TechFest NWA Aug 24-25: Free to attend - Evolved Mommy
Guest post by Mark Brandon, organizer of NWA TechFest
If you attended WordCamp Fayetteville at the end of July, and can’t get enough of the tech learning goodness, you can get a double dose at NWA TechFest 2012, August 24 at UA Global Campus. This event features 48 breakout sessions, divided among eight learning tracks. The tracks include Cloud Computing, Advanced Development, UI/UX Design, IT Pro (for system admins), Big and Small Data, Mobile Development, CMS/Collaboration, and Tech Entrepreneurship in NWA. The last track is also this year’s theme, and we will close with a panel keynote featuring the leading technology commercialization resources in the area. You’ll see Tom Dalton of Innovate Arkansas, Gravity Ventures’ Jeff Amerine, Mike Malone of NWA Council, The Ark Challenge’s Jeannette Balleza, The City of Fayetteville’s Community Outreach Coordinator Julie McQuade, and Microsoft’s Chris Koenig. Our message is this: We want YOU to not be afraid to start your tech enterprise in Northwest Arkansas, we want you to STAY in Northwest Arkansas, and we are here to help.
This event is decidedly more tech heavy than Wordcamp, but the UI/UX and CMS/Collaboration tracks still have plenty of WordPress content, along with other Content Management Systems. Both Shan Pesaru of Sharp Hue and Cotton Rohrscheib, whom you saw at WordCamp, are presenting. In fact, if you have a compelling technical talent that would play well to a bunch of neck-bearded geeks, we still have some slots open for speakers. If you just have a story about starting a business in Arkansas, maybe you could talk about your experience in the Entrepreneurship track. Our Call for Speakers is still open.
Mainly — and this point is true whether you are a blogger, an aspiring entrepreneur, female or male – the biggest problem in the Northwest Arkansas Tech Scene is connecting with somebody who:
a) has a complementary talent to you,
b) is available to embark on an enterprise,
c) has both passion AND resources for said enterprise, and
d) generally meshes well with your personality. Just about every networking event I go to brings out the talented techie who needs a designer, the designer looking for the back-end specialist, or the business visionary looking for both. TechFest will present that opportunity.
Then, at the end of the day, if you still haven’t gotten enough, you can join us for a TechFest after-party at The Iceberg, sponsored by my own company, StackSearch, and Sooligan. Sooligan is a location-based social network headed up by two ladies freshly transplanted from the Bay Area who decided to start their venture here, Nikka Umil and Natasia Malaihollo. Stay all day, stay for part, or just come to the after-party. Registration is now open. Walk-ups are also welcome. The event is free to attend, though we ask that you consider donating two cans or $2 to the NWA Food Bank. All excess sponsorship funds will also be turned over to the Food Bank. We hope to see you there.
About the author: Mark Brandon is the organizer of NWA TechFest and Founder/CEO of StackSearch, a Fayetteville startup providing faceted-search-as-a-service for ecommerce companies who wish to drive conversions by speeding up their search experience.
Photo of Mark stolen (without his permission) from his Facebook page.
Header photo courtesy of Flickr user Frontiersofinteractions