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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Events

Thu, Aug 16, 2018

High Tech Happy Hour Anniversary Event

Sponsored by: SupraNet Communications
Sponsored by: Yahara Software
Please join us as we help kick of the 2018 Forward Festival and celebrate the 17th 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. www.hthh.org

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Memorial Union

  • Social
  • Happy Hour
  • networking
  • free
High Tech Happy Hour Anniversary Event

LIVE WEBCAST: Using Design Thinking To Grow Your Business with Dr. Darin Eich

Hosted by DreamBank

What is design thinking and how can it help you grow professionally? Join expert Dr. Darin Eich and discover this powerful approach to business success. You’ll learn how to develop an innovative mindset, an understanding of your customers and what they need from your business. From there, you’ll be able to create products your customers really want, are willing to pay for, and how to reach them using simp...

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Webinar - Online

  • Design Thinking
  • Webcast
  • In-person
LIVE WEBCAST: Using Design Thinking To Grow Your Business with Dr. Darin Eich

Mentor at The Commons

Hosted by: The Commons

Join The Commons for an interactive workshop on what modern mentorship looks like and why it’s so important to organizational culture, talent identification and talent retention. You’ll learn how to put a method to mentorship and create relationships with individuals that help turn conversations into rewarding connections. “The best mentors are those that show you where to look, but not what to see.”- Somebody pretty smart

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

StartingBlock Madison

  • Innovation
  • students
  • Mentors
  • entrepreneur
  • entrepreneurial mindset
  • college
  • high school
  • corporate
Mentor at The Commons!

neXXpo

Experience what’s next in business at neXXpo 2018, a celebration of innovation in our region hosted by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. Join hundreds of attendees in checking out creative, cutting-edge businesses at our “innovation hubs” and casting your vote for the third annual Most Innovative Company (MIC) Award. The finalists will be announced at neXXpo, with the MIC being awarded to the champion at a special nex7 Stage event...

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Overture Center

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

Pressure Chamber

Pressure Chamber returns for its fifth year as emerging companies again compete for the coveted “golden suitcase,” as well as a spot on the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to California this fall for meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms.  Participating companies will pitch in front of a panel of out-of-state investors, business executives and a live audience, with the winning company chosen based...

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Overture Center

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

Social Good Summit

Hosted by: Social Good Madison

It can be hard to determine when you're making a difference. So, let's make it easy. The Social Good Summit has always focused on social change and how community and entrepreneurship collide to create a wonderful world of hope and most importantly, make a difference. The 5th annual Social Good Summit focus is a showcase of Madison's change-makers. Join us for this showcase event and meet the people and projects...

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Madison Public Library

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

Fri, Aug 17, 2018

Wake Up Fearless

Hosted by: Bunker & THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES

The future of work is radically and rapidly changing. There will soon be more independent contractors and freelancers than employees in the workforce. Are you ready for the new normal? Are you aware of how to access the tools and resources that will set you up for success? Join us for bagels and beer-mosas, and learn from co-hosts, BUNKER & THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™ on why working ‘On-Demand’ is ‘In-Dem...

7:30 am – 9:30 am

Bunker

  • Meetup
  • coffee
  • morning meetup
  • Social
  • networking
 Wake Up Fearless!

Voice of Solidarity: The Role of Men in Advancing Women Entrepreneurs

Hosted by: Doyenne

Doyenne's Voices of Solidarity workshop will bring together men and women to explore the gender dynamics at play in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Men play a critical role is building inclusive communities. We will examine how specific behaviors and expressions of power create situations where women can be silenced and excluded. And, because women are diverse, we will address other aspects of inclusion such a race and class.  Our goal is...

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

  • workshop
  • women
  • inclusion
  • leadership
Voice of Solidarity: The Role of Men in Advancing Women Entrepreneurs!

Why Language Is The Best Technology Humans Have Ever Invented - And How You Could Be Capitalizing On It

96% of executives cite ineffective communication as the reason for workplace failures. 33% of employees say that lack of open communication has the most negative impact on morale. No matter your field, you use language everyday to achieve business outcomes: how you use language MATTERS. Learning even just a little bit about how language works can benefit you and your company. Memra Language Services uses cutting-edge linguistic research to 1) analyze the linguistic...

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Dreambank inside the Spark Buidling

  • workshop
  • launch
  • Social
  • data
  • research
  • interactive
Why Language Is The Best Technology Humans Have Ever Invented - And How You Could Be Capitalizing On It

Sat, Aug 18, 2018

Leverage Consumer Understanding To Accelerate Business Growth

Come learn how building a deeper understanding of your consumer can expedite your businesses success. We will introduce the fundamentals of consumer centric design commonly used by fortune 500 companies to produce products and services that drive in market success. Following the presentation, we will provide 6 on site, 20-minute free coaching sessions to the first 6 people who sign up. In these sessions we will help you design a fast way to...

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

  • workshop
  • customer
  • consumer
  • coaching session
Leverage Consumer Understanding To Accelerate Business Growth!

Main Street Bazaar: Business Incubator Open House

Hosted by Common Wealth Development in partnership with SupraNet Communications

Sponsored by: SupraNet
Sponsored by: Old Sugar Distillery
Sponsored by: Giant Jones Brewing
OPEN HOUSE! Find yourself in a business bazaar in Main Street Industries within the booming Madison Maker's corridor on the East Isthmus. Meander your way through a self-guided tour of the incubator facility, visiting office, light-industrial, and retail space, stopping at Old Sugar Distillery, and Giant Jones Brewery to redeem your two free beverages, and chatting with entrepreneurs with open doors and business booths along the way. The incubators provide...

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Main Street Industries

  • Social
Main Street Bazaar: Business Incubator Open House!

Spirited Women Late Night

100state

100state has partnered with Spirited Women to bring you a night of drinks, dancing, and a great time! Come ready to dance and enjoy local spirits, Saturday, August 18th. This is an event you don't want to miss and will be a night you won't forget.

10:00 pm – 2:00 am

  • Social
  • party
  • fundraiser
Spirited Women Late Night!

Sun, Aug 19, 2018

Parentpreneur Ice Cream Social

What do parenting and running a business have in common? MULTITASKING! We would like to invite you to a family-focused, all-ages networking event. You heard us! Family time + Business networking! Are you an entrepreneur or business owner looking to meet other business professionals who seek work/family balance? So are we! And we have noticed a significant gap in the support network. Our goal is to foster a startup ecosystem...

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Henry Vilas Zoo

  • family
  • networking
  • Social
  • entrepreneur
Parentpreneur Ice Cream Social!

Pre-Pride Parade Brunch Reception

OPEN Madison

This year we have teamed up with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Fresco to bring you a unique experience you will not want to miss. There will be plenty of mingling, food, drinks, and of course PRIDE to go around. Come celebrate with us before the parade with direct access to the parade route. Feel free to join us in the parade as well as we march to...

10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Social
  • Brunch
  • pride
  • parade
  • networking
Pre-Pride Parade Brunch Reception

Mon, Aug 20, 2018

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

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

Free Coworking Day

Industrious

Industrious is a premier coworking space located on the Capitol square. With incredible views, amenities, and design this space offers an exciting work environment for any industry or business. Come and experience what it's like to work out of Industrious for a day! Breakfast, coffee, drinks, and snacks throughout the day will all be provided.

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Industrious Madison

  • Coworking
Free Coworking Day

Mentorship Event/Workshop

Hosted by Kinnektor

Hors d'oeuvres, Coffee, Water, Soda provided by Assure Professional Panel Discussion: Interactive Q&A: Problem Statement and Value Proposition are the subjects of this event.  Subject matter experts, moderator and audience are part of opening up these topics. Identifying and articulating the problem, and then the process of identifying the value proposition are both difficult, and important processes. This discussion will begin with pre-selected panelists, and also include an...

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

StartingBlock Madison

  • Panel
  • workshop
  • deep dive
  • Mentor
  • Social
Mentorship Event/Workshop!

Seminar & Social: Impact / SRI - Investing with Your Values

Sponsored by: Robert W Baird
Impact / SRI 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. Learn how you can invest with your values and make a difference with Mary Strickland and Laura Murray. www.bairdoffices.com/madison_w... @rwbaird #rwbaird

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

US Bank Capitol Square

  • workshop
  • Social
  • networking
  • Innovation
  • SRI
  • Investor
  • ESG
  • Impact
Seminar & Social:  Impact / SRI - Investing with Your Values

Startup Week(night)

Every spring, Madison Startup Weekend descends on University Research Park for 54 straight hours. On August 20th, we’ll be hosting a micro version of this annual event: learn what it takes to get an idea off the ground from serial entrepreneurs in a fun, off-kilter race against the clock, but in 3 hours instead of 3 days! Based on a set of provided materials, attendees will have the chance to invent a pr...

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Eat Street

  • start-up
  • entrepreneur
  • business
  • hands-on
  • fun
Startup Week(night)

Tue, Aug 21, 2018

Forward Festival Startup Showcase

The Forward Festival 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, over 15 Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1...

