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

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New Events

Thu, Aug 22, 2019

Badger Startup Summit

Sponsored by: Baker Tilly
Sponsored by: Findorff
Sponsored by: Kollath CPA
Sponsored by: Makin' Hey
Sponsored by: Murphy Desmond
Sponsored by: WARF
Now in its seventh 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 lunch time 1 Millon Cups VenFair.-...

8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

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

Social Good Summit

Hosted by: Collaboration for Good

Thursday, August 22nd is the 6th annual Social Good Summit. The Summit is a showcase of Madison's change-makers— social entrepreneurs, and a feast of opportunity for those who want to do more to invest their time, energy, skills, and or dollars in building a better Madison. Join us for an energetic and engaging focus on the people and ventures of the 2019 Social Good Accelerator (SGA)— Madison's innovative social...

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Madison Public Library

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

VenFair

Hosted by 1 Million Cups

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.

11:45 am – 1:30 pm

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

  • Social
  • vendor
  • lunch
VenFair

BUSINESS FOR GOOD: Using Entrepreneurship To Create Social Change with Greg St. Fort

Hosted by DreamBank

Sponsored by: DreamBank
Entrepreneurship can be used to empower individuals, drive dreams, build community, push technology, support collaboration and even create jobs and social change. In this talk, Greg St. Fort, founder of Let’s Keep Building Inc, will share his thoughts on using entrepreneurship to create social change and how to build a brand message that will change the community. Get ready to receive some strategies to apply to your business or no...

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

American Family Insurance - DreamBank

  • presentation
  • DreamBank
  • Social Change
  • Community
  • entrepreneur
  • small business
  • Social
  • social impact
  • DreamFearlessly
  • presentation
BUSINESS FOR GOOD: Using Entrepreneurship To Create Social Change with Greg St. Fort

High Tech Happy Hour - 18th Anniversary Celebration

Sponsored by: SupraNet Communications
Sponsored by: Yahara Software
Please join us as we help kick of the 10th annual Forward Festival and celebrate the 18th Anniversary of High Tech Happy Hour! Enjoy views of Lake Mendota from the Tripp Commons Deck while networking and enjoying complimentary beer and appetizers. The Anniversary Celebration is brought to you by your hosts, SupraNet Communications and Yahara Software. #HTHH www.hthh.org

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Memorial Union Terrace - Tripp Commons

  • Social
  • Happy Hour
  • networking
  • free
High Tech Happy Hour - 18th Anniversary Celebration

Fri, Aug 23, 2019

Growing your business with a successful internship program

Hosted by the Wisconsin Internship Initiative

As an entrepreneur in a start-up business, you likely have more work to do than time to do it. Maybe you've thought about taking on a college-level intern but are worried that they will just take up more of your time without contributing to your success. Come listen to representatives from young businesses who have had success taking on college-level interns and learn what did and didn't work for them....

10:00 am – 11:30 am

State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

  • Panel
  • discussion
  • internship
Growing your business with a successful internship program!

Lost in Startuplandia Wayfinding for the Weary Entrepreneur

Hosted by Doyenne Group

Come hear from entrepreneur & author Kelly Fitzsimmons about her new book Lost in Startuplandia Wayfinding for the Weary Entrepreneur. Doyenne will co-host the event with Kelly to have a real conversation about how battling the everyday crisis, and the BIG crisis's that happen while being an entrepreneur and building your dream. Come hear from someone who's gone through the rollercoaster and come out on the other side.

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

StartingBlock Cafe

  • workshop
Lost in Startuplandia Wayfinding for the Weary Entrepreneur!

Attracting Diverse Employees and Retaining Them Through Inclusion

Sponsored by: Northwestern Mutual
Sponsored by: Madison Women in Tech
Sponsored by: Memra
Sponsored by: Feelings at Work
Join us for a series of lightning talks from area experts who are successfully addressing diversity and inclusion at companies big and small. Three of our speakers will focus on steps for attracting diverse employees, and three will explore inclusion as a means of retention, sharing what has worked - and what hasn't. Enjoy 30 minutes of social time before and after the program, with food and drink provided!

4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

  • diversity
  • inclusion
  • HR
  • talent
  • Happy Hour
Attracting Diverse Employees and Retaining Them Through Inclusion!

Sat, Aug 24, 2019

Forward Fest Late Night

Hosted by 100state

Join 100state for the forward fest after hours party! 21+ and open to everyone.

