Intermitten 2019 Brings Thought Leaders on Startup Culture to a2Tech360
By Laura Cowan
Laura K. Cowan is a tech editor and journalist whose work has focused on promoting sustainability initiatives for automotive, green tech, and conscious living media outlets.
A speaker from a previous Intermitten conference on stage. Intermitten brings together thought leaders on subjects that vary from funding to adapting to corporate culture after acquisition. Photo courtesy Intermitten.
Intermitten, just one of several conferences on the future of technology, women in tech, and the future of mobility, will be taking place during Ann Arbor's growing tech week in early June.
We caught up with Intermitten co-founder and president Heidi Craun to get a sense of this year's Intermitten conference, while you can still grab a ticket. Please note tickets are only sold until the day before Intermitten, and you cannot buy tickets at the door. We will be covering this event for those of you who can't attend.
Date: June 4, 2019
Time: 8:00a – 7:00p ET
- 8a to 9a // Registration & Breakfast
- 9a to 4p // Talks (with lunch & many breaks included)
- 4p to 7p // Intermixer Afterparty at legendary live music venue, the Blind Pig
What's it all about? "Intermitten was founded by startup employees for startup people," Craun tells us. "We got together 4 years ago because some of us were working in the customer experience community [in Michigan] and only met each other by attending a conference in Chicago. We created a meetup for southeast Michigan, and at one of those meetups we went into a large conversation about the disconnect in the community. We talked about the challenges of recruiting senior-level tech talent to the Midwest."
Attendees at Intermitten stand in front of the event signage. Intermitten approaches topics of interest to entrepreneurs and professionals in the startup space.
"We talked about the challenges of recruiting senior-level tech talent to the midwest."
Heidi Craun, co-founder and president, Intermitten
"Unless you’re going to poach from other players in town, there weren’t a lot of options," she says. "We were looking at the Bay area and how to convince them to help us with what we’ve already built." One obvious benefit of the Midwest is affordability. "You can make a 6-figure salary here that actually pays your bills and you can buy a home, but what we ran into was 'what else is there if this doesn’t work for me?' That opened our eyes to how little people outside the Midwest know about what’s happening. We could do a better job increasing visibility of what we’re doing in addition to nurturing the people doing the work."
That became Intermitten. The conference brings thought leadership talks and workshops to Ann Arbor on the subjects of startup culture, technology leadership, and the Midwest region.
Heidi Craun, co-founder and president of Intermitten and Director of Platform at HPA. Photo courtesy Heidi Craun.
This year themes are around empowering entrepreneurs with capital, how to operate inclusive environments, and how to merge company cultures--a talk brought by Dug Song of Ann Arbor's first billion-dollar-plus valuated unicorn startup, security company Duo. Other speakers for eleven different talks include Backstage Capital Managing Director Monica Wheat, Director of Kaplan Partner Solutions Jeffrey Koetje M.D., Founder and CEO of Build Institute April Boyle, and Director of Prosperus Detroit Chanell Scott Contreras.
"How can we avoid pitfalls and retain more talent? How do we give people our blessing and set them up for success and keep them in the ecosystem if they start their own thing?" Craun asks.
Dug Song of Duo will be speaking on how important it is to offer employees ownership shares, which democratizes wealth and creates more opportunity through communities and not just for leadership teams of an organization.
Another topic of interest to entrepreneurs is how to move beyond venture capital for funding options. "We’re looking at other ways to build capital, and especially for entrepreneurs from underrepresented or underestimated backgrounds, how could you get a micro loan or other kinds of loans or community funding?" Craun says.
Attendees at a previous year's Intermitten conference on startup culture and leadership. Photo courtesy Intermitten.
Dug Song of Duo will be speaking on how important it is to offer employees ownership shares, which democratizes wealth and creates more opportunity through communities and not just for leadership teams of an organization. Craun says yet another talk focuses on how companies can position themselves so customers understand the value they're offering them.
This year's Intermitten will feature speakers addressing funding beyond venture capital and operating inclusive environments. Photo Intermitten.
Registration info is available at intermitten.org. Please note that June 3 midnight they will stop selling tickets. "We have scholarship tickets available," Craun says. "The more money sponsors give us, the more tickets we give to people who can’t afford to come or don’t have a company sponsoring their attendance. These are available through the website. You can’t buy tickets at the door."
For more information contact Intermitten by email.