This year we’ve created a brand new program including General Sessions, One-on-One Conversations with Über-successful entrepreneurs, panel discussions, 30 under 30 Sessions, Real-Time Problem Solving Sessions, Deep Dive Sessions and Learning Workshops! Plus choose from 4 session themes straight from the pages of Inc.: Launch, Lead, Innovate, Build.
All content, timing and activations subject to change.

AT-A-GLANCE

April 7, 2015

10:00 am

REGISTRATION OPEN

11:00 am

Inc.edu
Open-Book Management: Incentivize Your Team and Profit in Business

Learn to keep employees focused on a common goal, encourage them to work together, and develop an engaged team that drives results. Leave understanding the fundamentals of The Great Game of Business and how to immediately begin implementing them into their own business. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of The Great Game of Business: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company, 20th Anniversary edition.

Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Steve Baker, vice president, The Great Game of Business

11:00 am

Inc.edu
The Complexity of Fast Growth: How Not to Be Overwhelmed

Do you find yourself spending too much time putting out fires to manage your growth? Do you sense your employees becoming disconnected where once they shared a single vision? The Predictable Success team will give you everything you need to build systems to prevent disruptive problems and afford yourself more time to lead your business from fast growth to profitable scalability. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track–and Keeping It There. Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Dave McKeown, COO and senior consultant, Predictable Success

11:00 am

Inc.edu
The Exit Strategy: How and When to Be Ready

This exit strategy workshop will give you the information and resources you need to develop a good exit strategy, execute your optimum exit, ensure the sale completes near maximum shareholder value, and avoid “Riding It Over the Top.” Learn why every company should have an exit strategy, especially before it contacts the first external investor. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Early Exits: Exit Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Angel Investors (But Maybe Not Venture Capitalists), 2nd edition. Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Dr. Basil Peters, M&A advisor, CEO, Strategic Exits Corp.; author, Early Exits; and columnist, Inc.com

11:00 am

Inc.edu
The Art of Personal Mastery, How to Take Control

Learn how to craft the life and business you want by radically changing the way you think. This session is a booster rocket that will propel you and your company’s growth to a trajectory that you cannot even conceive. Discover how your own mental models may be holding you back. Learn how to get unstuck and change these models in order to become a different person and enhance your relationships, career and business for the better. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What.

Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Srikumar S. Rao, former Columbia Business School professor; creator of the Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM) course; and author, Happiness at Work and Are You Ready to Succeed?

3:00 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: Mixed Messages: How to Ride the Startup Roller Coaster

Most startups struggle to find traction and growth. But sometimes growth can be painful. Learn how Bees Knees Spicy Honey, a small, self-funded, single-product food startup, experienced over 2,000 percent growth in its 10th month and just barely stayed alive to tell the story. Co-founder Morgen Newman will reveal the nearly catastrophic events that almost led to the death of his startup, along with the lessons he and his partner learned and used to stay alive.

Speaker: Morgen Newman, co-founder, IdeaPaint; co-founder, MixedMade

3:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION: The Fun (and Frustration) of Raising Funds

No matter what stage your company is in, having sufficient capital is a top priority. But with the obvious funding sources either tapped out or out of touch, companies have had to think smarter and work harder to find means to secure money. Our entrepreneurs offer insider information on where to look for funding, the creative ways to reel in capital and investor, and how to best position your business to get access. Find out how to fearlessly bootstrap your business.

Speakers: Kim Hansz, principal and founder, The Benefit Advantage; Carter Reum, co-founder, VEEV Spirits; and co-founder, Millennial Hub; and Courtney Reum, co-founder, VEEV Spirits; and co-founder, Millennial Hub

Moderator: Lindsay Blakely, features editor, Inc.

3:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP: What Should I Charge? A Strategy for Pricing and Selling

Within today’s volatile marketplace, traditional small-business pricing strategies don’t stand a chance. But there are ways to outsmart the open market. Did you know that different market segments value different signals to purchase (or not purchase) your products? Learn how brand positioning impacts what and how you sell to customers, why brand positioning is more important for sales than marketing, and why you should be selling on value creation rather than discounting. Also, find out the psychological drivers informing purchasing decisions of your customers. Walk away from this session with greater awareness on how to develop long-term relationship with your customers (not to mention margins that support business growth).

Speaker: Lisa Hendrickson, founder and president, Spark City

3:00 pm

CONCURRENT SESSION: Inc. Uncensored: A Conversation about Entrepreneurs, Startups and Cool Companies

What happens when you put editors and writers in front of an audience? Well, if it’s anything like Inc.’s new podcast “Inc. Uncensored,” then you’re in for a real treat. Podcast host and Inc. editor James Ledbetter is here at GROWCO and he’s brought along some friends (and surprise guests) for what promises to be a no-holds-barred conversation on all things Inc. During the session the group will tackle business headlines and share their thoughts on the ever-changing entrepreneurial landscape. Also, find out what makes a great pitch and what it really takes to get on the pages (and cover) of Inc. Bring your questions. Think you know Inc.? Well, think again.

Speakers: Jon Fine, executive editor, Inc.; Burt Helm, senior contributing writer, Inc.; and Kimberly Weisul, editor-at-large, Inc.

Session Leader: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

3:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP – Personal Branding: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Ever wonder when you leave a room what people say about you? For many of us, there’s a gap between how we think we’re perceived and how others actually see us. Having an identifiable brand greatly impacts how the world views us. People who make themselves positively memorable are the ones who are most often valued and positioned for opportunity. Whether you look to gain new clients, get more from your existing clients, or elevate your performance, this session will teach you how to be a standout. Utilizing thought-provoking case studies and interactive exercises, learn how to identify your strengths and passions, and to polish your style to make an impression that best reflects the real you. Find out how to create a personal brand that is distinctively fascinating and that enhances your leadership capabilities, networking and leverage.

Session Leader: Kaplan Mobray, career consultant; and author, The 10Ks of Personal Branding


3:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP – How to Perfect Your Pitch

Everyone, especially entrepreneurs and their employees, should know how to pitch, persuade, and present in a compelling manner. Kevin Daum is here to help. Daum, an Inc. 500 CEO, best-selling author, and top Inc. columnist, will guide participants in writing and preparing a worthwhile pitch. The second part of his workshop offers each attendee the opportunity to record a live pitch. In this interactive workshop, gain highly structured feedback about your pitch in real time and learn how to master your message.

Session Leader: Kevin Daum, founder and CEO, TAE International; author, ROAR! and Video Marketing for Dummies; executive producer, 77WABC’s Amilya!; and columnist, Inc.com

3:30 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: From Ground Breaker to Innovator: How to Stay Awesome in a Crowded Playing Field

Desiree Vargas Wrigley and Ethan Austin are innovators in the crowdfunding space, launching GiveForward, a crowdfunding platform for personal medical expenses in 2008. Seven years later, there are now over a thousand crowdfunding platforms, the federal government has passed legislation supporting crowdfunding, and GiveForward has helped families raise more than $150M for their loved ones in need. Vargas-Wrigley and Austin will talk about their journey in helping to shape this industry, what they see in store for the future of crowdfunding, and how innovative ideas usually comes when they’re least expected.

Speakers: Ethan Austin, co-founder and president, GiveForward; and Desiree Vargas Wrigley, co-founder and CEO, GiveForward

4:00 pm

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center open

This is your time to interact with your fellow GROWCO conference attendees as well as the sponsors of the event. Please stop by each respective booth to meet and greet your conference sponsors.

4:00 pm

Break

4:00 pm

GENERAL SESSION ROOM OPEN

4:10 pm

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

4:30 pm

GROWCO 2015 Exclusive Opening Session: Meet the Shark—A Master Class With Daymond John

Daymond John knows a great idea when he sees and hears it. From making his multimillion-dollar urban-apparel line FUBU (“For Us, By Us”) hip-hop’s signature look during the ’90s to providing venture capital and angel funding on ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank, this self-made millionaire and businessman never shies away from an opportunity. Using his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights, John almost always gets what he wants. And when he doesn’t, it’s just fodder for the next risk he takes. Hear about his entrepreneurial journey, and learn from this brand savvy “shark” how to position your company to secure capital and attain entrepreneurial success, and what he looks for in companies to invest in. Would yours make the cut?

Speaker: Daymond John, founder and CEO, FUBU; co-star of ABC’s Shark Tank; and author, The Brand Within

6:00 pm

GROWCO WELCOME RECEPTION

Sponsored by T-Mobile

Grab a bite, enjoy a cocktail, and mingle with colleagues and hundreds of your peers during this fun and casual soiree. Be sure to meet conference sponsors as well. Also, enjoy music performances presented by Warner Music Nashville, highlighting some of its best and brightest artists, songwriters, and musicians.

 

7:30 pm

MEET THE EDITORS NETWORKING DINNER

During this exclusive event, you will have the opportunity to chat and chew with Inc. editors and some of your favorite Inc.com columnists as well as fellow conference attendees in this casual fun-filled setting. Pre-registration is required. There is an additional fee to participate.

Introduction: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

Special Remarks: Norm Brodsky, founder, CitiStorage; partner, Black Gold Suites; columnist, Inc.; and co-author, Street Smarts


8:00 pm

NETWORKING WITH PURPOSE AFTER DARK

Hosted by the Inc. Small Giants Community

Create meaningful connections with your entrepreneurial peers that will enhance the content and discussion throughout the GROWCO conference. Seasoned entrepreneurs and members of the Inc. Small Giants Community, and Inc. editors will be there to mingle and converse. For those of you that prefer to trash-talk instead, explore the Networking in Motion Gaming Center powered by Mercedes-Benz Vans. Unleash your competitive spirit by playing games like cornhole, ping pong, and life-size Jenga. Also, enjoy complimentary beverages from our espresso bar. Don’t miss this fun-filled evening.

April 8, 2015

7:30 am

REGISTRATION OPEN

8:30 am

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center open

This is your time to interact with your fellow GROWCO conference attendees as well as the sponsors of the event. Please stop by each respective booth to meet and greet your conference sponsors.

8:50 am

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

9:00 am

WELCOME

Remarks: Eric Schurenberg, president and editor-in-chief, Inc.                                                                                                                                  

9:10 am

LONG LIVE THE TINKERER! HOW INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY MUST COEXIST

“Innovation and the absurd are a paper-thin distance apart,” says Bre Pettis, co-founder of MakerBot Industries, a leading manufacturer of 3-D printers. Pettis, a former school teacher and a self-described “maker” by nature, launched the company in 2009. Pettis then sold it to Stratasys for $403 million in 2013, but he remains an influential figure in the industry as personalized production continues to pick up speed. Pettis will (re)introduce us to the newest industrial revolution. Learn just what audacious simplicity is and find out why exploring the absurd is one of the best routes to innovation. Creativity doesn’t just inspire—it produces physical stuff.

Speaker: Bre Pettis, co-founder, MakerBot Industries; and founder and chief innovation officer, Bold Machines—The Innovation Workshop at Stratasys

9:50 am

A THIRST FOR BUSINESS—THE STORY OF HINT WATER

From selling unsweetened, fruit-infused flavored water out of her garage to quitting her C-suite job at AOL to take her refreshing idea to market, Hint Water founder and CEO Kara Goldin has been making moves as fluid as her beverage product. Today, the $50 million-dollar company has a presence on shelves across the country (think: Whole Foods, Publix, and college campuses). In this exclusive conversation, Goldin and COO (and husband) Theo share how they did it. Learn what you must do before launching a product; how Goldin wooed investors such as Grammy and Oscar Award-winner singer John Legend; and what it really takes to stand out in an industry flooded with competition. Find out just how to float to the top.

Speakers: Kara Goldin, founder and CEO, Hint Water; and Theo Goldin, COO, Hint Water

Interview: Kimberly Weisul, editor-at-large, Inc.

10:30 am

A Conversation With Inc.’s 2014 Company of the Year: Airbnb

Airbnb is now the biggest lodging provider on Earth. Founders Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia have convinced 20 million strangers (10 million in 2014 alone) to show up at another stranger’s home and nestle in for a few days–or hand their house keys to some guy from the internet. Their website surpassed 800,000 listings worldwide and the company is valued at $10 billion. In an exclusive conversation with Inc., founder and CPO Joe Gebbia opens up about the company’s disruptive, brazen, overall brilliant, and possibly illegal home-sharing empire.

Speaker: Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer, Airbnb

Interviewer: Burt Helm, senior contributing writer, Inc.         

11:15 am

BREAK

11:45 am

FREE-FLOWING NETWORKING IN THE INNOVATION HALL

If you’re interested in chatting with your peers or meeting our conference sponsors, then feel free to hang out in the Innovation Hall. This is your opportunity to learn from one another.

11:45 am

LEARNING WORKSHOP – What’s Your Plan B? Contingency Planning and Other Company-Saving Scenarios

Preparing for the worst-case scenario is not the first thing on most entrepreneurs’ to-do lists. Yet having a solid contingency plan can help ensure a company’s sustainability as it helps set the business apart from the mainstream. In this workshop, learn best practices for contingency planning, discover a proactive process that ensures long-term growth and wards against failure, and find out how planning for the worst can actually be your best source of innovation and business growth. Also, you will be given a unique tool to identify, capture, rank, and prioritize innovative products, services, and business ideas.

 

Session Leader: Steve Baker, vice president, The Great Game of Business Inc.

11:45 am

DEEP DIVE SESSION – The Innovation Workshop

Bre Pettis may know a thing or two about making inanimate objects. But he’s also keen on people. Building on his keynote, this lifelong tinkerer will give you tips, tools, and resources to drive innovation within your organization. Learn how to design and execute big goals, why friendships, networking, and building connections are key to helping others as well as yourself, and how to radically evolve your company’s culture as you scale. Pettis’s personal mission has always been to empower people to be creative. So come with your questions and your curiosity.

Session Leader: Bre Pettis, co-founder, MakerBot Industries; and founder and chief innovation officer, Bold Machines—The Innovation Workshop at Stratasys

11:45 am

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: May the Force Be With You: How Become a Ninja Sales Leader

What’s scarier than sales? Training salespeople! Learn how Abe Issa developed a state-of-the-art sales academy at Global Efficient Energy. His customer-acquisition costs are now a third of the industry average and his closing percentage on cold-call leads is 2.5 to 3 times the industry average.  Learn the recipe to the secret sales sauce that propelled GEE’s rapid expansion and high level of customer satisfaction.

Speaker: Abe Issa, founder and CEO, Global Efficient Energy

11:45 am

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION – What Kind of Capital is Good for Your Growth?

Hosted by the Inc. Small Giants Community

Having someone else’s mind and money influencing your growth capability can be a scary proposition. How much control do you give up? What does capital really bring to the table? Can the terms change mid-deal? Is capital-driven growth even right for you? Join us as our panel of proven investors and financial experts in the areas of growth capital, venture capital investing, and community-based banking give you a full 360 on the perils and promises of capital investment. Whether you have never even thought about capital, have had bad experiences with the process, or know exactly where to find it and what to do with it, this session is for you. Find out what you need to know (or thought you knew!). Got a question? Bring it.

Speakers: Brendan Anderson, co-founder and managing partner, Evolution Capital Partners; Vik Thapar, principal, Cypress Growth Capital; and Carol Titus, director of health care banking, Avenue Bank

Moderator: Jeff Haden, columnist, Inc.com       

11:45 am

LEARNING WORKSHOP: Launch! How to Go From Idea to Market

What’s your big idea? It’s finally time to go hard or go home. In this super-high-energy workshop, filled with behind-the-scenes stories about some of the biggest brands in business, learn how to manage the business and personal sides of a launch. From mitigating risks to taking your idea to market, and learning how to adapt when things don’t go as planned, leave with the perfect playbook (not textbook) for getting your idea to market successfully. We’ll also show you how to acquire the resources you need while protecting what’s most important to you every step of the way. Gain tools you can apply immediately to successfully launch any new business, product, and/or service. And find out best practices for managing both the personal and business demands required by a launch. Are you ready for takeoff?

