Friday, Jan 23
Saturday, Jan 24

45-minute sessions

Meridian and Oceanic Suites

Join small-group discussions led by a subject matter expert. Round tables will examine such topics as entrepreneurship, government innovation, and cross-sector collaboration, all under the Collaborate mission of unity and innovation. Leave with a stronger grasp of others’ opinions.


Friday, January 23, 10am

Fostering Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Rarely do you find innovation in an ecosystem that’s been closed off to outside influence. Fortunately, you can often break those barriers by getting a fresh perspective from those who have overcome these challenges in the past. This round table will explore the best practices for leveling the playing field for innovation-driven enterprises, particularly those that are traditionally under-represented in the current technology/innovation economy. Whether from minority-centric organizations and institutions, or from agencies that focus on developing nations, you’ll find a conversation that will both engage the issues and seek to solve them.

Steve Ressler, President, GovLoop
Maria Douglass, Ecosystem Builder,

Disruptive Diplomacy: No Longer Kissinger's Board Game

Digital technologies, notably social media, have changed how governments engage with one another and with the public. Governments seek to build relationships, influence and engage. Diplomacy’s core remains the same. However, expectations of the public, the way people communicate, and new global challenges have required new solutions and different ways of working. Join this discussion to learn more about how the diplomats’ toolkit has expanded in the digital age.

Scott Nolan Smith, Associate Director, Portland Communications, Co-founder & Board Member, Digital Diplomacy Coalition


Importance of creativity in entrepreneurship

It has been argued by many that creativity, or the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality often via a lens not shared by many others, is the key to a successful entrepreneurship endeavor. Join this round table for a discussion on how to unleash your untapped creative potential.

Where have all the textbooks gone?  Seeking supply chain innovation to Track and Trace distribution

Join this dynamic brainstorming roundtable focused on adapting supply chain systems and/or creating a low-cost solution that ensures families, teachers, school administrators, and Ministries of Education can quickly, easily and accurately locate reading materials destined for early grade classrooms and learning centers.  How can technology be used to address difficulties currently experienced at every step--from point-of-entry or central warehouses, to transportation across difficult and sometimes insecure routes, to distribution to regional offices and, ultimately, classrooms?

The All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) Partners--USAID, World Vision, and the Australian Government--seek a transparent distribution management system to allow key stakeholders to track and trace texts and take action if the materials do not move through the distribution system within set timelines.   

Can your expertise or company help solve this problem?  Are you looking for new markets to test your supply chain system?  Join other innovators in dramatically making an impact for the next generation.

Key facts:

  • 250 million children around the world can’t read and write
  • Millions of books are procured every year yet never reach the classroom in schools around the world
  • Only through technology and partnership can we address this global challenge

Rebecca Leege, Project Director, All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development, World Vision 

Hacking your Bureaucracy to fund innovation

This Round Table discussion is all about sharing creative solutions to corporate funding constraints. Pat and Dan will lead a discussion on how to find and unlock small (and large) pockets of money, gain leverage on the productivity of your staff, and hack freely available resources for gaining industry, technology, and product insights. Come prepared to have fun and share your experiences finding friends in finance, hacking market research, and more!

Patrick Sheriden, CEO, Modus Create, Inc.
Dan Klaussen, Sr Dir, IT Innovation and Strategy, Marriott

The fine print nobody reads: what to do so government can use your service 

Federal-compatible Terms of Service (TOS) agreements are special agreements negotiated between the federal government and vendors who offer free social media, mobile, business and other digital tools. These federal-compatible TOS agreements modify or remove problematic clauses in standard TOS agreements, and allow federal employees to legally use these tools. With nearly 2.75mm federal government employees, learn how to get your foot in the door to an increasingly interested market segment.

Ben Balter, Government Evangelist, GitHub


Recruiting and retaining millennial talent

According to a recent Bentley University study, 66% of Millennials plan on starting their own business. This is a generation of entrepreneurs, innovators and change-agents that will create their own job if they can't find one they like. In this discussion learn the secrets to keeping top Millennials without paying them more and discover how you can use their drive, ambition and even their entitlement to advance your organizational mission. 

