Techweek comes to Detroit in May

imagesBy Bridget Vis A national tech conference that brings together local companies, startups and investors is coming to downtown Detroit next month. Techweek, which started in Chicago in 2011, is a weeklong celebration of the tech industry in cities across America, said Executive Director Sam Kennedy.

Kennedy said the conference features presentations from top tech CEOs, in addition to a technology trade expo, startup competition, fashion tech runway show and hiring fair.

“Techweek gets the entire tech community together for one event,” he said.

Last year, Kennedy said about 18,000 people attended Techweek in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, and organizers expect more this year by expanding the conference to Miami and Detroit.

He said about 1,000 people are expected to attend Techweek Detroit.

The idea to bring Techweek to Detroit came from a desire to have a South by Southwest-style event in the city, said Ted Serbinski, chairman of the executive advisory board for Techweek Detroit and partner atDetroit Venture Partners, which helped attract the event to the city.

Serbinski said he thought the event would fit in well with metro Detroit’s growing technology startup community.

“Techweek is a way to celebrate all the entrepreneurs and technology companies that we have here,” he said.

Serbinski said the Detroit conference, which will be based around the theme of “City of the Future,” will have a series of summits on topics such as how technology will impact education, health care and the future of the automotive industry, including a presentation on Google’s self-driving cars.

Scheduled speakers for Techweek Detroit include: Bill Pulte, CEO of Pulte Capital Partners and founder of the Detroit Blight Authority; Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners; Mike McAvoy, president of The Onion; Luis Perez, senior vice president and CFO of the Detroit Lions; Paul Glomski, CEO and co-founder of Detroit Labs; and Crain’s Entrepreneurship Editor Amy Haimerl.Kennedy said more than 80 companies and 1,000 job seekers participated in Techweek hiring fairs last year. Many local technology companies will be among the 50 businesses expected to participate this year in Detroit, including the Detroit-based Bizdom companies and Ann Arbor-based information technology startup Duo Security Inc.,he said.

Techweek Detroit is scheduled for May 22-23 at 160 Fort St. (the former Federal Reserve building). Additional events will start May 19 and culminate on May 24 with the Movement Electronic Music Festival . Techweek tickets range from $30 and $199 and can be purchased at http://techweek.com/detroit/#register. 

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