What do Desh Deshpande, Gilt Groupe, Nobelist Phil Sharp, & Intellectual Ventures Have in Common? All Are Keynoting at XSITE 2011-The Entrepreneurship Era

Xconomy Boston — 

For the past two years, Xconomy has pulled out all the stops to throw a full-day conference in June called XSITE—the Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. In that short amount of time, this cross-disciplinary event, spanning the Internet and other areas of IT, life sciences, energy, healthtech, and more, has become one of the hallmark high-tech events in New England—bringing together hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, technologists, executives, and other leading members of the innovation community.

This year, I am pleased to announce, we are back again with XSITE 2011, which will take place on June 16 at Babson College in partnership with Babson and Olin College. The theme of this year’s event is The Entrepreneurship Era, acknowledging the crucial role that entrepreneurs are playing in revitalizing our economy and reshaping our world—and how, at the same time, the rules of entrepreneurship itself are changing.

There is, of course, a groundswell of attention now being devoted to entrepreneurship—not just in the scores of new incubators sprouting up around the nation, but also in the board rooms of large corporations, in the halls of city and state governments, and in the White House itself. And today’s 20-somethings represent “a whole new generation embracing entrepreneurship,” said Accel Partners’ Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, speaking at Xconomy’s recent VC65 event at MIT—perhaps the first generation of people who “want to be entrepreneurial from the start.”

To help understand why entrepreneurship is so exciting and so important at this moment in our economic and technological development, we have reached beyond New England to put together an absolutely stellar lineup that includes great speakers and innovators from around Xconomy’s network—San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Boston, and San Diego. Below is a quick look at some of those who will take part, you can see more and register here.

Desh Desphande, the legendary entrepreneur, innovator, and super angel who founded Sycamore Networks and is now chairman of A123Systems, just one of a dozen or so boards he sits on.

—Nobel Prize-winning biologist Phil Sharp, a founder of Biogen, Alnylam, and other biotech companies. Sharp will be teaming up with Stephen Friend, co-founder and president of Sage Bionetworks
in Seattle and former Senior Vice President at Merck, to debate whether life sciences should go open source.

Gilt Groupe co-founder (and Harvard Business School alum) Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. If you haven’t noticed it, discounted luxury fashion site Gilt, based in New York, is one of the hottest e-retail stories in the country.

Edward Jung, former chief architect of Microsoft (Bill Gates took his job when Jung left MS), and co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, one of the biggest, and most controversial, patent investors in America.

Nicholas Christakis, Professor of Medical Sociology, Harvard Medical School, and author of the best-selling Connected, which charts the importance of social networks in health, wealth, happiness, and more.

Joe Chung, co-founder, Art Technology Group and Redstar Ventures, a new venture incubator in town.

Todd Dagres, co-founder and General Partner, Spark Capital

Jamie Goldstein, a general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners and president of the New England Venture Capital Association

Pattie Maes, Founder and Director, Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab

And that’s just a few of the great speakers we have lined up. We will also be holding the annual XSITE Xpo, featuring a series of rapid-fire presentations by 12 startups in healthtech, energy, and infotech—with the audience voting on its favorites.

This year, we are adding to the fun with the Incubator Throwdown, where alums of various incubators—think Y Combinator, TechStars, MassChallenge, and more—will be defending their institutions’ models and poking fun at rivals (anyone willing to join us and be a loud, sassy, but respectful participant—in exchange for a free ticket—let us know at [email protected]). And, as always, there will be lots of networking.

We will be introducing more speakers and sharing more about the day over the next few weeks. But we hope you agree—XSITE 2011 will be the place to be on June 16. Get your tickets now!

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