Reno, Nevada, March 5-7

BLUEPRINT isn’t just a lean-back-and-listen conference but an event that will engage all participants actively in a combination of tours, main stage sessions, and several small working groups. 


Throughout the event, we’ll be bringing together three areas of focus: Tech Expansion in the Heartland, Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration, and Workforce Readiness.

Monday, March 5

12:00 pm - 4:00 pm:

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm:

5:00 pm :

Tour of two of Reno’s biggest tech success stories

Reno civic tours

Registration at Nevada Museum of Art

Keynote: “Art, Innovation and Policy: Accelerating job growth”

Welcome: David Walker, Executive Director of Nevada Museum of Art

Fireside Chat:  Congressman Tim Ryan of OH

Fireside Chat: Ira Ehrenpreis, co-founder and managing director of DBL Partners; early investor and board member of Tesla     

Join the thought leaders

Tuesday, March 6

8:00 am :

8:45 am :

9:00 am :

9:15 am :

9:50 am :

10:50 am :

11:05 am :

11:25 am :


11:40 pm :

12: 00 pm :

1:00 pm :

1:35 pm :

2:35 pm :

2:55 pm:

3:10 pm :

3:50 pm :

4:50 pm :

5:30 pm :

7:00 pm :

Registration and breakfast

Opening: “VentureBeat’s Blueprint: Tech in the heartland”

Matt Marshall, CEO, VentureBeat       

Keynote: “TBD”


Lightning Rounds: “Success stories from the innovation belt”

Kristy Campbell, COO, Rev1 Ventures (Columbus, OH)

Mike Kazmierski, CEO, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada

Thomas Wadsworth, Dir. of Corporate Growth and Business Development at Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development

Eric Daimler, CEO Spinglass, Obama Administration Innovation Fellow, Office of Science, Technology and Policy (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lorenzo Gomez, Chairman 80/20 Foundation (San Antonio, TX)     

Breakout Sessions - Choose your region and learn more in a smaller, more intimate setting.  Ask questions and share your ideas with:  Columbus, OH; Pittsburgh PA; Salt Lake City, UT; Reno, NV; San Antonio, TX


Frick & Frack style: “Key strategies for evolving tech communities”

Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group with Chris Heivly, Entrepreneur in Residence, Techstars.

Frick & Frack style: "How do we rethink the economy? What is the data telling us?"

V ictor Hwang, Vice President of Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation and Mark Muro, Sr. Fellow & Policy Director, Brookings Institute  

Keynote:  TBD


Lightning Rounds: “Alternative workforce models emerging to address needs of 21st century

Vish Makhajani, CEO, Udacity; Matt Dunne, Founder and Exec. Director, Center on Rural Innovation

Breakout sessions  - Go deeper into the conversation of alternative workforce models in smaller groups.  Meet the speakers and ask questions.  Share your ideas on the topic.

Keynote:  "Optimizing Our Economy: We get what we ask for. Changing the rules of the game.

Tim O'Reilly, Founder & CEO, O'Reilly Media


Technology Panel:  Tech company perspectives on finding talent beyond coats and creating jobs in the heartland.  

Tiffany  Apczynski, VP of Public Policy and Social Impact  Zendesk, Michael Erisman, Head of Human Resources, DocuSign,  More speakers to be announced.       

Breakout sessions - Meet the tech panelists and ask questions about talent, technology and costs of doing business in the heartland. Learn how to capitalize on emerging tech hubs and gain ROI.      

Wrap - up - Adjourn for cocktail hour

Cocktail Party (with Ignite Talks)

Peter Hirshberg, Principal & Co-founder, Maker City Project: How the maker movement can help bridge the significant gap between the skills available in the workforce and the types of jobs and economic opportunity available.

Nick Smoot, Founder, Innovation Collective: Learn how Innovation Collective’s transformational model for catalyzing communities is experiencing technological breakthroughs the world never thought possible. 

Chris Shipley, Independent Journalist: Stories from the heartland and how real innovation is happening

Dinner - Explore  and enjoy the  amazing restaurants of Reno 

In the Heartland

8:00 am : 

8:45 am :

8:55 am :

9:15 am :

9:50 am :

10:10 am :

10:30 am :

10: 40 am :

10:55 am :

11: 15 am : 

11:50 am :

12:10 pm: 

12:20 pm :


Opening discussion and recap of Day 2

Matt Marshall, CEO, VentureBeat  

Heartland Governor’s Roundtable (with speakers to be announced)    

Lightning Rounds: “Tech Successes in the Heartland - entrepreneurs share their stories” 

Fireside chat: Intimate conversation with Ron Fisher, Managing Partner of Softbank See details

Venture Panel:  Role of venture funds in supporting talent and growth in heartland

Dino Vendetti, Managing Director, Seven Peaks Ventures

Will Price, General Partner, Next Frontier Capital


Ignite Talk:  Cultivating Opportunities for a better life - models that scale in regional communities.

Esther Dyson,  Founder, Way to Wellville


Keynote:  TBD  

Breakout session:  Get in a small working group and recap the key findings from Blueprint.  Identify immediate next steps, conclusions, commitments.

Keynote :  TBD 

Matt Marshall, co-founder & CEO VentureBeat closing remarks


Wednesday, March 7

How to get here

By air from the Bay Area

  • Nonstops from Oakland to Reno on Southwest
  • Nonstops from SFO on United
  • Nonstops from San Jose on Alaska

By car from Bay Area

  • 3.5 hours from downtown San Francisco to Reno
  • Free Parking at all hotels and venues in Reno for those driving.

By Train (Amtrak)

  • Emeryville to Reno