Bookmark and Share

Marketing Innovators Luncheon Seminar

Marketing Lessons from the Startup World

Coming up with the next big idea and dominating a new market is something that many of us would love to do. But to business-to-business (B to B) marketers at established companies who face entrenched competition, the entrepreneurial spirit of a startup might seem like it’s from a completely different world. Throwing out the old rules and reinventing your organization’s marketing function just seems too risky.

Or is it?

The start of a new year is a great time to step out of your comfort zone and draw inspiration from new sources. Join BMA Chicago as we kick off 2013 with a special event on infusing new energy into your marketing organization at the Standard Club on Thursday, January 10. The program will reveal how established marketing teams can execute a new vision the way successful startups do.

In our increasingly globalized, technology-driven, dynamic economy, marketing teams at established companies often have no choice but to try new ways of doing things. Sticking with the tried and true actually can be riskier than going in a new direction. The panelists have already taken many of the risks that come with growing a successful business from a great idea—and they’ll show you that going a new direction probably isn’t as risky as you think.

The panelists will discuss how they’ve adapted to the new world of marketing with different approaches to budgeting and utilization of lean marketing teams, as examples. They’ll share ways to shake up and shock your markets. You’ll discover how to quickly learn from both successes and setbacks. You’ll also learn how to develop successful partnerships that have not occurred to you before.

The panel, moderated by Kevin Willer, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, includes:


Amish Tolia, Apparel Media Group
Apparel Media Group, was founded in 2009 to provide a solution for the millions of local groups that are actively seeking sponsorship each and every day. AMG's platforms help those groups seek and earn sponsorship from the major brands and local businesses they love. In the process of building its B2B and B2C channels, AMG has pioneered the first scalable platform for facilitating local sponsorship.



Gauri Sharma, Lab42
Lab42’s mission is to quickly and inexpensively help clients formulate the right questions, ask the right people, and get the right answers so that they have the insights they need to drive their businesses. The organization was founded in August 2010 by a team of entrepreneurs who saw the need for change in market research. The team determined that existing market research methods were too expensive, too slow, too inaccurate, or all of the above.



Mike McGee, The Starter League
The Starter League is “Where people from all over the world come to learn how to code, design, and ship web apps.” The organization was founded in 2011 as the Code Academy by McGee and Neal Sales-Griffin, who started out by offering a course teaching students how to code websites. The course was based on open-source software by 37signals—an investor in The Starter League—which develops Web-based collaboration apps for small business.



Julie Novack, Vibes
Vibes, a pioneer in the mobile marketing industry, was founded in 1998. The company offers SMS messaging, event activation, and mobile platform solutions to brands, publishers, and agencies. It has developed products like Catapult, its proprietary platform that engages tens of thousands of mobile consumers every week. Over the past three years, Vibes has grown from 25 employees to more than 90 marketing strategists, technologists, developers, and support staff to fill the growing need for mobile marketing and mobile CRM.


Kevin is president and chief executive officer of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. The CEC works with high-potential entrepreneurs to build the next generation of high-growth companies in the Chicago area. He works across the entrepreneurial eco-system with startups, investors, government, and industry organizations to accelerate the pace of innovation and rate of success for local entrepreneurs. The CEC will also be managing, operating and programming 1871, a new startup co-working center for 400 entrepreneurs located at The Merchandise Mart.

Sponsored by: