DEF2013 is more than a conference to mingle and hand out business cards. It will be a unique opportunity to interact and connect with fellow military and veteran entrepreneurs to push your ideas forward. The conference is a combination between a TEDx-like forum and a Start-Up weekend. It is your chance to first learn about how to successfully sell your idea from experts in industry and proven entrepreneurs. Then, you’ll be given the opportunity to present your idea before a board of peers, military leaders and accomplished civilian businessmen.
DEF 2013 Conference will be held at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. It is located approximately 3 miles south of “The Loop” or Downtown Chicago.
The conference will be held 12-14 October 2013.
This conference is primarily directed towards inspiring military innovators of all ranks. Both civilian and military personnel are invited to attend. Senior leaders are also invited to attend.
We’ve compiled a list of proven innovators from all branches of the the service along with well-respected entrepreneurs, business leaders and senior military officers. Also featured are veterans who became entrepreneurs, finding success in the outside world utilizing the skills they gained while serving with front-line units. Current emerging leaders will be able to hear their stories, interact with them, and take lessons in entrepreneurship back to their home commands. Along side these veteran-entrepreneurs, attendee’s will have access world renown faculty members from the University of Chicago, whose life’s work is focused on bringing needed change to status quo organizations.
There are two main elements to the weekend: The first consists of 20-30 minute, TED-esque talks by emerging military leaders, both officer and enlisted, with audience participation highly encouraged. The Saturday morning session will feature a variety of topics presented by a diverse crowd of Disruptive Thinkers. Sunday’s morning session will showcase military entrepreneurs – both veteran and currently serving warfighters – as they explore the connection between building an actual business and serving one’s country.
The meat of DEF2013, however, is in the Startup Weekend-like afternoons. Ideas, generated pre-conference by actual attendees, will be discussed at length, and solutions proposed in a collaborative, freeform way. To support these breakouts, professors from the U of C Booth School of Business will give two roundtables on marketing and sales and be placed as mentors within the ideation groups. At the end of the weekend, each of the self-assembled teams will come up with a comprehensive, relevant solution to whatever military problem they set out to tackle.
Yes. We expect to charge a relatively small fee to cover the cost of the facilities, logistics and some snacks and refreshments for attendees. By 15 May 2013, we will be releasing conference registration information to the public. You can be the first to sign up for the conference by signing up for more information and following our Facebook page.