Enhanced leadership, along with the Big Data Summit Track, is bringing the “tech” back to Techweek KC, said Don Peterson.
The Big Data Summit, Kansas City’s annual convergence of data, technology and analytics, founded by Peterson and the KC Big Data Group in 2012, had stopped working with Techweek KC after the 2016 event, he said.
“It was really more of a startup program,” said the recently retired chief executive officer of Infusion Express, a medical services provider of infusion or injection therapy. “It was great — There was nothing wrong with what they were doing, but when you have an audience like Techweek was bringing in, and you have little to no technical content, some people were like, ‘Where’s the technology in Techweek?’”
The Big Data Track runs Oct. 8-10 and is set to showcase companies at the forefront of big data technology, data science, IoT and blockchain, from early stage to fully established, and local to nationwide, he said.
“It’s really an outstanding opportunity for folks in Kansas City to see where the leading edge is in big data and data science,” Peterson said. “I hope that folks will come and look at Techweek as a place to learn and engage as much about technology as there is about funding your tech-startup, the Techstars part of it, and living vicariously through other established companies and their successes.”
Drew Solomon, senior vice president of business and job development for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and competition chair for LaunchKC, along with Zach Pettet and Eric Garretson at nbkc, have taken the reins on planning this year’s Techweek content, Peterson said, and invited the Big Data Summit back into the weeklong event. An advisory board, including Lesa Mitchell, Techstars KC managing director, and Ryan Weber, KC Tech Council president, also have played key roles in the 2018 lineup.
Retirement from Infusion Express, has given Peterson more time to focus on the Big Data Meetup and Summits, as well as the TechWeek program this year, said Peterson.
“Infusion Express has been incredibly successful and will be a wild success,” he added. “I don’t want to use the term ‘unicorn,’ but it’s very likely that Infusion Express will be a billion-dollar company when it’s all said and done. I did my part, building the company to $40, $50 million and it’s time for me to focus on something else.”
Latest additions to Techweek KC 2018
Techweek KC continues to add to its lineup of speakers during the Oct. 8-12 conference, which includes deep technology tracks, workshops and panel discussions on such topics as bBlockchain, Fintech, and Big Data.
Among the newly announced speakers:
• Alex Allen, CMO, Spring Venture Group — Allen is expected to give a keynote address on Data Analytics Tuesday, Oct. 9. He leads strategic marketing initiatives, web property development, and testing and implementing web and CRM analytics at Spring Venture Group. He began his career managing nonprofit fundraising paid search campaigns, one of which raised more than $1 million for relief in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.
• Joe Roets, founder and CEO, Dragonchain — Roets is set to be a keynote speaker for the Blockchain track, sponsored by Lathrop Gage, Tuesday, Oct. 9. He has more than 20 years of experience in software architecture focusing on security and scalability. He has created and led multiple technology startups since the mid-1990s, and is considered a visionary and thought leader in blockchain technology. Roets has led or contributed to projects in the space since 2010 at companies such as Overstock, Coinbase, Symbiont, and the Walt Disney Company, accord to Techweek.