Innovation and Entrepreneurship Symposium

Neal DempseyOn Wednesday, April 2, 2014, the Foster School of Business will hold its 2nd annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship Symposium. Neal Dempsey, this year’s Fritzky Chair, will host an interactive day where students and business representatives come together to discuss the latest challenges in design and innovation and tackle product and company design challenges together. Register to attend.

The morning will kick-off with a breakfast keynote presented by Christian Chabot, CEO of Tableau Software. After breakfast, we will kick off the symposium with a discussion with Neal Dempsey and Salman Ullah of Merus Capital on the state of entrepreneurship and innovation in business, including innovations in finance, such as Kickstarter. This session is intended to be very open and allow for discussion with students.

The next panel will talk specifically about design and innovation trends in business. Panelists Ken Denman of Emotient, Julia Link of the Link Group and Bob Paulsen of PlayerLync will talk about some of the breakthrough research impacting design and innovation of products, and how human thinking and emotions that can influence and disrupt design.

The final hour will be spent with an interactive exercise between students and the panelists. The session will break into groups to discuss real design and innovation issues and be challenged to quickly brainstorm ideas and solutions. Each group will have the chance to share their ideas with the panelists for feedback and guidance. This is a rare opportunity to interact with business leaders and demonstrate the sharp minds at Foster School of Business.

Learn more about the speakers:

Christian Chabot, CEO, Tableau Software

Christian Chabot is Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA), one of the fastest growing technology companies in the world. Christian has led the company to nine consecutive years of record sales and customer growth. Prior to Tableau, Christian was with Softbank Venture Capital, where he specialized in enterprise software. Before that, Christian was CEO and co-founder of BeeLine Software, a pioneer of next-generation mapping technology. BeeLine was acquired by Vicinity Corporation. Christian started his career as a data analyst at Cornerstone Research, an economic consulting firm, where he first became a bona fide data geek. He is the author of Understanding the Euro: The Clear and Concise Guide to the Trans-European Currency (McGraw-Hill, 1998), which he wrote as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow. He holds an MBA from Stanford University, an M.Sc from the University of Sussex, and a BS from Stanford’s School of Engineering.

When asked why he co-founded Tableau, he answers simply, “Making data easy to see and understand is one of the great opportunities of our time.”

Salman Ullah, Partner, Merus Capital

Salman has two decades of technology industry experience. Before co-founding Merus, Salman was Vice President of Corporate Development at Google, where he spent three years managing a worldwide team responsible for all of Google’s acquisitions and investments. Prior to Google, he spent over seven years at Microsoft in several roles including General Manager of Corporate Strategy and Managing Director of Corporate Development.

Earlier in his career, he was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey in Chicago where he spent four years working in the technology and consumer goods sectors. He was also a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in physics at the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago.

He holds an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford University.

Ken Denman, CEO, Emotient

Ken Denman, President and CEO of Emotient, is an experienced executive with a range of proven leadership skills. His specific executive roles have spanned large corporations, entrepreneurial startups, emerging markets ventures, turnarounds, and leading IPOs. Responsibilities and experiences have extended across the mobile, broadband, and software industries. Ken led iPass' successful Initial Public Offering, and led the strategy work for monetizing Openwave's patent portfolio and spinning off the operating units. He is an engaged angel investor and board member with both public and private board experience. At MediaOne International he drove the successful expansion of the company's mobile push by leading multi-national JV's that built the market leading mobile companies in many Central and Eastern European countries. Ken last served as the Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Chair in Leadership at the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, as a visiting professor.

Julia Link, Founder, The Link Group

Julia Link is the founder of The Link Group, which offers product and go-to-market strategies for various companies. She has spent her career as a product strategist, and has a passion for disruptive technologies and helping start-ups formulate concept-to-launch strategies and sales plays that accelerate the sales cycle and produce a joyful customer experience.

Formerly, Julia worked with SAP’s global Ecosystem & Channel Marketing group, where she brought analytics products to market in high volume channels. Link also led global platform product marketing for McAfee, focusing on the security platform business and enterprise marketing strategies. Her work spanned enterprise, SMB and the partner community. Link previously held product marketing and management roles with Oracle, Hyperion and Brio Software and served on the board of directors for Prana International.

Bob Paulsen, CEO, PlayerLync

Bob leads the PlayerLync team as President and CEO. He manages and oversees all aspects of the business. Most recently, Bob was Chief Operating Officer and Board Observer at Telesphere Networks, one of the largest privately held cloud communications companies in North America. He was responsible for all strategic and tactical initiatives within Operations, including product management and pricing, implementation, field operations, support, information management and development, and strategic customer relationships.

Before joining Telesphere, Bob was co-founder, President, and CEO of Unity Business Networks, an industry leader in Hosted PBX / Cloud Communication services to large multi-site businesses throughout the US. With his PBX & VoIP roots from AT&T (pre-Avaya) & Siemens, Bob has over 18 years of innovation and leadership within the converging communications marketplace. His world class management, financial and sales skills led Unity to become the seventh “Fastest Growing” small company and sixth largest Internet service provider in the Denver area, and took leading positions in the Twin Cities and Portland metro areas. Paulsen leads by example and believes in a balanced lifestyle. He embraces this philosophy through his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Food Bank of the Rockies and United Way.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Symposium Schedule
  • 8:00 – Breakfast with Christian Chabot, CEO of Tableau Software
  • 9:30 – The State of Entrepreneurship and Innovation with Neal Dempsey and Salman Ullah
  • 10:30 – Breakthrough Thinking and Approaches to Product Design and Innovation with Ken Denman, Julia Link and Bob Paulsen
  • 11:30 – The Design Challenge Workshop
  • 12:30 - Lunch
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