Our Speakers

Jessica Balsley
Founder and President - The Art of Education
Jessica Balsley is a passionate education professional, speaker, wife, mother, and entrepreneur. She is the founder of "The Art of Education" along with her husband, Derek Balsley. The Art of Ed is the largest professional development resource for art teachers in the world. Jessica and her team of 32 and growing, provides "Ridiculously RelevantTM Professional Development" to art educators all around the world. Including a robust catalog of 20+ online degree-level classes for Art Teachers, an online magazine which offers free daily articles, lesson plans, tips, podcasts, videos, and online events and conferences for Art Teachers.
Jessica on LinkedInKeep Calm and Teach ArtWhy Art Teacher Attitude is Essential
Matt Coventon
Innovative Software Engineering
Matt Coventon is a Senior Software Engineer and the practice lead for Big Data Services at Innovative Software Engineering (ISE), a professional services company with a keen interest in the intersection of vehicle telematics, mobile applications, and big data. His primary focus at ISE has been architecting and building Web, middleware, and analytics applications that are high performance, fault tolerant, and easy to scale. He's a father of four, and in his free time, he's a songwriter.
Matt on LinkedInTest Driving Streaming and CEP on Apache IgniteMeet Matt Coventon
Ying Sa
Community CPA
Ying Sa is the founder and Principal Certified Public Accountant at Community CPA. A native of China and former resident of Canada, Ying served five years as Vice President of Controllers for Wells Fargo Financial Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa, and six years as the Chief Financial Officer for the Iowa Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Iowa State University. She is also the Co-Founder and Chair of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization called the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit (IES).
Ying on LinkedInCommunityCPA.com
Matt Arnold
ConnectFive
Matt Arnold has more than 20 years of experience in user-centered design, interactive experiences, service design, and branding. He is the UX Director at ConnectFive. He has done strategy and design work for early- and late-stage startups, as well as for some of the country's most recognized brands including Allstate, State Farm, Discover Card, Best Buy, Capella University, and ACT. Matt earned his B.A. in Communication Studies from The University of Iowa and his M.S. from Illinois State University where his research focused the use of technology on improving team outcomes.
Matt on LinkedIn
Sherry Bonelli
Early Bird Digital Marketing
Sherry Bonelli started her first online business featuring pregnancy and baby products in 1998; her first e-commerce sale was an actual check she received in the mail from the U.S. Post Office. Sherry has appeared and featured in media outlets including the TODAY Show, CNN, ABC News, and Boston Globe. As a SCORE mentor, she presents at numerous digital marketing workshops and is associated with the Google Get Your Business Online initiative to help local businesses claim their Google My Business pages, and she is the owner of Early Bird Digital Marketing, a digital marketing agency that helps businesses get found on the Internet.
Sherry on LinkedInEarly Bird Digital MarketingSpeaking Engagements
Ethan Anderson
Big Imprint
Ethan Anderson owns and operates Big Imprint, a website development, and marketing company. He has experience in working with organizations who require needing to maximize marketing budgets and see a high ROI on their marketing efforts. Ethan holds a BBA in Marketing from the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business.
Ethan on LinkedInwww.bigimprint.com
Gabe Erickson
Flow Media
Gabe Erickson is the CEO and President of Flow Media. Gabe is passionate about bringing time-tested, universal storytelling principles into the realm of digital marketing. Before Flow Media, Gabe was the Director of Communication and Media Affairs for Diversity Focus, and he began his career as a television journalist.
Gabe on LinkedInFlow Media
Stacy Carlson
oneCanvas
Stacy Carlson is the COO of SitStay.com, CEO of oneCanvas, and the founder of Gotta Pixel. She launched her digital scrapbooking supplies eCommerce business, Gotta Pixel, in 2005, and using viral marketing and bootstrapping; the company maintained profitability while creating a community of over 60,000 users. She is a 2014 Alumni of nMotion Accelerator and is currently co-facilitating nMotion's pre-incubator program, Prelaunch.
