Dr. Abraham is Associate Dean of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis, MN)

His responsibilities include oversight of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship developing new programs and furthering the reputation and reach of the organization.     Prior to St. Thomas, Dr. Abraham was the Executive Director of Spartan Innovations focusing on creating New Ventures from Michigan State University intellectual property managing all aspects from creation to exit strategies. 

Prior to Spartan Innovations, Dr. Abraham purchased the defense contractor ProteQ in 2011 and positioned the firm for renewed growth. Dr. Abraham grew the firm 150% and exited with a 10X return within 3 years. 

Prior to ProteQ, Dr. Abraham was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the hedge fund Groveland Capital LLC focused on arbitrage opportunities in the fixed income space trading high yield and distressed securities. 

Prior to Groveland Capital, Dr. Abraham was a Director for Whitebox Advisors where he managed a $300MM portfolio of private investments. As part of his role, he served as director and/or CEO for several of the portfolio firms. 

Prior to joining Whitebox, Dr. Abraham served as President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, a $14MM undersea robotics company. Under Dr. Abraham, Bluefin achieved over 40% CAGR and a profitability increase of 300%. 

Prior to Bluefin, Dr. Abraham was the director of commercialization for Battelle Memorial Institute responsible for licensing, new venture creation, M&A activities and Research and Development for the National Security Division.

Prior to Battelle, Dr. Abraham managed the NBC Detection Division for Bruker Biosciences [NASDAQ: BRKR] with international management responsibilities including research and development, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and service. 

Dr. Abraham has also served as Vice President and co-founder of technology-driven startup organizations based on University-sponsored research. Dr. Abraham has lectured and been published extensively in areas ranging from Analytical Chemistry to Entrepreneurship. Dr. Abraham has served as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University, Babson College and Michigan State University.



Lisa is the Founder and CEO of Azul Seven

Lisa is the Founder and CEO of Azul Seven, a human-centered design consultancy. Lisa started Azul Seven with the goal of improving people's lives by helping technologists, designers and business leaders work together to solve problems and improve outcomes for those they serve. Lisa works with the Azul Seven team to ensure the organization evolves to meet the needs of clients and emerging industries. Her background as a strategist, her interest in innovation and her desire to help people keep her focused on technology's impact on human behavior and the economy and how it can improve lives. She has taught and lectured widely about technology’s impact on business and organizations, and has taught graduate level coursework at the University of St. Thomas.



UX Manager for BzzAgent

Just as we need to understand the needs and context of users to craft a design solution, Jeremy believes that success also requires us to look at the business context to craft an appropriate design process. From start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, as a consultant or on an internal team, he has seen a lot of different scenarios that each required their own approach. He brings this diversity of experience to bear in adapting UX to agile methodologies, finding the balance appropriate for each business. Currently, Jeremy is the UX Manager for BzzAgent, which helps generate word-of-mouth marketing content.



One of four principle shareholders and founders of SantosHuman Inc. (SHI) 

Steve Beck is one of four principle shareholders and founders of SantosHuman Inc. (SHI) as well as one of the original inventors of Santos® technologies which originated at the University of Iowa Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) Program. Steve’s leadership and strategic initiatives at VSR from 2003 through 2014 were instrumental in the development of the VSR/Santos® legacy that students, staff, and faculty continue to build upon today. Prior to his current role as President and CEO of SHI, Steve provided leadership in a variety of roles at the University of Iowa since 1987 from being a consultant at an intellectual resource for multi-dimensional data visualization to R&D Programs Manager for the University of Iowa’s Center for Computer-Aided Design, where he directed interdepartmental efforts; provided leadership on transferring research to private and government sectors; and served as liaison between the University of Iowa and multi-million dollar research efforts. In early 2014 SHI’s Board of Directors asked Steve to lead the effort to commercialize the Santos® technology. Steve left the University of Iowa in September 2014, after 27 years of service, to accept that challenge. To date, as President and CEO of SHI, Steve has bootstrapped SHI to the point where it is not only cash-flow positive but at the cusp of a rapid growth event; transitioned the applied research from the University of Iowa to stable and viable products with the market potential to span all major industry sectors; and has created strategic partnerships to assist in transitioning SHI to a Global software marketing and sales company.



