Leading tech innovators featured at annual event
By Robert Kalesse
Special to Delaware Business Times
The Technology Forum of Delaware has announced the 2015 edition of its annual event, Top Technology Trends, will be held in the newly renovated lobby and café of the Capital One Building in downtown Wilmington on May 20.
The annual event will give attendees an opportunity to see how the local tech community is advancing some of the world’s top trends. Organizers also built in plenty of networking time to share ideas with the presenters.
George Rotsch, Tech Forum of Delaware board member and marketing chair, said the evening will spotlight tech leaders like DuPont and the University of Delaware, but also companies many Delawareans may never have heard of, all doing innovative things that deserve recognition.
“In 30 to 45 minutes [attendees will] be introduced to leading tech innovators that are changing the world in Delaware,” Rotsch said. “If you’re someone who is interested in new technology, you’ll be thrilled to see what they’re working on. And if you’re working on something yourself, you can collaborate with those making a difference around the world, right here in Delaware.”
Topics to be discussed and, in some cases, demonstrated, at the forum, include immersive content and game technology, analytics, big data and cloud computing, clean energy and sustainable technologies, and 3D printing and advanced manufacturing.
Newark’s Sovereign Air is one of 15 local companies that will be on hand at the forum, where representatives plan to explain how their 3D printing technology works, while offering a demonstration it.
“We’ll be bringing along a 3D desktop printer, which can produce smaller projects like architectural pieces, small gear assemblies, and even bones for surgeons,” said Joe Otto, president and founder of Sovereign Air.
Otto explained that the 3D printer heats a spool of plastic, which looks similar to that of a common household weed whacker, and turns the plastic into a resin, building layers at 20 thousandths of an inch, or 70 to 200 microns, at a time.
“It really is cool technology, and we’re looking forward to showing attendees how it works,” Otto said. “In some cases, these printers can even assemble an entire project in just under 20-30 minutes. We’ll have it set up so that people at the event can watch as the printer completes a project from start to finish.”
Other attendees include Digital-Vikings, a local digital innovation studio founded by former executives from ING Direct and Google, which will unveil a leading edge wearable technology targeting first responders.
Jennifer Kmiec, board member and program chair of the Delaware Technology Forum, which serves as a “not-for-profit association that provides a dynamic environment for identifying business opportunities and building profitable relationships with key leaders in high technology business through the region,” said they expect as many live demos as possible on May 20.
“Oh, absolutely we expect to see some hands-on demos that really capture the imagination of those in attendance,” Kmiec said. “The Google Glass application and 3D printing are sure to be highlights, but there also will be some surprises planned and some special guests.”
Talk radio host, Rick Jensen of WDEL 1150 AM, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and Jim Lee, founder of Strategic Foresight Investments (StratFI) and Delaware’s only professionally trained futurist, will serve ask keynote speaker.
As a futurist Lee plans on looking at some big picture trends in Delaware and how those trends will affect the lives of those living in the First State over the next few years.
“We’ve always had a sort of home-field advantage in terms of materials and life sciences in Delaware, with maybe two to three big employers with hundreds of employees,” Lee said. “But we’re seeing that we can offer a lot in terms of digital media and cyber security, and many incubators in Delaware are moving away from big company status to something smaller, but just as innovative.”
Rotsch said that, in addition to several speeches and demonstrations, host Capital One would also conduct a small information technology job fair of sorts. Recruiters will be on-site to speak with IT professionals looking to start a career with the banking giant.
“This is really the first big event that Capital One will be holding in the newly renovated café [at 802 Delaware Avenue],” Rotsch said. “So they are very excited to hold an event of this magnitude while also taking advantage of an opportunity to bolster their IT department.” ♦
Want to go?
When: 5:30 pm, May 20
Where: Capital One Building lobby, 802 Delaware Ave., Wilmington
Registration: Techforumde.org/events; Tech Forum members, $25; future members, $40. Walk-ins are welcome but will be charged an additional $5