Innovation Arizona Summit Brings Together Entrepreneurs and STEM Educators for Aug. 14 Conference


PHOENIX, AZ (July 31, 2014) — The Arizona SciTech Festival, MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix and the Arizona Commerce Authority announced the second annual Innovation Arizona Summit, a joint collaborative event designed to strengthen statewide connections among the diverse communities supporting Arizona’s innovation ecosystem. The summit will be held 8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. August 14 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts located at 7380 E. Second St. in Scottsdale.


The Innovation Arizona Summit features 20 sessions and 60 exhibits that will explore the Lifecycle of Innovation: from Inspiration to Commercialization. The event attracts leaders from business, industry, academia, government, nonprofit and communities throughout Arizona. Entrepreneurs and STEM educators will share best practices, expand their networks and engage in unique discussions about the linkages between science, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. More than 1,000 are anticipated to attend.


“STEM skills are pillars of our education system and drive business growth in today’s global marketplace,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority. “Strengthening the connections between businesses, educators and talent is critical to statewide innovation, and the summit helps the startup and STEM communities engage around a unifying theme that straddles both the public and private sectors.”


“We are excited to take part in this year’s Innovation Arizona Summit in partnership with the Arizona SciTech Festival and Arizona Commerce Authority,” said Jamie Glass, Program Chair at MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix.  “This event is a great way to support the entrepreneurial community by bringing innovators together with important resources that support Arizona’s small business economy.”


“The conference is a great platform for expanding networking opportunities among educators, the SciTech community and Arizona’s entrepreneurs,” said Jeremy Babendure, Executive Director of the Arizona SciTech Festival. “Engaging with innovators can seed ideas for unique collaborations and link partners with venues throughout the state, which translates into a stronger network and a more impactful Arizona SciTech Festival.”


This year’s Summit provides dual program tracks with session, insights and opportunities for educators and innovators to connect.


Full Program Agenda:

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.                      Registration & Networking Breakfast

9:00 - 9:45 a.m.                      General Session: AZ SciTech Festival Kickoff

10:00 - 11:45 a.m.                  Morning Sessions & Networking

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.            Lunch (On your own. For a restaurant directory click here.)

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.                      General Session Keynote: Logan LaPlante, Hackschooling

2:00 - 5:00 p.m.                       Afternoon Sessions & Networking

5:00 - 5:45 p.m.                       General Session: Lifecycle of Innovation

5:45 - 7:30 p.m.                       Reception & Exhibits (collaborators/partners host 60 tables)


Sessions and panel discussions scheduled for the Innovation Arizona Summit on Aug. 14 include:

General Sessions:

  • Hackschooling Makes Me Happy
  • Lifecycle of Innovation
  • Arizona SciTech Festival Launch

Workforce: Applications of science, technology, education and innovation in the workforce.

  • Inner/Outer Space: In Your Head & Out of This World
  • STEM-based Internships in Arizona
  • Manufacturing Innovation

Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs and investors share best practices.

  • Open Mic: What’s Your Idea?
  • From Research to Commercialization
  • A Growing Tech Hub in Downtown Scottsdale
  • Secrets to Winning the Arizona Innovation Challenge

AZ SciTech Best Practices: Festival collaborators share best practices about their events.

  • Innovating Festivals in Rural Arizona: Verde Valley SciTech Festival
  • Meet the Mentors: Festivals 101
  • Education, Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Connecting the Dots
  • Small Business & Education Outreach

STEM & STEAM: Innovative ways to integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in and out of the classroom.

  • National STEM Enterprises
  • Arizona’s Got STEM Talent
  • Establishing a STEM Culture in Schools

Culture of Innovation: Integrating science, technology and innovation throughout Arizona’s culture.

  • StartMakeBuildDo: It’s Not Your Grandma’s Library
  • Science & Storytelling
  • Parent & Hackschooling

Registration is $20 online until 10 p.m. Aug. 12. Event day registration at the door is $25. For registration and program information, click here: Innovation Arizona Summit 2014.


Media Contact

Joseph Valdez, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 845-1234, [email protected]


About the Arizona SciTech Festival

The Arizona SciTech Festival is a six-week, statewide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) held annually in February and March. Through a series of more than 300 expos, workshops, conversations, exhibitions and tours held in diverse neighborhoods throughout the state, the festival excites and informs Arizonans age 3 to 103 how STEM will drive our state. Spearheaded by its Foundational Partners the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Technology Council, Arizona State University, and The University of Arizona, the Arizona SciTech Festival is a grassroots collaboration of more than 350 organizations in industry, academia, arts, civic, community and K-12. Visit for more.


About MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix

MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix (MITEFPHX) is the Arizona chapter of the global, not-for-profit MIT Enterprise Forum. For more than thirty years, The MIT Enterprise Forum has been a platform for entrepreneurial networking, inspiration and education. We are a community of volunteers sharing resources, knowledge and a passion for entrepreneurship. Our goal is to build a community, connect technology entrepreneurs with capital, other resources, talent, industry experts and advisors. We want to make the commercialization of technology faster and easier.  MITEFPHX brings together local, national and even global leaders and entrepreneurs from real companies discussing real issues, providing everyone a front row seat to behind-the-scenes success.


About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.