The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce says … Game On!

Last Friday I had the chance to attend the Eastside Leadership Conference #ELC2017

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce is saying … GAME ON! (Click2Tweet)

First off, thank you to Nancy Heen and Amy Bray of Axelerate. Nancy is on the Board of the Bellevue Chamber. And she is as invested as anyone in seeing Bellevue and the Eastside as a whole continue to thrive … in the right ways.

Thank you to both Nancy and Amy for inviting me to their table at the ELC.

imageWhat I liked:

  • Great food
  • Great pitches
  • Great networking

Perhaps not in that order for everyone.

I also liked my table mates. It was great to see Ted Green and Treb Gatte. And, to meet Teresa Fausti, Janet McNaughton, and Lydia Frank.

Some of the highlights:

If you were there you know. If you missed … here are a few things I liked and recommend for those planning events. The ELC was well organized and worked for me.

20170602_193422568_iOSGIXThe Global Innovation Exchange  the education model for the future is being built right now in Bellevue. This is a joint venture between the University of Washington and China. And, a lot of passion within Bellevue. It’s an amazing project and one that will serve our students well. The idea is the team, amongst other things, entrepreneurialism to insure the next generation of students are ready to deal with the challenges of the next generation of working. Note: The GIX is equally available for all ages. I envision Boomers will apply and excel. Ideas are encouraged!

I drive past this building all the time and it is impressive.

Fun fact: There is a "drone port" and the walls are designed to allow robots to climb them. (click2tweet)

The Pitches - a group of local businesses were invited to pitch their products for three minutes. Although it seemed odd at first the pictures were the very beginning of the whole event. The model worked! (click2tweet)

Take a few minutes and check out all of the companies. They can use the local support and the global support. Details about the Tech Startup Pitches are here in The ELC Showcase. Click on the the link and then the icon for each company for details.


Everyone had a chance to vote on who they thought gave the best pitch. And, trust me, they were all great!

The winner was FanWide. This is a company that was started just under 2 years ago by a Microsoft alumni. He worked on the engineering team for eight years and he had an idea … he started a new business that helps fans no matter where they are in the world find fellow fans to watch their favorite sporting events. Check them out here: FanWide and connect with Symon Perriman to get involved.

The Speakers - the kick off speaker, Ted Abernathy, is an economist and yes he brought the charts. But, to his credit he explained them and their significance on the Bellevue community. See the list of speakers here. They were great and topical.

Nextio – Itimage was great to hear Anoop Gupta share his thoughts about “Attention as the New Currency” with his new business. Anoop is a Microsoft alumni that worked for several years for Bill Gates as his Technical Architect. He has a great perspective on how to leverage your time and hard earned skills. Check out what Nextio is up to.

In addition there were two great panel discussions Panel Discussions on Medical Devices and sessions on 5G, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality.

Bonus: It’s always nice to see Microsoft Alumni getting out there and doing their next thing. Including FanWide and Nextio. (click2Tweet)

Sidenote: I know my friend Kurt Springman had been quite active in the Bellevue Council effort many years ago and it's great to see his effort coming to fruition.

20170602_194623945_iOSThanks again to Nancy and Amy for the invitation. Also, thank you to the sponsors that made this possible (see the Sponsors Page) and to Microsoft for hosting us.

This was a great event and I will plan on coming back. Perhaps with a pitch next year. I hope to see you there too.

It’s clear … The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce says … Game On!


clip_image001Jeff is business advisor, mentor and community engagement expert. He has spent most of his career in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2.

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