David Cancel, Stephen Kaufer, Katie Rae, and Others Join XSITE Program on June 16

As we hurtle towards XSITE 2011, our full-day conference on June 16 at Babson College, a few thoughts come to mind. The theme this year is “the entrepreneurship era”—the idea that there is increased attention to startups and company-building as a key to revitalizing the U.S. economy. But now that entrepreneurship is at the top of the nation’s domestic agenda, a lot more people need to understand the real challenges of starting, building, and investing in companies—and they want to know the practical things they can do to carry out their vision.

Towards that end, we are in the process of adding a number of new speakers—entrepreneurs, investors, executives—to the program. They bring important (and entertaining) lessons from their entrepreneurship and company-building experience.

Here are just a few of the latest speakers we’ve confirmed:

Katie Rae, managing director of TechStars Boston. Katie is helping to lead our startup “Xpo,” in which 12 early-stage entrepreneurs working in tech, life sciences, and cleantech will give short pitches to the audience, which will get to vote on its favorites.

David Cancel, founder and CEO of Performable. David will speak on a technology panel focusing on “founder’s stories”—the trials and tribulations of starting, building, and (sometimes) selling IT businesses. In addition to Performable, he helped found Compete.com, Lookery, and Ghostery.

Stephen Kaufer, founder and CEO of TripAdvisor. Stephen will be on a panel about “managing growth”—which he knows something about, given TripAdvisor’s rocketship ride over the past decade. And now it gets really interesting, with the company’s plans to spin out of Expedia as an independent public company.

Paul Sellew, CEO of Harvest Power. Paul will join a discussion of the most game-changing companies in the cleantech sector that are going commercial. Harvest is opening a big West Coast waste-to-energy facility, and it just scored more than $50 million from Al Gore’s firm, Generation Investment Management.

Sean Creeley, co-founder of Embed.ly. Sean has the distinction of going through both the Y Combinator and MassChallenge incubator programs. He’ll talk about his experiences in getting mentorship, and getting his Internet startup off the ground.

Ben Gardner, founder and president of Linkwell Health. Ben will speak on a health-tech panel focused on new approaches to healthcare and wellness. Linkwell has a very interesting model that you’ll be hearing more about soon.

These speakers join an already stellar lineup of luminaries, including Desh Deshpande of Sycamore Networks and A123Systems fame; Edward Jung from Intellectual Ventures (former chief architect of Microsoft); Nobel Laureate Phil Sharp from MIT, Biogen, and Alnylam; Alexandra Wilkis Wilson from Gilt Groupe; Joe Chung from Art Technology Group and Redstar Ventures; and Pattie Maes from the MIT Media Lab.

You can register for XSITE 2011 here. We’re looking forward to seeing you on June 16.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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