BlogHer Entrepreneurs '12 Agenda

The agenda for BlogHer Entrepreneurs '12 is now published!

Full panel descriptions below. Meet our first group of mentors here.

Day 1: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Time Event
2:00pm - 5:00pm Skills Workshops
2:00pm - 2:45pm A Conversation with Brad Feld

Investor Brad Feld talks with BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone about the principles covered in his new book, Venture Deals, including:

  • Why and when to raise capital?
  • What comes first, the company or the fund-raise?
  • What are the critical things that most first-time CEOs don’t understand?
  • What’s the best way to negotiate with you? And against you?
  • How does an entrepreneur work best with co-founders once investors get involved?
2:45pm - 3:30pm The Deck [How to make the most of your mentor session]

BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page, Keith Teare of Archimedes Labs, and Wendy Lea from Get Satisfaction pick up where The Conversation with Brad Feld left off, to discuss The Deck. The Deck represents your pitch: How you intend to make the case for your idea, product, service and/or concept...and the case for you being the one to bring it to fruition. Knowing how to position your big idea is job #1.

3:30pm - 4:15pm The Ask [How to make the most of networking]

BlogHer Co-founder Jory Des Jardins leads a conversation about another fundamental skill: How to effectively and ethically ask for what you need to get to the next level, whether that’s advice, money, or something else. Understanding how to identify the right people to ask–and what you can offer in return–is a critical skill for any leader. Jory will be joined by early-stage investor Cindy Padnos, serial entrepreneur and angel investor Alicia Morga, and Shelley Taniguchi-Sabol, an expert in customer relationship cultivation.

4:15pm - 5:00pm The Valuation [How to understand your value]

Lisa Stone is back, moderating a discussion of how to quantify the value of your idea or company, how investors or executives assign value to it, and why those two numbers might not always match. She’ll be joined by investors Brad Feld and  Heidi Roizen (who has famously been on both sides of a valuation), and Danielle Naftulin, a partner in Cooley LLP’s emerging companies and venture capital practice groups.

5:30pm - 7:30pm Welcome Networking Reception, Hosted by Citrix, co-sponsored by Best Buy/WOLF
Day 2: Friday, March 23, 2012
Time Event
8:00am - 9:00am Breakfast
9:00am - 9:30am Welcome from BlogHer Co-founders, and our host Catherine Courage, VP Product Design for Citrix Systems
12:00pm - 1:15pm Lunchtime Keynotes, Brought to you by Penguin Group USA


12:00pm - 12:35pm: Do You Have a Business Book in You?

Join Penguin Group editors Brooke Carey, Laura Perciasepe and Ginny Smith to understand whether you have a book inside you, waiting to come out. There are multiple sub-genres within the broader Business and Career category, from prescriptive to personal narrative. Penguin will outline the various sub-genres, give you inside baseball information on how a major publishing house like Penguin decides what to publish, and help you understand whether there’s a book inside you. Whether you are a mentor, sharing your years of wisdom and experience, or an attendee, on an exciting, unique entrepreneurial journey, you may discover a book is one of your next steps to establishing your thought leadership, promoting your initiatives, or giving back to your business community. BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page moderates this keynote.


12:35pm - 1:15pm: You're In Sales Now

Whether you're a creative, a geek, a marketer, a writer, or a change agent, the truth is that once you decide you have an idea to build a business around, or to push through a company's product development process, you've become a sales person. You can resist or embrace the mantle of salesperson, but it won't change the fact that no one can be a better sales person for your idea, product or service than you can. Learn how to not only survive, but thrive, by embracing your inner salesperson. Learn from others who have taken on the mantle of sales person, including WebGrrls CTO Nelly Yusupova and Egami Consulting Chief Creative Officer Teneshia Jackson Warner, moderated by BlogHer co-founder Jory Des Jardins.

1:30pm - 2:30pm Break-out session #1
Entrepreneurism: Creative Bootstrapping

Not every start-up takes significant funding. And even if the eventual plan is to take funding, the longer you can bootstrap, the more value you can establish. If you’re trying to bootstrap yourself to success, this panel will provide support and guidance for an entrepreneurial journey that comes with its own unique stresses, challenges, and satisfaction. BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page moderates this panel, featuring women who have been there and done that, including Alena Gribskov, Communications & Program Manager at Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, serial entrepreneur Holly Hamann, co-founder of BlogFrog, and  Ilana Westerman, Principal of Create with Context.

