Darden’s E-Conference Features Pioneers in Design and Effectuation, Explores the Toolset of Successful Entrepreneurs

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--()--The Darden School of Business and its Batten Institute for entrepreneurship and innovation today provided further details of Darden’s upcoming Entrepreneurship Conference to be held 3 – 4 November in Charlottesville. This year’s conference theme: “Innovate. Effectuate.” will unravel the mysteries behind successful entrepreneurs and innovators and will provide the framework for applying their strategies to build a viable business.

Featuring some of the best and brightest in the worlds of entrepreneurship and innovation, panelists include top executives from leading and emerging companies gaining new ground in clean tech, RFID software, alternative energy, travel services, athletic wear and specialty finance. Sharing the stage are founders/CEOs of MKThink, Husk Power Systems, ODIN, hotelicopter, HelioSage, Resurgent Capital Services and TRUE linkswear, who will discuss lessons learned, mistakes to avoid and key trends in high-growth markets.

Trip Davis, president of the Darden School Foundation and lifelong entrepreneur, will give the keynote address: “From Darden Incubator to Exit: hotelicopter Flies.” The following academic and industry luminaries join Davis on the program:

  • Darden Professor Jeanne Liedtka, former chief learning officer at United Technologies Corporation and author of critically acclaimed Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers, will lead a session on the principles of design applied to new venture and product creation.
  • Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy, leading scholar on the cognitive basis for high-performance entrepreneurship known as effectuation, will explore the mindset of successful entrepreneurs. Effectuation is globally recognized as a rigorous framework for understanding the creation and growth of new organizations and markets.
  • Frank Genovese, president and owner of The Rothbury Corporation and Darden visiting lecturer, will lead a workshop on how to buy a business. Since 1980, Genovese has been the chairman, president, chief operating officer, majority owner and co-owner of nine corporations (four of which were turnarounds) ranging in size from start-ups to a multi-national corporation.
  • Philippe Sommer, Darden’s director for the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, will lead a session on start-up financing. Prior to joining Darden, Sommer was a founding partner of WestMed Venture Funds, publicly registered, life sciences venture-capital funds affiliated with CIBC/Oppenheimer.
  • Other panelists and featured speakers include:
    • Patrick Sweeney, founder and CEO of ODIN, a highly innovative leader in the RFID industry that provides software solutions to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.
    • Mark Miller, co-founder and CEO of award-winning, San Francisco-based architecture firm MKThink. Prior to MKThink, Miller was founder and CEO of successful clean tech start-up firm Project FROG.
    • Manoj Sinha, co-founder of Husk Power Systems, a globally lauded business that was launched in Darden’s business incubator. Husk uses discarded risk husks to provide power to approximately 150,000 people in rural India.
    • Matthew Hantzmon, co-founder and chief operating officer of HelioSage, a solar energy development company. Hantzmon is also a founder of Columbia Power Technologies and previously was managing director of Greenlight Energy, a wind energy power producer sold to BP Alternative Energy.
    • Adam Healey, hotelicopter co-founder & CEO, and Charles Seilheimer, hotelicopter co-founder, president and CFO. Hotelicopter is an online hotel search platform that connects 160,000 hotels to millions of travelers actively engaged in booking a hotel room online. Hotelicopter was launched in Darden’s business incubator.
    • Tim Grant, founder of Resurgent Capital Services, a specialty finance enterprise − since Resurgent’s founding in 1998, Grant has overseen the firm’s rapid and profitable growth and has managed portfolios of over $110 billion.
    • Sean Eidson, CEO and Co-Founder of TRUE linkswear, a Golf footwear and apparel company whose flagship golf shoe is built on a “barefoot” platform. TRUE linkswear has been nationally and internationally recognized and its key customers include Golfsmith and PGA Tour Superstores.

Darden’s Entrepreneurship Conference kicks off Thursday, 3 November at 4 p.m. with the school’s annual Concept Competition for Darden MBA students. Thursday evening activities will be followed by a full-day program on Friday, 4 November. Registration is required (http://conference.darden.virginia.edu/e-conference/). Admittance is free for current Darden/UVA students, faculty, and staff, as well as students at other universities. The fee for all other attendees is $50 (includes meals and refreshments). Late registration after 28 October is $100. Contact Joyce Smaragdis at smaragdisg@darden.virginia.edu for more information.

About the Batten Institute

The Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business creates value and transforms society through entrepreneurship and innovation. The Institute’s academic research center advances knowledge that addresses real-world challenges and shapes Darden’s curriculum, and the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership offers one of the world’s top entrepreneurship programs. The Batten Institute was established with gifts now totaling over $100 million from UVA alumnus Frank Batten Sr., a media pioneer, visionary, and founder of The Weather Channel. www.batteninstitute.org

About the Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, the highest-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop principled and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact. For questions or information, contact communication@darden.virginia.edu.

Contacts

Batten Institute
Darden School of Business
Joyce Smaragdis, +1-434-924-7100
smaragdisg@darden.virginia.edu
or
Brainerd Communicators
(for the Batten Institute)
Joe LoBello, +1-212-986-6667
lobello@braincomm.com

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Contacts

Batten Institute
Darden School of Business
Joyce Smaragdis, +1-434-924-7100
smaragdisg@darden.virginia.edu
or
Brainerd Communicators
(for the Batten Institute)
Joe LoBello, +1-212-986-6667
lobello@braincomm.com