Gabrielle Jackson, Founder, The Millennial Solution
Maci Peterson, CEO, On Second Thought 


Not only is mobile the predominant platform that people access the internet, but this year the number of mobile devices in use around the world will surpass the number of people. Representing an unprecedented market of scale and opportunity, these 7.7 billion mobile phones and tablets will be used in countless ways. This forum will explore the innovations you can expect to see in the upcoming years and how society can take advantage of them.

Heather Blanchard, Director, Wireless Internet Development, CTIA - The Wireless Association
Todd Marks, President & CEO, Mindgrub


Open data technology is making urban sustainability possible but businesses must collaborate join this round table to discuss the now and what the future holds in this exciting field.

Matt Craywood, Co-Founder, TransitScreen
Tim Abdella, GISP, GIO – Manager CDW, DCGIS, OpenData - District of Columbia Government , OCTO


If there’s anything history can teach us, it’s that falling in line and knowing our place is the only way to operate a sustainable, successful society. Those who have stood out over the course of history have instigated social change, political recourse and cultural revolutions – phenomena we want nothing to do with. The Sharing Economy is a gateway drug that must be stopped in its tracks in order to prevent any further consequences…Or, we can all work together to better our establishments, resulting in a more consumer-beneficial, efficient, progressive and forward-facing economy for decades to come.

All of the facets of our economy previously mentioned were established for a reason. While the end result is still the same, the innovative minds of today have found ways to more efficiently and effectively reach our goals, while benefitting consumers in the process. If we take what we know and combine it with what we know is possible, we have the potential to build something incredible and sustainable. All we have to do is work together. So what will it be? The red pill or the blue pill?

David Mandell, CEO and Co-Founder, PivotDesk
Mark McTamney, VP of Marketing, Parking Panda

Effectively using agile development methods in the government context

In February 2001, seventeen software developers met at the Snowbird resort in Utah to discuss lightweight development methods. Since then, many specific agile development methods have been championed promoting development, teamwork, collaboration, and process adaptability throughout the life-cycle of the project. This round table will focus on how to effectively use agile development methodologies in a government context.

Son Tran, Scrum Master, Office of Digital & Design Innovation, Broadcasting Board of Governors

Crypto and Peer-To-Peer Digital Currencies: Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and more

With more than 530 crypto-currencies available for trade in online markets as of November 2014, only ten of them had market capitalizations over $10 million. Join industry insiders for a discussion about the future and impact of crypto currencies such as BitCoin.

Charles Allen, CEO, Bitcoin Shop, Inc.


The intersection of community and technology – workspaces for the modern contractor and beyond

You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't want more out of their workspace. Whether it’s removing the friction in your hunt for the perfect space or a need for meaningful and profitable (who are we kidding?) connections within your industry, join this round table to hear about how the most innovative real estate concepts in the District are joining forces to give you the competitive edge you need.

Geoff Orazem, CEO, Eastern Foundry
Andy O'Brien, Cofounder, HiRise

Tech in Elections: Influencing Communities & Voters

It's no secret that data and statistics can drive political discussion. However, did you know that that tweets with digits or numbers in them also get 16% more retweets? Join this round table to discuss how technology, including twitter, is shaping, reshaping and impacting elections around the world.

Adam Sharp, Head of News, Government & Elections, Twitter

Women in Entrepreneurship: 2.7

According to a recent Kauffman Report, the lack of women in entrepreneurship is a key factor in our national economic growth and potentially, the panacea to the stagnation of the American economy.

However, Babson college reports that from 2011 to 2013, women led companies received only 2.7% of Venture Capital (VC) funding. Overall, only 15% of companies funded had any woman on the team, leaving 85% of the companies funded with all-male teams (91% in the case of seed round funding).

