The greatest minds, innovations, and thought leaders in the regional technology ecosystem are coming together in mid-September for Game Changer Week.
The series of events – Sept. 13-15 in Roanoke and Blacksburg – is a celebration of our innovative ecosystem and is designed as a place where big ideas and technology can collide. There will be more than 50 speakers focusing on everything from biotechnology to cyber tech to workplace leadership in workshops, panel discussions, and during networking events.
Highlights of the week include:
- Keynote talk with Jason Feifer, editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, and author of “Build for Tomorrow” and host of a podcast of the same name (he’ll also meet with students in another session and entrepreneurs in a third event)
- Biotechnology deep dive with sessions on the fast-growing life sciences sector and its future in this region with a keynote talk from Dr. Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute
- Technical tracks and talks that include aerospace, biotechnology, blockchain, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, and project management
- Talk about inclusive economic growth with NASA and entrepreneurs that are collaborating to commercialize ideas and innovation
- Interactive discussion with Melissa Doman about mental health in the workplace
- Entrepreneurial sessions to help you grow your business with case studies from founders and companies that have already done it
- Learn to create and mint an NFT or participate in a cybersecurity capture the flag event
- Networking and happy hours to help you connect with regional innovators at every level
- Block party with live music, food, and games at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center
The intent of the week is to inspire innovative thinking and connect the regional innovation ecosystem. You might learn about a new technology being developed right here, engage with leaders to help advance your startup (or career), and walk away with tips and skills to make you better at work today.
“We developed Game Changer Week to help connect the dots between all of the innovations and thought leadership happening in this region,” said Brett Malone, President and CEO of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center.
“Whether you come for one event or 10, we can guarantee you’ll learn something, gain new understanding of our regional innovation ecosystem, or meet someone that can help push your professional path forward,” said Erin Burcham, President of Verge and Executive Director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council. “The future of innovation in this region is starting now.”
Game Changer Week is a collaborative effort organized by technology leaders from across Virginia, including the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, VIPC, the Virginia Tech Entrepreneur Club, Tech Center Research Park, Virginia Bio, and other organizations.
This year the event is in multiple locations throughout the region. We encourage you to register, download the app, and plan to move back and forth between Roanoke and Blacksburg for different experiences. Even better, share the event with your team, and encourage their participation as well.
Game Changer Week is free to attend and designed for everyone from the mentor/CEO looking to connect with innovative thinkers to working professionals looking to level up their careers to college students that want to network with industry pros. Join us for networking events, engage with thought leaders in action, and leave with real-world connections and new knowledge to be inspired.
Special thanks for a Truist Foundation grant and a federal EDA grant, which were both awarded to Verge, that partially sponsored some of the Game Changer Week events.