If you want to turn your great idea into the next big thing in the marketplace, you have one last chance to register for the Innovation Summit 2015.
“We encourage anybody who wants to become a successful innovator to come to the Innovation Summit,” said Chris McKinney, associate vice president of Innovation Commercialization at GRU. “This is a great chance for you to learn from successful people who have already walked that path. It’s a path that you can walk, too.”
There’s no cost to attend the summit, as the event is fully sponsored by the Office of Innovation Commercialization, the Georgia Regents Research Institute and the Hull College of Business at Georgia Regents University and the Savannah River National Laboratory.
“We wanted to give back to the community not only by helping people become innovators but by also doing so for free,” McKinney said.
Retired Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, owner and CEO of ViziTech USA, a company that develops 3-D and interactive and augmented reality technology for educational purposes. In 2012, ViziTech was named Georgia’s “Coolest Technology Company,” and Rodeheaver was chosen technology “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Technology Association of Georgia.
Jordan Eisenberg, founder and president of UrgentRx, a company that produces powdered medications that come in credit-card-sized packets. Eisenberg has extensive experience with innovation, including the creation of a web company with more than 100,000 users across the globe and collar stays that come in credit-card-sized wallet cards.
Innovation Summit 2015 also features more than a dozen “short takes” talks — brief and dynamic pitches of less than eight minutes each — highlighting innovations and routes to market taken by successful innovators. The summit will also have a shark tank with five companies pitching to investors right in front of the audience.
The summit will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center at 1833 Broad St. in Augusta. You must register in advance at http://gru.edu/oic/summit/ to attend the summit. Breakfast and lunch are included.
AUGUSTA, Ga. – If you have a great idea and want to turn it into the next big thing, you could get help for free.
Beginning today, registration is open for the Innovation Summit 2015, sponsored by the Office of Innovation Commercialization and the Hull College of Business at GRUand the Savannah River National Laboratory.
“We’re very excited to host this third annual event which celebrates innovation, highlights how that innovation moves into the marketplace, and inspires us all to take those next steps and dare to make a difference,” said Chris McKinney, associate vice president of Innovation Commercialization at GRU.
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center at 1833 Broad St. in Augusta. There’s no cost to attend the summit, but space is limited. You must register in advance at http://gru.edu/oic/summit/. Breakfast and lunch are included.
At January’s second annual TEDx event, an impressive number of speakers – four of the 17 to be exact – were from GRU.
“For Georgia Regents University to be able to share some of its innovative thinkers with a TEDx Augusta that is potentially available to a global population gives us the opportunity to make more connections and have more visibility for what we do, but it also allows us to share our thought process with others, have them critiqued, and to learn from that interaction ourselves,” said Dr. James Rawson, Chair of the Radiology and Imaging Department, who spoke about virtual communities and social media.
Rawson was joined on the stage by Dr. Chris McKinney, Associate Vice President for Innovation Commercialization, Dr. Samir Khleif, Director of the GRU Cancer Center, and Steven Uhles, Director of Media and Marketing for the GRU Cancer Center.
The beauty of TEDx, of course, is that if you miss the talks in person, you can always watch them on YouTube. So if you didn’t make it to the Imperial Theatre and haven’t yet sought them out online, here they are for your enjoyment.
When Augusta’s second TEDx event is held at the Imperial Theatre on Friday, Jan. 30, four of the 17 speakers will be from Georgia Regents University.
For those who might not have seen one of the popular videos frequently shared on social media, TED Talks are relatively short and highly accessible speeches given by experts on everything from oceanography to the theremin. Known for their casual delivery and their insightfulness, they’ve become the gold standard for today’s lifelong learners, distributed free across the Internet in easily consumable bites.
Dr. Chris McKinney, Associate Vice President for Innovation Commercialization, said author Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” is his personal favorite.
“He brings discipline to how I do things,” McKinney said. “I’ve literally changed how I do some of my business based on that single TED Talk.”
Considering McKinney heads up the Office of Innovation Commercialization, that’s pretty high praise. Not only is innovation the currency with which he does business, it figures into his talk, which uses health care examples to talk about how everyone can help innovate and create the future.
While McKinney, like most TED speakers, is confortable in front of an audience, he said the relaxed, off-the-cuff presentation is not left to chance. Rather, the rehearsal process is actually fairly rigorous.
“I’ve been to TED, and it does look really well done,” he says. “It’s very disciplined, and for a guy who’s not used to writing speeches out, this is very different.”
That sentiment is seconded by Dr. Samir Khleif, Director of the Cancer Research Center, who is speaking about a sustainable cancer health model for underserved communities. He was surprised by the preparations required by the organizers.