Technology Trends: The App Economy

There’s no question that mobile apps are driving both time and money spent. No matter what you’re working on in the tech, Internet and media space, you’re thinking about the mobile experience. This panel will tease out the coming trends in mobile apps, but also tackle the app vs. native web debate. Bottom line: there is almost certainly more than one answer to your question about how to implement your ideas for mobile devices. Featuring leaders of mobile- and app-focused companies, including Joanne Lang, CEO of AboutOne, Alicia Navarro, CEO and Co-Founder of Skimlinks, and Ellen Pack, CEO of appSmitten, moderated by Stacy Morrison of

Business Leadership: Both Sides of High-Level Hiring

This session focuses on the challenge of hiring A+ leaders. Whether you’re in the position of hiring the first employees to help you lead your company, or of positioning yourself for the next big leap up the ladder, find out how real leaders identify other leaders. Featuring Gabrielle Toledano, EVP of HR for EA, Amy Banse, Managing Director and Head of Funds for Comcast Ventures, and Catherine Courage, VP of Product Design for Citrix, and moderated by Robin Wolaner, CEO, Founder, and Advisor.

2:45pm - 3:45pm Breakout Session #2
Entrepreneurism: Making Partnerships Work

Two heads are better than one, and for BlogHer make that three! Identifying co-founders is one challenge. Perhaps even more challenging is evolving the partnership over time. As your company grows you will learn a lot about yourself, and a lot about your partners. How do you evolve. How do co-founders expand and contract their skills and responsibilities as the company and its needs change? Featuring Sandy Jen, co-founder of Meebo, Mara Lewis, Co-Founder & CEO at, and Tish Whitcraft, Chief Customer Officer at Tagged, moderated by BlogHer co-founder Jory De Jardins.

Technology Trends: Social Commerce: Gamification, Rewards, and Trust

“Gamification” was the buzz word of the last SXSW Interactive festival, but racking up points to garner badges that don’t actually do anything, mean anything, or sustain your business isn’t the idea. Let’s talk about how to build a trusted community that wants to interact with your content and your commercial opportunities in a win-win scenario. Lynn Forbes of moderates this discussion, featuring masters Nicole Lazzaro, CEO of XEO Design, Susan Etlinger, Industry Analyst at Altimeter Group, and Barb Dybwad, co-founder of Tecca.

Business Leadership: C-Suite Language

One of last year’s attendees, Cecily Kellogg, identified one of the biggest values she took away from last year’s event as follows: “Because of the crash course I got at BlogHerEntrepreneurs, I have the knowledge–and more importantly, the right language–to navigate working in the world of software startups.” It’s true; it can sometimes seem like the people with whom you most want to achieve success speak a different language. This panel will focus on helping you understand how to translate inspiration, passion, and confidence into language that will resonate with key gatekeepers and ultimately facilitators, from VCs to CxOs (or the people answering to them). BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone moderates this panel, featuring some great interpreters, including Lila Ibrahim, former Chief of Staff for the CEO’s office at Intel and now a VC at Kleiner Perkins, Rachel Pike, Investment Professional at DFJ, and Amy Chang, Director of Google's Measurement and Reporting Initiatives.

3:45pm - 4:15pm Break
4:15pm - 5:45pm Closing Keynote brought to you by Liberty Mutual Insurance and The Responsibility Project - Doing the Right Thing/Taking Your Next Step

How do you take everything you’ve learned leading up to and throughout BlogHer Entrepreneurs and keep moving forward with it? BlogHer's Lisa Stone emcees this session, which will start with several of our mentors and role models, including Kathryn Finney and Telle Whitney, sharing a time when they did the right thing...for their business, employees, family, or maybe just themselves.  We will then hear from four organizations that represent just some of the many resources out there to support entrepreneurs and innovators. If you want to go next with all the information and inspiration you've acquired at BlogHer Entrepreneurs '12, these women can point you in the right direction. Featuring Jen Shelby of Astia, Deborah Jackson of Women Innovate Mobile, Angie Chang of Women 2.0, and Angela Benton of NewME Accelerator.


6:00pm - 9:00pm Optional Dinners
9:45am - 10:45am Mentoring and Networking Session #1
11:00am - 12:00pm Mentoring and Networking Session #2