Talking Technology at Connect & Collaborate Sessions

“Today, every company is a technology company. We know technology is evolving quickly and not just in current businesses, but those that are looking to make their mark in Indiana,” says Brock Hesler, Indiana Chamber director of membership.

“If you don’t evolve, you could be left behind and your business growth might be hindered.”

The Indiana Chamber is once again hosting the Connect & Collaborate series as a thank you to its members and investors. The 2017 focus is technology – how it is permeating Hoosier businesses, and how companies can learn and adapt to new and improved ways of getting things done. Presented by AT&T, the series begins in May and concludes in August.

Consider these examples from the world of agriculture. What if technology could provide an answer to how much moisture is in a stalk of corn or a field of beans? What if farmers could drive tractors from a remote location or control an entire farm from a keyboard?

These scenarios sound futuristic, but are starting to become reality around Indiana. It’s not just the agriculture industry that is heavily impacted by new technologies: advanced manufacturing, logistics and others are already changing dramatically – as are the workforce skills required to staff these industries.

Attendees can hear an update on the Indiana Technology & Innovation Council, and a local business/community leader from each of the 12 Connect & Collaborate locations will comment on how that area or region is utilizing technology. A panel discussion will also allow for audience questions.

The free series – with either breakfast or lunch included (depending on the time of day) – enables companies to hear directly from Indiana Chamber representatives and learn more about membership resources available to them. Several new locations are included in 2017.

“This is a way to thank our members for their investment and support,” Hesler adds, “while also providing information that we think can help them succeed at an even higher level.”

Dates and cities for the Connect & Collaborate series:

May 9, Indianapolis
May 11, Lafayette
May 30, Bloomington and Columbus
June 6, Huntingburg and Evansville
June 8, Muncie and Richmond
June 13, Terre Haute
June 20, South Bend
June 22, Fort Wayne
August 16, Scottsburg

For complete details on locations and to register, go online or call Nick at (317) 264-6885.

Hackers: Join the IoT Civic Hackathon April 21 in Fishers

Have an idea to disrupt and energize Indiana’s economy with IoT? Help us make, move, and grow the Indiana of Things!
Don’t miss the IoT Civic Hackathon, produced by the AT&T Developer Program. AT&T and other top technology sponsors will be challenging participants to build IoT applications using government data, APIs and any hardware of their choosing. Hack and build IoT apps and projects, get fed, compete for prizes across different categories and most importantly: meet new people and scout for teammates to work on new or current projects. We will have experts from AT&T and the local community onsite to assist with your development.

You Bring…
Your laptop, skills and ideas. Come with a collaborative, team-focused mindset and/or team-up in advance on Twitter/Facebook/Google+ via the #ATTHACK and #IoTCivicHack hashtags. Whether you are a backend person, designer, entrepreneur, student or just interested in tech, you are invited to attend this event. Every group needs a good balance of talent and your development skills are needed!

Organizers Supply…
Quick presentations and code samples that help kick start your hacking, food to keep you going, and caffeine to keep you awake. Technical mentors can assist you in building faster, smarter, and with new tools. Loaner hardware will also be on-site for you to use in your solutions.

Prizes
The hackathon prizes are experiential and geared towards accelerating you towards a successful business as well as expanding your network and industry knowledge. There will be prizes in the following categories:

  • Best Overall Hack
  • Best Smart City Hack
  • Best Agriculture Innovation
  • Best Manufacturing Innovation
  • Best Logistics/Transportation Innovation

Event Info
When:
Friday, April, 21 at 6 pm – Saturday, April 22 at 9 pm
Location: Launch Fishers, 12175 Visionary Way, Fishers, IN 46038
Cost: Free!
Register now online!

Who’s Spending the Most to Get Your Attention?

Biggest advertisers in America (ranked by annual dollars spent), according to 2013 Kantar Group report:

  1. AT&T: $1.59 billion
  2. Verizon: $1.43 billion
  3. Chevrolet: $958 million
  4. McDonald’s: $957 million
  5. GEICO: $921 million
  6. Toyota: $879 million
  7. Ford: $857 million
  8. T-Mobile: $773 million
  9. Macy’s: $762 million
  10. Wal-Mart: $690 million

‘Searching’ for the Top Global Brand

An annual study of the most valuable global brands finds tech companies leading the way. Not surprising, I guess, as consumer loyalty is at the heart of brand value — and consumers are dedicated to their technical tools and toys.

The top four in the "BrandZ Top 100 report" from research firm Millward Brown Optimor: Google, IBM, Apple and Microsoft. Apple and IBM enjoyed the biggest increase (among the top 10) in value over 2009 at 32% and 30%, respectively. The rest of the top 10: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Marlboro, China Mobile, General Electric and Vodafone.

Other tech brands that exprienced strong growth included Verizon (No. 20), SAP (No. 21), AT&T (No. 22), Samsung (at No. 58 with 80% brand growth) and Sony (No. 94).

A common trend among many companies was the utilization of social media to build brand awareness. It didn’t make the top 100, but one of those social media tools — Facebook — did show a brand dollar value of $5.5 billion.

Google was number one for the fourth straight year. The research firm interviewed more than one million consumers worldwide in addition to analyzing each company’s financial and business performance.

Phelps Demonstrates True Revenue Power of Sports

NEWS ALERT: Apparently, Michael Phelps is a big deal.

While his accomplishments in the pool have rendered him an archetype in his sport with legendary status, it’s the personal revenue machine he’s generated that might be equally appealing to capitalists everywhere. This article on ESPN.com is quite telling, and explains how Phelps could end up taking in over $100 million from the global business community.

Eight gold medals in one Olympiad are cool, I guess. I’ll only take mild offense that similar financial accolades were never tossed my way when my Lil’ Steelers bested the previously undefeated Lions in the 1986 Boone County Pee Wee Youth Football Championship. Pretty impressive milestone, but whatever.