“I don’t rehearse my talks,” he said. “I’ve never rehearsed a talk in my life because I don’t like to give my talk more than once. I just do it when I’m doing it, because if you rehearse a talk, it becomes mechanical.”
While the majority of his talks are for the scientific community or those in health care, he says he’s looking forward to speaking to a wider, potentially limitless audience.
“Clearly, any time you give a talk, it’s either for an education perspective or to intrigue an audience about certain thoughts, to make them think about something,” he said. “Whether you give it to 100 people or 1,000 people, it’s always better to give it to 2,000 people or 3,000 people. It’s the same when you publish something. You want to put it out there. The more people who read it, the better.”
Steven Uhles, Director of Media and Marketing for the GRU Cancer Center, is the only nonacademic of the GRU contingent, but he is no stranger to speaking in front of crowds or giving his opinion. After 15 years with the Augusta Chronicle (he currently writes the “Pop Rocks” entertainment column for the daily paper) he is one of the most recognized contributors in Augusta.
“I’m a guy who likes to think about things, so to sort of spend an extended period of time rolling this thing over in my head has been an interesting experience,” he said. “It’s like writing a piece for a newspaper – you write that piece and you are sort of intensely in there for the day or two it takes to get it done, but then it sort of moves on. So, for me this has been a lot like writing an extended column and then being asked to do a reading of it. I’ve written thousands of columns, but I’ve never written them this long, and I’ve certainly never gotten up and said, ‘My Ode to Steely Dan.’”
Writing about how creativity is valued, Uhles is mining the artistic world he has covered for so long.
“Creativity is an abstract, and we’re always asking what something is worth,” he said. “My talk is about how can you value something that really exists on a theoretical level. What is a painting worth? It’s not worth the price of the paint, it’s not worth the price of the canvass. You’re paying for creativity, so how do we value that?”
For Dr. James Rawson, Chair of the Radiology and Imaging Department, the TED Talk process was familiar, since he was involved in the organization of last year’s TEDx TelfairSteet.
“This year, when it was moved to TEDx Augusta and the topic was going to be Connections, I thought that was a perfect opportunity to talk about social media, which we’ve been very involved in in our department.”
His talk, “Virtual Communities and Social Media: How Will You Use These Tools to Change the World?,” seems tailor made for a TEDx event, since that’s exactly what TED Talks have done on a large scale since 1984.
“One of the things that’s exciting about our audience is that it’s not a narrowed-focused audience,” he said. “It’s a very diverse group with a lot of different types of thinkers, and the opportunity to interact with them is very exciting.”
In fact, his only disappointment, he said, was the fact that he’s so far only been really able to connect with the speakers rehearsing in the time slots on either side of him.
One thing he finds especially interesting and symbolic, however, is the rehearsal space.
“We’ve been rehearsing to a large extent in something called theClubhou.se, which is actually the old Richmond Academy building,” he said. “I drive past the original Medical College of Georgia, turn into the driveway of the old Richmond Academy, walk into a building with a great legacy in education that’s being renovated for computer labs and BattleBots. To me, that’s part of the value of being able to do this in Augusta, leveraging all of the pieces of the community – the people and the organizations and the heritage that’s here – and putting it into this one TEDx event.”
According to Rawson, the exposure the GRU speakers will receive will benefit the enterprise’s reputation.
“For Georgia Regents to be able to share some of its innovative thinkers with a TEDx Augusta that is potentially available to a global population gives us the opportunity to make more connections and have more visibility for what we do, but it also allows us to share our thought processes with others, have them critiqued, and to learn from that interaction ourselves.”
Know someone who would love to attend? Email that person’s name and email address to AALIGOOD@gru.edu to give them the chance to win a free TEDx Augusta ticket.
Georgia Bio: The Life Sciences Partnership will lead a conversation with leaders in Augusta’s life sciences innovation community on moving innovations from “bench to bedside” on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 8 a.m. at the Augusta Marriott Convention Center.
Discussions will also include the routes being taken to grow their companies, current trends in Augusta’s life sciences industry, and how the community can work together to stimulate innovations that become outstanding products and services.
Guest speakers will be Dr. Steve Hsu, Camellix; Dr. Richard A. McIndoe, Vice President for Operations and Information Technology at Jinfiniti Biosciences; Bill Hamilton, co-founder of REACH Health, Executive-in-Residence at Georgia Regents University; Cem Oruc, Director of Commercialization Assistance at the UGA Small Business Development Center.
Moderating the sessions will be Dr. Christopher D. McKinney, Associate Vice President for Innovation Commercialization and Professor of Business in the James M. Hull College of Business at Georgia Regents University.
Faculty and staff may sign up for free; registration for students is $10. For more information and to register, contact the Office of Innovation and Commercialization at 706-721-4062.