Stacy on LinkedInSilicon Prairie NewsStacy on Twitter
Max Farrell
WorkHound
Max Farrell is co-founder and CEO of WorkHound, a software platform built to help carriers keep drivers and improve the truck driver experience. Before WorkHound, Max founded an innovation consulting firm where he created employee engagement initiatives for startups, nonprofits, and Fortune 1000 companies. Max is also a facilitator for Startup Weekend, and in his spare time, he's an avid sportsman and sound hip-hop artist.
Max on LinkedInTEDxYouth Talks
Alan Feirer
Group Dynamic
Alan Feirer is a leadership trainer, Everything DiSC Authorized Partner, Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Authorized Partner, organizational development consultant, and author of The Group Dynamic Field Guide: 51 Ideas You Can Use Today. For the last 18 years, he has done business as Group Dynamic, helping people embrace challenging work, and have less stress while getting more done. Feirer's other interests include competitive Scrabble, exercise, travel, dining, and anything Disney.
Alan on LinkedInAlan in ActionGroup Dynamic
Gale Mote
Gale Mote Associates
When people come to Gale's presentations and workshops, they usually leave with one fundamental question, "Where does she get that energy?" For over 25 years, Gale has been designing and delivering motivational workshops and training classes for all types of industry and organizations at her firm, Gale Mote Associates. Her sessions are creative, energizing, participant-centered and get results. She graduated from Coe College after studying Business, Economics, and Education, and she holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Iowa where she is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Tippie College of Business Professional MBA program.
Gale on LinkedInGale Mote Associates
Jordan Hobfoll
Iowa Innovation Corporation
Jordan Hobfoll joined the Iowa Innovation Corporation (IICorp) in 2015 as the Statewide SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator. Jordan has startup experience as the founder of Energy Simply, a concierge retail electricity management service targeting Illinois and Texas. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business, Jordan received his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jordan at LinkedIn
Aaron Horn
BeatCancerToday.org
Aaron Horn is the Director of IT for the Iowa Interstate Railroad and the President and Co-Founder of BeatCancerToday.org, a nonprofit that sells Beat Cancer branded apparel to raise money for childhood cancer research and support programs. Since 2009, Beat Cancer Today has raised over $221k for the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, Children's Cancer Connection, and Children's Oncology Group. Aaron studied Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurial Studies at Iowa State University. He also serves on the Boards for NewBoCo, Beat Cancer Today, Men's Style Lab, Miracle Travel Works, and Candlelighters NYC.
Aaron at LinkedInAaron at About.me
Jake Joraanstad
Myriad Mobile
Jake Joraanstad is the co-founder and CEO of Myriad Mobile. Jake is heavily involved in the #NorthOfNormal entrepreneurial community in Fargo, N.D. He co-founded Emerging Prairie, serves as a coach and participant at Startup Weekend Fargo, and helped launch 1 Million Cups in Fargo. When not pondering the next generation of mobile technology, you can find Jake's dogs walking him around the neighborhood and his race car ensuring his life insurance policy is up to date.
Jake on LinkedInPlatform First Approach to Mobile DevelopmentWFPS InSourced
Annie Wood
Emerging Prairie
Annie Wood connects people in Fargo and the Northern region, focusing on supporting entrepreneurs. Through Emerging Prairie, an ecosystem building organization, she runs a coworking and event space: The Prairie Den. Using a "student union" model to operate The Prairie Den, Annie applies concepts from universities to the community. Just as a student union on a college campus provides a place to do work that matters and move ideas forward, it also offers a gathering space, a learning space, and space for connections.
Annie on LinkedInKFGO.COM
Douglas Lewis
Holbrook Development, LLC
Doug Lewis is a senior global entrepreneur and business developer. He has extensive experience in Asia, Europe, South and North America, and he has worked within startup ecosystems on all four continents. Doug helps companies identify market opportunities and helps them develop new markets for products and technology.
