Week of business conferences begins today

There is a crush of business events in the next 10 days trying to beat the Thanksgiving holiday.

No fewer than four conferences preaching to very different audiences will test the attention-spans of those in attendance: They last all day; one spans two days.

Today, the 6th annual Wharton Marketing Conference is hoping to attract 500 students, faculty and marketing experts to the Park Hyatt Philadelphia. The spin for this daylong, student-run conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Expect new technology and the rotten economy to be the themes running through everyone’s PowerPoint.

Monday and Tuesday bring the region’s biotechnology industry to the Convention Center for Biotech 2009. Thirty-seven companies will get their 15 minutes to claim the attention of potential partners and investors. It is the ninth year for this event assembled by the industry organizations Pennsylvania Bio and BioNJ.

The 2nd Founder Factory kicks into gear on Thursday at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., starting at 10 a.m. Organized by Philly Startup Leaders, this event is all about start-up success stories in the Philadelphia area and words of wisdom from those who’ve made it. Call it one part beauty contest (discussion of new business concepts), one part reality check (seeking financing).

Next Friday, Wharton students are back in charge with their Wharton Finance Conference 2009 with cheery theme of “Looking Forward: Finance in a New Horizon” at the Park Hyatt starting at 7:30 a.m. Of the panel discussions planned, “Corporate Social Responsibility vs. Government Regulation” has the most provocative title. But for the Wharton students, “Careers in Finance: Recruiting in a Tough Economic Environment” will likely be the one not to miss.

After all of that, bring on the turkey.


It is not by any means an endorsement. In addition to the reforms that help reduce costs, there are also provisions being considered that have real and serious risks of increasing costs.

- John Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable, discussing the group’s encouragement of lawmakers to keep working on ways to cut health-care costs.