Summerfest Tech, Milwaukee’s premiere tech event, recorded tremendous growth during its fifth year with over 2,100 registrations from 35 states and ten countries, along with support from 45 companies and over 50 speakers. Additionally, programming sessions throughout the 2022 event were near capacity.
Summerfest Tech took place in-person and virtually on Wednesday, June 29 and Thursday, June 30, 2022. All programming was FREE of charge and held across the city of Milwaukee, including at the Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel, the new BMO Tower, Milwaukee Artist Resource Network’s (MARN) new location in the Third Ward, and at Henry Maier Festival Park during Summerfest.
“Since its inception, Summerfest Tech has been a forum to extend the Summerfest brand, create connections in the tech community and showcase Milwaukee as a growing tech hub,” said Don Smiley, CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “The two-day event exceeded expectations in only its fifth year, quickly becoming the must attend event of the summer, demonstrating the power of Summerfest to convene a variety of audiences, including entrepreneurs, investors, corporate professionals and non-profit partners.”
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. (MWF), producer of Summerfest, continues to fulfill its nonprofit mission of bringing the community together and providing a showcase for performing arts, activities, and recreation to the public, through music and special events.
Summerfest Tech continued to deliver relevant content spanning the tech ecosystem. Key highlights of the 2022 event include:
- Keynote from Chuck Swoboda on challenging how individuals, leaders, and organizations define and support innovation.
- Facilitated Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation’s (WARF) Innovation Day 2022 in partnership with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, highlighting cutting-edge research and innovation in the University of Wisconsin system.
- Presentation from Denis Batalov, Worldwide Tech Leader for Amazon Web Services, discussing bias and human prejudice from the research lab to enterprise applications.
- A panel discussion providing insight on how blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) currently have economic impact in the art and music space.
The Summerfest Tech Pitch Competition, produced by Young Enterprising Society and in partnership with Molson Coors Beverage Company, had another successful year, with over 60 startups from across the country applying, with eight finalists pitching their concept to a panel of judges for the opportunity to receive a portion of $50,000 prize. Results of the Pitch Competition are as follows:
- 1st place: Kwema - winning $25,000, for a device that works inside and outside your workplace by anonymously connecting and sharing real-time information via Bluetooth beacons placed inside a building or with a smartphone GPS.
- 2nd place: Fly Parrots - winning $10,000, for an AI-enhanced assistive parrot, giving those with neurological conditions a 360-degree field of vision, enhancing their ability to communicate, and uplifting their sense of independence.
- 3rd place: Rex Academy - winning $5,000, for an educational company that Offers Schools Coding and Engineering Curriculum, which does not require Computer Science background for faculty to teach.
- 4th – 7th place: eCourt Reporters, Huupe, Cirkled-In, and Light Pong, each winning $2,500.
The Pitch Competition judging panel consisted of Kathleen Gallagher, Milwaukee Institute; Dan Gawronski, Venture Best of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP; Dawn Nguyen, Hyde Park Ventures; Keaton Nankivil, Alumni Ventures; Darrin Vohs, Molson Coors Beverage Company, and Bob Wynn, CLIMB USA, Inc.
Summerfest Tech is supported by Generac Power Systems, Data Holdings, Molson Coors Beverage Company, American Family Insurance, Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, Proofpoint, Rite-Hite, Rockwell Automation, Wipfli LLP, UScellular Business, UW-Madison E-Business Consortium, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Broan-NuTone, Check Point Software, Collabera, Concurrency, Dell Technologies, Expedient, Intel, Marquette University, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Milwaukee Area Technical College, MKE Tech Hub Coalition, Netskope, NVNG, OFFSITE, UiPath, Veeam, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Alverno College, databricks, denodo, Godfrey & Kahn, MARS Solutions Group, MuleSoft, New Resources Consulting, nvisia, SafeNet Consulting, Samsung,, Snowflake, and Zscaler. Media support provided by Experience Milwaukee and Foureva Media.
About Summerfest Tech
Summerfest Tech began in 2018 with the goal of leveraging the Summerfest brand to showcase technology and provide a forum for attendees from the tech and business community to network, educate, and celebrate the evolution of technology. Summerfest Tech continues to champion the regional business community, while shining the spotlight on Wisconsin’s growing reputation as a tech hub, highlighting the growth and opportunity in the region. Programming from local, regional, and national speakers, as well as a cash-prize pitch competition, connects the tech community around relevant topics. For more information visit www.summerfest.com/tech