2020 will be the third year that Summerfest Tech, focused on technology and innovation, will precede the two-week-long Summerfest music festival. This year’s Summerfest Tech event, scheduled for June 25-26, adds industry-specific break-out sessions, partner events and a community hack-a-thon.
Last year the event expanded to two days and featured keynotes from executives at Dell and Johnson Controls, as well as a conversation with producer/DJ Steve Aoki on the impact of technology and artificial intelligence on music and the music industry. Two panel discussions on cybersecurity and women in technology featured local experts from Marquette University, Johnson Controls and other tech-related firms.
Another addition to the 2019 Summerfest Tech event was the 5 LAKES Forum pitch competition for emerging startups focused on advanced manufacturing, environmental technology, health technology, mobility, and technologies that enable people and companies to work more effectively and efficiently. Health care interoperability startup OneChart Health took the top prize, followed by Milwaukee’s Fiveable, a live-streaming social learning platform.
The 2020 pitch competition is sponsored by 5 LAKES and Startup Wisconsin, and is open to startups in the targeted fields that have raised less than $250,000 in funding or generated less than $500,000 in revenue. Startups will be competing for $10,000 in equity-free seed funding and in-kind services from sponsors.
Mike Ellis, chief digital and customer officer at Johnson Controls, will be giving one of this year’s keynote addresses on the need for businesses to deliver customer value through the intersection of intelligent technology and human experience. Also scheduled is a community hack-a-thon hosted by The Commons, a Milwaukee-based initiative to develop regional talent and tackle pressing civic issues. This year’s event—which is sponsored in part by WEDC—will also be a stop on the Dell Tech Tour, an immersive and interactive mobile product showcase for Dell’s latest technology.