Doug on LinkedInLinkedIn Articles by Doug
Patrick Luensmann
Center for Business Growth and Innovation
Patrick Luensmann is the Senior Program Manager at the UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation. He has been instrumental in the creation and growth of entrepreneur support programs in the state of Iowa. He currently directs the ISL platform, the Business Concierge, Dream Big Grow Here, the Regional Entrepreneurship Project, and local events like 1 Million Cups and Startup Weekend. He has a degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Northern Iowa.
Patrick on LinkedInIA Source LinkCenter for Business Innovation and Growth
Heather Marquez
Mind Links, LLC.
Heather Marquez is an International Coach, Speaker, and Trainer, Think Buzan Mind Mapping Instructor, and Certified Human Behavior Specialist who helps individuals and teams drive results and overcome obstacles. She supports leaders in business by equipping them with the skills to raise employee engagement and build a strong culture within their company. With more than 25 years of leadership experience, Heather's mission is to help others unlock their potential.
Heather on LinkedInHeather on Youtubehttp://www.johnmaxwellgroup.com/heathermarquez
Joshua McNary
McNary Marketing & Design LLC
As a Marketing Technology expert and owner of McNary Marketing & Design LLC, Joshua McNary meshes business strategy, technology, and corporate savvy with an entrepreneurial passion for providing solutions to clients' problems. After over a decade of working in nonprofit and then the business world, Joshua acts on his knowledge about business, marketing, design, and web development to help business, startups, and organizations. He has done extensive work developing brands, marketing workflows, and business solutions.
Joshua on LinkedIn
John Meyer
Lemonly
John T. Meyer wants to help everyone do work that matters. He is co-founder and CEO of Lemonly, a millennial-staffed design startup with a specialty in visual storytelling. In the five years since its inception, Lemonly has created infographics, videos and microcontent for international brands like Marriott, Major League Baseball, Netflix, Under Armour, the Green Bay Packers, and the United Nations. JTM is a 2016 Finalist for EY's Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year and named as Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 10 Emerging Entrepreneurs in 2013.
John on LinkedInLemonlyJohn Meyer
Marianne Worthington
Revo
Described as brilliant, awesomesauce, hilarious, and so engaging you will forget to eat your snacks, Marianne delivers a client experience sure to exceed your team building expectations. She is the founder of Work Warrior LLC, a company that helps small business owners build wildly successful teams where she has worked with over 5,000 managers in 23 states become better managers and lead more efficient teams. When she is not busy being a pseudo-superhero team builder, you can find Marianne running around in the Lincoln startup world working on her new project Revo, a one-stop shop for social entrepreneurs with a vision to change their communities using smart business models.
Marianne on LinkedInRevoNonprofit Hub
Zach Parker
Theatre Cedar Rapids
Zach Parker is the Education Director at Theatre Cedar Rapids. Zach helped create the Improv comedy program at TCR and fostered a home where students can learn, and audiences can love the spontaneity of life. Zach studied acting with Richard Glockner at the University of Northern Iowa, and upon graduation, Zach moved to NYC and studied long-form improvisation at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) theater in NYC.
Zach on LinkedInTCR.org
Chris Rouw
Far Reach
Chris Rouw is a software developer by trade and an entrepreneur by nature. With his role at Far Reach, Chris enjoys working with clients, the Far Reach team, and others to take projects from ideas to reality.
Chris on LinkedInIowa Entrepreneur: Far ReachTaking care of Business
Justin Schoen
Emerge Growth Strategies
Justin H. Schoen is a Managing Partner at Emerge Growth Strategies; a full-service marketing firm focused on startups and high grown companies. Justin is also the co-owner of Des Moines coffee shop, Mars Cafe, and a partner in the startup online flower delivery service, Goquets. He serves as a consultant and mentor to numerous small businesses, entrepreneurs, and students, and regularly speaks to groups about online marketing strategy.
