Join fellow entrepreneurs, nerds, geeks, hackers, foodies, and creatives from the Midwest in an 8-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Host A Forward Fest Event

Apply to speak at FTC

Events

Aug 16, 2018

High Tech Happy Hour Anniversary Event

The 17th anniversary of High Tech Happy Hour will help kick off the 2018 Forward Festival. Join us at the UW Memorial Union from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. and enjoy hosted beverages and appetizers while networking with local business professionals. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required. All are welcome, so come and bring your friends!

Memorial Union

  • Social
High Tech Happy Hour Anniversary Event

Social Good Summit

The 4th annual Social Good Summit focus is not on profits, but social change. Madison's innovative community is poised to move the needle on social good acceleration, changing the way business and work will touch our lives. Every week, accelerators launch hundreds of business initiatives into fruitful realities. But these opportunities are scarce for those who want to create meaningful work, public good, community well-being, and sustainable economies. It’s...

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Madison Public Library

  • Pitch Event
  • Startup
  • Showcase
  • Founder
  • Mentor
  • Summit
Social Good Summit

Aug 17, 2018

Live Undiscovered Music (LÜM) Launch Party

This event is the launch of LÜM's iOS application. Live Undiscovered Music is a music discovery and streaming platform that is built on a social network. LÜM focuses on up and coming artists around the world by providing the ability for users to discover, share, and circulate music to decrease the disparity in exposure between corporate music and new music, and link local areas into the undiscovered music th...

7:00 pm – 12:00 am

Monona Terrace

Live Undiscovered Music (LÜM) Launch Party

Aug 19, 2018

Bunker Labs #DroneAround

Bunker Labs #DroneAround is a fun, educational, engaging opportunity for aspiring pilots to fly and learn more about unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as “drones.” The event is designed to feature the three innovative drone-technology companies at Bunker Labs: @myPilotTraining, @RapidImagaing & @MenetAero. It will also connect Forward Fest’s business/startup communities and Wisconsin’s emergency management, first responders, public safety, and law enforcement leaders with UW-Madison, the College of Engin...

University Research Park

  • Social
  • drones
Bunker Labs #DroneAround

Aug 21, 2018

Forward Technology Conference

We’re looking for speakers, panelist and workshop proposals for the Forward Technology Conference on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at Memorial Union in Madison, WI.  Fill out this form to submit a proposal. Proposals will be accepted until April 30, 2018 and reviewed by the Forward Tech Conference planning committee, with session schedules announced in early summer.  The headline tech conference of the Forward Festival, the Forward Technology Conference (FTC) is...

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Memorial Union

  • Conference
  • Panel
  • Founder
  • Mentor
  • Startup
  • Innovation
Forward Technology Conference

Aug 22, 2018

Doyenne Group 5x5x5 Pitch Event

Sponsored by: Neider & Boucher
Sponsored by: Field59
Each year Doyenne opens an application for women-led businesses based in Wisconsin, in all industries, to apply to pitch their business during Madison’s Forward Festival, for a chance to be awarded a $5,000 Seed Grant. Five women-led businesses each have five minutes to pitch their business

Grainger Hall

  • Pitch Event
  • Social
  • Innovation
Doyenne Group 5x5x5 Pitch Event

Badger Startup Summit

Sponsored by: Baker Tilly
Sponsored by: Capitol Bank
Sponsored by: Kollath CPA
Sponsored by: Makin' Hey
Sponsored by: Murphy Desmond
Sponsored by: Morgan Stanley
Sponsored by: University Research Park
Sponsored by: WARF
Now in its sixth year the Badger Startup Summit is a highly interactive event connecting Badger entrepreneurs * everywhere - share ideas, exchange experiences and meet new contacts.- Hear from Wisconsin entrepreneurs during the Disruptive (r)Evolution Showcase talk about how their technologies are shaping new business solutions.- Make connections with all the key players in the Madison startup tech scene during the noon time VenFair.- Participate in...

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

  • Conference
  • Startup
  • Mentor
  • Pitch Event
  • Showcase
Badger Startup Summit

VenFair

The VenFair is the startup community's equivalent of a food court; connections with and information about investors, mentors, and supporting organizations - all will take their spots at tables for speed meetings on the fly with all comers. Oh, and there is lunch too. The VenFair is a stand-alone event but runs over an extended lunch as part of the Badger Startup Summit.

12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

  • Social
VenFair

Aug 23, 2018

Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social (and Forward Fest Wrap Party)

Join Capital Entrepreneurs as we wrap up the 2018 Forward Festival with a rooftop celebration on the Capitol Square. Come mingle with Madison’s up-and-coming innovators working on a wide variety of interesting startups at the annual Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social. Enjoy great networking and Capitol views from Boardman & Clark's beautiful rooftop terrace, as well as a variety of taps from local brewers and snacks from local producers.

Boardman & Clark

  • Social
  • Celebration
  • meetups
Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social (and Forward Fest Wrap Party)