posted on Monday, November 02, 2009

Our Next Dinner Event: "Breaking News...." - 11/18 at Bellevue Hyatt

Breaking News: How Will The Pieces Be Put Back Together Again?
Location : Hyatt Regency
900 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Date & Time : November 18, 2009 - 5:00-8:30pm

Breaking News: How Will the Pieces Be Put Back Together Again?

Brought to you by our Bronze Dinner Sponsor WNPA

Few sectors of American business have been as influential and staid as the news industry. But new technologies and increased competition for advertising dollars have caused the industry to feel a bit like Humpty Dumpty. Now, it's up to a new generation of visionaries to put the pieces back together.

Using case studies and real-world examples, our program will examine how existing news organizations working alongside new entrants to the market are making the transition from print to online profitably, and the role technology is playing as they do so.

Join Patricia Lee Smith, Vice President of New Media at The Seattle Times, as she opens the evening with a market assessment of the news industry and a discussion of her organization’s adoption strategy for the digital age. Joining her on stage to compare and contrast strategies will be:

• Charles Tillinghast – President,
• Anthony Bontrager – President, 1Cast, Inc..
• Tracy Record – Founder, West Seattle Blog

Moderating the discussion will be Todd Bishop, Co-founder and Managing Editor of

Our panel will apply the critical thinking of journalists, technologists and entrepreneurs to assess what is happening within the news industry, and how to benefit from the shifting landscape. Particular attention will be paid to audience take-aways involving current and future business models (both good and bad), various opportunities for entrepreneurs, and the challenges to overcome if we are to retain what is one of the key aspects of a successful democracy.

Don't wait to read about it in tomorrow's paper! REGISTER NOW. This is an event you won't want to miss!

Topics discussed will include:

• New business models – As revenues shrink, how do news organizations evolve and identify new sources of revenue?
• Market assessment – News seems to be circulating more freely and through ever-greater channels, but is the revenue growing at the same rate?
• Role of technology – How will technology enhance and transform the gathering and distribution of news, and where are the opportunities for entrepreneurs?
• Free vs. paid news – How does free make enough money to bear the costs of news gathering?
• Hyper-local news – How do large news organizations leverage the investment in hyper-local new against a smaller, more geographically targeted audience?
• Mobile news – How is the news industry adapting to the mobile ecosystem, and who are the mobile players to watch?

This event is sure to provide some valuable insights. Please join us for what promises to be an informative evening!


Panelist Bios:

Patricia Lee Smith, Vice President, New Media, The Seattle Times Company
Patricia Lee Smith is the Vice President of New Media for the Seattle Times Company, responsible for the general management of the company's websites that include,,, and Smith brings over 15 years experience in interactive product development and strategy.

In the early 1990's, Smith led the development of a natural language interface for the first U.S. launch of the Minitel, an interactive phone directory, a partnership between France Telecom and U S West. At U S WEST Interactive she produced GOtv, one of the first interactive television applications, launched in the Time Warner ITV trial in Orlando Florida. In the late 1990's at Infobeat, an early pioneer in large-scale e-mail marketing, Smith led a partnership with Tribune Company to develop and launch a series of custom-cast e-mail services.

Today, Smith manages The Seattle Times Company online network, the largest local media network in the Seattle region. Under Smith’s leadership, the suite of websites has garnered numerous industry awards for excellence and innovation. She has led the development of the company’s online classified vertical brands and product lines, and developed, an innovative local retail site that has garnered unprecedented results for advertisers looking for highly contextual ad placement. Today, she is focused on developing new online revenue streams and helping the company make the leap to the next generation of multimedia journalism and information services

Charles Tillinghast - President and Publisher,
Charles Tillinghast serves as President and Publisher of, the leader in breaking news and original journalism on the Internet. Tillinghast sets and directs’s business priorities, manages the company’s editorial organization and oversees new technology development. An early member of the management team, Tillinghast joined the company in 1999 as its Business Development Manager, before becoming Senior Director of Sales & Business Development followed by Vice President of that department. During this period, Tillinghast negotiated most of MSNBC’s content partnerships and led a rapid increase in advertising sales revenue.

Prior to joining MSNBC, Tillinghast held business development and sales positions in the software, semiconductor, and health care industries. Originally from Boise, Idaho, he holds a bachelors degree in American Civilization from Brown University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and attended the Wharton School’s executive education program on leadership.

Anthony Bontrager, President, 1Cast
A recognized veteran in telecommunications, broadcasting and interactive media, Anthony Bontrager is President of 1Cast, where he is responsible for setting overall strategy and establishing key technology and content partnerships. 1Cast makes traditional television news programming readily available online and just minutes after the original broadcast in personalized newscasts. Two years in the making, 1Cast is available in beta form, and expected to commercially launch in Q-4 2009.

Prior to 1Cast, Anthony was President and CEO of Broadstream Communications, Inc., a company he co-founded, which became the telecommunications industry’s first virtual head-end and middleware platform for IPTV delivery. Under Anthony’s leadership, Broadstream was the first company to secure the largest library of IP-content rights from companies such as NBC-Universal, Disney/ABC, ESPN, Starz, Discovery, Fox, Turner Networks and others. Additionally, Anthony spearheaded the company’s equity and debt financing rounds, which included a $30M strategic partnership with Intelsat, Ltd, the world’s largest satellite owner and operator. Previously, Anthony was General Manager at Fisher Pathways, Inc. (a division of Fisher Communications, Inc.), where he oversaw programming origination and satellite and fiber re-distribution of television and video content for companies such as ESPN, The Portland Trail Blazers, CNN and others.