Lean Champion, Book Author and Shingo Award Winner

Beginning in 2005, Norbert has implemented a principles-based lean product development process at the three global innovation centers of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. For nearly a decade he has been Goodyear’s lean champion in research and development.

Norbert, born and raised in Luxembourg, has a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Universitaet des Saarlandes, Saarbruecken, Germany, and has worked most of the disciplines in the Goodyear innovation centers in Luxembourg and Akron.

Norbert recently published his first book “Lean-driven Innovation,” and he has spoken at many conferences in the USA and other countries. The book was awarded the Shingo Research award in 2016. The Goodyear R&D organization received the AME Excellence award in 2016.



Founder & CEO, Roomera Inc.

Thong is the Founder and CEO of Roomera, a virtual reality platform that helps innovation-minded teams prototype, test and accelerate next generation customer experiences. Prior to Roomera, Thong was CTO-in-Residence at Rêve Consulting, where he worked with some of the world's largest companies to co-create winning strategies and implement them in the marketplace. Thong has also held leadership roles at Digital River, Best Buy and Target, where he guided diverse teams through intense periods of cultural, business and technological transformation. His professional and personal interests live at the intersection of brain science, emerging technology, design and the future. Thong holds a BS in Computer Engineering and an MBA from the University of Minnesota.



Principal at Minneapolis-based Accredent 

Jennifer is a Principal at Minneapolis-based Accredent. She is a 20 year M2M and IoT industry veteran and expert in both the business and technology of IoT. Working across the complete IoT value chain over a wide range of use cases with hundreds of companies, she has successfully brought new to world IoT solutions to market, led business transformations, and engaged markets effectively leveraging integrated partnerships with large corporations and emerging companies. Jennifer has a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin Madison and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Accredent is a eight year old pioneer in IoT Connected Data-driven Business, internet of things and advanced analytics. Accredent works with emerging technology companies to accelerate Scale and high-valuation Exit, and private and public companies through IoT connected data-driven business transformation, strategy and merger and acquisition.



CEO Equals 3 

Dan Mallin is an entrepreneur dedicated to expanding the ways technology can advance the mission of chief marketing officers, advertising, and media agencies. He’s repeatedly broken new ground in the marketing world. From the early days of the Internet and the first websites, to business portals of the dot com era to the latest generation of 1:1 marketing—integrating sales, service, and marketing—Mallin has a broad history of building businesses that help clients, including Fortune 1000 marketers and large ad agencies, take advantage of cutting-edge digital transformation. In the past 20 years, he has grown and sold four businesses and built forward-thinking ad tech platforms that are still in use day-to-day by some of the world’s largest brands, agencies, and media firms.

Today, Mallin is the Co-founder of Equals 3, where he and his team are working closely with IBM to commercialize Watson for marketers by creating Lucy, the cognitive companion to the marketing professional.



Director of Strategy + Behavioral Design, Rêve 

As Director of Strategy + Behavioral Design, Taylor works directly with Rêve’s client teams, co-creating innovative strategies, products and services.

Taylor joined Rêve in 2011 as employee #1, and has played a significant role in developing and deepening the service design practice and is currently pioneering a new behavioral design methodology.

At Rêve, Taylor helps clients build and implement growth strategies, tackle systematic challenges, and design new offerings and experiences. During his time at Rêve, Taylor has worked with Target, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, Allianz, Capella, Caribou, and more.

Taylor holds a BA in Economics and Management Studies from Saint Olaf College. In addition to his work at Rêve, Taylor is a member of Global Shapers, an initiative of the World Economic Forum focused on creating local projects to improve the community.



