Cyberposium 12: Need Directions, Mapping Future Technologies

Are nano-enabled polymer photovoltaic materials the answer to the impending energy crisis? What is Web 2.0 and how will it revolutionize the way business is conducted? What hot new technologies are on the venture capital horizon?

BOSTON – With a focus on the future, Cyberposium 12 took center stage on Saturday, November 11, drawing a crowd of over 700 students, professionals and tech enthusiasts with the goal of answering these questions, among many others. Themed “Need Directions, Mapping Future Technologies,” the conference highlighted emerging technology trends in fields as diverse as mobile devices, energy, healthcare informatics, and space exploration.

Keynote speakers, including Google Vice President Marissa Mayer, Palm CEO Ed Colligan and Endeca CEO Steve Papa, highlighted the program, which also featured 10 expert panel discussions.

“This year’s newly introduced panel topics were amazingly well received,” said Cyberposium co-chair Jonathan Bankard (OA), reflecting on the 2006 addition of panels, such as open source and video games, to the Cyberposium agenda.

Of the panels, Financing Technology, Energy and Web 2.0 drew the largest audiences, reflecting current trends in MBA technology career pursuits. The Financing Technology panel, historically the jewel of the Cyberposium agenda, once again did not disappoint, as the panelists engaged in a lively debate about current prospects.

For its part, the energy panel included representatives from traditional oil and natural gas firms, cutting edge solar technology firms, and even the State Department. The panel focused its attention on revolutionary new capabilities in oil drilling and highlighted the increasing importance of disruptive technologies such as biofuels. The panelists also stressed the capital market trend toward clean energy, noting that there is effectively an unlimited supply of capital for clean technologies, especially from hedge funds and major venture capital firms.

However, at the end of the day, Web 2.0 stole the show. Though there is still debate as to what exactly is Web 2.0, HBS alum and Endeca CEO Steve Papa noted that where Web 1.0 enabled global connectivity, Web 2.0 will enable global innovation by transforming how people access information. Regardless of how you define it, Web 2.0 will be the next big thing, and the capital is flowing.

Without question, Cyberposium 12 was a resounding success, attracting nearly 60 speakers and garnering a larger professional turnout than ever before. The success of Cyberposium was no small feat, especially considering that seven RC sections were on retreat this past weekend.

“Through our extended outreach efforts to start-ups and technology companies Cyberposium 12 increased the number of founders, CEOs and C-level execs in the audience to more than 20% allowing for great networking opportunities,” said Cyberposium co-chair, Fabian Seelbach (OG).

Cyberposium 12 also featured a start-up fair, as well as booths from the conference’s primary sponsors, Google, Auto Desk, and Palm.

November 20, 2006
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