2017 Technology Institute Agenda

The 2017 Tech Institute will focus on two primary themes:

  • Innovation-driven economic development throughout the state - We will explore data and stories that show where tech-driven innovation is occurring both by sector and geography; we will discuss the backbone for this growth (talent & workforce training, entrepreneurs, capital, infrastructure) and the implications for industry, education and policy makers; and we'll map out a path forward and how the Tech Alliance can help. 
  • Immigration, innovation and growth - We have set aside some Tech Institute time to partner with WTIA and together explore how immigration fuels innovation and immigration's contribution to the state's talent needs (on both sides of the mountains). We'll hear from experts and have the opportunity to 'INVENT' creative (state-oriented) solutions to immigration pain points. 

Tech-Driven Innovation Across Washington


Session One: 3:00-5:00PM

Welcome and Overview

  • Carol Rava, CEO, Technology Alliance

BLS, IPEDS and Washington's Jobs 

A hands-on, interactive session to explore the jobs and workforce trends of our innovation economy, plus an accompanying crowd-pleaser data presentation.

  • Chris Mefford, President & CEO, Community Attributes

Innovation Genesis Stories

An exploration on the origin of technologies driving the state's innovation, and how technologies are discovered, disseminated and made accessible. Panel discussion including research, industry, commercialization interests.

  • Life Sciences: Matthew Trunnell, Chief Information Officer & VP of IT, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Cloud Provider: 
  • University Commercialization Efforts: Vikram Jandhyala, VP for Innovation Strategy at UW & Executive Director of CoMotion
  • Moderator: John Wecker, President & CEO, Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute

Reception & Dinner: 5:30-7:00PM

Session Two: 7:00-8:30PM

Filling 52K Tech Jobs

Subject matter experts have five minutes each to share their five points about tech's impact on the workforce and how we create a supply to meet the demand - we'll hear what the economists are modeling, the role of immigration, how higher-ed work alignment can create targeted talent pipelines, and how to adapt to tech's role in labor automation and what that means for upskilling. All of this in an entertaining evening session that also leaves plenty of time for audience engagement.

  • Economic Overview: Chris Mefford
  • Immigration's Effect on Workforce: Michael Schutzler, CEO, WTIA
  • Aligning Preparation to Workforce:
  • Automation & Upskilling:
  • FacilitatorRogers Weed, Vice President, Product Management, Doosan GridTech


Breakfast: 8:00-9:00AM

Session Three: 9:00AM-11:30AM

Flour, Sugar, Butter, Eggs - A Recipe for Innovation

A panel and audience Q&A session on the ingredients for tech-driven economic development beyond the Puget Sound: what does it take and who is responsible.

  • Policy:
  • Rural Economy:
  • Regional Economy: 
  • Broadband: 
  • Moderator: Ewan Duncan, Director, McKinsey & Company

Apples, Health & Power

Panel presentation from industry leaders in agriculture, health care, and energy on the impact that tech-driven innovation is having on their company/sector and what they need to stay relevant/strong (talent, infrastructure, innovations, etc).

  • Apples: 
  • Health: 
  • Power: 
  • ModeratorKirk Schulz, President, Washington State University

Session Four: 12:00-3:30PM

In partnership with the WTIA, Session Four will focus on immigration's impact on the state's economic growth. Tech Institute attendees are encouraged to attend as much of this midday session as interests them. 

  • Lunch & WTIA's FullConTech Invent Session

Session Five(a): 4:00-5:30PM

Pick Your Passion and Make a Plan

Affinity groups brainstorm how to deepen and expand the reach of the state's innovation-driven economic growth - groups to include: talent/education; infrastructure; entrepreneurs, researchers and tech access & adoption. Each group preps for their evening pitch and receives pitch coaching from our team of expert investors.

Reception & Dinner: 6:00-7:30PM

Session Five(b): 7:30-9:00PM

So You Think You Can Pitch

A lively evening hearing the best ideas for how the state can strengthen its tech-driven economy; affinity groups pitch and everyone gets to play at being an investor (public or private) - voting with their money, plus we'll have a panel of real investors who will school us on what they really look for.

  • Judge: Tim Porter, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group
  • Judge: Heather Redman, Partner, Flying Fish Ventures
  • Judge: Bill Savitz, Executive Director & CEO, Ignite Northwest


Breakfast: 7:30-8:30AM

Session Six: 8:45-10:00AM

Putting the Pieces Together

A wrap-up of what we've learned, the best ideas for moving forward, and where the Tech Alliance can make a difference; we'll leave with roles, responsibilities and milestones.

Adjourn & grab lunch totes to-go.

Speakers will be added to the agenda as they are confirmed.

Thank you to our sponsors