8:00 pm – 11:59 pm

100state

  • Social
  • Community
  • after hours
  • party
Forward Fest Late Night!

Code.forGood()

Social Good Madison

Technology acceleration for social good ventures. A coding day for a cause. Code.forGood() brings diverse coders and content makes together for a cause. A mission-based engagement activity for those with programming skills at a variety of levels to help push a social good cause forward in the development of their website or app. The Code.forGood(); series brings together a small, but growing community of technology, content, and other...

10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Horizon Coworking

  • coding day
  • Hackathon
Code.forGood()!

Sun, Aug 25, 2019

Startup Week(night): Women+

Sponsored by: StartingBlock
Sponsored by: Startup Weekend Madison
Sponsored by: Madison Women in Tech
Learn what it takes to get an idea off the ground from supportive entrepreneurs in a fun, off-kilter race against the clock! This year, Startup Weekend Madison is partnering with Madison Women in Tech, and focusing on women and nonbinary folks in the Madison community interested in learning more about entrepreneurship, business and startups. Using provided craft supplies and oddball items, attendees will work in teams to invent a product...

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

StartingBlock

  • entrepreneur
  • business
  • hands-on
  • fun
  • workshop
  • family events
  • startup weekend
  • Madison
  • women
  • women in tech
Startup Week(night): Women+

Mon, Aug 26, 2019

Forward Technology Conference

We have an amazing line up for the 2019 Forward Technology Conference. There will be speakers specializing in Entrepreneurship & Leadership, Marketing, Design, and Technology. FTC is by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. You’ll get real perspective from tech startup leaders who are actually in the trenches building successful companies. You’ll hear everything from best practices to war stories, and you’ll walk away with real concrete learnings and actionables - not high l...

1:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Memorial Union

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

Forward Festival Startup Showcase and Reception

The Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem. It features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. A select group of 5 rising startups will give a 5-minute “demo day” style pitch showcasing their company. In addition, Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1-minute update pit...

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Memorial Union

  • Pitch Event
  • Social
  • Startup
  • Showcase
  • Celebration
  • Innovation
  • networking
  • entrepreneur
Forward Festival Startup Showcase and Reception

Bringing Startup Values to the Enterprise

Startups and enterprises are very different, but there’s a lot bigger companies can learn from their startup counterparts. Stop by for a discussion on how to bring startup values into the enterprise. We’ll begin with a presentation and then open it up for questions, discussion, and networking. Our Speaker: The gulf between startups and enterprises seems vast, but some have bridged the gap. Buzz Buswell has spent the past...

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

  • workshop
  • Social
Bringing Startup Values to the Enterprise!

Data for Impact Conference

Hosted by: Collaboration for Good

SMALL DATA CAN MAKE A BIG IMPACT Set your focus on using data to make an impact— drive decisions, spur change, assess impact, and communicate. Join us as we bring together nonprofits, businesses, government organizations, philanthropic organizations with data scientists, social entrepreneurs, civic hackers, and community members for a day-long exploration of data— how to use, collect it, visualize it, tell stories with, and more. Join us, as...

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Memorial Union

  • Focused Discussions
  • Conference
  • Panel
  • Nonprofit
  • Analytics
  • Tech/Software
  • data
  • Social
Data for Impact Conference

Tue, Aug 27, 2019

BUSINESS: Demystifying the Startup Ecosystem with Scott Resnick

Hosted by DreamBank

Sponsored by: DreamBank
We want to create a place where startups succeed, but what programs are actually moving the needle forward? This talk will review key indicators that matter when measuring the health of an entrepreneurial ecosystem and discuss big ideas to further Wisconsin as an entrepreneurial hub. Hear from Scott Resnick, a distinguished entrepreneur who grew his company from $0 to an eight-figure revenue small business, on how to move Wisconsin forward in...

9:00 am – 10:00 am

DreamBank

  • Conference
  • workshop
  • seminar
  • DreamBank
BUSINESS: Demystifying the Startup Ecosystem with Scott Resnick!

Pressure Chamber

Hosted by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Sponsored by: Perkins Coie
Sponsored by: LocknCharge
Sponsored by: Serendipity Labs
Sponsored by: Acumium
Sponsored by: American Transmission Co.
Sponsored by: Infosec
Sponsored by: Old National Bank
Pressure Chamber returns for its sixth year as emerging companies again compete for the coveted “golden suitcase,” as well as a spot on the Chamber’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to San Francisco this fall for meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms. Past Pressure Chamber winners have credited the initiative for helping their company close successful funding rounds. Participating companies have included EatStreet, Propeller Health, Redox, Datica, Fetch Rewards, Health...