Speaker: Scott Duffy, founder and CEO, The Content Shop; and author, Launch!: The Critical 90 Days From Idea to Market


11:45 am

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION: Trials and Triumphs: True Stories from Norm Brodsky

Beloved Inc. columnist, best-selling author, and serial entrepreneur Norm Brodsky has seen and done it all. But decades of entrepreneurship still couldn’t prepare him and his partner in business and life, Elaine Brodsky, for the unimaginable. In January, a seven-alarm fire destroyed their Brooklyn, New York–based home and property. Life has been turned upside down for them, but what has endured is their resilience. In this exclusive session, Norm Brodsky shares his story and lessons he’s picked up and takes your questions. Hear why the fire isn’t the only thing Brodsky’s mind and fortune need to recover from. Learn why you should take stock in your life before tragedy strikes, what (and who) it takes to withstand anything, and how to always see the good in everything.

Speaker: Norm Brodsky, founder, CitiStorage; partner, Black Gold Suites; columnist, Inc.; and co-author, Street Smarts

Interviewer: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

12:15 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: How the Right Digital Strategy Can Drive Innovation and Growth

Digital strategy expert Shama Hyder will reveal five tactics guaranteed to help you expand your customer base, increase referrals, grow market share, and become an industry leader in the digital era. Shama will teach you how to recognize trends, better utilize social media, and create, curate, and distribute content to establish thought leadership. You can finally get answers to: Is blogging still worth it? What is Meerkat? Why are native videos so much more powerful?

Speaker: Shama Kabani Hyder, founder and CEO, The Marketing Zen Group; and author, The Zen of Social Media Marketing


12:45 pm

NETWORKING LUNCH AND DESSERT IN THE INNOVATION HALL

Inc. Marketplace

Exchange contact information and sharp observations about what it means to start, run, or grow a business. Enjoy the meal as you make lasting connections with potential partners, colleagues, and friends. Follow @IncLiveEvents and #GROWCO15 throughout the event for live coverage.

2:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP – Exit War Stories with Valuations

Exiting is the most difficult area for entrepreneurs and CEOs to learn about. There are two reasons why: They don’t happen very often, and when they do, almost every detail is covered by nondisclosure agreements. Even when you hear that an exit has occurred, it’s extremely unusual to find out the price the company sold for, or obtain enough of the financial history to put the valuation in perspective. This breakout is a unique opportunity to learn about, and discuss, real exit case studies. You’ll hear the real war stories about what it took to get these transactions done. Most interestingly, you’ll learn how these companies were valued by the acquirers and what factors increased the valuation through the exit process. By the end of this breakout, you’ll have the basic skills necessary to value most companies in the context of an exit transaction.

Session Leader: Basil Peters, M&A adviser, CEO, Strategic Exits Corp.; author, Early Exits; and columnist, Inc.com

2:00 pm

FREE-FLOWING NETWORKING IN THE INNOVATION HALL

The Inc. Marketplace

If you’re interested in chatting with your peers or meeting our conference sponsors, then feel free to hang out in the Innovation Hall. This is your opportunity to learn from one another.

2:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION – Lessons from the (Business) Frontlines

While some enter into the world of business by identifying a need and filling it, others find inspiration in the midst of chaos. In this session, meet seasoned business owners who are using the power of entrepreneurship to transform their respective communities. Learn how to build remarkable mental toughness and what it takes to overcome business obstacles that may stand in your way. Walk away from this conversation seeing your purpose and profits from a new perspective.

Speakers: Abe Issa, founder and CEO, Global Efficient Energy; and Aleksandra Scepanovic, founder and managing director, Ideal Properties Group

Interviewer: Burt Helm, senior contributing writer, Inc.         

2:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION – How to Compete with Giants

Giants have big budgets to market and legions of loyal fans to sell to. But plenty of opportunity still exists for small business. Hear sage advice on standing out in a crowded marketplace. Learn how it’s not a fight of strength but one of speed, relevance, and maneuverability. Discover why you need to understand your customers and which social media platforms are best to make your presence known. It’s less about dominating and more about leveling (or disrupting) the playing field with a new approach, product concept, or methodology.

Speakers: Benjamin Goldberg, founder and co-owner, Strategic Hospitality; Max Goldberg, co-owner, Strategic Hospitality; and Emmanuel Saujet, co-founder and CEO, International Cosmetics and Perfumes

Moderator: Jeff Haden, columnist, Inc.com

2:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP: Company Culture: Start With Your Personal Core Values

You can’t build a great company without creating a great culture. Good leaders start with their own core values. In this interactive session, participants will walk through a core value discovery process and identify key values that will help their companies grow effectively and consistently.

Session Leader: Kevin Daum, founder and CEO, TAE International; author, ROAR! and Video Marketing for Dummies; executive producer, 77WABC’s Amilya!; and columnist, Inc.com

2:00 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: Lights! Action! Lead!

If you’ve ever marveled at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s awesome exterior lighting system, then you’re familiar with Solomon Group’s mastery with lighting installation and entertainment production. But for founder Gary Solomon Jr., the challenge has been to grow beyond his New Orleans boundaries onto the national playing field. Gary will talk about how to leverage initial local success to not only expand geographically, but to stretch your company and your team to innovate beyond the comfort zone.

Speaker: Gary Solomon Jr., co-founder and president, Solomon Group

Interviewer: Donna Fenn, contributing editor, Inc.com; and author, Upstarts!

2:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION: Stories from the Tank: Meet the Companies that Faced the Sharks

Ever wonder what it’s like to go swimming with sharks? In this exclusive session, entrepreneurs featured on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank open up about the experience. From getting on the program to the high-pressure pitch game to reeling in that big shark, these business owners tell all. Find out from these funded companies the ups and downs of life after the show and why you should always be prepared for any question and any conversation about your business. Of course, how to pitch your ideas to investors isn’t the only thing you can learn from these contestants. Got a question? Bring it.

Speakers: Morri Chowaiki, inventor, Hanukkah Tree Topper; and VP of business development, Shark Branding; and Sharon Yu, founder, Magic Cook

Moderator: Jon Fine, executive editor, Inc.

2:30 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION – Dressed for Success: How to Crash the Startup Party

With no experience, no VC money, no food industry pedigree, and absolutely no desire to compromise their values, the Vetter brothers propelled their salad dressing company, Tessemae’s All Natural, onto the national stage in stores such as Whole Foods and Safeway. In an industry dominated by giants, Tessemae’s, founded with a family recipe, is now a multimillion-dollar company. The Vetters reveal how they cracked the growth code with the power of “no”—no cheap ingredients, no price cuts, no excuses, no shortcuts, and no looking back.

Speakers: Brian Vetter, middle brother, co-founder and head of business development, Tessemae’s All Natural; and Greg Vetter, oldest brother, co-founder and CEO, Tessemae’s All Natural

3:00 pm

BREAK

3:20 pm

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

3:30 pm

THE SUCCESS OF FAILING

In 2000, Mariam Naficy, then 28, sold her online cosmetics retail startup for $110 million. Though she managed to come out of the dot-com bubble unscathed, it didn’t make her invincible to failure or risks. Today her latest venture is Minted, a crowd-sourced design company founded in 2008. From fundraising to luring investors, Naficy appreciates the déjà vu of it all. Learn from her what it’s like to be an entrepreneur during tech bubbles, how she mitigates mistakes the second time around, and why she is adamant that tough times are only temporary. Failure is not a deal-breaker.

Speaker: Mariam Naficy, founder and CEO, Minted

Interviewer: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

4:00 pm

JOHNNY BE GOOD: HOW TO BUILD BRAND LOYALTY AND INSPIRE INNOVATION

Johnny Cupcakes is a lifestyle brand that sells limited-edition collectible T-shirts and other apparel online and at stores designed to resemble bakeries. Johnny Earle launched the company out of the trunk of his car. Nearly 15 years later, Johnny Cupcakes is eating up the competition with its cupcakes, crossbones, and one-of-a-kind business strategy. Hundreds of superloyal customers camp outside the faux bakeries for its merchandise. Earle will give you blueprints on how to cultivate leadership and think outside the box to cook up a powerful brand driven by community, creativity, details, and exclusivity.

