This week, my friend Heather won tickets to Dallas’ Tech Week in Deep Ellum, TX (a relatively new technology conference for entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts alike). When she offered me her other ticket, I didn’t even have to think – I knew this conference would pull together many things that I learned (and loved) about my major at TCU AND there were concerts involved. What more could a girl ask for? (okay maybe a job but *spoiler alert* that didn’t happen)
about the conference.
Location: The Bomb Factory.
Dates: Monday 10/31 – Friday 11/4 (I think. I only went Wednesday and Friday).
Topics: Ranging from Tech of the Future to Real Estate Tech to Education Tech in Schools. Basically, if you can add the word “technology” to something, it was probably mentioned.
Overall thoughts: there was only one option during each session so that was a bit limiting, but I understand their constraints. Some topics weren’t necessarily targeted toward me but again, I understand.
Okay, now let’s get on to my day(s)!
I began the day at a session called Futures Exploration. I didn’t know what to expect but the panel looked promising so I brought my mom along for the ride (sadly she couldn’t come in) but the discussion didn’t disappoint. Looking back, this was probably my favorite panel! There was avid discussion regarding the future of technology and an inherent desire to make things better now. So often discussions of the future forget that we are living in today and idealize (and idolize) what may or may not be. Did you know that in cities of over 1m inhabitants, Dallas has the highest child poverty level in the USA? I didn’t. We discussed safety of our data, children’s passions, and adaptability, as well as everything in between.
- go speak at an elementary school (or at least volunteer – in the words of one of the speakers, “show up.”)
- connect passion to technology (don’t assume it’s obvious)
- understand that there is a fine line between privacy and benefit
Next, I went with my mom to Canne Rosso (honestly, not as impressed as I thought) for some ‘za.
(then I headed back to Coppell for a bit)
Once back in Deep Ellum, I went on a tour of Deep Ellum Brewing Co because why not? After accidentally exploding a beer all over my hands, we got to hear about the rich history of the organization and how they make their beers. I didn’t understand much of it but I’m assuming that’s because I usually just take a beer and don’t ask questions 😉.
Next was a panel at the Brewing Co but with the combination of rain and poor speakers (the technology, not the humans), I didn’t pick up much. You can only listen to a panel about the “Internet of Things” for so long…
Heather and I met up (after my dinner at BuzzBrews – pancakes, if you were wondering) for the session that night. It was basically what I expected – everyone is looking for a seat and very few people are on the dance floor. Until the band came out. ISHI was the major game changer.
Picture: a man with a beard down to his stomach and a large poncho combined with men in piñata costumes dancing around. Now, picture them actually sounding really good.
Sadly, I’ve only got video of this and it won’t load here. I’ve attached a picture from their website for reference.
The session was trying to meet music with our other senses but it definitely wasn’t what I expected. They had a machine that could print our Snapchats, artists drawing, speakers that were made into chairs, gif-makers, and lots of fancy lights (one of which fell off during the performance but no one was underneath it, thankfully).
I showed up a bit later this day than Wednesday but actually got to see more panelists because they were each only 30 minute presentations.
Smart & Connected Cities.
The first presentation was on Smart & Connected Cities and all I could picture was Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century. Cool topic, but hard to completely cover in 30 minutes with no time for Q&A.
Disrupting the Fortune 500 with Innovation.
The second presentation was about Disrupting the Fortune 500 with Innovation. Again, hard to cover in such a short amount of time but they all brought up good points. It reminded me a lot of a class I took in college called, “Corporate Entrepreneurship” so thankfully I had a bit of a base knowledge. It’s not a tough topic to understand but a bit tough to understand well.
- there is a huge difference between inventor & entrepreneur
- make sure you’re solving a problem with your solution – is your problem really a problem or are you forcing it?
- innovation does not equal continuous innovation
The third presentation had the most detail to it and actually something I haven’t put much thought into until the presentation – Education Technology. It seemed like there were a bunch of people in the audience who wanted to get involved in this space and make some serious change in the education world.
- data justifies itself and helps sell to educators
- it’s a top-down approach but you can’t forget the bottom
- regulatory issues are defending the past but not protecting the future
Next was the pitch competition. Honestly, I didn’t stay to see who won but I enjoyed watching the five-minute pitches from the top contestants. I went to a coffee shop down the street, Drugstore Cowboy, and chugged down some black coffee while reading on my Kindle.
Sarah picked me up soon after and ate some burgers and fries at Hopdoddy’s. Yum. And, the burger I got donates $1 to a local charity (caramelized onions, cheese, and helping people, oh my!)! Next up: macarons.
Friday night, Heather and I got to see The Neighbourhood and Manchester Orchestra from the VIP section above everyone else. I got to sit, get drawn, eat free food, and have an awesome view. This perk was arguably the best of them all!
Thank you Capital One for such a cool experience and thank you, Heather for bringing me along! Aren’t we cute?
Aren’t we cute?