Techstars’ Oct. 11 programming during Techweek Kansas City finds inspiration in the past, Lesa Mitchell said, but it focuses on the metro’s future at a digital crossroads.
“In the old days, it was called the crossroads because this was actually where all the trains were going through from Mexico to Canada, and east and west across the United States,” said Mitchell, managing director of Techstars KC.
“I want to create a lens of what the digital future of the crossroads will look like,” she said of her block of Techweek KC programming, culminating with Techstars Demo Day festivities that highlight the current Techstars class.
The plan is to offer something for everyone, Mitchell said.
A morning keynote with Tim O’Reilly, chairman of O’Reilly Media, will set the tone for the future focused day of events, she said.
The first 500 attendees will receive a copy of O’Reilly’s book, “WTF? What’s the Future and Why it’s up to Us.”
“I think a lot of executives in the community will be very interested because [O’Reilly’s book] is very much about asking: What is employment going to look like in the future? What are jobs going to look like in the future?” Mitchell said.
Techstars panels also include:
- Technoloies enabling trust;
- Future of manufacturing and robotics;
- Future of venture: Impact investing;
- Leveraging breakthroughs in science and engineering to define new standards of efficiency; and
- Growing a startup company beyond venture capital
Techweek’s schedule promises to increase its diversity and inclusion programming in 2018, with Techstars programming following suit, Mitchell acknowledged. Panelist Claire Lee, managing director of Silicon Valley Bank, is expected to carry the topics into her discussion on the future of venture investing, Mitchell said.
“I’m sure that she’s going to talk about the problem and the opportunity of non-white men and their inability to attract investment capital and some of the trends that she’s seeing with that,” Mitchell said.
The overarching goal for Techstars KC is to bring together a group of diverse and informative panelists with ties to the Kansas City area, as well as adding voices who have an outside perspective, she said.