Speaker: Johnny Earle, founder and CEO, Johnny Cupcakes

4:40 pm

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE HONEST COMPANY

Even movie stars have to stare down skeptics when they launch a company and seek funding. Jessica Alba, founder of the Honest Company persevered—and wound up with $150 million in revenues this year, $122 million in funding, and a valuation at nearly $1 billion. In this exclusive conversation with Inc., Alba and co-founder and CEO Brian Lee open up about the Honest Company’s winning formula. These two business moguls will share what goes into building a household brand of eco- and parent-friendly products, how they proved doubters wrong, and how the Honest team has come so far so quickly.

Speakers: Jessica Alba, founder, The Honest Company; and Brian Lee, CEO and co-founder, The Honest Company; co-founder, LegalZoom; and co-founder, ShoeDazzle

Interviewer: Lindsay Blakely, features editor, Inc.                               

5:30 pm

NASHVILLE NETWORING HAPPY HOUR

TBD


5:30 pm

PROGRAM CLOSES FOR THE DAY

5:30 pm

WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

6:30 pm

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center closes for the day

6:30 pm

NETWORKING WITH PURPOSE AT THE ENTREPRENEUR CENTER

Hosted by the Inc. Small Giants Community
Powered by Spark Business From Capital One

Spark Business from Capital One and the Inc. Small Giants Community invite you to Networking With Purpose at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC). The conversations promise to be meaningful, provocative, and enlightening. Or, if you prefer, experience the future of business with Local Motors, makers of the world’s first 3-D-printed car. Vehicles will be on display and you can take a spin on a 3-D-printed trike. This event is free and you must have your conference badge for entry. Complimentary continuous shuttle service will loop between the 5th Avenue Omni Nashville Hotel entrance and the EC starting at 6:15 p.m. Or take a stroll if you prefer (.5 mile walk). Please follow the directional signs or ask staff for assistance.

Entrepreneur Center – 41 Peabody Street


8:00 pm

GROWCO: Pinewood Social Party

Hosted by Spark Business From Capital One

What time is it? Game time! Come experience Nashville’s nightlife in the comfortable setting of Pinewood Social. Relax and unwind with delicious bites, great music, and refreshing cocktails during the official 2015 GROWCO conference party. Also, enjoy bowling, cards, Jenga, or bocce and the company of your fellow entrepreneurs. Come hang out and revel in all the different elements this party has to offer. Follow @IncLiveEvents, #GROWCO15, and #SparkBizLive for the sights and sounds of the evening. Free to GROWCO conference attendees; badges and government-issued I.D. required for entry. Complimentary shuttle service will loop throughout the evening between the 5th Avenue entrance of the Omni Nashville Hotel and Pinewood Social. Or take a stroll if you prefer (.5 mile walk). Please follow the directional signs or ask staff for assistance.

Pinewood Social – 33 Peabody Street


April 9, 2015

8:00 am

REGISTRATION OPEN

8:30 am

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center open

8:50 am

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

9:00 am

WELCOME

9:05 am

Behind the Burner (and Business) With Momofuku’s Chef David Chang

More than a decade since opening his first noodle bar, David Chang is now an award-winning global chef with food concepts that bring swagger to the fine dining scene. But it takes more than a superb menu to keep both customers and employees satisfied. Chang, who is notorious for his intensity, opens up about what it really takes to manage the front and back of house. Hear how he’s utilizing technology to change the industry and learning from his failures. Discover why he loves pushing people to trounce expectations and how to develop a fulfilling ethos for both your customers and your employees. Find out why Chang believes life’s too short to let yourself settle for anything less than the best in all you do.

Speaker: David Chang, chef and owner, Momofuku

Interviewer: Jon Fine, executive editor, Inc.

9:45 am

The Delusions of Success: A Master Class With Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

What does it really take for business owners to achieve positive, measurable changes in behavior for themselves and their people? Marshall Goldsmith will share his time-tested leadership practices, which incorporate lessons from 38 years of working with top business leaders, as well as material from his research, articles, and 35 books. Looking to go from here to there or need your mojo back? Dr. Goldsmith will teach you how to decipher your shortcomings (and learn from it). Find out the top mistakes leaders make, the right way to delegate, and how success can actually make you fail.

Speaker: Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, executive educator; business coach; and author, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Mojo


10:30 am

The Future of Business: Behind the World’s First 3-D-Printed Vehicle

John “Jay” Rogers launched Local Motors with an ambitious plan: To create an open-source community that works together to design and develop exciting, efficient motor vehicles and builds them locally in a sustainable manner with customer participation. Today, the company is home to more than 60,000 car-design concepts, 45,000 community members, and more than 90 full-time employees across four locations in the United States and Europe. Local Motors recently unveiled the Strati, the world’s first 3-D-printed vehicle. Learn how this next-generation car company is changing the way cars are designed, built, and owned. Their story of innovation and co-creation will drive your company toward profitability.

Speaker: Jay Rogers, co-founder and CEO, Local Motors

11:00 am

BREAK

11:20 am

CLOSING PERFORMANCE FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

11:35 am

PAST, PRESENT, PROFITS: COMPANY OF THE YEAR ALL-STARS

For more than three decades, Inc. has told the inspiring, educational, and connective story of the entrepreneur. Amid the thousands of small businesses we follow year-over-year, a few entrepreneurs and their companies stand out. The Company of the Year (or Entrepreneur of the Year) is bestowed upon the business (or businessperson) achieving game-changing success and/or innovation within a given industry. In this exclusive session, we’re joined by past and present All-Star honorees for a candid conversation on the past, present, and future of these unique enterprises. There’s a lot to be learned from the entrepreneur who’s been there, done that (still doing it), and has the well-earned business battle scars to prove that he or she deserves to be here.

Speakers: Joe Gebbia, co-founder and CPO, Airbnb; Phil Libin, co-founder and CEO, Evernote; and Alberto Perlman, co-founder and CEO, Zumba Fitness

Interviewer: Eric Schurenberg, president and editor-in-chief, Inc.

12:35 pm

Lessons from Business Turnaround King Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis is in the business of helping others. But behind every great man or business is a story, right? Lemonis will offer us a candid inside look at how he became the “Business Turnaround King.” What did his ambition stem from? What was it like to bootstrap an entire business career? Learn the biggest challenges Lemonis faced as an entrepreneur and how he has overcome them, and discover the pivotal turning point(s) that propelled him toward success.

Speaker: Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO, Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises; star of the CNBC television show The Profit

1:35 pm

NETWORKING LUNCH AND DESSERT IN THE INNOVATION HALL

The Inc. Marketplace

Exchange contact information and sharp observations about what it means to start, run, or grow a business. Enjoy the meal as you make lasting connections with potential partners, colleagues, and friends. Follow @IncLiveEvents and #GROWCO15 throughout the event for live coverage.

3:00 pm

Closing Reception at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Spend the final hour of 2015 Grow Your Company Conference conversing with your peers, Inc. editors, and conference speakers. Grab a tasty snack to eat, sip a refreshing drink, and continue to make lasting connections with potential partners, colleagues, and friends.

4:00 pm

2015 GROW YOUR COMPANY CONFERENCE CONCLUDES

April 7, 2015

10:00 am -
8:00 pm

REGISTRATION OPEN

11:00 am -
2:00 pm

Inc.edu
Open-Book Management: Incentivize Your Team and Profit in Business

Learn to keep employees focused on a common goal, encourage them to work together, and develop an engaged team that drives results. Leave understanding the fundamentals of The Great Game of Business and how to immediately begin implementing them into their own business. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of The Great Game of Business: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company, 20th Anniversary edition.

Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Steve Baker, vice president, The Great Game of Business

11:00 am -
2:00 pm

Inc.edu
The Complexity of Fast Growth: How Not to Be Overwhelmed

Do you find yourself spending too much time putting out fires to manage your growth? Do you sense your employees becoming disconnected where once they shared a single vision? The Predictable Success team will give you everything you need to build systems to prevent disruptive problems and afford yourself more time to lead your business from fast growth to profitable scalability. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track–and Keeping It There. Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Dave McKeown, COO and senior consultant, Predictable Success

11:00 am -
2:00 pm

Inc.edu
The Exit Strategy: How and When to Be Ready

This exit strategy workshop will give you the information and resources you need to develop a good exit strategy, execute your optimum exit, ensure the sale completes near maximum shareholder value, and avoid “Riding It Over the Top.” Learn why every company should have an exit strategy, especially before it contacts the first external investor. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Early Exits: Exit Strategies for Entrepreneurs and Angel Investors (But Maybe Not Venture Capitalists), 2nd edition. Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Dr. Basil Peters, M&A advisor, CEO, Strategic Exits Corp.; author, Early Exits; and columnist, Inc.com

11:00 am -
2:00 pm

Inc.edu
The Art of Personal Mastery, How to Take Control

Learn how to craft the life and business you want by radically changing the way you think. This session is a booster rocket that will propel you and your company’s growth to a trajectory that you cannot even conceive. Discover how your own mental models may be holding you back. Learn how to get unstuck and change these models in order to become a different person and enhance your relationships, career and business for the better. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What.

Additional fee to participate. Limited availability. Lunch included.

Speaker: Srikumar S. Rao, former Columbia Business School professor; creator of the Creativity and Personal Mastery (CPM) course; and author, Happiness at Work and Are You Ready to Succeed?

3:00 pm -
3:30 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: Mixed Messages: How to Ride the Startup Roller Coaster

Most startups struggle to find traction and growth. But sometimes growth can be painful. Learn how Bees Knees Spicy Honey, a small, self-funded, single-product food startup, experienced over 2,000 percent growth in its 10th month and just barely stayed alive to tell the story. Co-founder Morgen Newman will reveal the nearly catastrophic events that almost led to the death of his startup, along with the lessons he and his partner learned and used to stay alive.

Speaker: Morgen Newman, co-founder, IdeaPaint; co-founder, MixedMade

3:00 pm -
4:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION: The Fun (and Frustration) of Raising Funds

No matter what stage your company is in, having sufficient capital is a top priority. But with the obvious funding sources either tapped out or out of touch, companies have had to think smarter and work harder to find means to secure money. Our entrepreneurs offer insider information on where to look for funding, the creative ways to reel in capital and investor, and how to best position your business to get access. Find out how to fearlessly bootstrap your business.

Speakers: Kim Hansz, principal and founder, The Benefit Advantage; Carter Reum, co-founder, VEEV Spirits; and co-founder, Millennial Hub; and Courtney Reum, co-founder, VEEV Spirits; and co-founder, Millennial Hub

Moderator: Lindsay Blakely, features editor, Inc.

3:00 pm -
4:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP: What Should I Charge? A Strategy for Pricing and Selling

Within today’s volatile marketplace, traditional small-business pricing strategies don’t stand a chance. But there are ways to outsmart the open market. Did you know that different market segments value different signals to purchase (or not purchase) your products? Learn how brand positioning impacts what and how you sell to customers, why brand positioning is more important for sales than marketing, and why you should be selling on value creation rather than discounting. Also, find out the psychological drivers informing purchasing decisions of your customers. Walk away from this session with greater awareness on how to develop long-term relationship with your customers (not to mention margins that support business growth).

Speaker: Lisa Hendrickson, founder and president, Spark City

3:00 pm -
4:00 pm

CONCURRENT SESSION: Inc. Uncensored: A Conversation about Entrepreneurs, Startups and Cool Companies

What happens when you put editors and writers in front of an audience? Well, if it’s anything like Inc.’s new podcast “Inc. Uncensored,” then you’re in for a real treat. Podcast host and Inc. editor James Ledbetter is here at GROWCO and he’s brought along some friends (and surprise guests) for what promises to be a no-holds-barred conversation on all things Inc. During the session the group will tackle business headlines and share their thoughts on the ever-changing entrepreneurial landscape. Also, find out what makes a great pitch and what it really takes to get on the pages (and cover) of Inc. Bring your questions. Think you know Inc.? Well, think again.

Speakers: Jon Fine, executive editor, Inc.; Burt Helm, senior contributing writer, Inc.; and Kimberly Weisul, editor-at-large, Inc.

Session Leader: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

3:00 pm -
4:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP – Personal Branding: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

Ever wonder when you leave a room what people say about you? For many of us, there’s a gap between how we think we’re perceived and how others actually see us. Having an identifiable brand greatly impacts how the world views us. People who make themselves positively memorable are the ones who are most often valued and positioned for opportunity. Whether you look to gain new clients, get more from your existing clients, or elevate your performance, this session will teach you how to be a standout. Utilizing thought-provoking case studies and interactive exercises, learn how to identify your strengths and passions, and to polish your style to make an impression that best reflects the real you. Find out how to create a personal brand that is distinctively fascinating and that enhances your leadership capabilities, networking and leverage.

Session Leader: Kaplan Mobray, career consultant; and author, The 10Ks of Personal Branding


3:00 pm -
4:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP – How to Perfect Your Pitch

Everyone, especially entrepreneurs and their employees, should know how to pitch, persuade, and present in a compelling manner. Kevin Daum is here to help. Daum, an Inc. 500 CEO, best-selling author, and top Inc. columnist, will guide participants in writing and preparing a worthwhile pitch. The second part of his workshop offers each attendee the opportunity to record a live pitch. In this interactive workshop, gain highly structured feedback about your pitch in real time and learn how to master your message.

Session Leader: Kevin Daum, founder and CEO, TAE International; author, ROAR! and Video Marketing for Dummies; executive producer, 77WABC’s Amilya!; and columnist, Inc.com

3:30 pm -
4:00 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: From Ground Breaker to Innovator: How to Stay Awesome in a Crowded Playing Field

Desiree Vargas Wrigley and Ethan Austin are innovators in the crowdfunding space, launching GiveForward, a crowdfunding platform for personal medical expenses in 2008. Seven years later, there are now over a thousand crowdfunding platforms, the federal government has passed legislation supporting crowdfunding, and GiveForward has helped families raise more than $150M for their loved ones in need. Vargas-Wrigley and Austin will talk about their journey in helping to shape this industry, what they see in store for the future of crowdfunding, and how innovative ideas usually comes when they’re least expected.

Speakers: Ethan Austin, co-founder and president, GiveForward; and Desiree Vargas Wrigley, co-founder and CEO, GiveForward

4:00 pm -
8:00 pm

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center open

This is your time to interact with your fellow GROWCO conference attendees as well as the sponsors of the event. Please stop by each respective booth to meet and greet your conference sponsors.

4:00 pm -
4:30 pm

Break

4:00 pm -
8:00 pm

GENERAL SESSION ROOM OPEN

4:10 pm -
4:30 pm

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

4:30 pm -
6:00 pm

GROWCO 2015 Exclusive Opening Session: Meet the Shark—A Master Class With Daymond John

Daymond John knows a great idea when he sees and hears it. From making his multimillion-dollar urban-apparel line FUBU (“For Us, By Us”) hip-hop’s signature look during the ’90s to providing venture capital and angel funding on ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank, this self-made millionaire and businessman never shies away from an opportunity. Using his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights, John almost always gets what he wants. And when he doesn’t, it’s just fodder for the next risk he takes. Hear about his entrepreneurial journey, and learn from this brand savvy “shark” how to position your company to secure capital and attain entrepreneurial success, and what he looks for in companies to invest in. Would yours make the cut?

Speaker: Daymond John, founder and CEO, FUBU; co-star of ABC’s Shark Tank; and author, The Brand Within

6:00 pm -
8:00 pm

GROWCO WELCOME RECEPTION

Sponsored by T-Mobile

Grab a bite, enjoy a cocktail, and mingle with colleagues and hundreds of your peers during this fun and casual soiree. Be sure to meet conference sponsors as well. Also, enjoy music performances presented by Warner Music Nashville, highlighting some of its best and brightest artists, songwriters, and musicians.