Founder of Livefront and co-founder of TECHdotMN 

Mike Bollinger is an explorer and entrepreneur. He is founder of Livefront, a mobile software design & development firm, and co-founder of TECHdotMN, a media group covering technology news in Minnesota. With over fifteen years of experience in software design and engineering, he has helped launch mobile products for Fortune 500 companies and startups alike. His love for international travel and photography inform his approach to creating beautiful, simple design experiences for people in motion.



Principal Enterprise Architect at Blue Cross Blue Shield, MN

Tim is a Principal Enterprise Architect at Blue Cross Blue Shield, MN engaging directly with multiple business stakeholders across the enterprise creating architecture and service design blueprints to inform strategy, investments and technology decisions. Tim joined Blue Cross with a role of applying architecture and service design techniques in a timely and pragmatic approach in support of enabling consumer experience coupled with identifying opportunities for optimizing the operating model.

Tim has over 28 years of success in meeting critical business challenges collaborating with teams’ to discover opportunities driving towards solutions in multiple vertical industries. In addition to his work, Tim is an active Twin Cities Business Architecture Forum (TCBAF) board member in addition to volunteering on other non-profit boards for the benefit of education.



Mobile Composer CEO and founding partner

Loren Horsager, Mobile Composer CEO and founding partner, has 20+ years of experience building teams to deliver software solutions, and manage consulting organizations. His experience in building great teams and focus on solving the right problems has led to two mobile applications that he architected being featured by Apple as best practices for delivering sales and marketing solutions for the enterprise. Mr. Horsager regularly presents on how companies can develop and execute on mobile strategies. He is a regular contributor to the Minnesota Enterprise Mobile Meetup and a recognized expert in Microsoft and Xamarin development tools.



Mobile Composer Chief Marketing Officer and founding partner

Catherine Gillis, Mobile Composer Chief Marketing Officer and founding partner, has 25+ years of experience in leadership positions within sales and marketing organizations. She has helped launch numerous new ventures and led teams to create and implement global marketing and business development plans. For the past three years, she has helped to create and build relationships with enterprise organizations that employ mobile solutions as core business strategies. She is a former board member of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association and The Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association.



President and founder of SelfEco

Danny Mishek is the president and founder of SelfEco. Danny is a 3rd generation manufacturer and has been published in several trade magazines for manufacturing. He has presented around the world regarding trends in manufacturing and technology highlighting changes in materials and processes.

Danny carries a double major from Mount Mercy University and still is impassioned to getting the next generation into manufacturing while educating and exposing the next youth movement into the development of greener products. When Danny is not talking manufacturing or sustainability he can be found enjoying red wine, golfing and time with his family. (These are not in order)



Senior Vice President, Innovation Design at U. S. Bank

Stephanie Hammes-Betti is the Senior Vice-President of Innovation Design for the U.S. Bank Innovation group. She and her team provide innovation education, training, program design and digital innovation initiatives to the enterprise. Currently as part of the Innovator in Residence program they are creating a Lean Start up Center of excellence. Prior to working in the Innovation team, she was part of the User Experience team in TOS and then under the former Enterprise Revenue Office.



Sr. Director, Innovation Design, U.S. Bank

As the leader of the Innovator-in-Residence program at U.S Bank, Santiago works with his colleagues in innovation and other lines of business to accelerate the validation of transformational ideas at the bank. Prior to this role, Santiago held several global positions in the travel industry, most recently as Head of Global Open Innovation at Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Santiago contributes to the innovation community in the Twin Cities as a co-founder of the Minnovation Collective, a community of corporate innovators from the top Twin Cities companies; as a judge for the MN Cup High Tech division; and as a graduate student in the University of Minnesota's Management of Technology (MOT) program. Ask him about UNESCO World Heritage Sites for a lively conversation.



Graco, Inc. Strategic Sourcing Manager

Supply Chain Executive with 20+ years of diverse management experience, specializing in procurement, warehousing. Distribution and manufacturing in the automotive, industrial and computer industries with major multi-national corporations. Extensive knowledge and expertise in: Domestic and international sourcing/outsourcing and contracting. Strategic business planning and development, program management operations start ups, including staffing, vendor selection, inventory control, distribution, warehousing, E-commerce, ERP, J-I-T, contract negotiations, MRO and production procurement. Continuous and major success in reducing purchase parts costs year over year as well as developing and creating strong and sustainable supplier relationships through the use of SRM practices and principles.



