Lax Conference on Entrepreneurship

The 2014 Lax Conference featured the culmination of SwatTank; above, the finalists and judges. Watch highlights from the 2014 conference.

Save the Date
The 16th Annual Jonathan R. Lax ’71 Conference on Entrepreneurship
will be held on Saturday, April 11th, 2015


The 15th Annual Jonathan R. Lax '71 Conference on Entrepreneurship, held on Saturday, April 5, 2014, continued the tradition of providing a substantive program for and about entrepreneurs. Watch highlights from the 2014 conference.

  • Opening Remarks: Joseph Turner ’73—A financial expert with a background in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry with 35 years of experience, Turner is an independent director of emerging firms, primarily in the biotech industry. He has served on the boards of ten biotech firms; as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of three development stage biotech companies; and while CFO of Myogen, Inc., led two private and three public rounds of financing and was a key player in the negotiation of the $2.5 billion sale of the company to Gilead Sciences in 2006.
  • Discussion Groups—Based on feedback from last year’s conference this year attendees will be able to attend two discussion sessions. Potential topics include: the successful start up of social impact ventures; entrepreneurship in the arts; new environmental technologies; tech entrepreneurship; and how to run a successful small business.
  • SwatTank—This year's conference will once again feature the culmination of SwatTank, moderated by Shalom Saar '74. SwatTank is a year-long innovation competition for students. During the conference the three final teams will compete for a cash prize.
  • SwatTalks—Modeled after the popular TED Talks, the new Swat Talks will feature short presentations from two alumni and a member of the faculty discussing creative ideas and challenges related to entrepreneurship.
  • Ideas Stall—During the conference registration period and the networking reception following the conference, all student teams who participated in SwatTank will showcase their business ideas in a poster show. Alumni who would like to share their own business ideas are invited to participate as well. These alumni should contact alumni@swarthmore.edu to find out more.

Questions? E-mail alumni@swarthmore.edu or call the Office of Alumni Relations at (610) 328-8402.


About Jonathan R. Lax ’71

The Lax Conference is named after entrepreneur Jonathan Lax ’71 and funded by the Jonathan R. Lax Fund, an endowment created by his bequest in 1996. Jonathan's interest in founding companies began while he was a high school student, when he started Haddonfield Research and Manufacturing Company, a corporation registered in the state of Delaware. While at Swarthmore, Jonathan followed his entrepreneurial spirit and created a mutual fund which he ran from his Hallowell dorm room. After working for several years running his family's manufacturing business, Jonathan founded The Marketing Audit, a market research and consulting firm in Philadelphia.