 

7:30 pm -
10:00 pm

MEET THE EDITORS NETWORKING DINNER

During this exclusive event, you will have the opportunity to chat and chew with Inc. editors and some of your favorite Inc.com columnists as well as fellow conference attendees in this casual fun-filled setting. Pre-registration is required. There is an additional fee to participate.

Introduction: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

Special Remarks: Norm Brodsky, founder, CitiStorage; partner, Black Gold Suites; columnist, Inc.; and co-author, Street Smarts


8:00 pm -
9:30 pm

NETWORKING WITH PURPOSE AFTER DARK

Hosted by the Inc. Small Giants Community

Create meaningful connections with your entrepreneurial peers that will enhance the content and discussion throughout the GROWCO conference. Seasoned entrepreneurs and members of the Inc. Small Giants Community, and Inc. editors will be there to mingle and converse. For those of you that prefer to trash-talk instead, explore the Networking in Motion Gaming Center powered by Mercedes-Benz Vans. Unleash your competitive spirit by playing games like cornhole, ping pong, and life-size Jenga. Also, enjoy complimentary beverages from our espresso bar. Don’t miss this fun-filled evening.

April 8, 2015

7:30 am -
5:00 pm

REGISTRATION OPEN

8:30 am -
5:00 pm

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center open

This is your time to interact with your fellow GROWCO conference attendees as well as the sponsors of the event. Please stop by each respective booth to meet and greet your conference sponsors.

8:50 am -
9:00 am

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

9:00 am -
9:10 am

WELCOME

Remarks: Eric Schurenberg, president and editor-in-chief, Inc.                                                                                                                                  

9:10 am -
9:40 am

LONG LIVE THE TINKERER! HOW INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY MUST COEXIST

“Innovation and the absurd are a paper-thin distance apart,” says Bre Pettis, co-founder of MakerBot Industries, a leading manufacturer of 3-D printers. Pettis, a former school teacher and a self-described “maker” by nature, launched the company in 2009. Pettis then sold it to Stratasys for $403 million in 2013, but he remains an influential figure in the industry as personalized production continues to pick up speed. Pettis will (re)introduce us to the newest industrial revolution. Learn just what audacious simplicity is and find out why exploring the absurd is one of the best routes to innovation. Creativity doesn’t just inspire—it produces physical stuff.

Speaker: Bre Pettis, co-founder, MakerBot Industries; and founder and chief innovation officer, Bold Machines—The Innovation Workshop at Stratasys

9:50 am -
10:30 am

A THIRST FOR BUSINESS—THE STORY OF HINT WATER

From selling unsweetened, fruit-infused flavored water out of her garage to quitting her C-suite job at AOL to take her refreshing idea to market, Hint Water founder and CEO Kara Goldin has been making moves as fluid as her beverage product. Today, the $50 million-dollar company has a presence on shelves across the country (think: Whole Foods, Publix, and college campuses). In this exclusive conversation, Goldin and COO (and husband) Theo share how they did it. Learn what you must do before launching a product; how Goldin wooed investors such as Grammy and Oscar Award-winner singer John Legend; and what it really takes to stand out in an industry flooded with competition. Find out just how to float to the top.

Speakers: Kara Goldin, founder and CEO, Hint Water; and Theo Goldin, COO, Hint Water

Interview: Kimberly Weisul, editor-at-large, Inc.

10:30 am -
11:15 am

A Conversation With Inc.’s 2014 Company of the Year: Airbnb

Airbnb is now the biggest lodging provider on Earth. Founders Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia have convinced 20 million strangers (10 million in 2014 alone) to show up at another stranger’s home and nestle in for a few days–or hand their house keys to some guy from the internet. Their website surpassed 800,000 listings worldwide and the company is valued at $10 billion. In an exclusive conversation with Inc., founder and CPO Joe Gebbia opens up about the company’s disruptive, brazen, overall brilliant, and possibly illegal home-sharing empire.

Speaker: Joe Gebbia, co-founder and chief product officer, Airbnb

Interviewer: Burt Helm, senior contributing writer, Inc.         

11:15 am -
11:30 am

BREAK

11:45 am -
12:45 pm

FREE-FLOWING NETWORKING IN THE INNOVATION HALL

If you’re interested in chatting with your peers or meeting our conference sponsors, then feel free to hang out in the Innovation Hall. This is your opportunity to learn from one another.

11:45 am -
12:45 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP – What’s Your Plan B? Contingency Planning and Other Company-Saving Scenarios

Preparing for the worst-case scenario is not the first thing on most entrepreneurs’ to-do lists. Yet having a solid contingency plan can help ensure a company’s sustainability as it helps set the business apart from the mainstream. In this workshop, learn best practices for contingency planning, discover a proactive process that ensures long-term growth and wards against failure, and find out how planning for the worst can actually be your best source of innovation and business growth. Also, you will be given a unique tool to identify, capture, rank, and prioritize innovative products, services, and business ideas.

 

Session Leader: Steve Baker, vice president, The Great Game of Business Inc.

11:45 am -
12:45 pm

DEEP DIVE SESSION – The Innovation Workshop

Bre Pettis may know a thing or two about making inanimate objects. But he’s also keen on people. Building on his keynote, this lifelong tinkerer will give you tips, tools, and resources to drive innovation within your organization. Learn how to design and execute big goals, why friendships, networking, and building connections are key to helping others as well as yourself, and how to radically evolve your company’s culture as you scale. Pettis’s personal mission has always been to empower people to be creative. So come with your questions and your curiosity.

Session Leader: Bre Pettis, co-founder, MakerBot Industries; and founder and chief innovation officer, Bold Machines—The Innovation Workshop at Stratasys

11:45 am -
12:15 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: May the Force Be With You: How Become a Ninja Sales Leader

What’s scarier than sales? Training salespeople! Learn how Abe Issa developed a state-of-the-art sales academy at Global Efficient Energy. His customer-acquisition costs are now a third of the industry average and his closing percentage on cold-call leads is 2.5 to 3 times the industry average.  Learn the recipe to the secret sales sauce that propelled GEE’s rapid expansion and high level of customer satisfaction.

Speaker: Abe Issa, founder and CEO, Global Efficient Energy

11:45 am -
12:45 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION – What Kind of Capital is Good for Your Growth?

Hosted by the Inc. Small Giants Community

Having someone else’s mind and money influencing your growth capability can be a scary proposition. How much control do you give up? What does capital really bring to the table? Can the terms change mid-deal? Is capital-driven growth even right for you? Join us as our panel of proven investors and financial experts in the areas of growth capital, venture capital investing, and community-based banking give you a full 360 on the perils and promises of capital investment. Whether you have never even thought about capital, have had bad experiences with the process, or know exactly where to find it and what to do with it, this session is for you. Find out what you need to know (or thought you knew!). Got a question? Bring it.

Speakers: Brendan Anderson, co-founder and managing partner, Evolution Capital Partners; Vik Thapar, principal, Cypress Growth Capital; and Carol Titus, director of health care banking, Avenue Bank

Moderator: Jeff Haden, columnist, Inc.com       

11:45 am -
12:45 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP: Launch! How to Go From Idea to Market

What’s your big idea? It’s finally time to go hard or go home. In this super-high-energy workshop, filled with behind-the-scenes stories about some of the biggest brands in business, learn how to manage the business and personal sides of a launch. From mitigating risks to taking your idea to market, and learning how to adapt when things don’t go as planned, leave with the perfect playbook (not textbook) for getting your idea to market successfully. We’ll also show you how to acquire the resources you need while protecting what’s most important to you every step of the way. Gain tools you can apply immediately to successfully launch any new business, product, and/or service. And find out best practices for managing both the personal and business demands required by a launch. Are you ready for takeoff?