Justin on LinkedInYP of the Year Finalist VideoImprove your Visibility in 2011
Alex and Laura Taylor
Woofables Gourmet Dog Biscuit Bakery
Laura and Alex are both entrepreneurs. Alex works and teaches at the Tippie College of Business, before that he has experience with several high-tech and startup companies. Laura works full time at Woofables, and before that had stints with JPEC, Tippie, and several Marketing Leadership roles for manufacturing companies.
Woofables on LinkedInWoofables
Brian Ardinger
Econic Co
Brian is the managing director of NMotion, a seed-stage startup accelerator, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at NUtech Ventures, the technology transfer arm of the University of Nebraska. Brian is the co-founder of the podcast Inside Outside, a mentor in Pipeline Entrepreneurs and a member of the Startup Champions Network and Global Accelerator Network. Before his work in the startup community, Brian was Chief Marketing Officer at Nanonation working with clients including Pepsi, Target, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Royal Caribbean.
Brian on LinkedIn
Tim McDougall & Jason Nelson
50 Pound Boson
Tim McDougall and Jason Nelson are digital marketing growth hackers. They help clients increase market share and become leaders in their fields. They have been the voice for dozens of regional and national names, from contributing to get a new country music artist to rank on Billboard to increasing client sales on Amazon by 17x. They have also managed and created content for social media accounts reaching millions of consumers monthly.
50 Pound Bosonhttp://50poundboson.com/
Erin Nathan
Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC
Erin Nathan represents clients accused of age; sex; race; disability and national origin discrimination; sexual harassment; retaliatory discharge; ERISA violations; Family and Medical Leave Act violations; defamation; fraud; tortious interference; infliction of emotional distress; breach of contract; and wage and hour violations. She handles matters in state and federal court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other state and local governmental agencies, as well as before arbitration tribunals. Ms. Nathan represents and counsels businesses and individuals on employment-related matters, including employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, trade secrets and non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. She regularly assists employers with protecting trade secrets and enforcing restrictive covenants.
Erin on LinkedInsimmonsperrine.com
Levi Bostian
Curiosity IO
Levi is an Internet entrepreneur and geek. He builds and sells products, primarily smartphone apps and online. Levi believes in creating quality products that speak for themselves. Levi is also a freelance app developer, blogger, environmentalist, and art nerd.
Levi on LinkedInLevi on About.me
Mat Winegarden
Handrail
Mat is a lifelong learner and an empathetic leader with almost twenty years experience managing people, processes, and profit within the fields of product development and sales. He happily works at ConnectFive as a Product Design Manager focusing on www.HandrailUX.com; application to help facilitate the user research process. He co-organizes Iowa's XD meetup, mentors multiple startups in various stages of maturity and is passionate about utilizing Agile and Lean methodologies to deliver the best customer experience possible.
Mat on LinkedInMat on Twitter
Jamie Powers
Jamie Powers is a distinguished pastry chef and owns DeLuxe Bakery in Iowa City. Before opening the only neighborhood bakery-café in town, she worked in five-star hotels, restaurants, and small, mom-and-pop kitchens around the country. As a fifth-generation Johnson County native, she serves on the board for MYEP, Filmscene and collaborates with the local food industry to develop fundraising programs for the most vulnerable members of the community. Jamie graduated from The University of Iowa in theater arts and had performed in numerous plays in Chicago and Iowa City. She, along with her husband, two children, and St. Bernard, live in the neighborhood where she works. She has a beautiful, two-block commute.
Stacy Van Gorp
Stacy Van Gorp, Ph.D. is a self-described organizational strategy and innovation geek. Most days you’ll find Stacy serving as the leader of a private foundation aimed at inspiring young people. For nearly 20 years, Stacy has also provided consulting services in strategic planning, innovation, research, and program design. Her mission is to connect the people, resources, and ideas that will change the world.
