How to Speak Geek

Ingrid Alongi (Quick Left, Inc.), Katherine Nelson-Reid (RedKatalyst Consulting), Hao Truong (Foodzie)
Strategy & Business Models
Location: Conference Room D Level:

Rspec 2, Sinatra, Rack, Git, Riak. No, that’s not a next gen rapper lineup—that’s geek speak. Today’s businesses increasingly depend on reliable, intelligently constructed technology. However, communication barriers between developers and civilians frequently result in lost-in-translation landmines.

So how can you launch a digital product, or maintain the digital relevancy of an existing one, if you don’t parlez vouz developer?

Three panelists, all executives and co-founders of technology companies, will discuss the ups, downs, good, bad and ugly of creating an online business at the mercy of an engineering team. The panelists, two of whom are fluent in geek-speak and one who is not, will share their own digital
product launch experiences, guiding attendees through tips and tricks for hiring the right development team, the perks of iterative and continuous integration models, and overcoming communication barriers to build mind-boggling digital web and mobile applications. Attendees will leave the panel with a tangible handful of how-tos for ironing out the many kinks of successfully running a business with developers – even if they don’t speak geek.

Photo of Ingrid Alongi

Ingrid Alongi

Quick Left, Inc.

Ingrid Alongi is the co-founder and CEO of Quick Left, a progressive web
development firm in Boulder, Colo. Ingrid started her career as a Web
applications developer while finishing up grad school in the late 1990s. The
first half of her career was in the Interactive Agency space, where she
focused on integrated marketing solutions, analytics, search engine
marketing, email marketing and strategic planning for consumer facing web
sites. In addition to her work as an engineer, she emerged as a positive
leader and began to focus on running a team and the web development process
as a whole, where she eventually became Director of Technology at Red Door
Interactive in San Diego.

In 2007, Ingrid returned to her hometown of Boulder, Colorado, where she
worked at venture funded startups Me.dium (re-branded as OneRiot) and Gnip
before co-founding Quick Left in 2009. Having experience with both
interactive agencies and venture-funded start ups, she has built Quick Left
with the best of both worlds in mind to ultimately provide job stability for
engineers while focusing on innovative, interesting and challenging work.
Ingrid is a National Track cycling champion, road cyclist, and nordic
skier. Follow her on Twitter @electromute.

Photo of Katherine Nelson-Reid

Katherine Nelson-Reid

RedKatalyst Consulting

Katherine “Kat” Nelson-Reid, President of RedKatalyst Consulting, has a multifaceted background built over the course of her career that’s given her the ability to be placed in virtually any segment of a business and manage it with skill and proficiency.

She has a solid business consulting acumen that she’s applied to building the operational side of many of her past employers company’s as well as several hundred startups while managing her own consulting firm. While her background is entrenched in finance, operations and process development, she’s achieved multimodality in sales, marketing, and business development. This skill has allowed Kat to grow and scale dozen’s of businesses to the point of succession or acquisition over the last ten years.

While at Obtiva (aquired by Groupon August 2011), Kat played a central role in shaping the growth and development of the company and its people. She is in her element in a start-up technology environment, and after joining Obtiva in early 2008 she rolled up her sleeves and got to work streamlining the internal accounting, finance and human resource functions. While building Obtiva she served as part of the senior management team overseeing the day-to-day operations while adding strategic value as key change agent to the progression and evolution of the firm.

With more than 15 years of business operational experience, Kat began her career as an auditor while still in college, eventually expanding well beyond finance and accounting into business operations that has spun into areas of strategic sales, marketing & branding, human resources and organizational development. She left the corporate world to establish a business consulting firm where she specialized in process implementation, change management, growth strategy development and start-up consulting.

Born and raised in the South, Kat’s career and penchant for tall buildings, fine dining and traffic jams brought her to Chicago. She’s a fixture in the Chicago technology community, speaking and supporting start-up and women in business initiatives. She’s a foodie, coffee addict, wine enthusiast and teaches the occasional yoga class.

Photo of Hao Truong

Hao Truong


Hao Truong is the VP of Engineering at Foodzie, an online marketplace for foodies. She’s a self-proclaimed geek girl with a passion for food. At, Hao helps build the best place for others like her to indulge in all things delicious. Prior to joining Foodzie a year ago, Hao was Director of Engineering for Yahoo! for almost a decade. Hao holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

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  • IBM
  • HP
  • Microsoft Corporation
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  • EffectiveUI
  • Elastic Path
  • FireHost
  • IBT
  • Litle & CO
  • Plimus
  • Quest Software
  • Research In Motion
  • SoftLayer
  • Yottaa

Ally Parker

Kaitlin Pike
(415) 947-6306

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