Jose Alfaro

Jose Alfaro is an experienced leader with a track record of building healthy and sustainable business models to support work at scale. His unique ability to build up individuals by highlighting their gifts and strengths allows him to build strong teams to work together and accomplish organizational goals.


Robert Benkowski

What is involved in taking a medical device from napkin to scale manufacturing?

Bob Benkowski is the President and CEO of DesignPlex Biomedical. With extensive experience in the medical device and biologics industry, he and his team are ready to help you with any part of the design, regulatory, or manufacturing process. When not at work, Bob enjoys building hotrods - and anything else that has a motor.


Hayden Blackburn

Navigating the Entrepreneur Support Ecosystem: It is a landscape ripe with buzzwords and industry lingo, go deep into what each means, their model of support, what to expect, and how to tap into each at various stages of the entrepreneur journey. What does it take to get into an accelerator? What can you expect when you join an accelerator?

Hayden Blackburn has centered his career around social entrepreneurship and economic development. Most of us imagine a dream job; as Executive Director of TechFW and Director of Cowtown Angels, Hayden is in his. He is passionate about helping people realize their dreams and creating a positive impact in the world. Hayden coaches entrepreneurs commercializing innovative technologies, facilitates connections between entrepreneurs and angel investors, partners with universities to commercialize technologies, and is a leader in the development of an entrepreneurial culture and mindset across the DFW region. He has helped organized multiple community staples for entrepreneurs, including Startup Weekend and 1 Million Cups Fort Worth.


Jacob Bryant

How do you launch a startup in the defense industry? Funding sources from the Pentagon to the CIA. Working with national security and export controls.


Nathan Butorac

A seasoned entrepreneur and marketer with a passion for making ideas a reality. I help high growth startups and enterprise clients make meaningful impressions for their employees, prospects, and clients. Dimensional mail is my game, feel free to ask me questions.


Cameron Cushman

Cameron Cushman has spent over a decade building entrepreneurial communities from roles in the United States Federal Government, the non-profit sector and from academia. He is currently the Director of Innovation Ecosystems at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, where he is building and connecting the entrepreneurial community in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. Previously, he worked in several roles at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation including one where he helped build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kansas City and co-founded 1 Million Cups, a weekly educational program for entrepreneurs that now meets in over 160 U.S. cities. Prior to that, Cushman worked at The White House and the United States Department of Commerce in Washington, DC. While at the Commerce Department, Cushman led an entrepreneurial growth initiative and also created He lives in Fort Worth with his wife and three young sons.


Joe Dickerson


Timothy Hough

Tim Hough is an operating partner for Headwater Operations (HOPS). A seasoned executive with almost four decades of growing and optimizing companies, Tim is a champion of business leaders. He has dedicated his life to helping businesses and their leaders succeed. From local companies to global corporations, Tim has been an advocate for those struggling at the top of their field.


Edward A. Ipser, Jr.

Ed Ipser will lead a panel discussion of business scalability. How does a startup differ from a small business? Are all startups technology driven? What is digital transformation? What is virtualization? What does it take to transform a small business into a scalable startup?

Edward A. Ipser, Jr., PhD is President of IpserLab LLC, a startup foundry and Managing Partner at Coactify Inc., a creative pivot and turnaround consultancy. He has founded, cofounded, joined, and advised many startups. As founder of MarketFusion he raised $23M in venture capital. He also founded SVASE (Silicon Valley Association of Software Entrepreneurs) in 1996 which became the premier Silicon Valley entrepreneurial organization before merging into SVForum. He graduated from TCU with majors in Math, Psychology, and Economics and received a PhD in computer science from USC.


Marco Johnson


Les Kreis


Gregg Lehman


Daisy McCarty

Learn How to Market to Early Adopters

This presentation will cover how startups can get their first customers and start scaling from one-on-one sales/business development to one-to-many marketing to drive market validation and results faster. Daisy McCarty will address critical questions and provide real-life examples of companies making decisions and trying the various strategies and tactics:

Daisy McCarty is a brand strategist and fractional Chief Marketing Officer. She helps business owners and marketing professionals clarify their decision-making and identify the right marketing mix to get the most from their budget. Her mission is ensuring companies make marketing decisions that grow revenue without wasting time, money, or opportunity.