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Overture Center

  • Pitch Event
  • Startup
  • Investment
  • Showcase
  • HealthTech
  • Social
Pressure Chamber

Innovation Roadmap

Widen has undergone many transitions over its 71 year history; from plate engraving, to pre-printing press work, and now to marketing software. Innovation is core to our survival as a company, and it's crucial to our future as well. We will share how we've shaped our current path toward developing a purposeful and planned innovation intent and roadmap as well as lessons learned along the way.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Brix Coworking

  • Innovation
  • Technology
  • software
Innovation Roadmap!

neXXpo

Hosted by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

Sponsored by: Perkins Coie
Sponsored by: LocknCharge
Sponsored by: Serendipity Labs
Sponsored by: Acumium
Sponsored by: American Transmission Co.
Sponsored by: Infosec
Sponsored by: Old National Bank
Discover what’s next in business at neXXpo 2019, a celebration of innovation in Greater Madison. Join hundreds of attendees in checking out creative, cutting-edge businesses at our “innovation hubs” and casting your vote for the fourth annual Most Innovative Company (MIC) Award. The finalists will be announced at neXXpo, with the MIC being awarded to the champion later this year at our nex7 Stage event. In addition to voting in this e...

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Overture Center

  • Social
  • Innovation
  • Showcase
  • Celebration
  • Happy Hour
  • networking
  • start-up
  • business
  • entrepreneur
neXXpo

Hacker's Havoc Happy Hour

Hosted by Information Technology Professionals

Sponsored by: Information Technology Professionals (ITP)
The dark web is a scary and dangerous place. What information is safe to share online? Which large retailer is experiencing a credit card breach now? Is your private information being stolen or sold with malicious intent? Some of the greatest threats to your environments are not viruses or ransomware - but rather the individuals within your organization, sharing sensitive information. The business impact of a cyberattack is real: 71% of...

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Palette at Hotel Indigo

  • Happy Hour
  • cybersecurity
Hacker's Havoc Happy Hour

Fund Showcase

Hosted by MDC Venture Debt Fund

To provide information and exposure to MDC's Venture Debt Fund, which provides high-tech companies with the critical funding they need to reach profitability, in addition to offering qualifying emerging companies the liquidity needed to reach cash flow breakeven and beyond.

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Boardman & Clark

  • Social
  • informative
  • Investment
Fund Showcase!

What I Wish I Knew Before Fundraising

Hosted by 100state

This panel will feature local entrepreneurs sharing their best practices, mistakes, and lessons they learned while navigating the venture funding process after the seed/angel round.

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

100state

  • Panel
  • Happy Hour
  • fundraising
  • entrepreneur
What I Wish I Knew Before Fundraising!

Predicting and hiding personal information from face images using deep learning

Sponsored by: American Family Insurance
Sponsored by: Cloudera
Dr. Sebastian Raschka, Assistant Professor of Statistics at UW-Madison and author of the book Python Machine Learning, will speak on the Deep Learning techniques and how they can be used to obfuscate and foil facial recognition technologies.#bigdatamadison

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Madison Central Public Library

  • Data Science
  • Tech
  • Deep Learning
  • Big Data
Predicting and hiding personal information from face images using deep learning!

Hack Night

Hosted by Madhackers

Sponsored by: Paradigm
// make some stuffHack nights are a great opportunity to work on a project that you've been putting off or just to get some help with a project you've been banging your head against! We encourage hackers to pair up as well as making mentors and whiteboards available to help you power through challenges.Hack = Working to find clever solutionsHack != Pretending to be Neo and Hacking the Matrix while wearing sunglasses...

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Paradigm

  • workshop
  • hack night
  • side projects
Hack Night

Wed, Aug 28, 2019

5x5x5 Pitch Event

Hosted by Doyenne Group

Sponsored by: Neider & Boucher
Sponsored by: Baird
Sponsored by: American Family Insurance
Sponsored by: University of Wisconsin School of Business
Sponsored by: Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
Sponsored by: Wisconsin SBDC
Each year Doyenne Group opens the 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. Businesses can be all levels of startup phase. This grant is separate dollars than the Doyenne Evergreen Fund. Some criteria is different than what we require to apply for funding through the Evergreen Fund.#Do...

