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Marketing Blockchain Technology: ÐΞVCON1 & Introducing Ethereum to Oakland University in Metro-Detroit

by Tony Sakich
Turning Down An Invitation To Speak at ÐΞVCON1
On October 17th, Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin personally invited me to speak on marketing Dapps at the ÐΞVCON1 conference in London. Being asked to this dev-centric conference by Vitalik is a huge honor as I believe it was due to the success and proven track record I have had marketing projects in this space. Unfortunately for a variety of reasons I decided it would be best to not attend the event, the reasons include the lack of a passport to the fact that Jack is already speaking on Augur and it would be an inefficient use of Augur's funds. Not attending was the financially responsible thing to do, but I still feel honored to be asked to speak along people I admire like Vitalik, Vinay Gupta and of course the keynote Nick Szabo.
Many still wanted to see my talk on marketing as they felt my success and track record in this space was interesting enough to ask me about this both personally and publicly. Those requests coupled with perfect timing teamed up when Oakland University's chapter of the American Marketing Association asked me to speak on this topic on Tuesday, November 17th (yesterday). I accepted and gave the talk that I was preparing for ÐΞVCON1, with the only difference being the addition of an introduction to Ethereum that was easy to fit in due to an extended time slot. My talk was filmed and I intend to share it with everyone in the community (as promised) once a representative from the American Marketing Association is able to send me the file.
Below I am going to go into a little detail about this event that ended up being the highest attended AMA event at OU of 2015!
ÐΞVCON1 Reaffirmed My Ethereum Optimism
Although I didn't attend the event, the beauty of livestreaming enabled me to catch some presentations throughout the week, with the highlight being Thursday's Dapp presentations. Thursday started out with my colleague Dr. Jack Peterson giving a short 15 minute talk about Augur, fitting that Jack went on first and ended up setting the tone for the day as I feel Augur has set the tone for the future of Dapps!
Throughout Thursday I tuned in periodically to see what was happening in London. As Thursday was the day I arrived in Detroit, visiting with friends and family dominated my time, but every time I checked out the livestream, I was beyond impressed by the projects being developed on Ethereum. It lacked the investor-centric, never-ending hype machine that Bitcoin conferences have turned into...
The event's huge announcement of Microsoft being both a sponsor as well as their involvement with Ethereum, really set the tone for what I believe will be a "corner-turning" event for the platform. Joseph Lubin, Phil Barry and Imogen Heap provided the most interesting moments that had my attention. Phil Barry and Imogen's Ujo Music project, definitely hit my music soft spot (see my past projects) and made the wheels in my mind spin super-fast. The event re-affirmed my love of this platform and gave me plenty of things to bring up in my talk at OU.
Returning To OU After Raising $5.2 Million Dollars
The talk I gave at Oakland University ended up being the highest attended events of the year, and one of the best turnouts in the history of AMA-sponsored presentations ever. According to Paul Mets, a representative of the school's American Marketing Association Chapter, over 70 people attended.
What made me the happiest was the variety of people that attended this event. Areas of study ranged from the expected Marketing Majors but also included majors like Computer Science, Economics and Finance. The event was not limited to students, so Ethereum developers from Ann Arbor came out and were able to share their upcoming project, an Ethereum Blockchain Explorer (along with additional features) that is expected to launch on the coming days at Two former professors of mine were in attendance, Larry Schramm, my favorite professor I had throughout college as well as my former Marketing Statistics professor Ram Mohan Pisharodi, who much to my surprised remembered me from his class! The variety was awesome and led to some interesting and different questions during the Q&A session.
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The photo was taken as students were still signing in and during AMA Co-President Alvin Pitris' awesome introduction. The OU AMA team did a great job supporting my promotion for this event, so I want to thank Alvin, Niko Parks, Paul Mets and every other AMA representative who helped to make this event so incredible for me and the attendees. OU's great front page piece on, the Michigan Bitcoiners Meetup Event Page and this awesome news article from Blockchain Tech. site The Merkle helped to get this event out to everyone!
Attendees the presentation is now available for viewing here. Stay tuned for video of the event!