Stacy on LinkedIn
Alicia Syrett
Alicia Syrett is the Founder and CEO of Pantegrion Capital, an angel investment vehicle focused on seed and early stage investments. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of New York Angels, Everwaters, and HeTexted, and is a member of WomenCorporateDirectors. Her past and present Advisory Board roles include Enerknol, iFunding, The Pitch Deck, Beauty Booked, Cissé Trading Co. and Willa. She is a frequent mentor, writer, and speaker in the startup ecosystem. Ms. Syrett is a recurring panelist on CNBC’s Power Pitch and has also appeared on CNBC’s Cash Crowd, MSNBC’s Your Business, Nightly Business Report (NBR) on PBS, and Fox Business’s Risk & Reward. Named as one of the “25 Angel Investors in New York You Need to Know” by AlleyWatch and as one of Wharton's "40 Under 40" young alumni by Wharton Magazine. She has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Inc., The Huffington Post, Mashable and USA Today and also served as an Instructor with Steve Blank in his Lean Launchpad course at Columbia Business School. Before founding Pantegrion, Ms. Syrett spent over ten years in the financial industry, which included her entrepreneurial journey as the first employee and CAO of a multi-billion dollar private equity firm. She graduated early from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics (magna cum laude) and concentrations in Finance and Accounting. She also possesses two MBA degrees from the London Business School (with distinction) and Columbia Business School where she received Beta Gamma Sigma honors.
Randy Hawthorne
As Executive Director of Nonprofit Hub and a Professional Certified Marketer, Randy makes it his mission to help nonprofit organizations implement marketing, fundraising and organizational leadership principles to further their missions. Randy not only researches and writes on current nonprofit trends, he gets in the trenches and practices what he preaches with several nonprofits in his community. You can see him shoulder-to-shoulder with other community volunteers in activities for the American Marketing Association, Lincoln Community Playhouse, Rotary Club #14, Sheldon Art Association, Community Services Fund, Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters, TEDx, Leadership Lincoln and Launch Leadership. For his community service, he’s been recognized by the International Festival Events Association as the Volunteer of the Year. Downtown Lincoln recognized him with an Impact Award as a Downtown Champion. Leadership Lincoln has named him the Servant Leader of the Year and Launch Leadership recognized him for outstanding contributions to Nebraska’s youth. When he’s not helping nonprofits, he mentors students and young professionals, occasionally makes his way to the stage, geeks out on local history and goes on photography adventures.
Brian Hemesath
Global Insurance Accelerator
Brian Hemesath is the Managing Director of the Global Insurance Accelerator. He is responsible for the overall success of the program and ongoing support of the portfolio companies. He has built a career around technology startups, having been a founder and co-founder of several businesses. He successfully exited two of his companies, one in 2010 (Diligent) and again in 2012 (Catchwind). In 2012 Brian helped get a ticketing startup off the ground while working out of Startup City (local incubator). The startup helped the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival successfully sell over 8,000 tickets in 3 minutes and 22 seconds. The Governor of Iowa acknowledged this feat in comments made at the 2013 Pig Pardoning. He founded and still advises VolunteerLocal as it grows and continues to help events all over the world effectively manage volunteers.
Elizabeth Caven
Elizabeth Caven is the founder of UpCraft Club, a fast growing online marketplace fundamentally changing the world-wide crafting industry through technology. Profiled as a stand-out startup leader by Forbes.com, the Business Record, TechCrunch, and the Small Business Administration, who named her company 1st place out of 2,000 InnovateHER competitors in 2016. UpCraft Club was part of Batch 16 of 500 Startups, a top San Francisco-based accelerator. Elizabeth is an experienced entrepreneur having owned and successfully exited from her first company and consulted with organizations in a variety of industries over the past decade. She enjoys volunteering her time at several non-profits and spending time with her husband and four young children in Des Moines, Iowa.