8:30 am – 10:00 am

Grainger Hall

  • Pitch Event
  • Social
  • Innovation
  • networking
  • women
  • entrepreneur
5x5x5 Pitch Event

Impact/SRI Investing with Your Values

Hosted by Baird

Sponsored by: Robert W Baird
Impact/Socially Responsible Investing is one of the fastest growing areas as investors seek to build a more equitable world by including social, environmental and corporate governance issues in their strategies. Please join us as John Taft, Baird Vice Chairman and author of “A Force for Good: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism” shares how you can invest with your values and make a difference. @rwbaird #rwbaird

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Baird Patio - US Bank Building

  • workshop
  • Social
  • networking
  • Innovation
  • SRI
  • Investor
Impact/SRI Investing with Your Values

5X5X5 Celebration and Networking

Hosted by Baird & Doyenne Group

Join us for beautiful views on the US bank patio to celebrate Doyenne's 5x5x5 winner and to networking with others interested in investing in women entrepreneurs!

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

US Bank Patio

  • networking
5X5X5 Celebration and Networking!

Forward Fest X PechaKucha

Hosted by High Tech Happy Hour, SupraNet Communications and Yahara Software

Join us on August 28th for “Forward Fest x PechaKucha” as our speakers showcase innovative and creative ideas that elevate Madison and surrounding areas to the next level. PechaKucha is one of 50+ events during the 10thAnnual Forward Festival; bringing together entrepreneurs and creatives in an 8 day celebration of innovation and collaboration. Hosted by High Tech Happy Hour, SupraNet Communications and Yahara Software. #pechakuchaMSN

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Monona Terrace

  • networking
  • presentation
  • entrepreneur
  • Innovation
  • Social
  • networking
Forward Fest X PechaKucha

Badger Fund Manager Meet and Greet

Hosted by Badger Fund of Funds

Venture capital fund managers from new venture capital funds supported by the Badger Fund of Funds will be at the August 28th Jazz at Five performance on the corner of State and Capitol. The Badger Fund of Funds is sponsoring the event and will provide beer and pizza for attendees at no cost. Come enjoy a beautiful Wisconsin evening and engage in some hot conversation about the future of venture...

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Corner of State Street and the Capitol Square

  • Investor
  • Venture Capital
  • Music
  • networking
  • Social
Badger Fund Manager Meet and Greet!

Networking for Good

Hosted by Tech & Social Impact

Are you looking to share your skills and make a difference in your community, or do you belong to an organization in need of folks with tech abilities? You've come to the right place. Dane County is one of the most concentrated places in the country for nonprofits, and more than 1/3rd of Wisconsinites volunteer (that's 1.4 times the national average!). We're also increasingly a hub for tech and innovation, resulting...

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

  • networking
  • social impact
  • Nonprofit
  • Community
  • Social
  • Tech
Networking for Good

What’s modern (tech) product management - why you should care

Hosted by ProductTank Madison

Join us for an informal and authentic panel format discussion with seasoned product leaders from local startups including Propeller Health, Ionic, and Mobile Doorman.Discussion topics will include: *How has the role of a product manager in a tech company evolved in the last 5 years? *What sets a great product manager apart from a good product manager? *How do you know when to hire your first product manager and first...

6:30 pm – 7:45 pm

DreamBank

  • Panel
  • Social
  • project management
What’s modern (tech) product management - why you should care!

Thu, Aug 29, 2019

"We Built It. So Will They Come?" - Strategies for Building a Fan Base

"If you build it, they will come." But will they? Whether a new business or a new sports team, in the end, it's always about the end users, the buyers, the FANS. Hear from sports marketing and PR experts who have built, maintained and managed fan bases, some from the ground up. Learn more about how they found their target audiences and converted them to be not only consumers, but...

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

  • breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Panel
  • sports
"We Built It. So Will They Come?" - Strategies for Building a Fan Base!

Rooftop Social (and Forward Fest Wrap Party)

Hosted by Capital Entrepreneurs

Join Capital Entrepreneurs as we wrap up the 2019 Forward Festival with a rooftop celebration on the Capitol Square. Come mingle with Madison’s up-and-coming innovators at the Capital Entrepreneurs Rooftop Social. Enjoy great networking and Capitol views from Boardman & Clark's beautiful rooftop terrace, as well as a variety of beverages and snacks from local producers. Please note: This is a private event and advance registration is required.

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Boardman & Clark

  • Social
  • Celebration
  • meetups
  • Happy Hour
  • networking
Rooftop Social (and Forward Fest Wrap Party)