What’s going on lately with all the pitch groups and networking events that have gone virtual? This month, we’re seeing tech groups focus on planning through the end of the coronavirus pandemic to look forward to how work and life will function in the future. Also, we’re seeing a lot of conferences and pitch groups focused on agtech and health and wellness as well as COVID response technology and data analysis. Plus, some regular hackathons are still happening that you won’t want to miss out of Detroit.
It’s already the end of 2020, and many tech events have shifted online. For this month’s tech event roundup, we’ve featured a lineup of great events from Ann Arbor SPARK, as well as a number of tech events and meetups in Chicago and around the world, where tech conferences are still happening but are often moving online for the time being. Please check the conference details as many have changed plans last minute regarding whether they are happening in person or online.
Tonight is the monthly TCNewTech pitch event up in Traverse City, now online for the short term due to coronavirus. Starting at 6 pm, you can log in to see pitches from new startups in the northern Michigan region. You can register here to attend TCNewTech. All NewTech events are free.
Ann Arbor’s premier tech hiring event, Tech Homecoming, happens Tuesday, November 27, from 3-7 pm. This year it’s virtual, so you can attend from anywhere, even if you’re not in town for the holidays.
Susan Wagner of KLA Corporation spoke up front at this year’s TechTalk out of Ann Arbor on the importance of diversity and inclusion. Inclusion gives companies the diversity of thought and experience to be as creative and innovative as possible. “We should work together to life one another up. It does not mean that just because others succeed we will fail… all boats rise together,” she said. “KLA is a global company. COVID’s impact can vary,” Wagner said. “The semiconductor industry is playing a crucial role to enable work from home. Many things are changing, some for good,” she said. “Electronics are more important than ever to keep us connected.”
This week’s a2tech360 conference has continued the newer Applied AI conference, which highlights trends in artificial intelligence applied in a variety of ways to real-world needs. No longer is AI only a mysterious force powering conversational assistants. Speakers at this year’s A2.AI conference covered a whole host of applications for AI technology, from multitouch attribution to analyzing customer insights.
The Ann Arbor Mobility Summit: Autonomous, Electrification, & Mobility as a Service Are Transforming The Future of Transport
Kicking off this year’s expanded Ann Arbor Mobility Summit was a panel discussing the “Changing Face of Automotive in the New Normal” with Senior Product and Strategic Planning Manager at Waymo Cristi Landy, Bill Frykman who works on connected vehicles at Ford and leads City Solutions Team, and Kara Grasso who works on solutions for mobility, autonomy and electrification for Denso. Moderating was Carla Bailo, president of the Center for Automotive Research, which provides independent research on the automotive industry.
“If we choose, the impact economy can give new meaning to the term Roaring Twenties,” says John Denniston, a former Silicon Valley VC and founder of Shared-X, an agritech startup that works to raise global farmers out of poverty through sustainable technology and community programs. “There is a movement afoot,” Denniston says behind the scenes at Ann Arbor’s annual tech trend prediction conference 2030: What The Future Holds, “to redefine the purpose of business so it’s not just about profit. There’s this fascinating economic phenomenon going on right now where consumers, investors, and workers are all forcing companies to be about more than just profit.” It’s unusual to have all three forces pushing in the same direction at once, Denniston says, and he attributes this to global issues and the trend among younger generations to seek purpose in their work and to expect companies to be a part of global solutions.
It’s finally here: Ann Arbor’s annual tech week, a2tech360, starts today and runs all next week with 16 online tech events highlighting the latest innovations and trends in mobility tech, Midwest investment, software, security startups, and life sciences.