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Innovation and Disruption in Entrepreneurship


Brooke Paul, Taivara

Pam Springer, ORIS Intelligence 

Yiem Sunbanich, TNEDICCA®

Moderator: Warner Moore, Independent Executive Consultant and a Startup Advisor

We often romanticize and focus on the success stories after a product is built and a business is scaled. However, the most valuable lessons are often earned on the journey there. Our keynote panel consists of seasoned Founder and CEO entrepreneurs who have built companies, earned their exits, and are currently leading startups. We’ll explore their lessons learned, talk about product innovation, and disrupting industries. Their insight will help you build better businesses and products.

From Thesis to CEO

Presenter: Ryan Eder, IncludeFitness 

While studying product design at the University of Cincinnati in 2006, Ryan witnessed a man in a wheelchair struggle while working out. This inspired a concept for a piece of accessible fitness equipment that went on to win Gold, Best in Show, and People's Choice in the International Design Excellence Awards. 

Ryan used this recognition as a catalyst to raise millions and spend the next 10 years expanding his vision into a digital health platform. His company, IncludeFitness, has now garnered 17 issued patents, 16 international design awards and will be shipping product in January. Hear Ryan walk through the decade long process of turning an idea into a venture-backed company.    


Agile Product Management Craftmanship

Presenter: Steven Davidson II, Ascena Retail Group Inc. 

With Agile, we have found that when technical resources become more business savvy, stronger solutions are architected and built. Now, we are seeing that having technically savvy product managers leads to better communication with teams and, ultimately, better products. What small technical investments can product managers make to better collaborate with their team?

In this presentation, you will learn which technical areas are the low hanging fruit that any product manager can start with, and the common pitfalls people make when trying to become more technical. You will also learn how being technical can help with prioritization, planning, and speed-to-market. If you want to deliver a better product for your organization, this is the presentation for you.    

Breaking Out of IT

Presenters: Daniel Greenleaf, ICC and Elizabeth Tolia, ICC

Most Agile approaches have focused on transforming IT to better serve business needs. But, to get the most out of an Agile adoption, all areas of an organization need to change. 

In this presentation, we will focus on the  changes that business stakeholders can make to get even more value out of their teams, specifically how work is funded and backlogs are prioritized. We will use exercises to demonstrate what changes need to be made and suggest techniques to start the changes.    

Do You See What I See?

Presenters: Wendy Jacobs, AEP and Nate Lusher, CoverMyMeds

On the surface, it’s sounds so easy – incrementally build a product to meet a   customer need. From 10,000 feet, the general idea seems straightforward, but   then you learn about the various types of users and their different needs, project budgets and timelines, implementation options, and design tradeoffs. Now, things are complicated! And then, even when you can imagine a sane path  through the madness, you must find a way to communicate the path to developers, managers, executives, sales reps, marketing folks, and Bob down  the hall. Herding cats seems easy in comparison!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have the same picture of where we’re heading? Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a clarity around primary objectives in a form that could provide context for making tradeoffs? We think so too –   and we have a solution – a clear concise product vision.

Believe it or not, it isn’t too hard to craft such a vision, and in this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn exactly how to craft a meaningful vision which can guide decisions throughout the project, and keep everyone marching in the same direction – even Bob. If you’re a product manager, product owner, BA, project manager, or anyone involved in delivering a product to market successfully, you’ll find this session invaluable.    

Even Moonshots Need a Place to Land

Presenter: Nathan Vega, Columbus Collaboratory 

During this session, the audience will learn about the tools and process for taking  emergent technologies to market. 

The session will cover how product managers can leverage design thinking, storytelling, use case development, and partner ecosystems to build sophisticated technology offerings and a go-to-market strategy. Nathan’s background includes productizing Watson in the cloud, developing advanced analytics consulting offerings, and bringing analytics-based cybersecurity products to market. Join to learn more about bridging the gap from IP to revenue.    

How Human Nature Impacts Product Creation

Presenter: Ryan Frederick, AWH

Building great products is counter-intuitive and many aspects of it go against human nature. We're wired to solve problems and to build, which often means we build the wrong things or for low-value problems, that people don't care enough about. 

This session will identify common pitfalls around creating products and some ways to overcome them:

  • Understand why human nature gets in the way of building successful products.
  • Learn the common pitfalls of product development.
  • Learn how to overcome the pitfalls to build great products. 

Level Up Your Product Leadership through Facilitation

Presenter: Andrea Jacobs, CAS

As product leaders, we hold conversations every day. We assess features with our customers, we work through problems with our development teams, and we collaborate with stakeholders to craft vision. But is there a better way to approach these conversations? 

In this session, we will review the art of facilitation as it applies to product leadership, and provide basic skills to increase your efficacy as a product leader.    

Make a Decision, Already!

Presenters: Laura Jackson and Brian Lantz, Cardinal Solutions Group

We've all heard it before in different terms; analysis paralysis, indecisive, bottle neck, churn. The inability to make decisions is counterproductive and can affect more elements in your software development than you think.

Brian and Laura will leave you with six pieces of advice to take back to your office so you can avoid becoming the roadblock.    


Presenter: Jim Canterucci, Constituent Hub and Transition Management Advisors

In this interactive session, Jim will facilitate a discussion of some big picture concepts we as product managers should have in the forefront of our  work. These include: 

  • Innovation – living and Teaching the catalysts of innovation 
  • Crossing Boundaries – working behind the lines 
  • Adoption – Why? to Of course!    

Product Management: Leveraging User Research, Analytics, & UX Design to Improve Healthcare

Presenters:  Anna Klatt, CoverMyMeds

Product development is difficult in normal circumstances. Add the complexities of healthcare and it becomes harder. 

Our presentation will look at how CoverMyMeds has embraced the integration of user experience research, data analytics, and UX design to inform product decisions with data, leading to better user experiences and increased business value. In addition to discussing some of the techniques we use, we’ll present a use case.    

Remote Product Management: 5 Fundamentals to Set Up for Success

Presenter: Suprasanna (Super) Mirshra, Buffer

A third of business leaders at a recent Global Leadership Summit estimated that   more than half their workforce would work remotely by 2020. With partial or fully remote teams growing, how can product managers be successful in translating their work with design, engineering, user research and data to a remote setting?

Buffer is a $15MM ARR company that has been fully remote for 5+ years. In this session, Suprasanna will share lessons learned, mistakes made and keys to succeeding with a remote product team.    

Agile is Making Me Crazy- A Product Owner's Guide to Working on an Agile Team

Presenter: Michelle Gilboy, Summa Technologies

Your team is now trying to work in this new way called Agile. There are all these new terms and meetings and expectations….and all you really want is to deliver awesome things into the market as quickly as possible. 

In this session, you will learn the what’s and why’s behind all this Agile stuff and what role the product owner plays in it. Through interactive exploration, the group will identify the top three things that are driving them crazy, so that we can see how Agile will or will not help address them. Expect to leave the session with practices and actions that you can immediately apply.

Are You Innovating or Stuck in Corporate "Innovation Theatre"?

Presenter: Brett Buchanan, The Gap

Hyper-growth start-ups are driving established companies out of the Fortune 500 on a daily basis and “disrupting” entire industries. Corporations find themselves more than ever in need for change, but few are able to keep pace with the rapid pace of innovation. 

The traditional management practice of planning and control kills enterprise innovation. To succeed, corporations need a different organizational structure. In this talk, Brett will discuss how today’s world demands a new management approach that transforms the risk of change into an asset, by supporting real entrepreneurship and venture-style investing within very large companies.