By: Matthew Rodriguez
Pasadena Weekly Deputy Editor
With hopes to reconnect entrepreneurs and developers, Innovate Pasadena will host its annual convention, Connect Week, early next month.
“Here’s an opportunity for people to reconnect,” Innovate Pasadena board member Jered Gold said. “Whether in person or virtually, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new and to discover something new.”
Started by community and business leaders from Caltech, ArtCenter and other places in 2012, Innovate Pasadena has had one — and pretty obvious — mission: to innovate the greater Pasadena area and make it the forefront of design, technology and science.
“Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley have a lot to offer,” Gold said. “I think Pasadena has just as much to offer. “We’ve got some world-class institutions in Pasadena and the greater Pasadena area, like CalTech, JPL, the Huntington and the ArtCenter.”
Connect Week, which has occurred almost since the beginning of Innovate Pasadena, embodies the mission of the nonprofit by inviting businesses, organizations and individuals to meet and discuss new ways to advance new inventions and ideas.
“In order for something to really happen, it requires not only connecting but also making fruitful relationships,” Catalize CEO Nardo Manaloto said. “Connect Week is important because it definitely brings a lot of people together.”
Last year, like many other conventions, Connect Week shifted online and hosted hundreds of hours of programming through 43 virtual events spread across eight days.
This year, Connect Week will be a hybrid version of events, inviting attendees to reconnect virtually and in person. It will consist of more than a dozen events such as workshops, talks, tours and mixers beginning on Oct. 10 and ending on Oct.17.
“The thing that’s unique about Connect Week is that you have the opportunity to go to a bunch of different workshops, seminars, talks, meetings and happy hours, that are all with diverse groups of people, and do it in a consolidated period of time,” Products to Profits CEO Amy Wenslow said. “New ideas always pop up, because you’re able to see what’s working in some other area and bring it back to your business.”
Some events during the week will feature lectures on quantum computing, an open house at the Institute for Educational Advancement for families interested in STEM education and a seminar on how data analytics could help restaurants.
In conjunction with Connect Week, the ArtCenter College of Design will have its own weeklong convention focused on the connection between human creativity and technology, while also highlighting the legacy and influence of the relatively new school.
“We are very proud to host some remarkable speakers that will ultimately be part of the broader Innovate Pasadena Connect Week,” ArtCenter Director of Entrepreneurship and Professional Practice Robbie Nock said.
Both Connect Week and the Creative Tech Week hosted by the ArtCenter are free admissions, with access to the online and in person panels.