On May 25th, 2017, leaders in technology convened at The Palace in San Francisco to attend the inaugural IEEE Vision, Innovation, & Challenges Summit, an event dedicated to discussing and celebrating the latest in emerging research and possibilities for the future of technology as a whole. The agenda included a panel discussion on technology entrepreneurship, led by and featuring members of the IEEE Entrepreneurship steering committee.
Throughout the ninety-minute session, several topics were discussed, including how to manage risks, identifying market need, testing the market, building a team, and the various aspect of funding. Mario Milicevic, a Ph.D candidate at the University of Toronto and a founding member of the IEEE Entrepreneurship community, moderated the conversation.
Mario was excited that both the panel and the audience were made up of a diverse group of people that included venture capitalists, angel investors, engineers, entrepreneurs, and some individuals who were attending IEEE VICS as award recipients. To Mario, the “multigenerational aspect” of this event offered several unique perspectives on the topics discussed by the panel, making his participation as a moderator and the panelists’ participation all the more valuable.
One of the members of the diverse panel was Samantha Snabes, a member of the IEEE Entrepreneurship steering committee and the co-founder of re:3D. Participating in this panel was a “profound experience,” said Samantha. All of the panelists at this event were impressive hardware innovators with storied careers, she added, and they had plenty of wisdom to impart during the session.
Samantha was particularly inspired by a portion of the conversation that explored the importance of balancing technological skills with soft skills when running a business. When a company is hyper-focused on its growth, the company’s team can often fall by the wayside. Finding the right balance between fostering business and team culture development was a part of the discussion that Samantha found especially important. “[Your team is] just as critical, if not more so, to your success,” she said.
Both Mario and Samantha hope to return to the second annual IEEE VICS, set to occur in San Francisco in 2018. “I have done a lot of panels,” Samantha said. “This one really made an impression.”
“We must continue to have these interdisciplinary, multi-generational conversations in a forum where people can come together to invent the future,” Mario said.
You can learn more about this year’s event and mark your calendar for the 2018 IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit here.