KU Innovation Park to host inaugural Lawrence Tech Conference

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Working to expand Lawrence as a tech hub, local industry professionals have organized the first Lawrence Tech Conference, free to attend.

Through guest speakers and networking, the conference aims to get dialogue and ideas around Lawrence’s technology sector flowing.

Jason Rogers, CEO of a local cybersecurity startup company called Invary, said an event of its kind is long overdue.

Jason Rogers

“Lawrence has a lot of great technical talent — experienced people living in the community,” Rogers said. “So, you know, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t have more technology companies, technology jobs in this area.”

Guest speakers will include Taejoon Kim, associate professor at KU’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Brian McClendon, senior vice president of engineering at Niantic Labs; and Elizabeth Christensen, Postgres educator at Crunchy Data.

Mike Silverman, principal software quality assurance engineer at Lawrence company Matterport, is set to emcee the conference.

The Lawrence Tech Conference is a collaboration between Invary, KU Innovation Park and the Lawrence Tech Guild network. Rogers and organizers including Jaime Gassmann, of the Lawrence Tech Guild, and KU Innovation Park CEO Adam Courtney worked together to execute their vision.

Rogers credited the tech guild community for inspiring the conference. The longstanding network, now a private LinkedIn group, currently has 353 members, ranging from engineers to company executives to students or recent graduates just beginning in data science and artificial intelligence.

He said he hopes the conference will help raise awareness of tech companies that are based in Lawrence and encourage more companies to set roots here. Non-tech people — such as entrepreneurs across industries — too can benefit from attending, and anyone interested is welcome. 

As of Thursday morning, approximately 75 people were registered to attend, according to Rogers. He said the attendance may cap at 100, but the space could end up fitting more than that.

The conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 5 at KU Innovation Park, 2033 Becker Drive. It’s free to attend, and lunch will be provided. 

Registration is required via an RSVP form on the conference’s website, lawrencetechconference.splashthat.com. There is no deadline to register.

View the full schedule for the conference, and additional information, also on the website.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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