Inventing the Future

Friday June 8th  //  11 AM – 1 PM

Casey Cowell

Principal, Boomerang Catapult and Co-Founder, past Chairman, and CEO of U.S. Robotics

Featured Speaker

Casey Cowell

Principal, Boomerang Catapult and Co-Founder, past Chairman, and CEO of U.S. Robotics

In 1976 at the age of 23, Casey Cowell co-founded U.S. Robotics and built the company into a multi-billion dollar business that has been recognized as having made a significant contribution to the entire computer industry. Initially a $200 post-college start-up, U.S. Robotics Inc. became the world’s largest manufacturer of modems and related products that connected computers to the global telephone network. In addition to a broad array of other products and technologies, USR also brought to market the Palm Pilot, the first highly successful handheld organizer.  Casey served as Chairman and CEO throughout the company’s history culminating in a 1997 acquisition by 3Com in the largest merger ever in Data Communications at that time.  He is currently an active investor, advisor and board member with an emphasis on start-ups and early stage technology companies.

Casey has received numerous industry honors including being named one of the 25 Top Managers in the world by Business Week in 1995, Entrepreneur of the Year from Venture magazine, Executive of the Year in 1996 by Crain’s Chicago Business and the Inventing America’s Future award from the American Electronics Association. 

Casey is a long-standing member of the Traverse city area starting in 1991 when his family moved to Elk Rapids. He is active in many civic and philanthropic organizations and activities including serving on the Board of Trustees at Munson Healthcare Network, Interlochen Center for the Arts and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities.

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Presentation Description

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  That’s a now famous quote by Alan Kay, considered the “Father” of the personal computer. That quote also describes the belief that has driven featured presenter Casey Cowell to birth game-changing products and strategies that have had a world-wide impact. In his presentation, Casey will illustrate how an enthusiastic and inspiring vision for the future, innovative strategies and a high level of business savvy helped him build a company that would symbolize having made one of the most dramatic advances in modern technology.  He will also share examples of how leaders need to navigate challenges and setbacks along the path to achieve their vision. Fast forward to 2018.  Casey will provide an opportunity for participants to hear now he is currently utilizing some of his proven leadership skills and strategies to help the Grand Traverse region grow into a technology hub that is already attracting and building existing and emerging technology businesses.  Attendees will leave inspired to apply some of what they learn to grow their leadership and businesses skills and play a part in inventing their own vision of the future.

Agenda

  • 11:00am – Doors Open // Sponsor Expo // Networking
  • 11:20-11:45 – Lunch Buffet // Open Networking Continues
  • 11:45-12:50 – Welcome, Featured Speaker Presentation
  • 12:50-1PM – Q & A and Wrap-up

Presentation Description

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  That’s a now famous quote by Alan Kay, considered the “Father” of the personal computer. That quote also describes the belief that has driven featured presenter Casey Cowell to birth game-changing products and strategies that have had a world-wide impact. In his presentation, Casey will illustrate how an enthusiastic and inspiring vision for the future, innovative strategies and a high level of business savvy helped him build a company that would symbolize having made one of the most dramatic advances in modern technology.  He will also share examples of how leaders need to navigate challenges and setbacks along the path to achieve their vision. Fast forward to 2018.  Casey will provide an opportunity for participants to hear now he is currently utilizing some of his proven leadership skills and strategies to help the Grand Traverse region grow into a technology hub that is already attracting and building existing and emerging technology businesses.  Attendees will leave inspired to apply some of what they learn to grow their leadership and businesses skills and play a part in inventing their own vision of the future.

Agenda

  • 11:00am – Doors Open // Sponsor Expo // Networking
  • 11:20-11:45 – Lunch Buffet Open // Networking Continues
  • 11:45-12:50 – Welcome, Featured Speaker Presentation
  • 12:50-1PM – Q & A and Wrap-up

Featured Book

This Pulitzer prize and National Book Award winner for non-fiction is a great read for studying the psychology of management and leadership as well as a riveting look into the inner workings of how technology groups function and what it takes to bring new technology to market.  The book takes readers on a compelling, behind-the-scenes journey of how a computer engineering team at the company Data General worked around the clock to design a next-generation computer under tremendous pressure and tight deadlines. The author also illustrates how there is an “art” to technology development. The quest of the Data General engineering team to create a next generation computer also highlights the motivational impact on employees when they feel they are working together to build something great.  Readers will also learn about some of the dysfunctional organizational dynamics that can sabotage the morale of some of our brightest workers and derail business success.

 

An Amazon review describes the author as having written the book with a writing style akin to an “expert thriller writer.”  Non-technology readers will find that the author has made complex, technical information very accessible and easy to understand and thus created an enjoyable, entertaining and informative look at the underbelly of technology companies and teams.

This Pulitzer prize and National Book Award winner for non-fiction is a great read for studying the psychology of management and leadership as well as a riveting look into the inner workings of how technology groups function and what it takes to bring new technology to market.  The book takes readers on a compelling, behind-the-scenes journey of how a computer engineering team at the company Data General worked around the clock to design a next-generation computer under tremendous pressure and tight deadlines. The author also illustrates how there is an “art” to technology development. The quest of the Data General engineering team to create a next generation computer also highlights the motivational impact on employees when they feel they are working together to build something great.  Readers will also learn about some of the dysfunctional organizational dynamics that can sabotage the morale of some of our brightest workers and derail business success.

An Amazon review describes the author as having written the book with a writing style akin to an “expert thriller writer.”  Non-technology readers will find that the author has made complex, technical information very accessible and easy to understand and thus created an enjoyable, entertaining and informative look at the underbelly of technology companies and teams.

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