IST Startup Week Begins Today
Penn State’s fifth annual IST Startup Week kicks off today and it’s bigger than ever.
Hosted by the College of Information Sciences and Technology, Silicon Valley meets Happy Valley in a week chock-full of notable speakers, workshops, networking events, and think tanks. The week’s goal is to celebrate technology and security entrepreneurs and innovators while learning a thing or two in the process.
Brace yourself for a lot of names and titles, but don’t let the volume of events scare you off. It seems like there’s something for everyone this week:
Events start bright and early today, with Global Director of General Motors Information Technology Jeff Almoney presenting at 9 a.m. in 206 IST Building and Pamela Sorensen, founder of Pamela’s Punch, at 9:05 in 317 Willard. Keynote speaker and Senior Vice President of Verizon Chandra McMahon will highlight the day at 12:30 p.m. in 113 IST Building. My Ticket Perks CEO Nick Keesey, CEO and founder of Solid Dynamics, LLC Joe Sinclair, and Intern at Parker Hannifin Luke Yost will link up for a presentation at 2:30 p.m. in 205 IST Building. SBDC: First Steps seminar will begin at 4:15 in 113 IST Building and registration is required. Monday will round off with an Inc. U “Shark Tank”-esque pitch competition at 6 p.m. in Foster Auditorium.
Tuesday starts off with an “iTech Propose an App Challenge” for High School Students at 10:30 a.m. in Heritage Hall, where 20 eager teams will present the apps they’ve created for a chance at a $5,000 prize. The day continues with an Innovation Expo from 12-4 p.m. in Heritage Hall, highlighted by a chance to try out Oculus Rift. There will also be a talk with Margaret J. King and Jaime O’Boyle at 3 p.m. in 112 Business Building. Tuesday’s final event is a Supply Chain Entrepreneurship Contest at 5 p.m. in Steimer Auditorium.
Wednesday is the busiest day of the tech week, starting at 10:10 a.m. with Ditto’s Chief Innovator Austin McChord in 2016 IST Building and Co-Founders of myentourage, Inc. Rachel Freiberg and Zack Perl in 210 IST Building simultaneously. At 12:20 p.m., Nokia Sales Director Darrin Austin will speak in 110 IST Building and McChord will continue his talk in 202 IST Building. POLITICO Chief Operating Officer Kim Kingsley will talk strategy at 2:30 p.m. in 113 IST Building. Former men’s hockey coach and owner of PRAGMATIC Passion Consulting Joe Battista will speak at 4:15 p.m. in 206 IST Building as Vice Chairman of PwC Mitch Cohen presents in 113 IST building and Vortic Co-Founder and CEO R.T. Custer talks in 203 IST Building. At 6 p.m., an IdeaMakers challenge is looking for teams in the beginnings of figuring out how to solve a problem for an idea pitch competition in 113 IST Building. The long hump day ends with a presentation from Mediabarn Co-Founder Keith Deaven and leader of its Digital Agency Team Sara Mastro at 6:30 p.m. in 205 IST Building.
RJMetrics Co-Founder and COO Jake Stein and Blarney Ventures Executive Salesperson Scott Sorochak get Thursday started with presentations at 11:15 a.m. in 110 IST Building and 101 Thomas respectively. Speakers slated for 1 p.m. are BillHero CEO Dan Holt in 203 IST and Moravia Health President Frank Igwe in 206 IST. While they’re presenting, there’s a Think B1G Workshop going over what it takes to land internships and entry-level positions at startups in 113 IST. Following, BitGo Account Specialist Arianna Simpson and Transamerica Ventures Associate Andrew Pitz will speak in 113 IST while Co-Founder and CTO of Weebly Chris Fanini presents in 202 IST at 2:30 p.m. Fanini’s coworker, Weebly Co-Founder and CEO David Rusenko will speak at 4 p.m. in 113 IST.
Friday will be structured much like a TED talk, taking place entirely in Alumni Hall. It begins at 9 a.m. in Alumni Hall with a Student Entrepreneurship Summit, including a “Fireside Chat” (think FDR) with mini-keynotes and conversation. Panelists include Penn State President Eric Barron, Vice President of Research Neil Sharkey, Vice President of Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes, and Director of Intercollegiate ENTI Minor Anne Hoag. Teespring Co-Founder and CEO Evan Stites-Clayton will speak at noon, followed by Stealth Startup Founder Greg Duffy at 1:15 p.m. Reddit Co-Founder Steve Huffman will present at 2:15 p.m. Daniel Kan, Co-Founder and COO of Cruise Automation, will discuss self-driving car technology at 3 p.m. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear will cap off presentations at 4 p.m.