For two days in early October, creators from all over the greater Midwest will be convening in Milwaukee for Fall Experiment, a unique hybrid of tech conference, arts festival, coding workshop and gaming convention.
In its second year, the conference/festival is expanding to two days, Oct. 4-5, and moving to a larger space at the Wisconsin Center. The event’s diverse lineup of 60+ speakers and seven different tracks all focus on coding, startups, gaming and arts, but cross-collaboration and inspiration are a common thread running through them all.
Startup and ProductCon
A highlight of Fall Experiment’s startup track is the inaugural Fall X PITCH competition, where five semifinalists will compete for a $250,000 investment from Rock River Capital Partners and Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Venture Capital and free office space at Cream City Labs.
83 Tech Harbor (83TH), a subsidiary of Advocate Aurora Health, will also be hosting the finalists for its Reverse Pitch Challenge as they compete to pitch new technologies, systems or solutions aimed at improving women’s health and childhood development. The winner will receive up to $200,000 investment capital and working space.
Startups are also the focus of the ProductCon track, aimed at “those who are obsessed with the intersection of business, technology and user experience.” Emerging technology will be on display at the Product Showcase and Alpha Bar, where participants will be able to test product ideas in real time using software that gathers feedback from hundreds of potential customers.
Other opportunities for startups at Fall Experiment include gBETA’s Pitch Night, investor office hours and sessions with digital thought leaders like Nancy Wang, head of data protection at Amazon Web Services, and Wisconsin’s own Michael Anton Adam, founder of DocLaunch and Chaintracks.
Cream City Code
Another large part of Fall Experiment is the Cream City Code developer conference. Developers, designers and programmers of all experience levels are invited to explore new ideas, code, collaborate and share best practices.
Business strategist Kim Crayton and GitHub’s Nikolas Means will be giving Cream City Code’s keynotes, open to all Fall Experiment attendees. Crayton will be speaking about managing conflicts among and within groups as tech and other industries work to improve inclusion and diversity. Means’ keynote will look back on the beginning of Lockheed’s infamous “Skunk Works” and what today’s Agile and Lean processes owe to these 1940s aerospace engineers.
Arts, music and experiences
Much of what makes Fall Experiment unique is its dedication to exploring the intersection of technology and art. Arts workshops with Milwaukee’s No Studios, TrueSkool and Artists Working in Education run side by side with e-sports tournaments and short films. An immersive DiscoVR MKE experience from virtual reality design firm The Elumenati highlights Milwaukee’s cultural and industrial impact around the world. The event closes on Saturday night with a performance by DJ Steve Aoki.
All access tickets for Fall Experiment are $40 for the general public and free for Northwestern Mutual, Centare and Kohl’s employees. For more details, visit the Fall Experiment website and follow the hashtags #fallx and #fallexperiment on social media.