One of our largest locally sponsored tech events here in Minneapolis is the MobCon Conference, dubbed “Where Mobile Minds Connect.” The third annual version was held November 13th & 14th, 2014, at the Hyatt in downtown Minneapolis. The event is put on by MentorMate, a large mobile development firm that was recently acquired by Taylor Corp. Sponsors for this year’s MobCon included many local firms, among them such bigcos as Target Corp and USBank.
The highlights for me were these three speakers:
• Brent Herd, Head of Telco Strategy & Development, Twitter, on “The Constant Revolution of Twitter and the Mobile Ecosystem” — with a special focus on Twitter Fabric, which you can read more about here and here.
• Alan Wizemann, VP Product, Target.com and Mobile, whose topic was “Expect More. A Lot More.” He’s Target’s first-ever product head and told us the company now has 21 product teams and has hired 157 engineers. Wow! And they aren’t done yet, as the show was teeming with Target recruiters.
• Josh Bernoff, SVP of Idea Development, Forrester (and a 20-year analyst at the firm), who gave a fascinating keynote on “The Mobile Mind Shift: Engineering Your Business to Win in the Mobile Moment,” which is the title of his latest book.
Another highlight for me at this event is always the startup pitches, which occured on the first afternoon, then the winners were announced at the end of the second day. The first place winner was a great app for new parents called Little Peanut On the Go, whose founder, Karla Lemmon, collected $5000 in cash and $20,000 in development resources from MentorMate. I see a lot of pitches, and hers was nearly flawless. Congrats, Karla, and all the best as you launch your app in early 2015.