South Sound Tech Conference offers something for everyone
For more than two decades, the South Sound Technology Conference has brought together professionals, industry experts, faculty and students for a day dedicated to tech. After a two-year COVID hiatus, the conference will be back in person on the University of Washington Tacoma campus Jan. 27.
Hosted by the UW Tacoma School of Engineering and Technology (SET), the theme of this year’s event is Creating a Robust Technology Economy Through Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Inclusion. For an admission fee of just $25, attendees will find everything they need to know about South Sound programs that support ideas, initiatives and ingenuity.
Tech for all
The day isn’t just for the tech industry. Panelists and speakers will offer something for everyone, covering a variety of topics, including:
- Raising the profile of South Sound tech companies.
- Entrepreneurial ecosystem: Innovation, incubation and acceleration.
- Technology sector responses to sustainability and climate change.
- Diversity, equity and inclusion in the technology industry sector.
“This is the one event that brings the entire South Sound community together to discuss why tech is so important for economic development, innovation, and problem solving,” said conference co-chair Andrew Fry, SET Director of Industry Partnerships. “The conference is the ideal opportunity to understand the ways tech impacts and influences everyone’s lives.”
Fry has chaired the event throughout its long history. This year, he shares that duty with Tamsin Bell, EDB Vice President of Business Development.
“The EDB is honored and excited to co-chair this year’s conference,” Bell said. “This is such an important event for the community and shines a well-deserved light on innovation and ideas coming out of the South Sound.”
Honorary conference co-chairs include Washington State Representatives Derek Kilmer and Marilyn Strickland. Congressman Adam Smith helped launch the event more than two decades ago and has been involved ever since.
Entrepreneurship a common thread
This year more than ever, the conference will highlight the region’s unique and boundless entrepreneurial spirit by spotlighting some of its most innovative people and projects.
“Coming out of COVID, there has been a wellspring of entrepreneurial initiatives and excitement,” Fry said. “We’ve seen a multitude of incubators, accelerators and initiatives sprout up all over the South Sound.”
That groundswell bodes well for the region. While big hitters and impact players have long been the focus when it comes to economic development, fostering the growth of entrepreneurs and smaller businesses opens the door to much more diversity, equity and inclusion.
“It feels like we’re planting seeds for our own heavy hitters,” Fry said. “That’s where we can make the most difference.”
Come for the conference, stay for the party. Startup253 will host the official South Sound Technology Conference afterparty featuring food, drink, and possibly some pitches and prizes.
South Sound Technology Conference
9 am – 3 pm, Friday, Jan. 27
William W. Philip Hall, UW Tacoma