Paul Kinghorn
PAUL KINGHORN is the Director of the Center Business Growth & Innovation at the University of Northern Iowa which is known for its nationally recognized and award winning innovative programs in business assistance and development. Kinghorn has over twenty year’s consulting with companies in all aspects of their operations with a specific emphasis on ideation, startup, strategy, process efficiency and change management necessary for each client to achieve their desired objectives. He has held some leadership positions within public and private organizations and has involvement in many startups and early stage small business ventures. He understands the intricacies and complexities inherent in developing ideas and in bringing improvement into an organization. Paul received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Franklin University and his Masters in Business Administration from Ohio University.
Robin Jackson Miller
Robin Jackson Miller is a Partner of Terry Lockridge & Dunn. Robin’s areas of expertise include tax planning and preparation for individual and businesses, QuickBooks® consulting and business consulting. Robin graduated from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. She has earned the Enrolled Agent credential from the IRS and is a QuickBooks® Certified ProAdvisor. Robin is involved in the community through a number of organizations but she is especially proud of her involvement with the Professional Women’s Network Board of Directors.
Nancy Goldstein
Compass(x) Strategy
Nancy Goldstein brings 20 years of experience growing businesses of all shapes and sizes. Her specialties include brand strategy development, value propositions and positioning, brand communications, new product launches and business model development. Before starting Compass(x) Strategy, Nancy was a Director of Consulting at Zyman Group, a boutique marketing strategy consulting firm founded by Sergio Zyman, the former CMO of Coca-Cola. While at Zyman Group, Nancy led various projects for clients like beverages, not-for-profit, pet food, industrials and financial services. Nancy honed her business building and marketing skills running some of the world’s most iconic brands. She was recruited to World Kitchen to turn around the struggling CorningWare and Revere brands. At Pillsbury and General Mills, Nancy ran large, complex businesses such as Old El Paso Mexican Food as well as launching new products such as Refrigerated Ready-to-Bake Cookies and Brownies. Nancy earned an MBA from the Olin School at Washington University and a BA in Economics and Psychology from Tufts University.
http://compassxstrategy.comNancy on LinkedInCompass(x) Strategy on YouTube
Keith Adams
Keith Adams is a creative and soulful problem solver with more than 15 years of experience in systems thinking, strategic planning and product delivery; specializing in artificial intelligence, strategy, and new product development. Keith led the Xbox Innovation & Experimentation Platform; resulting in the complete re-imagining of software testing for Xbox Certification across games on PC and Xbox One console, and one of the most significant innovations in modern Game Development: the Xbox Certification Companion App. Keith is a native Iowan who leads with his values, his experience, and with a passion for innovation, growth mindset and helping people move forward.
XPS Highlight Video
Kristy Hartsgrove
Kristy Hartsgrove Mooers is a professor of theatre at the University of Iowa whose classes include Acting for Success, a course that uses theatre techniques to work on pitches, presentations, and interviewing techniques, and Improv for Engineers, Scientists, and the Curious, a course that uses improvisation as the grammar for exploring successful brainstorming, problem solving, and idea development.
Brent Comstock
Brent Comstock grew up in rural Southeastern Nebraska in a town with two stoplights. No McDonald’s. No Walmart. Compelled to make a difference in the way people perceive rural communities, Brent established a technology company at age 12. BCom Solutions now manages digital branding and technology solutions for over 500 clients around the world with marketing strategies reaching over 1 million people per year. Brent’s passion for helping young entrepreneurs lead him to be the first Student Entrepreneur in Residence at an incubator in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he attends the University as a Robertson Scholar. He has delivered keynote speeches around the country – from Oklahoma to New York City. He has recently been traveling the country to promote his newest venture: a rural start-up program for young adults that is unlike any other. He recently returned from Europe where he spent several months in Venice scouting the newest ventures for an Italian accelerator program.
