Get to know our inaugural Big Kansas City speakers

From the co-creator of one of the world's largest social news sites to the founder of a company that aims to connect startup founders over the phone, the inaugural Big Kansas City speaker lineup is filled with more than a dozen entrepreneurs, innovators, dreamers and doers. To help you get to know each speaker better,

Charity: water founder Scott Harrison speaks at Big Omaha 2011.

From the co-creator of one of the world’s largest social news sites to the founder of a company that aims to connect startup founders over the phone, the inaugural Big Kansas City speaker lineup is filled with more than a dozen entrepreneurs, innovators, dreamers and doers. To help you get to know each speaker better, we’ve compiled a list of recent media along with links to Twitter handles and company websites.

In addition to the speakers below, we’re also excited to welcome Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, who will deliver a welcome message on Wednesday, and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation vice president of entrepreneurship Thom Ruhe, who will share his thoughts Thursday.

If you haven’t purchased your ticket, make sure to do so soon. General admission tickets are available for $449 and special entrepreneur/startup discounted tickets are available for $299.

Without further ado, here are our speakers in order of appearance.

Jason Zone Fisher, emcee

Host, producer and director of In the Zone Productions@jzfish

Fisher won Esurance’s contest to be its official South by Southwest correspondent for 10 days in March. – Esurance

At South by Southwest Interactive, Fisher interviewed Shaquille O’Neal, a speaker at this year’s event, in the SXSW trade show. – Esurance

Alexis Ohanian

Co-founder of reddit, Breadpig and Hipmunk@alexisohanian

Between last year’s presidential and vice presidential debates, Ohanian organized a 10-day Midwest bus tour to raise awareness of the Open Internet. – The Verge

“Without their Permission,” a book by Ohanian about keeping the internet open and free, is scheduled to be released in October. –


Adam Wilson

Co-founder and chief software architect at Orbotix (makers of Sphero) – @icemupppet

Wilson spoke with TechCrunch about augmented reality and new games that incorporate Sphero, like Nyan Cat Space Party and Sharky The Beaver. – TechCrunch

Wilson demonstrated Sphero, a smartphone controlled ball, at LeWeb Paries 2012, an event focused on the “internet of things.” – LeWeb

Jamie Wong

Co-founder and CEO of Vayable@jamiekjwong

Wong explained that Vayable helps users figure out the third part of travel – the experience. – Business Insider

In a presentation to investors, Wong compared Vayable’s revenue growth to one of Y Combinator’s most successful graduates, Airbnb. – Bloomberg (August 2012) 

Scott Harrison

Founder and CEO of charity: water@scottharrison

Google awarded charity: water a Global impact Award to launch remote sensor technology. – charity: water

Charity: water’s 2012 charity: ball raised more than $3 million, which will support 80,000 with clean water. – charity: water


Abhi Nemani

Chief of staff of Code for America@abhinemani

At the Make a Difference event, Nemani delivered a speech titled “Code for Your Community.” – MaD 2013

Nemani was highlighted in a TIME piece that looked at how local governments can hire digital officers to help “cut red tape and save money.” – TIME


Dhani Jones

Co-founder of BowTie Cause@dhanijones

Jones spoke with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports News about bow ties, raising awareness the “international symbol of conversation.” – Fox Sports

Jones spoke with Stand Up To Cancer about their design for their bowtie, meaning behind the knot, and raising more than $300,000 for various charitable organizations. – Stand Up To Cancer

Ryan Downs

President and CEO of Proxibid@nebraskaryan

Along with news of a record-breaking revenue, Proxibid announced Downs as new CEO. – Silicon Prairie News

Omaha technology association AIM Institute honored Down’s company, Proxibid, as its “Technology Company of the Year.” – Proxibid

Amy Jo Martin

Founder and CEO of Digital Royalty@amyjomartin

Martin joined the New York Times Best Seller list with her book “Renegades Write The Rules,” which discusses social media success strategies. – New York Times

Martin’s Digital Royalty University launched an automated learning platform that offers social media, culture and personal innovation curriculum. – Amy Jo Martin

Mike Macadaan

Co-founder of Science Inc@macadaan

Macadaan created the Cord Taco, which helps manage those smaller wires that need to be carried around.  – Cord Taco

Macadaan was noted in a story’s about Science Inc’s emergence on to the Los Angeles tech scene. – The Next Web

Micah Baldwin

Founder and CEO of Graphicly@micah

Baldwin, who recently raised another round of financing for Graphicly earlier this year, told TechCrunch that his startup projects to reach profitablity by the middle of 2013. – TechCrunch

In a blog post titled “Why an Accelerator,” Baldwin, a mentor with TechStars, wrote a post about accelerator and his decision to be a part of one. – Learn to Duck

Rachel Brooks

Founder of Citizen Made – @rachelabrooks

Business Insider named Brook’s startup, Citizen, Made, as one of Chicago’s “25 Coolest New Businesses.” – Business Insider

Brooks and Citizen Made won the L’Oreal Women in Digital grant at Women 2.0’s first PITCH NYC Conference and Competition. – Women 2.0

Bart Stein

Founder of Stamped, acquired by Yahoo! – @bartjstein

Blip told the story behind Stamped before it was acquired by Yahoo!—what it did, how it worked and why Justin Bieber invested. – Blip

Forbes named Stein to its “30 Under 30” list in the games and apps category for his work with Stamped. – Forbes


Dan Martell

Founder and CEO of Clarity@danmartell

At GROWtalks, Martell shared his product-based method to growth hacking, which he said starts by measuring revenue and retention.. – Tech Vibes

Martell’s startup raised a $1.6 million seed round while adding new products to improve the user experience. – TechCrunch 

*Due to an unexpected schedule change, Zaarly co-founder Bo Fishback will be unable to attend the conference.

Purchase your Big Kansas CitY Ticket!

Credits: Scott Harrison photo by Malone & Co. / Big Omaha. Speaker photos courtesy of respective speaker.


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