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 - 17th Anniversary Celebration

Sponsored by: SupraNet Communications
Sponsored by: Yahara Software
Sponsored by: Zendesk
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 Terrace - Tripp Commons

  • Social
  • Happy Hour
  • networking
  • free
High Tech Happy Hour - 17th Anniversary Celebration

Introduction To Talent Maximizer Workshop Series

Hosted by StartingBlock

Kick off of StartingBlock's fall Talent Maximizer Workshop Series. Six part series covers the most critical talent-related topics, including finding the right talent; full-time v. freelance considerations; and equity / compensation strategies. Plus, information on applying for StartingBlock's 2nd Annual SNAP that matches students interested in interning at a startup and startups who want student interns. We've found a way to make finding the right internship a SNAP!

9:00 am – 10:00 am

StartingBlock Madison

  • talent
  • recruiting
  • team building
Introduction To Talent Maximizer Workshop Series

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 Mindset Workshop

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. So, come and join us in this workshop all about making meaningful mentoring relationships for any age, level or profession. “The best m...

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

StartingBlock Madison

  • Innovation
  • students
  • Mentors
  • entrepreneur
  • entrepreneurial mindset
  • college
  • high school
  • corporate
Mentor Mindset Workshop

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

Startup Legal Issues

Hosted by Nieder & Boucher

Attorneys Jeff Bartzen and Joe Boucher will present on iInformation on Cyber Security Legal Issues for Small and Start Up Business Owners and the impact of recent tax legislation for starts ups and small businesses. Presented by attorneys of Neider & Boucher. Jeff Bartzen Joe Boucher

9:00 am – 10:30 am

Horizon Coworking

Startup Legal Issues!

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

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

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!

Sun, Aug 19, 2018

Parentpreneur Ice Cream Social

Hosted by SupraNet Communications, Zendesk and Matrix Coworking

Sponsored by: SupraNet Communications
Sponsored by: Zendesk
Sponsored by: Matrix Coworking
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

Business BarCamp - 2018

Hosted by Middleton Chamber of Commerce

BarCamp is an ad-hoc unconference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. You may have previously attended a BarCamp focused on technology, music, or even gaming. The Middleton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to collaborate with Forward Festival 2018 to bring you the area's only Business BarCamp. Attendees will participate in business focused breakout sessions hosted at Madison College - West Campus. Immediately following...

12:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Madison College West Campus

  • bar camp
  • networking
Business BarCamp - 2018!

CANCELLED: Investment Readiness: Interactive Panel and Workshop on Problem Statement and Value Proposition

Hosted by Kinnektor

*NOTE: This event has been cancelled.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...

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

StartingBlock Madison

  • Panel
  • workshop
  • deep dive
  • Mentor
  • Social
CANCELLED: Investment Readiness: Interactive Panel and Workshop on Problem Statement and Value Proposition!

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

Union South

  • 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

Giving Design a Seat at the Lean Table

Hosted by Design Concepts, Inc

Design Thinking and Lean Startup are two approaches to product and service development that can co-exist with some creativity and flexibility to create a better result. Join us for this inspiring talk, first given at SXSW, by Amy Lee, Senior Design Researcher & Strategist, and Roshelle Ritzenthaler, Design Strategist. A light lunch will be served.

11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Design Concepts

  • seminar
  • Social
Giving Design a Seat at the Lean Table

MADWAUKEE Lunch & Learn with Archna Sahay

Hosted by StartingBlock

ARCHANA SAHAY, Philly superstar, known as the city’s “Best Connector”, will be in Madison talking about Philadelphia’s innovation scene and strategies to build a diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem. Archana served as the Director of Entrepreneur Investment for the City of Philadelphia until Summer 2017 when she joined J. Nowak Strategies.

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

StartingBlock Madison

  • fundraising
  • workshop
  • discussion
MADWAUKEE Lunch & Learn with Archna Sahay

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

EatStreet

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

Tue, Aug 21, 2018

Forward Festival Startup Showcase and Reception

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...

4:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Memorial Union

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

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 stories, and...

8:30 am – 8:00 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

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 22nd 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!

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

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

100state

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

PechaKucha Night Madison

Hosted by High Tech Happy Hour

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 – 9:30 pm

Monona Terrace

  • networking
  • presentation
  • entrepreneur
  • Innovation
PechaKucha Night Madison

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

StartingBlock

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

Startup Business Forum

Hosted by State Bank of Cross Plains

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

Hosted by 1 Million Cups

Sponsored by: Baird
Sponsored by: Fine Point Consulting LLC
Sponsored by: Atlas Providers
Sponsored by: Ogden Glazer & Schaefer
Sponsored by: Organic Payroll
Sponsored by: Venture Investors LLC
Sponsored by: Jahr Media
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.

12:00 pm – 2:00 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 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. Please note: This is a private event and advance registration is required.

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Boardman & Clark

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