FORWARD FEST: Is it the Real World? Or is it AI? An Entrepreneur’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

This no-cost session is being hosted as part of Forward Fest 2024! Learn more about all of the sessions offered for entrepreneurs – and register for the full Forward Fest event – at ForwardFest.org. Event registration will be available starting early summer 2024.

Click here for directions on how to sign up for your FREE Forward Festival pass! All SBDC-hosted sessions are offered at no cost with this pass option; other events may charge to attend.

You’ve heard plenty about Artificial Intelligence being a “game changer” across industries – but what does that mean for your day-to-day work? We asked ourselves this question – and how AI could level the playing field for small businesses – and did some investigating.

We know that as a small business owner, manager, or employee, there’s so much you need to keep up on – so when do you have time to learn how to use AI? Today is the day! In this beginner-focused session, join us as “AI Explorers” as we discuss the basics of Artificial Intelligence. In this “AI 101” session, we will:

  • Give you a foundational understanding of how AI “thinks,” including common drawbacks and areas where the tools excel.
  • Teach a framework for how to talk to AI using prompt engineering (and suggestions for improving prompts when something goes wonky!)
  • Give you examples of how you might use a variety of free or low-cost tools – including, but not limited to ChatGPT! – to increase efficiency in tasks ranging from marketing to administrative tasks to operational planning

You will leave this session with sample prompts to try, tools and resources to explore, and the confidence to embrace being an AI Explorer – starting today!

Registration

NOTE: This no-cost session is being hosted as part of Forward Fest 2024! Learn more about all of the sessions offered for entrepreneurs – and register for the full Forward Fest event – at ForwardFest.org.

Location: Online, Live virtual session via Zoom. Course link will be sent out shortly before the first session.

Session date and time: 9:30 – 10:45 am CST on 8/22/2024

Fee: This course is being offered at no cost. Participants must reserve a free Forward Fest pass to register, and must register ahead of time for the event. While Forward Fest offers several pass types, all SBDC events are accessible with the free Forward Fest event pass.

Forward Fest Registration will begin early summer 2024; register for Forward Fest here

Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at sbdc@bus.wisc.edu to request accommodations.

“Engaging and interesting while being informative. One of the better webinars I've attended.”

Stacey Lantagne, Crafters on Central, Florence, WI

“All the information is cutting edge and great for the small business owners.”

Maurice (Moe) Wince, Sherman Park Grocery Store, Milwaukee WI

Presenters

Amy Bruner Zimmerman

Amy Bruner Zimmerman brings more than two decades’ management experience to her role as a Business Consultant with the WI Small Business Development Center at UW-Madison. She seeks to help small- and mid-sized companies profitably pursue their passion by drawing on her own career in private, non-profit and public sectors from Fortune 500 to startups. She specializes in identifying and quantifying target markets, building strong financials and tapping cost effective resources to develop strong plans. Amy holds a BBA from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Heather Ferguson

Heather FergusonHeather’s career has always centered around lifelong learning and helping distill complex information into actionable knowledge; becoming an AI Explorer has been no exception. In the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship, Heather has worked to develop a foundational understanding of game-changing artificial intelligence technology and wanted to provide employee-strapped entrepreneurs with resources to help them work more efficiently.

In her time at the UW-Madison SBDC, Heather has supported the Center’s classes and training opportunities, including pivoting all courses online at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, working with instructors to adapt and/or develop new classes, and enhance external communication through the Center’s FacebookLinkedIn, and newsletter.

She was also heavily involved in:

Heather also received a national ASBDC 40 Under 40 award in 2022.

In addition, Heather has presented on giving effective feedback, leadership, organizational operations, conflict transformation, and partnership development at the local, regional, and national levels and has taught university career and seminar courses. Heather has a B.A. in English and Journalism from Northern Illinois University and an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education from Western Illinois University.

The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship in the University of Wisconsin System.
It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact us at sbdc@bus.wisc.edu or call (608) 263-2221.