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Reflections on SeedCon

By Mike McConnell '15  |  december, 2013, Issue 1
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The afternoon panel discussed traditional and disruptive funding sources.


The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (EVC) Club held its annual SeedCon conference on Nov. 22 at the Gleacher Center. The theme of this year's SeedCon was "Disruption."

According to EVC Co-Chair and event organizer Tricia Felice '14, "Our purpose was to explore new ways to think about ideation, creation and entrepreneurship in general."

The first keynote speaker was Neil Stevenson, a "design think guru" and Managing Director at IDEO. He discussed the contrasting styles of historical thinkers like the wild and exploratory Robert McKim, versus the "take no [nonsense] from anybody" approach of the Russian designer of Sputnik. He concluded that today's best thinkers utilize both styles, and know when to change gears accordingly. Stevenson was not bashful in expressing his passion for design, and his aversion toward larger corporate environments that can be "super-evil and hierarchical."

The morning panelists from Voxy, Base CRM, Divvy Bikes and CommonBond discussed navigating disruptive markets. According to panelist David Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of CommonBond, "Being a founder is more a metaphysical challenge than a tactical one." He explained that in order to withstand intense resistance, "The key is tapping into an 'internal source of renewable motivation' to find the energy to keep going. It's got to come from within because the external motivation and validation can dry up quickly...which is when most people just stop and startups fail." Klein is applying that motivation at CommonBond to bring affordable student loans to graduate students while supporting a social mission in education.

SeedCon also featured keynote speaker Alex Seropian, creator of the HALO video games and Founder and CEO of Industrial Toys, a panel on fundraising, and interactive experiences including a prototyping session and Napkin Pitch Contest. The winning pitch came from Booth student Mohit Bhasin '15 for his "Analytical Turk" idea, a marketplace for On-Demand PhD students to meet short-term project needs.

Last Updated 12/1/13
Last Updated 12/1/13