Outstanding Success: 4th Annual Conference Gets Rave Reviews

"Driving Global Business: Public-Private High Tech Ventures" featured
outstanding keynote speakers and expert panels who focused on
key issues for various stakeholders
Conference supported by leading government and private organizations

The Wharton Club of DC Fourth Annual Conference, Driving Global Business: Public-Private High-Tech Ventures, was held on 24 March and preceded by a reception at the Residence of the British Deputy Chief of Mission. Speakers and panelists addressed the challenge of enabling government agencies to directly tap into the emerging technology sector for solutions to substantial government needs.

This is increasingly important as government research and development depends increasingly on information technology, nanotechnology, and life sciences disciplines where advances increasingly come from the private sector.

The event assembled representatives from four stakeholders groups:
--Government agencies with the need
--Emerging technology firms with the solution
--Enabling investors from the public and private sectors
--Industryís system integrators who deliver the solution

Expert panels included representatives from every government agency that is or will be tapping directly into emerging technology firms. These include the Navy, Army, CIA, NASA and the government sponsored Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology.

Early panels addressed the government need and strategies for partnering with system integrators, while Homeland Security officials stressed that government officials are not interested in your company or even your product per se, but rather only how you solve their problem. Subsequent panels included investors whose portfolio firms sell to the government and commercially (so-called "dual market" situations) and the challenges and benefits of having the government as a customer.

Outstanding keynote speakers

Keynote speakers Kent Kresa, Gov. James S. Gilmore, III, and Prof. Scott Shane

We heard from three keynote speakers, whose presentations were spaced throughout the day. The first was Northrop Grumman CEO Emeritus, Kent Kresa, who led the company to a Forbes "Company of the Year" rating. He described the successful transformation of his firm, from one with $5 billion in revenues to a giant that is expected to reach over $30 billion this year. He offered lessons that could apply to both public agencies and private companies. In reviewing the Northrup Grumman evolution, he offered what could be considered best practices applicable to the Department of Homeland Security as they merge over 20 agencies into one organization. Kresa is now a Senior Advisor to DC's The Carlyle Group.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, now a partner with our Gold Sponsor Kelley Drye, began with an overview of his "Gilmore Commission." In the years shortly before 9/11, its task was to deal with issues arising from terrorism using Weapons of Mass Destruction. He traced its changes in the post 9/11 period that led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Governor Gilmore challenged us as citizen managers to balance risk and freedom as we battle a war on terror during the information age.

Our final keynote speaker, Prof. Scott Shane (Wharton PhD, Finance) of Case Western Reserve, offered proven tips to creating a successful technology start up. These lessons were drawn from his careful analysis included in Finding Fertile Ground: Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities in New Ventures, his bestseller from Wharton School Publishing.

Enthusiastic Response from Attendees

Well over 150 persons attended the event or reception, while getting direct access to speakers, panelists and attendees. Interaction and networking were so robust that the most common complaint was that delegates had run out of business cards!

There are the a few of the many positive views of those who attended. Steve Oser, a long-time Club member, stated:

"There is no way to describe the quality of this conference, except EXCELLENT!

"The food was fine (there appeared to be plenty for all), the hall was convenient, very comfortable, the service was good, the attendees were varied and gregarious, the schedule was kept - how much better could it be?

"Speakers were of the highest caliber. They knew their stuff cold, kept on topic, were informative, open, responsive, sometimes entertaining, and really made me feel that my money was well spent (I donít often feel that way from some of the conferences Iíve been to). The Wharton School should really be proud to have their name attached to this DC Club event.

"All of you on the committee deserve the highest praise for putting on a great event."

Jason Stern, President, Braddock Communications, added, "Kudos to your 4th Annual Conference on Driving Global Business presented by the Wharton Club of DC. As a publisher, I particularly appreciate insights from knowledgable sources. The conference speakers provided substantive information on a broad range of subjects.

"Holding the conference at the Academy for Educational Development was a great choice. I look forward to attending future conferences."

Christopher J. Rowe, Rho-Star Advisors, wrote, "The Wharton Club of DC Driving Global Business Conference excelled (1) in providing breadth and depth into the critical facets of doing business with the US Government, (2) in assembling a diverse group of business contacts and (3) in hosting an enjoyable evening and day of socializing. Thanks for a great event."

3-DVD Set with Contents of Conference

For a limited time, the Club is now offering a 3-DVD set with the highlights of the conference: all speakers, PowerPoint presentations, and bios. This is valuable record of the proceedings that you may be able to use to build your business and career. Just click to go directly to the Store to purchase a 3-DVD set with full contents of the Conference:
Go to the store for the full 3-DVD set of the Wharton Club Conference only available from our Club.

These are the items now available:
--DVD set (3 DVDs) with all conference speakers, slides, full book - just $39 (+ $4/set shipping, handling, taxes) - if you paid to attend the conference
--If you are a Club member and did not attend: the full set, plus the full Conf. notebook subject to availability: $59 (+7/set shipping, handling, taxes)
--If you are not a current Club member or did not pay to attend: the full set, plus the full Conf. notebook subject to availability: $79 (+7/set shipping, handling, taxes)

5th Annual Conference, in 2006

Also, please contact us at 301-365-8999 with your thoughts on potential future annual conference topics. Work has already begun on next year's forum, our 5th Annual. Your input would be extremely valuable. Please consider these questions and others, and suggest whatever interests you and would appeal to a large audience:
--What are the biggest challenges you face?
--What is the impact of globalization on your organization?
--How are you dealing with competitive threats?
--What are the disruptive technologies you are trying to use, or concern you the most?
--Is the U.S. facing serious problems from fiscal or foreign trade deficits; what does our nation need to do?
--What are the biggest technology or other opportunities in the next decade or two?

Meanwhile, the Wharton Club of DC is honored to recognize the following organizations for supporting this conference:


--Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP, a leading international law firm (www.KelleyDrye.com)
--British Embassy's Science and Technology Group: www.BritainUSA.com/science
--Ranablue - www.Ranablue.com: outstanding design, marketing & website services

Strategic Partners

--DC Technology Council (dctechcouncil.org)
--Fairfax County Econ. Dev. Authority (fceda.org)
--Georgetown University's McDonough School
--Harvard Business School Club of DC
--Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC)(nvtc.org)
--Potomac Officers Club (potomacofficersclub.com)
--TelecomHub (telecomhub.org)
--Washington Network Group

Speakers' and Attendees' Agencies & Companies included (a Partial List):

--BB&T Capital Markets/Windsor Capital
--Burrill & Company
--The Carlyle Group
--Computer Sciences Corp.
--Entrepreneurial Management Center & Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT)
--Intel Capital
--IT and Civil Programs, Lockheed Martin System Integration
--Language Analysis Systems, Inc.
--Maryland Department of Business & Economic Dev. Venture Fund
--MILCOM Technologies, OnPoint (U.S. Army venture capital entity)
--M&T Bank
--Northrop Grumman Corporation
--Novak Biddle
--Office of Naval Research
--Paladin Capital
--Siebel Systems
--Snowbird Capital
--SRI International - - Federal Civil Group
--US. Dept. of Homeland Security Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Office
--Virginia Center for Innovative Technology
--Weatherhead School of Case Western Reserve University
--The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

--If you would like a Conference Overview:
Click here - Conference Overview.

--To see a detailed agenda, with more detailed information about each of the keynoters, panels, and panelists:
Click here - Detailed Conference Agenda.