Managing Partner and CTO. Space150 

Marc leads innovation at space150, with a focus on technology, emerging platforms, and user experience. His focus is on educating and inspiring internal teams, clients, and external audiences about the opportunities to create demand our rapidly changing world. Marc helps space150's partners see the future opportunities that arise from the constant change and advancement in the technology, mobile, and social landscapes that surround us. Marc also leads spaceLab, space150's R&D initiative. A 14 year veteran of space150, Jensen became managing partner of space150 in August 2013. Under Marc’s leadership, space150 has developed groundbreaking work and strategies for brands including American Express, Target, Best Buy, Electronic Arts, 3M, Polaris Industries, Buffalo Wild Wings, and many more. 

Marc is also currently on the board of the MCTC Foundation, helping deliver on the mission and providing financial assistance and educational support to students in need who attend the Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Before space150, Marc was a leader in 3D graphics, animation, special effects, motion capture, and game development. He has strong roots in education and teaching, having spent over a decade creating curriculum and teaching videogame history, culture, and creation at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.



The Practical Futurist

Audiences leave Cecily's presentations excited about what the future holds and equipped with new tools to chart their path. With a warm and purposefu style, Cecily has been called "catylic and brilliant" for her ability to distill complex issues in simple, relatable terms. 

The lasting value of Cecily's presentations are the super-practical tools she delivers that people can immediately use "back home".



Manufacturing Technology Manager for Automotive Aftermarket Division (AAD) of 3M

Peter joined 3M in 1984 as a Product Developer. Since that time, he has served in a variety of functional roles including ISO Manager, Six Sigma Manager, Manufacturing Manager and has been granted 9 patents in his 31 years with 3M. In August of 2011, Peter was appointed to the role of Manufacturing Technology Manager for AAD. In this expanded capacity, Peter provides engineering resources and emerging technology support to all businesses within AAD. This includes developing Manufacturing Technology experts to address the breadth, depth and scope of this diverse business. He also manages the 3M Silicon Valley facility, which serves as a leading edge Pilot Plant for AAD to develop new-to-the-world Process Technologies.

Peter was elected by the Worldwide Board of Directors representing the Society of Concurrent Product Development (SCPD) to the position of President in 2006, and is now serving as Former President. He believes that Concurrency is The Guiding Principle of Innovation and attributes this as the foundation leading to many successful endeavors.



SCPD VP Conferences

Linda has more than 20 years of experience in National Sales; Marketing and Global Channel/Partner Development, having worked in both California and Minnesota.  She has worked with Fortune 500 Companies in the Financial Service, Retail, Healthcare, and Technology space to deliver services, develop plans and align strengths for optimal growth and market positioning. In recent years her focus has been on working with innovative technology companies, including mobile software development, with an emphasis on enterprise mobile strategy and implementation. She has committed her leadership to the digital marketing and technology community by serving on various trade organizations. She has contributed to the development of the MIMA Summit for several years, co-founded Mobile March in 2010 and joined the SCPD BOD as the VP of Conference in 2015.



Founder and CEO of Wye Contextual Marketing 

Scott is a career marketer and entrepreneur.  His 25+ year career has been spent in the retail and consumer marketing with Fortune 500 companies, including Target, Best Buy and IBM.   Scott’s expertise and passion is bringing together the physical and interactive worlds to create seamless customer experiences. In 2008, Scott founded LaunchMedia, Inc., a mobile interactive agency focused on enabling omni-channel marketing. Currently the Founder and CEO of Wye Contextual Marketing.  Taking proximity marketing one step further, Wye enables marketers to interact with customers based on a holistic situational awareness, regardless of device or connectivity type.  Wye’s client list includes Target, Costco, and Polaris.



