Workshops 2016


Presented by Nora Madjar

The goal of this interactive training workshop is to improve participants’ skills in deal making and dispute resolution through hand-on experiences designed to build confidence and allow experimentation with different influence and persuasion techniques.


  • a negotiation framework that will improve your problem solving approach, difficult conversations, and relationships with co-workers, vendors, and customers.
  • how to reframe goals and outcomes so that they are mutually beneficial.
  • new strategies to plan and prepare for different types of negotiations.
  • how to set goals and define interests, uncover misleading information, and use creativity to add value

Some time at the end will be devoted to help participants apply the presented skills directly to their current problems and situations.

Proactive Networking

Presented by Meredith Sandiford and Trish Fontanilla

The goal of this workshop is to teach you how to use the power of networking to surround yourself with a network of professionals that you can leverage to help grow your business, your career, or other future goals. This workshop will cover utilizing mentors and advocates.
  • strategies to build your network relating to your needs whether they are developing a startup team, generating more sales, building community, and finding capital.
  • strategies to develop relationships at work which will allow you to further your career through advancing your projects.
  • techniques for enriching the relationships that you have with those in your network.

Empathy in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Presented by Peter Barkman

In this workshop participants will engage with empathy as the most important tool for value creation in today’s innovative businesses. This hands on workshop will start it's participants down the road to understanding why empathy is so important and how something that soft and fluffy became a hard business variable. Through exercises such as "peeling the onion" and "empathy mapping" participants will
  • how to identify and harnessing explicit and latent customer needs.
  • methods of getting to the core and understanding drivers of consumer behavior.
  • understand how we can get to the bottom of our customer's motivations.
  • to depict and analyze customer behavior.
  • to measure empathy in ones business (i.e. how does a business quantify value creation and empathy for it to become manageable and something one can develop further).

Emerging Alternatives for Seed Funding (Panel)

Moderated by Brenda Lewis, Principal, Transactions Marketing Inc.


Frances Schweip, Principal, Comcast Ventures

Geoff Schneider, Founder & Managing Director, Cava Capital

Stephen Ganis, Attorney, Law Offices of Stephen L. Ganis

Seed stage funding in the United States has fallen to levels not seen since 2002. This panel will address the rise of alternatives to traditional angel and venture capital investments in early stage startups. Alternative sources of pre-revenue funding now include strategic corporate investments, micro-VCs, and accredited crowdfunding.


  • about the changing source and structure of the US seed stage funding pool.
  • when and whether to take corporate investment vs. traditional venture capital.
  • about the different types of crowdfunding and whether any are right for you.
  • about new twists on the traditional venture capital model.


Exporting Innovation: Unlocking New Channels for Growth from Entrepreneur to Multi-national

Moderator: Laura Jaworski, CT DECD


Jenny L. Norris, Regional Manager, Meridian Finance Group
Glendowlyn Thames, Director, Small Business Innovation Group & CT Next, Connecticut Innovations
Jacqui Torcellini, International Trade Specialist, CT Small Business Development Center
Mario Leite, Founder, Tea-rrific! Ice Cream
Adam Dambrov, Senior Manager, KPMG

According to Boston Consulting Group’s Global Readiness Index, emerging markets are currently predicted to grow four times as fast as developed markets and account for $20 trillion, or 35% of consumer spending will occur in emerging markets by 2020.  In that time, a total of 270 million new households will enter the global consumer class. However, only 13% of senior executives feel equipped to capitalize on these opportunities.


  • from Connecticut entrepreneurs who have successfully expanded into foreign markets.
  • about financing options specifically designed to facilitate export sales and growth.
  • about state programs available to help you grow your business through export.
  • how to access information needed to help you evaluate new opportunities in emerging markets.

Framing Problems for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Presented by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg

The workshop builds on my book Innovation as Usual (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013) and will teach participants a problem-solving tool, reframing the problem, which they can use in almost all aspects of their work and their life. The workshop focuses on the challenge of diagnosing a given problem – such as, ‘what is preventing us from making progress‘ – and then, crucially, challenging and reframing people’s initial perception of that problem.


  • to move away from brute force, trial-and-error approaches to problem solving.
  • to understand your business problems correctly.
  • to combine reframing problems with trial-and-error approach to save wasted effort in the innovation process.

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