Speaker: Scott Duffy, founder and CEO, The Content Shop; and author, Launch!: The Critical 90 Days From Idea to Market


11:45 am -
12:45 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION: Trials and Triumphs: True Stories from Norm Brodsky

Beloved Inc. columnist, best-selling author, and serial entrepreneur Norm Brodsky has seen and done it all. But decades of entrepreneurship still couldn’t prepare him and his partner in business and life, Elaine Brodsky, for the unimaginable. In January, a seven-alarm fire destroyed their Brooklyn, New York–based home and property. Life has been turned upside down for them, but what has endured is their resilience. In this exclusive session, Norm Brodsky shares his story and lessons he’s picked up and takes your questions. Hear why the fire isn’t the only thing Brodsky’s mind and fortune need to recover from. Learn why you should take stock in your life before tragedy strikes, what (and who) it takes to withstand anything, and how to always see the good in everything.

Speaker: Norm Brodsky, founder, CitiStorage; partner, Black Gold Suites; columnist, Inc.; and co-author, Street Smarts

Interviewer: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

12:15 pm -
12:45 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: How the Right Digital Strategy Can Drive Innovation and Growth

Digital strategy expert Shama Hyder will reveal five tactics guaranteed to help you expand your customer base, increase referrals, grow market share, and become an industry leader in the digital era. Shama will teach you how to recognize trends, better utilize social media, and create, curate, and distribute content to establish thought leadership. You can finally get answers to: Is blogging still worth it? What is Meerkat? Why are native videos so much more powerful?

Speaker: Shama Kabani Hyder, founder and CEO, The Marketing Zen Group; and author, The Zen of Social Media Marketing


12:45 pm -
1:45 pm

NETWORKING LUNCH AND DESSERT IN THE INNOVATION HALL

Inc. Marketplace

Exchange contact information and sharp observations about what it means to start, run, or grow a business. Enjoy the meal as you make lasting connections with potential partners, colleagues, and friends. Follow @IncLiveEvents and #GROWCO15 throughout the event for live coverage.

2:00 pm -
3:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP – Exit War Stories with Valuations

Exiting is the most difficult area for entrepreneurs and CEOs to learn about. There are two reasons why: They don’t happen very often, and when they do, almost every detail is covered by nondisclosure agreements. Even when you hear that an exit has occurred, it’s extremely unusual to find out the price the company sold for, or obtain enough of the financial history to put the valuation in perspective. This breakout is a unique opportunity to learn about, and discuss, real exit case studies. You’ll hear the real war stories about what it took to get these transactions done. Most interestingly, you’ll learn how these companies were valued by the acquirers and what factors increased the valuation through the exit process. By the end of this breakout, you’ll have the basic skills necessary to value most companies in the context of an exit transaction.

Session Leader: Basil Peters, M&A adviser, CEO, Strategic Exits Corp.; author, Early Exits; and columnist, Inc.com

2:00 pm -
3:00 pm

FREE-FLOWING NETWORKING IN THE INNOVATION HALL

The Inc. Marketplace

If you’re interested in chatting with your peers or meeting our conference sponsors, then feel free to hang out in the Innovation Hall. This is your opportunity to learn from one another.

2:00 pm -
3:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION – Lessons from the (Business) Frontlines

While some enter into the world of business by identifying a need and filling it, others find inspiration in the midst of chaos. In this session, meet seasoned business owners who are using the power of entrepreneurship to transform their respective communities. Learn how to build remarkable mental toughness and what it takes to overcome business obstacles that may stand in your way. Walk away from this conversation seeing your purpose and profits from a new perspective.

Speakers: Abe Issa, founder and CEO, Global Efficient Energy; and Aleksandra Scepanovic, founder and managing director, Ideal Properties Group

Interviewer: Burt Helm, senior contributing writer, Inc.         

2:00 pm -
3:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION – How to Compete with Giants

Giants have big budgets to market and legions of loyal fans to sell to. But plenty of opportunity still exists for small business. Hear sage advice on standing out in a crowded marketplace. Learn how it’s not a fight of strength but one of speed, relevance, and maneuverability. Discover why you need to understand your customers and which social media platforms are best to make your presence known. It’s less about dominating and more about leveling (or disrupting) the playing field with a new approach, product concept, or methodology.

Speakers: Benjamin Goldberg, founder and co-owner, Strategic Hospitality; Max Goldberg, co-owner, Strategic Hospitality; and Emmanuel Saujet, co-founder and CEO, International Cosmetics and Perfumes

Moderator: Jeff Haden, columnist, Inc.com

2:00 pm -
3:00 pm

LEARNING WORKSHOP: Company Culture: Start With Your Personal Core Values

You can’t build a great company without creating a great culture. Good leaders start with their own core values. In this interactive session, participants will walk through a core value discovery process and identify key values that will help their companies grow effectively and consistently.

Session Leader: Kevin Daum, founder and CEO, TAE International; author, ROAR! and Video Marketing for Dummies; executive producer, 77WABC’s Amilya!; and columnist, Inc.com

2:00 pm -
2:30 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION: Lights! Action! Lead!

If you’ve ever marveled at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s awesome exterior lighting system, then you’re familiar with Solomon Group’s mastery with lighting installation and entertainment production. But for founder Gary Solomon Jr., the challenge has been to grow beyond his New Orleans boundaries onto the national playing field. Gary will talk about how to leverage initial local success to not only expand geographically, but to stretch your company and your team to innovate beyond the comfort zone.

Speaker: Gary Solomon Jr., co-founder and president, Solomon Group

Interviewer: Donna Fenn, contributing editor, Inc.com; and author, Upstarts!

2:00 pm -
3:00 pm

REAL-TIME PROBLEM-SOLVING SESSION: Stories from the Tank: Meet the Companies that Faced the Sharks

Ever wonder what it’s like to go swimming with sharks? In this exclusive session, entrepreneurs featured on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank open up about the experience. From getting on the program to the high-pressure pitch game to reeling in that big shark, these business owners tell all. Find out from these funded companies the ups and downs of life after the show and why you should always be prepared for any question and any conversation about your business. Of course, how to pitch your ideas to investors isn’t the only thing you can learn from these contestants. Got a question? Bring it.

Speakers: Morri Chowaiki, inventor, Hanukkah Tree Topper; and VP of business development, Shark Branding; and Sharon Yu, founder, Magic Cook

Moderator: Jon Fine, executive editor, Inc.

2:30 pm -
3:00 pm

30 UNDER 30 SESSION – Dressed for Success: How to Crash the Startup Party

With no experience, no VC money, no food industry pedigree, and absolutely no desire to compromise their values, the Vetter brothers propelled their salad dressing company, Tessemae’s All Natural, onto the national stage in stores such as Whole Foods and Safeway. In an industry dominated by giants, Tessemae’s, founded with a family recipe, is now a multimillion-dollar company. The Vetters reveal how they cracked the growth code with the power of “no”—no cheap ingredients, no price cuts, no excuses, no shortcuts, and no looking back.

Speakers: Brian Vetter, middle brother, co-founder and head of business development, Tessemae’s All Natural; and Greg Vetter, oldest brother, co-founder and CEO, Tessemae’s All Natural

3:00 pm -
3:20 pm

BREAK

3:20 pm -
3:30 pm

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

3:30 pm -
4:00 pm

THE SUCCESS OF FAILING

In 2000, Mariam Naficy, then 28, sold her online cosmetics retail startup for $110 million. Though she managed to come out of the dot-com bubble unscathed, it didn’t make her invincible to failure or risks. Today her latest venture is Minted, a crowd-sourced design company founded in 2008. From fundraising to luring investors, Naficy appreciates the déjà vu of it all. Learn from her what it’s like to be an entrepreneur during tech bubbles, how she mitigates mistakes the second time around, and why she is adamant that tough times are only temporary. Failure is not a deal-breaker.

Speaker: Mariam Naficy, founder and CEO, Minted

Interviewer: James Ledbetter, editor, Inc. and Inc.com; and author, Unwarranted Influence

4:00 pm -
4:40 pm

JOHNNY BE GOOD: HOW TO BUILD BRAND LOYALTY AND INSPIRE INNOVATION

Johnny Cupcakes is a lifestyle brand that sells limited-edition collectible T-shirts and other apparel online and at stores designed to resemble bakeries. Johnny Earle launched the company out of the trunk of his car. Nearly 15 years later, Johnny Cupcakes is eating up the competition with its cupcakes, crossbones, and one-of-a-kind business strategy. Hundreds of superloyal customers camp outside the faux bakeries for its merchandise. Earle will give you blueprints on how to cultivate leadership and think outside the box to cook up a powerful brand driven by community, creativity, details, and exclusivity.