Global Market Manager, Mettler Toledo

James Craig has built his 19-year career around a passion for solving challenges through technological innovation. Having realized early that technology alone rarely provides compelling reasons to change behavior, his projects have consistently focused on the underlying needs of consumers and stakeholders.  With extensive cross-industry experience, James is continually drawn to global businesses seeking to grow and improve through technology, with the Internet of Things providing a stimulating new palette for his type of multidisciplinary problem-solving.   James is a Global Market Manager for Swiss multinational Mettler-Toledo and finds additional time to develop his Revulet concept - providing IoT guidance to startups and corporate friends.  He is a frequent guest lecturer for the marketing department of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder and serves on the Board of Advisors at the Carlson Ventures Enterprise at the University of Minnesota.



Founder and CEO at SMCpros

Since the age of 12, my passion has been building successful businesses. Now on my 7th startup, SMCpros has become one of the fastest growing Social Media Firms in the Twin Cities by repeatedly creating social media success for our clients. Our 3D process we use for all of our clients reliably builds traction for organizations within all industries. With over 100 social media speaking engagements in the last two years in front of over 10,000 people, I bring a level of energy, experience, and interactivity you won't find in other social media speakers. I've learned that in order to build the life I want to live, that I have to surround myself with the best and brightest people I can find. Whether it's the team I've built @SMCpros, the board of directors I've cultivated, advisory boards I facilitate, or even the friends I hang out with... you'll find some of the most intelligent, results-driven, high integrity individuals around.



Director, Consumer and Digital Experience, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota 

As director of consumer and digital experience, Alex Murphy leads the development and execution of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota digital and consumer focus strategies. In this role he is responsible for the company’s digital properties and its consumer experience capabilities. Murphy joined Blue Cross in 2013. He comes to the organization with extensive experience in retail, health care, education, travel and financial service industries. Immediately prior to Blue Cross, Murphy was responsible for digital experience and business intelligence capabilities for the Target Corporation. He has led the digital and consumer experience teams in startup, mid-size, and Fortune 50 companies with responsibilities internationally and in the U.S. Murphy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



President, Storlietelling LLC | Health Innovation Consultant | Creative Problem Solver | Storyteller | Facilitator 

Jean Storlie combines her education in nutrition and exercise science with her experience in marketing communications to distill the complexity of health into actionable strategies that enable business growth. Over her 35-year career, she’s created health communications for food, wellness, and healthcare companies—including 13 years at General Mills. Early in her career, Jean stumbled on storytelling as a way to inspire lifestyle change in her patients/clients. Later, as a corporate leader, she wove stories into coaching/mentoring her teams and communicating with executives. In 2012, Jean founded Storlietelling LLC to help business leaders drive innovation by connecting the scientific and emotional sides of health. This turning point sparked a journey into storytelling that transformed her consulting work and took her passion for stories to a new level. Jean designs and facilitates highly engaging strategic planning, innovation, and team building sessions, which—of course—are infused with stories! She also offers “Storlietelling Workshops” that teach professionals how to create meaningful stories for their business communications and leadership.



Repeatable Innovation 

Steve is an innovation expert who believes that every organization already has, in-house, the resources, knowledge and human potential to revolutionize its business. Rather than dispensing advice, Steve co-creates innovation strategy with the teams that he supports. Using co-creation as his guiding principle, he founded the iSquad, a best in-class, internal innovation department that worked with the Business Units at General Mills. The iSquad routinely co-created new products, with their Business Teams, and continuously replenished General Mills’ new product pipeline for ten years. Today, he loves helping intrapraneurs, people making innovation happen in established organizations, find marketplace opportunities and then, helping them make these opportunities a reality.



Founding Partner and Managing Principal of Capsule 

Aaron leads brand development, strategy, research and naming for its clients. He has over 20 years of consulting experience in marketing, branding and retail strategy for a range of brands, including Herman Miller, Jack Daniels, Target, SmartWool and 3M. He has spoken on brand, design and entrepreneurship for the University of St. Thomas, University of MN and the American Marketing Association. Aaron has a BA in marketing management from the University of St. Thomas and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.



