August usually means vacations, time with family, and getting in all of those last minute adventures in before Labor Day hits and we all feel like summer is over.

Not so much when you’re an entrepreneur…
Instead, sometimes it means trying to cram in all the fun around work because you’re the #BossLady and even though you’re relaxing at the cabin or enjoying the water parks the emails still need to be answered and the deadlines don’t wait until you’re back in office.


Forward Fest is the best 8 days of the year in Madison. To me, it’s like Christmas, my birthday, and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one!

Over 50 events are packed into those 8 days with all of them being focused on being an entrepreneur and being a boss.

It’s your time to shine by showing off what you do, network with peers, and learning from other’s who have been or are in your shoes.

It’s the most intense “entrepreneur vacation” you can take in our community with it getting you out of the office, expanding your skills, and still putting in a full day of work.


Every year I get asked “Which events should I absolutely go to” and I always tell people I can’t answer that question. No one knows what you think you would benefit the most from attending, what days you should be at events instead of in your office, or who are the right people you need to be in front of better than you. My suggestion is to look at the calendar of events, think about how much time you can really dedicate to Forward Fest, and then set a plan of which events you’re going to attend and commit to attending!

Side note…if you’re planning on going to more than 3 events during the Festival, you should get a Forward Pass!! It’s the best deal you will ever get from any Festival, and that I will tell everyone who asks me 🙂


Doyenne was founded at Forward Fest in 2012. We held our first events and started to move into the entrepreneurial ecosystem because of Forward Fest. We strongly believe and push for the Festival to be better every year and are proud to be part of it.

Doyenne is continuing our tradition of hosting events during Forward Fest and holds two events during the Festival

If you read Amy’s July post, there isn’t a question as to if you should attend the Doyenne Mentor Match. This event is so much more than the 2.5 hours you spend at the event. The conversations you will have will have an impact on you long after you leave and the connections you will make will move you into a new place and mindset both as a business professional. I do not think you can get the experience you’ll get at Mentor Match, either as a Mentor, Mentee, or as a General Attendee, at any other event.

The Doyenne 5x5x5 has become our signature event that people wait all year for to attend. We know, we read your social media posts about the event 🙂 The event attendance has grown to a point where it’s becoming more and more difficult to find a location to host such a large attendee count (awesome!).

The five women-led companies that we select each year to present work with Doyenne to hone and time out their pitches so that by time they get on that stage they feel so comfortable and confident delivering it it’s like they’re placing a takeout order at their go to restaurant instead of competing for the $5,000 grant.

So many of past presenters have come and told us how going through the 5x5x5 had been the most eye-opening experience they’d ever had as an entrepreneur because it makes them understand exactly what their business is and how it works. Even if they don’t receive the $5,000 grant they return to their businesses better #BossLady than they were before.


Of the 50+ events, Doyenne Members are extremely involved in Forward Fest event.
See the full list here


Doyenne is excited to be partnering with Springboard’s Dolphin Tank event during Forward Fest.
The event selects 5-6 women-led businesses to give a 3 minute, no slide-deck pitch to a panel of mentors who will spend 10 minutes giving directed feedback about their pitch.
Read more about the event and apply to present

I hope to see you around town!