Bill Warner, Bill Taylor, and Diverse Mix of Startups Highlight “Big Tech Ideas” Roster on Dec. 8

11/5/10Follow @gthuang

If some is good, more is better. That’s certainly the case for “5×5: Five Cities, Five Big Tech Ideas,” the next Xconomy Forum taking place in Boston. It’s all happening on the afternoon of Dec. 8 at the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, near South Station.

We’ve got some big additions to the lineup. Bill Warner, the Boston-area startup evangelist and angel investor, has signed on to give a keynote. We’re hoping he’ll share some of his perspective on how to think about big ideas in technology—and how to build viable businesses around them. Warner knows a little something about that, having founded Avid Technology (NASDAQ: AVID), Wildfire Communications, Warner Research, and a number of other companies over the past 35 years.

Warner joins Bill Taylor, the co-founder of Fast Company and the author of Mavericks at Work and the forthcoming Practically Radical, as a keynote speaker. Together, the two Bills will help frame the day’s discussions about what it takes to turn a big idea into a promising company—and help inspire all of us to change the world.

Now here come the big ideas. In addition to the five featured presenters, who each represent one city in Xconomy’s network (see below), we will also hear shorter talks from five promising startups, each with a big idea of its own: FashionPlaytes (online customized clothing), peerTransfer (global financial transactions), Pixability (online videos for businesses), Prysm (next-generation laser-based displays), and Scio Security (mobile and Internet security). It’s an interesting mix of technologies, markets, and business strategies—and it’ll be really instructive to hear about the genesis and execution of each company’s plan.

The program is anchored by a select group of five other companies, who will each do a deeper dive into their technology and business strategy—and make their case for why their idea is transformative. The presenters will be Mick Mountz, CEO of Kiva Systems, a warehouse robotics firm that could reshape retail, distribution, and manufacturing (Boston); Joaquin Silva, CEO of On-Ramp Wireless, a data tracking and wireless monitoring startup named a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum (San Diego); John Gilleland, CEO of TerraPower, a nuclear power startup that could fundamentally change the energy landscape (Seattle); Craig Labovitz, chief scientist of Arbor Networks, an Internet security firm that is unifying Web and mobile (Detroit); and Tommy McClung, CEO of CarWoo, an online car-buying startup out of the Y Combinator incubator (San Francisco).

We will keep the sessions informal and interactive; we want to encourage audience participation, and lessons to be shared back and forth on things like honing company ideas, formulating market strategies, and building businesses. We are also planning a demo area, a first for Xconomy.

Last but not least, we are convening a top-notch audience as well as speakers, and we hope you’ll be part of this special event (early bird registration and details here, including special rates for students and employees of startups). Looking forward to seeing you on Dec. 8.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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