Speaker: Johnny Earle, founder and CEO, Johnny Cupcakes

4:40 pm -
5:30 pm

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE HONEST COMPANY

Even movie stars have to stare down skeptics when they launch a company and seek funding. Jessica Alba, founder of the Honest Company persevered—and wound up with $150 million in revenues this year, $122 million in funding, and a valuation at nearly $1 billion. In this exclusive conversation with Inc., Alba and co-founder and CEO Brian Lee open up about the Honest Company’s winning formula. These two business moguls will share what goes into building a household brand of eco- and parent-friendly products, how they proved doubters wrong, and how the Honest team has come so far so quickly.

Speakers: Jessica Alba, founder, The Honest Company; and Brian Lee, CEO and co-founder, The Honest Company; co-founder, LegalZoom; and co-founder, ShoeDazzle

Interviewer: Lindsay Blakely, features editor, Inc.                               

5:30 pm -
6:30 pm

NASHVILLE NETWORING HAPPY HOUR

TBD


5:30 pm -
12:00 am

PROGRAM CLOSES FOR THE DAY

5:30 pm -
6:30 pm

WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

6:30 pm -
12:00 am

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center closes for the day

6:30 pm -
8:00 pm

NETWORKING WITH PURPOSE AT THE ENTREPRENEUR CENTER

Hosted by the Inc. Small Giants Community
Powered by Spark Business From Capital One

Spark Business from Capital One and the Inc. Small Giants Community invite you to Networking With Purpose at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC). The conversations promise to be meaningful, provocative, and enlightening. Or, if you prefer, experience the future of business with Local Motors, makers of the world’s first 3-D-printed car. Vehicles will be on display and you can take a spin on a 3-D-printed trike. This event is free and you must have your conference badge for entry. Complimentary continuous shuttle service will loop between the 5th Avenue Omni Nashville Hotel entrance and the EC starting at 6:15 p.m. Or take a stroll if you prefer (.5 mile walk). Please follow the directional signs or ask staff for assistance.

Entrepreneur Center – 41 Peabody Street


8:00 pm -
11:00 pm

GROWCO: Pinewood Social Party

Hosted by Spark Business From Capital One

What time is it? Game time! Come experience Nashville’s nightlife in the comfortable setting of Pinewood Social. Relax and unwind with delicious bites, great music, and refreshing cocktails during the official 2015 GROWCO conference party. Also, enjoy bowling, cards, Jenga, or bocce and the company of your fellow entrepreneurs. Come hang out and revel in all the different elements this party has to offer. Follow @IncLiveEvents, #GROWCO15, and #SparkBizLive for the sights and sounds of the evening. Free to GROWCO conference attendees; badges and government-issued I.D. required for entry. Complimentary shuttle service will loop throughout the evening between the 5th Avenue entrance of the Omni Nashville Hotel and Pinewood Social. Or take a stroll if you prefer (.5 mile walk). Please follow the directional signs or ask staff for assistance.

Pinewood Social – 33 Peabody Street


April 9, 2015

8:00 am -
12:00 pm

REGISTRATION OPEN

8:30 am -
3:00 pm

Innovation Hall and Networking Activity Center open

8:50 am -
9:00 am

WELCOME FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

9:00 am -
9:05 am

WELCOME

9:05 am -
9:45 am

Behind the Burner (and Business) With Momofuku’s Chef David Chang

More than a decade since opening his first noodle bar, David Chang is now an award-winning global chef with food concepts that bring swagger to the fine dining scene. But it takes more than a superb menu to keep both customers and employees satisfied. Chang, who is notorious for his intensity, opens up about what it really takes to manage the front and back of house. Hear how he’s utilizing technology to change the industry and learning from his failures. Discover why he loves pushing people to trounce expectations and how to develop a fulfilling ethos for both your customers and your employees. Find out why Chang believes life’s too short to let yourself settle for anything less than the best in all you do.

Speaker: David Chang, chef and owner, Momofuku

Interviewer: Jon Fine, executive editor, Inc.

9:45 am -
10:30 am

The Delusions of Success: A Master Class With Dr. Marshall Goldsmith

What does it really take for business owners to achieve positive, measurable changes in behavior for themselves and their people? Marshall Goldsmith will share his time-tested leadership practices, which incorporate lessons from 38 years of working with top business leaders, as well as material from his research, articles, and 35 books. Looking to go from here to there or need your mojo back? Dr. Goldsmith will teach you how to decipher your shortcomings (and learn from it). Find out the top mistakes leaders make, the right way to delegate, and how success can actually make you fail.

Speaker: Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, executive educator; business coach; and author, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Mojo


10:30 am -
11:00 am

The Future of Business: Behind the World’s First 3-D-Printed Vehicle

John “Jay” Rogers launched Local Motors with an ambitious plan: To create an open-source community that works together to design and develop exciting, efficient motor vehicles and builds them locally in a sustainable manner with customer participation. Today, the company is home to more than 60,000 car-design concepts, 45,000 community members, and more than 90 full-time employees across four locations in the United States and Europe. Local Motors recently unveiled the Strati, the world’s first 3-D-printed vehicle. Learn how this next-generation car company is changing the way cars are designed, built, and owned. Their story of innovation and co-creation will drive your company toward profitability.

Speaker: Jay Rogers, co-founder and CEO, Local Motors

11:00 am -
11:30 am

BREAK

11:20 am -
11:30 am

CLOSING PERFORMANCE FROM WARNER MUSIC NASHVILLE

Music Performance Presented By Warner Music Nashville

11:35 am -
12:35 pm

PAST, PRESENT, PROFITS: COMPANY OF THE YEAR ALL-STARS

For more than three decades, Inc. has told the inspiring, educational, and connective story of the entrepreneur. Amid the thousands of small businesses we follow year-over-year, a few entrepreneurs and their companies stand out. The Company of the Year (or Entrepreneur of the Year) is bestowed upon the business (or businessperson) achieving game-changing success and/or innovation within a given industry. In this exclusive session, we’re joined by past and present All-Star honorees for a candid conversation on the past, present, and future of these unique enterprises. There’s a lot to be learned from the entrepreneur who’s been there, done that (still doing it), and has the well-earned business battle scars to prove that he or she deserves to be here.

Speakers: Joe Gebbia, co-founder and CPO, Airbnb; Phil Libin, co-founder and CEO, Evernote; and Alberto Perlman, co-founder and CEO, Zumba Fitness

Interviewer: Eric Schurenberg, president and editor-in-chief, Inc.

12:35 pm -
1:35 pm

Lessons from Business Turnaround King Marcus Lemonis

Marcus Lemonis is in the business of helping others. But behind every great man or business is a story, right? Lemonis will offer us a candid inside look at how he became the “Business Turnaround King.” What did his ambition stem from? What was it like to bootstrap an entire business career? Learn the biggest challenges Lemonis faced as an entrepreneur and how he has overcome them, and discover the pivotal turning point(s) that propelled him toward success.

Speaker: Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO, Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises; star of the CNBC television show The Profit

1:35 pm -
3:00 pm

NETWORKING LUNCH AND DESSERT IN THE INNOVATION HALL

The Inc. Marketplace

Exchange contact information and sharp observations about what it means to start, run, or grow a business. Enjoy the meal as you make lasting connections with potential partners, colleagues, and friends. Follow @IncLiveEvents and #GROWCO15 throughout the event for live coverage.

3:00 pm -
4:00 pm

Closing Reception at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center

Spend the final hour of 2015 Grow Your Company Conference conversing with your peers, Inc. editors, and conference speakers. Grab a tasty snack to eat, sip a refreshing drink, and continue to make lasting connections with potential partners, colleagues, and friends.

4:00 pm -
12:00 am

2015 GROW YOUR COMPANY CONFERENCE CONCLUDES