Alec Whitters
In 2012, Alec was a 3rd-year grad student at The University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry when he became frustrated that he couldn’t use his smartphone to study. He took this idea of mobile learning to various publishing companies and found himself repeatedly dismissed by individuals who felt it wasn’t worth pursuing. This disapproval only fueled Alec’s growing motivation to find a better solution. Alec decided to leave dental school and build a company around this concept. Fast forward four years and HLT has 3 million students from around the globe leveraging its platform, and answering over 300 million practice questions. HLT has raised over $10M in investment capital and now has 40 employees in both its Iowa City headquarters office and at remote locations across the US to support the company’s continued rapid growth. Alec was also recently recognized as a winner of “Forbes 30 under 30.”
Timothy Terry
Timothy Terry is the founder of Terry, Lockridge and Dunn, Inc., an accounting firm that practices in the areas of taxation, planning, investment banking and business and financial consulting. Mr. Terry also founded World Trend Financial which specializes in financial planning and securities brokerage. In addition to these two firms, Mr. Terry founded TLD, Inc., a private investment bank. Mr. Terry has consulted on and personally invested in multiple businesses including many in the health care field, taking one such company to an initial public offering.
Kurt Heiar
University of Iowa Venture School
Kurt Heiar is an accomplished corporate executive, serial entrepreneur, and university instructor. Kurt has been the President & CEO of multiple early stage companies. Kurt has worked closely with John Pappajohn on his projects for over a decade. He has served as Vice President, Marketing, at Baxter Healthcare, Biosciences North America at Baxter. His various entrepreneurial projects include building and leading a company through a successful liquidity event with a NASDAQ firm. The past three summers to date, Kurt has worked in Greece, where he has co-developed the Greek Venture Capital Fair, worked with over 60 companies there on behalf of THI of New York City, and delivered guest lectures at Anatolia in Thessaloniki.
Jeff Russell
Delta Dental
Jeff Russell is the president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa, providing dental and vision benefits to more than 1,000,000 members. With more than 20 years’ experience in senior leadership roles, he has led companies of a variety of sizes: from start-ups to established companies embarking on transformation efforts. In addition to serving in leadership roles on several boards and committees, he is the chair of the Global Insurance Accelerator.
Justin Kerr
Justin Kerr has been the youngest senior executive at some of the world's biggest apparel companies including Old Navy, Levi's and UNIQLO, running billion dollar businesses before the age of 31. Corpo high flyer, entrepreneur, author, beekeeper, Justin has written and published 13 books. You can find him on Twitter @Mr_Corpo and Instagram @jdkjdkjdkjdk or his latest adventure the MR CORPO podcast currently available on iTunes or Google Play.
Andy Stoll
Andy Stoll is a serial entrepreneur and a senior program officer at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, where he is responsible for the implementation and management of the Foundation’s ecosystem development strategy. Before joining the Kauffman Foundation, Stoll co-founded Seed Here Studio in 2010, to help build the innovation ecosystem in The Creative Corridor and across Iowa. He is the co-founder of six entrepreneurial-focused organizations including Vault Coworking & Collaboration Space and NewBoCo. Andy most recently co-founded The Startup Champions Network, the nation’s first professional association for full-time innovation ecosystem builders. His past work includes projects with The Case Foundation, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and The Bohemian Foundation, building innovation ecosystems in technology, global health, and music, respectively. Stoll is a regular speaker on entrepreneurship and ecosystem building; a global facilitator for Startup Weekend; and has taught entrepreneurship at Cornell College. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in business management and a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media production from The University of Iowa, as well as a Master of Arts in media cultures from The City University of Hong Kong.
Paul Singh
Paul is an entrepreneur, speaker, investor and Airstreamer. Previously: Managing Director @1776, Founder @disruptioncorp (acq by @1776), Partner @500Startups, EIR at USCIS / DHS. Find him at twitter.com/paulsingh.