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The 2012 Kellogg Tech Conference featured a "Shark Tank" competition, in which student teams competed for $10,000 in startup funds. SimpleRelevance, founded by Kellogg student Erik Severinghaus, took home the top prize.

2012 Kellogg Tech Conference

The SoLoMo era

The 2012 Kellogg Tech Conference highlights the impact of social, local and mobile on the business landscape

By Daniel P. Smith

4/18/2012 - Now in its 18th year, the Kellogg Tech Conference has long served as a platform to discuss some of the world’s most robust technological advancements and their practical applications to business.

The 2012 conference continued this tradition as industry practitioners, students and tech-savvy marketers gathered at the Donald P. Jacobs Center on April 14 to investigate how social, local and mobile — “SoLoMo” — are revolutionizing consumer interactions.

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“In the SoLoMo world, the way businesses interact with their customers can change quickly. We wanted the conference to show how companies are adapting, evolving and utilizing new innovative tools,” Kellogg Tech Conference executive chair Vanessa Hsieh ’12 said.

SoLoMo potential
Pandora senior vice president of strategic solutions Heidi Browning offered the conference keynote, specifically noting how the Internet radio station has embraced data to fuel its SoLoMo initiatives.

Meanwhile, panel discussions featured representatives from Starbucks, American Express, foursquare, Google, Verizon and others exploring SoLoMo-related issues, including consumer engagement in the SoLoMo era, the impact of social media on cities, consumer privacy and mobile payments.

The event offered insights on how business leaders can leverage SoLoMo’s potential. American Express vice president of global business and marketplace development David Wolf urged attendees to be consumers of digital media, contending that such involvement breeds understanding of the marketplace’s hits and misses.

Facebook product marketing manager Kelly Winters ’08, meanwhile, advised entrepreneurs to know their customers and integrate tech developments that are both relevant and useful.

Shark Tank Competition
The conference also showcased Kellogg’s best tech entrepreneurial talent in the first-ever Shark Tank competition at the school. From dating apps to smartphone battery technology, 11 student teams competed for a $10,000 prize.

SimpleRelevance, a student startup that gathers and analyzes customer data for businesses to create optimized offers, earned the inaugural title.

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