What to expect at Ann Arbor SPARK's Tech Trek on June 15

From the Tech Talk speaker series to live music and autonomous vehicles

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Photo: Ann Arbor SPARK

ANN ARBOR - Come celebrate local innovation in true Ann Arbor style -- a full-fledged street party downtown on June 15.

After a successful first run last year, Ann Arbor SPARK's Tech Talk is back by popular demand from 9 a.m. to noon.

The free event will be held at The Michigan Theater and will feature inspirational speakers in the style of TED Talks from some of Ann Arbor's most influential business leaders.
"Tech Talk was an incredible success last year and proved to be an interesting and valuable addition to Tech Trek," Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK’s president and CEO, said in a press release. "The event is an opportunity to hear from visionary thought leaders in our community and is a way for the community to be exposed to the remarkable technology being developed right here in this region."

A speaker at the inaugural Tech Talk in 2017 (Photo: Ann Arbor SPARK)
This year's speakers:

  • Trey Boynton, diversity and inclusion manager at Duo Security
  • Jamal El-Mokadem, director of quality assurance at Barracuda
  • Dave Forman, managing director at Pillar Technology
  • Larry Freed, CEO of Give and Take
  • Kimberly Gamez, founder and CEO of Mi Padrino
  • Rachna Govani, CEO and co-founder of Foodstand
  • Ryan Kennel, office director at FordLabs
  • Laura Khoury, founder and CEO of Shoptelligence
  • Lisa McLaughlin, co-founder and co-CEO of Workit Health
  • Molly McFarland, co-founder and CRO of AdAdapted
  • Kenneth Natoli, director of delivery technology at Domino’s Pizza
  • Shawn Planko, engineering manager at Expedia
  • Ann Marie Sastry, president and CEO of Amesite

While entrance to Tech Talk is free, registration is required as seating is limited.

For more information and to register, visit www.annarborusa.org/techtrek.

Tech Trek 2017 participants (Photo: Ann Arbor SPARK)

Immediately following Tech Talk, Bank of Ann Arbor will present the Live at Tech Trek music festival from noon to 7 p.m. on the corner of Washington and South Fifth Avenue.

Artists include:

  • Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jacob Sigman 
  • Sydney-based Grammy-nominated trio Mansionair 
  • "The Voice" finalist Laith Al-Saadi

Following their performances, a DJ will take the stage to keep Tech Trek activities pulsing from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

To read more about how Tech Trek works, click here.

Check-in locations for Tech Trek:

  • SPARK Central Innovation Center:  330 E. Liberty St.
  • Barracuda Networks:  317 Maynard St.
  • Bank of Ann Arbor:  125 S. 5th Ave.

On Washington Street between S. Fifth Avenue and Division, trekkers will find the inaugural Mobility Row, where autonomous vehicles and self-driving shuttles from 18 mobility companies will be on full display.

All of these events are part of Ann Arbor SPARK’s a2Tech360 series, which runs over the course of three days. Learn more about the a2Tech360 program by visiting www.annarborusa.org/a2tech360.
About Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone (LDFA), Washtenaw County /Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call 734-761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.

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