2017 Technology Institute Agenda

This is a working agenda. Speakers will be added as they are confirmed. PDF version available here.

Tech-Driven Innovation Across Washington


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.

  • Vikram Jandhyala, VP for Innovation Strategy at UW & Executive Director of CoMotion
  • Matthew Trunnell, Chief Information Officer & VP of IT, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • John Wecker, President & CEO, Pacific Northwest Research Institute


Filling 52K Tech Jobs [Evening Session]: 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.

  • Michael Schutzler, CEO, Washington Technology Industry Association
  • Rogers Weed, Vice President, Product Management, Doosan GridTech


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.

  • Sandz Hinrich, Eastern Washington Manager Regional Operations, CenturyLink
  • Jenny Rojanasthien, Executive Director, GWATA: North Central Washington Tech Alliance
  • St. Rep. J.T. Wilcox, Floor Leader, Washington State House Republicans

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).

  • Kirk Schulz, President, Washington State University
  • Andy Wappler, Vice President Customer Operations and Communications, Puget Sound Energy

LUNCH: In partnership with the WTIA, lunch and the afternoon workshop 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. 

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.


So You Think You Can Pitch [Evening Session]: 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.

  • Tim Porter, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group
  • Bill Savitz, Executive Director & CEO, Ignite Northwest


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.

10:00AM Adjourn & grab lunch totes to-go.

Thank you to our sponsors