Given these statistics, it is not surprising that women continue to struggle with the notion of “meritocracy” in innovation and entrepreneurship.  This round-table opens up a discussion of best practices and solutions that are working for women entrepreneurs (or not!), such as:

  • Strategic Alliances, Ecosystem building and Leaning In
  • The Millennial Effect: crowd-sourced funding as a market validator
  • Location: greater pool of capital vs. access to opportunity
  • Feminized products and the “mommy market”
  • Institutional support: government and financial firms
  • Grass roots vs. top-down market approaches

Shana Glenzer, VP of Social Marketing, SocialRadar
Jenna Gavin Kelly, CEO, Surfdash, Inc. /


Scaling your business and designing culture to support

Culture will can make or break an organization.  Its key to understand how to identify and develop a culture by design and not mishap, plus the elements of actions needed to be put into place to support the specifics. Culture also evolves over time to model the stages of the business.  A start-up culture is different than a scaling culture, but it can still include the base values while expanding to handle a quickly scaling company with a need for new skill sets, a new mind set and capacity to work together in more dynamic manner while handling the fragmentation that can occur in organizations. 

Scaling and innovating around great companies will lead to expansion plus profitable exits for founders, partners and funders.  What it takes to move from a to b, is different than what it takes to make the jump from b to c or even an x multiplier.   We will discuss important pieces of consideration in preparation for scaling an organization efficiently and effectively, then implementing the plan with active skills integration, moving from a strategic perspective to a very tactical step by step integral path to exponential growth.  

Heather Utzig, Founder, iMi Interactive

Founders ONly: $100K+ Annual Revenue

The challenges founders encounter as they scale their business from startup to sustainable business are often unique in nature. Join this curated round table (open only to founders who have surpassed the $100k annual revenue milestone) to build relationships with your peers. This round table is not open to the media, investors, or non-founders.

Zvi Band, CEO & Co-Founder, Contactually
Tony Cappaert, COO & Co-Founder, Contactually

How Employee-Centric Systems Lead to Customer-Centric Cultures

Learn how your people-facing technology can instill a culture of customer centricity and how you can drive higher levels of employee engagement and customer retention. Ashoka utilized the FinancialForce Human Capital Management (HCM) software on the Salesforce platform to actively engage 300 staff across 47 countries on their performance and development. Since customers/stakeholders can range from citizens, donors and employees, this insight is valuable across sectors.

Asha Aravindakshan, Director, Talent Operations, Ashoka



UAV Technology & Data = Should I Be Worried

The commercialization of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) over the past two years has brought us amazing aerial videos and images. What else can we expect from this aerial data flow and should we be concerned about privacy violations? Is this technology here to stay?

Patrick FitzGerald, Managing Director, Dreamit Ventures
Romeo Durscher, Director of Education, DJI, Inc. 

Avoiding crisis: Future Tools Of Public Relations

Whereas public relations experts establish and maintain relationships with an organization's target audience, the media, and other opinion leaders, the ecosystem in which they operate has undergone fundamental shifts over the past decade. Learn from the best in the business about best practices, the tools they use, and how to avoid and manage potentially high stress public relations incidents.

Jordan Fischler, SVP, Technology + Digital Media, Allison + Partners
Lauren Worley, Press Secretary and Senior Advisor, NASA


This interactive roundtable focuses on why empathetic listening matters as a problem solving technique and how to practice it.  

We share our findings from working with local shopkeepers in NYC. 

Aileen Gemma Smith, CEO, Vizalytics Technology

Navigating the world of startup incubators, accelerators, and other support systems.

With an explosion of incubator, accelerators, meetups and more, it can be a daunting experience navigating the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. Come talk about the current landscape and what can be done to improve things going forward.

Dharmishta Rood, Company Program Manager , Code for America 

How makerspaces and co-working spaces are transforming disaster relief and aid efforts

As makerspaces and co-working spaces have become increasingly mainstream across the country they are poised to have a material impact on the economy and the world around us. Learn how makerspaces and co-working spaces have had unexpected impact, including disaster relief and aid efforts.

James Quigley, CEO and Co-Founder, Canvas, Inc.


Across the US, women entrepreneurs are sprouting up at a faster pace than their male counter parts. Join this roundtable discussion with Julie Verratti, Advisor in the Office of Women’s Business Ownership at the US Small Business Administration, to learn about government programs designed specifically for women and the businesses they create.

Julie Verratti, Advisor, US Small Business Administration