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

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

This Milwaukee-based entrepreneurial skills accelerator for college and high school students is opening an office in Starting Block and seeking mentors! This program is designed to get students connected to local and regional opportunities - a big part of making that happen is a strong network of mentors. Learn more about the program, what it means to be a mentor at The Commons, and participate in a hands-on workshop on...

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

The 5 th 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

Fri, Aug 17, 2018

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

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

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

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 Do you believe that we can use data to make the world a better place? Are you wondering how you can use data to better your organization? Perhaps you’re wondering, "What's the big deal?" If data sparks your curiosity, or you would like to find out more, then the Data for Impact Conference is for you. Data has transformed the way we wo...

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

Kinnektor

Panel Discussion: Interactive Q&A with SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), moderator and audience. E.G. PROBLEM & VISION are the subjects of this event.  Identifying and articulating the problem plus envisioned solution are both difficult and important jobs. This discussion will begin with pre-selected panelists but then include an interactive conversation with the audience. PROBLEM/VISION: Clearly articulating the problem plus vision for impact on the industry by providing...

4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

  • 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...

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Memorial Union

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

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.  The headline tech conference of the Forward Festival, the Forward Technology Conference (FTC) is geared toward startup founders, tech geeks, and those wanting to build successful technology companies. Whether you’re thinking about launching a startup business or you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll find...

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: 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...

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

There’s a strong interest among members of Madison’s tech community for giving back - using their valuable skills for a good cause - but many aren’t sure where to turn, or how to get started. Similarly, many nonprofit and social impact organizations have a strong need for folks with tech skills, but face a disconnect trying to find them. Enter Madison Tech & Social Impact, a new monthly networ...

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

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

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

"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
  • story slam
Be Your Own Hero - Startup Stories from the World of Roller Derby

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 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.

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Boardman & Clark

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