyst at Cowen & Co. where she covered entertainment companies including Pixar, Lionsgate, Disney, and Electronic Arts.  Danae also focused on cable network, NFL, newspaper and hedge fund clientele while at JPMorgan's Investment Bank and Private Bank.  In the wake of 9/11, Danae co-produced a concert reading of Incident at Vichy, an Arthur Miller play addressing the politically charged topic of racial profiling.
Danae is a CFA charterholder and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Danae graduated with a B.A. in Humanities from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar and varsity rower.