CEO and Co-Founder Rêve Consulting 

Kristin saw the need to create a new breed of strategy consultancy: one that co-created the future with robust, integrated methodology and lots of heart. At Rêve, Kristin and her team have built an award-winning, values-driven organization. Rêve works primarily with Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare, retail, financial services, and education industry to solve their growth challenges. Known for her expertise in strategy, change management and business transformation and her thought leadership in the field of service design, Kristin is an expert in unlocking and delivering significant value for her clients through identifying, designing and delivering winning strategies and services.



Founder and CEO 

Scott is a former Fortune 100 executive with deep expertise in helping leaders and organizations bring innovative ideas to life. Over his 30-year career, Scott has led several large scale “industry first” product innovation teams spanning functions from R&D to operations to sales. As result of working in 22 countries and with 12 proprietary business models, Scott has gained unique background in establishing cross-functional team structure and governance. As a strategist, Scott has worked directly with large global organizations, including Nokia, Ford and Siemens, with midmarket companies, and with numerous state and local organizations. As a result of his direct experience across industries, including high-tech, retail, manufacturing, and transportation, Scott has developed the ability to spot growth opportunities within a variety of markets. With this hands-on industry background, Scott understands what it takes for leaders and organizations to design an executable and sustainable path to growth and innovation. 

In addition to his consulting and strategy work, he is a frequent keynote speaker & thought leader for private companies & organizations, including YPO, Product Development Management Association (PDMA), Vistage, and International Food Manufacturing Association (IFMA). He publishes articles twice monthly at and has authored the eBook, “The Growth Zone: Finding Opportunities Hidden in Plain Sight". Scott’s academic background includes graduate level degrees in engineering and business, as well as postgraduate executive training at the Kellogg School of Management and Harvard University.



CEO of Slice Engine 

Matt Pacyga has been in the mobile technology and advertising industry for over ten years. After a few years in the trenches, Matt started a mobile development studio called GSD (Get $hit Done)- which sold later that same year to a hardware company in Minneapolis. Matt has advised multiple MN-based startups in the ad tech space. Matt has also invested his time into supporting the Minnesota tech community, growing an event series that has been running for over three years called MobilizeMN. Matt currently is CEO of his third startup, 'Slice Engine', which provides businesses an innovative way to collect, curate and publish UGC (User Generated Content).



Owner Puke Rainbows 

Erica is a mulitple Emmy-award winning Creative "Preditor" (Producer/Shooter/Director/Writer/Editor), Speaker, and Content Strategist. Her company, Puke Rainbows ( specializes in video content, strategy, and also in leading workshops for businesses looking to improve their video content. She's had the chance to work with folks like Ellen DeGeneres, Lizz Winstead (Creator of the Daily Show), and Prince.  In her spare time she concentrates efforts on raising funds for the non-profit charity: water, all through social media. To date, she has raised $30,000 for water wells in Africa. Erica is also the 2014 & 2015 Top Twitter Personality in Minneapolis, and is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop instructor. 



Founder and President, Spyeglass 

Paul Krumrich developed and launched Spyeglass in 2002. His active leadership, knowledge, and management ability has guided Spyeglass throughout the company’s continual growth and success. In less than eight years, Krumrich has established Spyeglass as the industry leader in rear projection displays and a forerunner in the digital signage industry. Krumrich is well-known for his focus on the growing Digital Signage industry and for his development of critical business relationships. A key-milestone for Krumrich was signing an exclusive contract with 3M for their line of Vikuiti projection products; solidifying Spyeglass’ standing in the digital signage marketplace. Krumrich has driven his success through strategic positioning, strong financial administration, and an instinctive ability to surround himself with creative people that collaborate daily to ensure the best ideas are fostered and developed. His expertise in the art and science of projection have been called upon for high profile digital signage installations with companies such as: 3M, Disney, Universal Studios, and Boeing. Prior to 2002, Krumrich enjoyed a successful tenure at MTS Systems as a Design Engineer, and at ILX Lightwave in Business Development. Paul Krurmich graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.