Robert McClain

Dr. McClain will provide tips about collaborating with universities to develop technology and conduct sponsored research. Advice will be provided on finding collaborative partners, accessing instrumentation and entering into contracts with universities. Also included will be a discussion about the benefits and challenges of collaborating with academic experts.

Robert McClain, PhD is a versatile innovation manager experienced at developing and executing research strategy, leading technology-based projects and managing technical and business development teams. Strengths include excellent interpersonal and leadership skills, a broad technical background, a practical knowledge of commercialization issues and pragmatic experience building partnerships.


Eric McNair

Do you want to learn how to share your creative ideas and knowledge at venture capital pitches without losing your intellectual property? Do you want to know how to learn more about IP to build a strong brand for your business? Do you want to know how to leverage institutional research to help solve today's problems?

Eric joined the HSC Next team at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth in January 2018 to help manage and market the University’s intellectual property portfolio.

His responsibilities include acquisition and protection of new intellectual property (inventions, creative works, etc.) on behalf of HSC including receiving and assessing new disclosures, monitoring and working with patent attorneys to help establish legal protections for IP (patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc.) and overseeing the compliance programs for licensed technologies and for all federally sponsored inventions.

Eric has more than 20 years of experience helping support inventors and entrepreneurs build strong IP portfolios. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from Florida State University.


John Medellin


Patrick Seaman

What is futurism? Learn how to track science and tech trends to presage their impact on industry, markets and society. Those trends tend to take place over much longer periods of time than the quarterly returns mindset that most businesses have, though. To me, it's as much being able to see future tech in the context of past trends and recognize what may be a fad or just the latest marketing rebranding of a tech rather than something truly different and game changing.

Patrick Seaman is an emerging technology commercialization specialist (IOW: 25+ years of startup leadership). Board member, mentor, CTO, CIO, COO & CEO experience guiding companies through explosive growth and transition. In the 90’s he helped launch the digital media revolution as the technology head and 1st employee at through its IPO, the launch of Japan, and the $5.4b acquisition by Yahoo. Since then, Patrick pioneered and launched digital media properties and technologies and consulted for North American, Asian, and European companies. During the pandemic, Patrick served as CTO for, and MasVida Health (currently on indefinite leave) where he ramped up production of electrostatic disinfection equipment to meet voracious international demand. Patrick currently serves on the BOD and as EVP Industrial Systems LH2 & CIO at GenH2 -- leading the way for the Clean Energy revolution in Hydrogen Infrastructure.


Michael Sherrod

What are the toxic myths promulgated around entrepreneurship by Silicon Valley? The original vision has been considerably corrupted and it has corrupted how people perceive entrepreneurs. How will this inspire local entrepreneurs? It’s a lead in to the importance of entrepreneurs in the local, state and national economies and, more specifically, what local entrepreneurs mean to their families, communities, and nation.

Experienced Founder with a demonstrated history of working in the online media industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Nonprofit Organizations, Journalism, Fundraising, and Start-ups. Strong professional with a MBA focused in Marketing, Management, Innovation, Entrepreneurial Creation from TCU Neeley School of Business.


Chris Thompson

Innovation in Start-Ups vs. Big Corp. - Pros, Cons and Lessons Learned

Innovation is one of the most overused buzzwords in business today. Innovation is a spectrum from finding a faster way to work to placing humans on Mars. We will talk about what Innovation is and is not and focus on how Start-ups tend to view innovation vs Big Corp. There are significant differences and we will uncover what they are and how to leverage the best of both.

Chris is strategic and creative Innovation and Technology Deployment leader with a proven track record of building products and solutions that do good in the world. He has worked in many industries from Home Appliances to Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration to Medical Devices with threads of IoT, Energy Management and Globalization woven throughout. Chris has been honored with CTO of the Year, an EDISON Gold Award and dozens of Patents.