Anthony’s telecom career began during the early days of PCS systems deployments and continued with Advanced Radio Telecom Corp. (ARTT) where, as Vice President of Real Estate, he oversaw the acquisition of over 800 million square feet of telecommunications facilities in the United States, London and Scandinavia.

Anthony is also the Managing Partner with Axis Partners, LLC a digital media consultancy, and sits on the advisory boards of SATCON and IP Media Expo; and the board of directors of Alexandria Investment Company. Anthony is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences - Interactive Media Peer Group and Film Group, and is a past member of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and World Teleport Association (WTA). Anthony is a sought after speaker on digital media and IPTV and has authored various articles on telecommunications and digital media, which includes being a co-author of Washington State’s wireless siting policy.

Anthony holds a degree in Business Administration and Finance from Seattle University.

Tracy Record, Founder, West Seattle Blog
Tracy Record is Founder, Editor and Co-Publisher of West Seattle Blog, the Seattle area’s first profitable independent community-collaborative online neighborhood-news service. WSB started as a simple hobby "blog" in December 2005 but started morphing into a news service after the December 2006 windstorm. By December 2007, Tracy and co-publisher/husband Patrick Sand turned WSB into a business. Before leaving old media to focus on WSB fulltime, Tracy worked in almost every other form of media - newspapers, radio, national Web news, and TV news, where she spent eight years as a producer and manager at KOMO-TV and six years as executive producer and assistant news director at KCPQ-TV. She is the recipient of three Emmy Awards as well as a board member of the Society of Professional Journalists' local chapter and a member of the Online News Association.

Todd Bishop, Managing Editor, (Moderator)
Daily newspaper veteran Todd Bishop is managing editor of, the Seattle region's leading technology news site, published by the Puget Sound Business Journal. He has covered Microsoft and the technology industry for six years in Seattle, previously as a reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

He launched his blog about Microsoft in September 2003, building it into a widely used resource for tracking the software giant. In February 2008, Bishop was the first to publish internal Microsoft e-mails showing company executives privately criticizing the Windows Vista operating system, even as they publicly praised it. His coverage of Bill Gates’ departure from daily life at the company was published by papers including the New York Post. His blog has received honors including a 2008 Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; and a 2005 Best Specialized Blog Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in the Northwest.

He grew up in Orland, Calif., and graduated from CSU Chico with a double-major in business administration and journalism.

posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reflections on the Impact of MITEF

Looking at the majestic Seattle skyline on a beautiful October morning, I feel especially fortunate to be part of a vibrant community of entrepreneurs living and working in such a terrific city. Where else can you close a $90 million financing for a new business and then walk out of your office and go for a jog along the water? Perhaps there are other cities with a similar confluence of entrepreneurial spirit, technical savvy and stunning natural beauty, but I have not found any that have the same culture of support for entrepreneurs. In my professional role, I get to work with entrepreneurs who are building tomorrow’s semiconductor companies. Meeting with a Malaysian entrepreneur in New York who is starting a semiconductor company in Europe, makes me believe that the entrepreneurs of the 21st century will operate without constraint of national boundaries. They will be drawn to geographic areas that support innovation, have highly educated workers, and provide a great quality of life. Seattle is one of those global cities that offers immense possibility to builders of companies.

As Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Northwest for the 2009 – 2010 Season, I am fortunate to be a part the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As most of you know, our chapter of is one of 24 global chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc., based in Cambridge MA and is an affiliate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An all-volunteer, not for profit organization, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Northwest’s sole mission is to help support and develop entrepreneurs through education and networking opportunities. Our organization is a part of MIT’s broad, global commitment to entrepreneurship. A recent report, sponsored in part by the Kauffman Foundation, highlights how MIT has changed the face of business and had a role in the creation of the best known companies in the world, including: Intel, HP, Texas Instruments and Genentech to name only a few. Another resource that MIT provides is the cutting-edge Technology Review magazine. I had the opportunity to hear Jason Pontin, the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, speak earlier this year and not only is he highly informed and entertaining, but also I expect new and great things from his magazine.

I am particularly excited about our new season about our November 18th, Dinner Program: Breaking News, which is described a little more in Lori's recent blog post.

We have a full and exciting season ahead! I look forward to meeting you at these events and joining me in supporting entrepreneurship in our community.

Barnett L. Silver


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posted on Monday, September 14, 2009

MIT Enterprise Forum Upcoming 2009-2010 Season

As Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Northwest for the 2009 – 2010 Season, I am particularly excited about our new season. We are kicking it off this week with 2 events:

Both events highlight the range of programs we offer. Wednesday’s event will have five speakers engaged in a lively debate about the challenges and opportunities faced by businesses trying to figure out how to use social media. Speaking of which, we have groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter (@MITForum). If you want to stay informed of our activities, please sign-up to hear from us. Thursday’s event is going to be a hands-on seminar on how to get a customer and close a sale, a critical skill for any start-up.

Later this season we will be doing programs on: The Future of the Newspaper Business and Publishing (November); Opportunities in Clean Tech (January); and how Search Technology is Evolving (March).

None of these events would be possible without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. We have over 300 people help us each year create and produce our events. If you would like to learn more about becoming an Enterprise Forum volunteer I would encourage you to attend our Volunteer Orientation on September 21. In addition, we are having a pub night for new and old volunteers alike on October 5 (location to be posted on our website). As a not-for-profit, the MIT Enterprise Forum would not be able to produce our terrific events without the generous support of our Sponsors . If you would like to learn about the benefits of sponsorship, please email our Sponsors Committee (

We have a full and exciting season ahead! I look forward to meeting you at these events and joining me in supporting entrepreneurship in our community.

Barnett L. Silver