As our state—and the world—finds our way out of the throes of a global pandemic, there has never been a more opportune time for us to think differently about the future of work in our state, and collaborate to find new ways to support innovation in the Commonwealth. This gathering will host that conversation.
Connect. Inform. Inspire. will feature a keynote from Dr. Phil Budden with the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP), who will talk about the program and Kentucky's participation as the first U.S. region to ever complete it. The event will also feature remarks from other MIT collaborators, as well as lightning talks from a range of innovative Kentuckians from across business sectors, across regions of the Commonwealth, and across entrepreneur, corporate, risk capital, government, research, and education sectors. Additional details about the agenda is below.
Attendees will meet fellow leaders as passionate about the future of the economy in the Commonwealth as they are; learn a range of approaches and case studies shared at the event; and return to their own work equipped with new strategies, tactics, and relationships to apply in their organization, in their community, and across Kentucky. And, together, we will think about how we can collaborate across our organizations to build an even stronger environment for supporting innovation in the Bluegrass State.
AccelerateKY’s Connect. Inform. Inspire. is hosted by the Western Kentucky University Innovation Campus, with support from the Central Region Innovation and Commercialization Center, a regional hub office of the KY Innovation network. The main conference will take place at WKU’s Knicely Conference Center at 2355 Nashville Road in Bowling Green KY.
Connect. Inform. Inspire. follows WKU Conference Services event guidelines and safety practices in light of COVID-19 in order to protect WKU’s campus community of students, faculty, staff, and guest. A mask is required at the event. The event venue will, at maximum, be filled to only half capacity to allow for maintaining appropriate distancing. We ask that all guests comply with all posted health and safety guidelines, including frequent hand washing and/or use of provided hand sanitizer. All furniture and equipment has been cleaned and sanitized prior to our conference, and all staff is required as well to wear masks and to adhere to health safety guidelines. Do not attend if experiencing any symptoms or if you have potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Introduction: MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program
In a series of lightning talks, MIT professor Dr. Phil Budden of the MIT REAP, Dr. Alison Davis from the University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK), Pikeville-based entrepreneur Rusty Justice, KY Innovation Executive Director Tony Ellis, AccelerateKY’s Sam Ford, and the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation's Maria Labreveux will talk about the MIT REAP program, Kentucky’s participation as the first U.S. region to go through the program 2018-2020, and activities coming out of that program. MIT Vice President for Research Dr. Maria Zuber will also give virtual remarks to the conference.
10 a.m.- 12 p.m.: Connect.
A series of lightning talks will focus on the theme of connecting—across stakeholder groups and across regions of the Commonwealth.
12-12:30 p.m.: Lunch
12:30-2:20 p.m.: Inform
A series of lightning talks will focus on informing those in attendance about interesting research, initiatives, and programs—in Kentucky, and beyond. Over the next two hours, we will hear about:
2:20-4:20 p.m.: Inspire.
The final portion of the day will focus on inspiring stories and projects here in Kentucky that will hopefully help motivate all our work. Those presentations include:
This final session will culminate in Dr. Phil Budden from MIT REAP’s closing address.
Following the keynote, a closing networking session—with the option for ad hoc tours—will take place across the road from the event at the WKU Innovation Campus’ main facility, at 2413 Nashville Road.
Friday, Oct 15, 2021
09:00 - 17:00 Central Time