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Memorial Union

  • Pitch Event
  • Social
  • Startup
  • Showcase
  • Celebration
  • Innovation
  • networking
Forward Festival Startup Showcase

Forward Technology Conference

We have an amazing line up for the 2018 Forward Technology Conference. There will be tracks specializing in Entrepreneurship & Leadership, Marketing, Design, and Technology. Learn more about each track along with our Keynote speaker, John Zeratsky, here. 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...

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Memorial Union

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

Wed, Aug 22, 2018

5x5x5 Pitch Event

Doyenne Group

Sponsored by: City of Madison
Sponsored by: American Family Insurance
Sponsored by: MG&E
Sponsored by: Fine Point Consulting
Sponsored by: Dirigible Studio
Sponsored by: Hinckley Productions
Sponsored by: Strategic Partners Marketing
Sponsored by: Baird
For five years, Doyenne holds a state-wide open application process for women entrepreneurs to submit for a chance to be awarded $5,000 during the 5x5x5 event.  The application is open for the month of June, a selection committee narrows it down to five presenters who Doyenne works with to get their t-minute pitch ready to present at the event. The companies selected are early-stage, innovative in their industry and...

8:30 am – 10:00 am

Grainger Hall

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

Badger Fund Manager Meet and Greet

Venture capital fund managers from new venture capital funds supported by the Badger Fund of Funds will be at the August 22nd Jazz at Five performance on the corner of State and Capital. 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 Capital Square

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

Badger Startup Summit

Sponsored by: Baker Tilly
Sponsored by: Findorff
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...

8:00 am – 4:30 pm

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

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

Forward Fest X PechaKucha

No idea is too big or too small during The Forward Festival! Join us for Forward Fest x PechaKucha as current and budding entrepreneurs share their ideas or wildest dreams relating to innovation and advancement! Since 2010, The Forward Festival has been Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival. Forward Fest x PechaKucha joins 50+ events during the festival to showcase innovative and creative ideas that elevate Madison and surrounding areas to th...

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Monona Terrace

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

Launch Night: “Madison Tech & Social Impact” networking group

Sponsored by: 100State
Sponsored by: DANEnet
Sponsored by: Zendesk
Using our powers for good in our own backyard. Madison Tech & Social Impact is a new monthly networking group launching at Forward Fest 2018. It was inspired by a packed-house, one-off event last year, which illustrated there’s a strong demand for a space where tech and nonprofit folks can collaborate, innovate and learn from each other. Snacks and drinks will be provided! Did you know that Dane County is one of...

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

  • networking
  • social impact
  • social justice
  • Nonprofit
  • Community
  • launch
  • launch party
Launch Night: “Madison Tech & Social Impact” networking group

Peer-to-peer business lending - Kiva coming to Madison

Kiva is a peer-to-peer business lending platform founded in 2005 to help small ventures raise money. The platform creates opportunities for ventures that need small loans (under $10K) to get started. It addresses a critical gap in the funding pipeline. Our team is working to make Madison an official KIVA city. This event will introduce KIVA to our entrepreneurial ecosystem and fund a few Madison businesses that are on the platform.

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

  • funding
  • lending
Peer-to-peer business lending - Kiva coming to Madison!

Startup Business Forum

Do you have a business idea, side hustle, or recently started business, but don't know where to go from here? Or do you have questions, but don't know who to ask or trust? This event is for you! Come network with entrepreneurs, and hear successful business owners have real discussions about what they did starting out, what worked, what didn't, and what they might have done different. In addition, there...

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Madison Club

  • startup forum
  • networking
  • Happy Hour
  • Social
Startup Business Forum!

VenFair

Sponsored by: Baird
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

Thu, Aug 23, 2018

Be Your Own Hero - Startup Stories from the World of Roller Derby

Sponsored by: Ian’s Pizza
Sponsored by: Just Coffee Co-op
"Well, put some skates on, be your own hero." ~ Whip It Roller derby is a sport that encourages people to put on their own skates and be their own hero. Entrepreneurs who have done just that - dreamed big, taken the leap, laced up their skates and took the track - will be sharing their stories and experiences of what it took to prepare and set off into brave new...

10:00 am – 11:30 am

StartingBlock Madison

  • Panel
Be Your Own Hero - Startup Stories from the World of Roller Derby

Rooftop Open Social (and Forward Fest Wrap Party)

Capital Entrepreneurs

Sponsored by: Baird
Sponsored by: Fine Point Consulting
Sponsored by: Neider & Boucher
Sponsored by: Baker Tilly
Sponsored by: BDO
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 at the Capital Entrepreneurs Open 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. 

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Boardman & Clark

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