Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

Pre Con: The Intersection of Technology and Entrepreneurship

by By Corin Hirsch | Jan 01, 2015

Open 2015 is the annual meeting of VentureWell (formerly the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance), and will bring together 550-plus faculty, students, and practitioners working at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship — with the ultimate goal of making student tech inventions a reality.

CHALLENGES

“Unlike many rather narrow academic conferences, there’s a very ‘open’ and collaborative atmosphere at our conference,” said Jennifer Keller Jackson, VentureWell’s senior program director, “as people are working across disciplines to share entrepreneurship education models that help get innovators’ inventions to market.” A primary challenge is turning the flood of session proposals into a comprehensive but focused program. “Choosing a balance of topics — from large and small schools, presenters from different fields (engineering/design/medicine/business, for example) and geographies — is hard,” Keller Jackson said. “But it’s a good problem to have.”

INITIATIVES

Keeping attendees at VentureWell’s 19th annual meeting highly engaged means “incorporating experiential learning and games into sessions, meet-ups, and breaks, and adapting many traditional panels into more-interactive roundtable conversations,” Keller Jackson said. That will include real-time audience polling (via smartphone) during plenary sessions, and Ignite-style presentations by five VentureWell student innovation fellows. 

March 20–21, 2015
Marriott Marquis
Washington, D.C.

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