Startups, STEM and Hackschooling kick off Innovation AZ Summit 2014

Startups, STEM and SCITECH, oh my! It’s time again for entrepreneurs and educators from across the state to come together for the annual Arizona Innovation Summit on August 14, with the theme “From Inspiration to Commercialization”- this time at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.
If you are a startup and haven’t been to this event, you may want to take a look, it’s filled with tech founders, accelerators, investors and more, networking and weaving in and out of 20 plus sessions, breakouts, panels and roundtables and 60 exhibits that focus on Arizona’s tech and educational community. This year, the ACA paired up with MIT Enterprises and SCITECH Festival to expand the event into an all-day affair with sessions focused on entrepreneurs, workforce, innovation, SciTech best practices, culture and STEAM.
While one might expect to see a founder of a major tech company as the headliner, this year the keynote speaker is a bit younger. Logan LaPlante, a 14-year old TEDx veteran that received worldwide attention and 5.75 million views, will talk about “Hackschooling,” a network of friends, family and community that optimize health, happiness and creativity. LaPlante uses this theory to employ his education into creative, entrepreneurial business models.
Highlights from the event include:
Arizona’s Got STEM Talent: Students showcasing their coolest inventions.
Education, Entrepreneurship and Innovation-Connecting the Dots: A group of entrepreneurs share their innovative programs used to nurture the young entrepreneur inside.
Secrets to Winning the Arizona Innovation Challenge: For startups, if you are thinking of submitting for the ACA Innovation Challenge, you might want to be a fly on-the-wall in this session. Recent winners of the Challenge, a competition that awards innovative start-up and early stage companies capital to grow their business, will discuss what it took for them to win.
Read: Which AZ startups took home $250,000 from the ACA Challenge?
Inner/Outer Space: In Your Head & Out of This World: Get ready for this info to blow your mind, pun intended, because this session will explore how brain surgeons plan treatments based on innovative 3D models, followed by a trip into near space with Jayne Pointer, a Biosphere 2 crew member, in a suborbital space vehicle.
Open Mic: What’s Your Idea? Calling all startups wanting exposure and cash! This is your chance to get picked to pitch in front of investors, CEOs, influencers and more! Four pitches will be presented in front of a panel of judges and put up against an audience vote. Participants have 3 minutes to explain their company, market,  pain points, a solution. The winner will receive a $500 award. To sign up, come to the event and provide a short, concise written elevator pitch at registration.
Read: The latest AZ startups that launched in 2014
The event is on Thursday, August 14  from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Over 400 attendees have already signed-up and 1,000 are anticipated to attend. Secure your place at the summit and pick up your early registration ticket by August 7th for $20.
Register here for the Innovation Summit
Read more about past ACA & MIT Innovation Summits at AZTB