- Forward Festival: This is a week long festival focused on technology, new ideas, entrepreneurs and their companies. I attended (2) events: Badger Startup Summit where I participated as a Merlin Mentor. Each startup had (7) minutes to “pitch” their idea and (7) minutes for feedback in a speed dating environment. My favorite company was Rally Energy. The product is a sleeve of caffeinated mints that looks like a triple AAA battery. The founder was a bright energetic UW grad who is looking for more investors and growth strategies. He’s done so well that he had run out of samples! I’ll stick to my hand-roasted coffee for my caffeine buzz but this product works well in a college town like Madison and other Big 10 university towns.
- 2nd event was Forward Technology Conference. Many great speakers on the subject of the user experience and mobile technology. Since most users research on their phones it’s imperative that your website is “mobile friendly” and loads quickly, consumers are in a hurry! One takeaway from another speaker is the power of persistence as it relates to Sales. This entrepreneur shared how many pitches he did when he was starting out with a new concept. Coffee meetings, lunches, dinner, more meetings X 6 days per week. This entrepreneur was extremely successful. How did he do it? A simple Excel spreadsheet to track everyone he met so his followup would be executed. Good advice for those on economical sales budgets!
- But my summer wasn’t all about work, no no. I spent a week enjoying the Chain of Lakes in Waupaca WI where there is great cycling, kayaking and swimming (picture taken on Marl Lake). A trip to Minneapolis made me want to return there asap! What a progressive hip city with a bike infrastructure that really works for commuters and recreational cyclists. The summer ended with a 70th Wedding Anniversary celebration with my in-laws and extended family. Their good health and humor is an inspiration as they begin their 9th decade of life.
I’ve taken a rest from blogging the past month and enjoyed my summer. It’s good to recharge as fall approaches and get some renewed energy. Here’s how I spent my summer vacation and some fun work events I enjoyed.