Attendees at this year’s FutureTech Conference on Tuesday will have the chance to see the launching of two software products, both from Charlotte-based companies.

Qualitech Solutions, Inc. will introduce its “Executive Dashboard”, what it calls an easy-to-read, easy-to-use executive information management tool that facilitates shorter and better decision-making processes that translate into significant cost-savings. The program monitors key performance metrics while providing vital indicators on a single Web age with powerful drill down capabilities.

Also, Insite Business Solutions will debut “Run My Club”, a software product it says provides online member and event management to clubs and associations. The program automates the time-consuming aspects of running and growing a successful organization using Internet-based tools.

Such demonstrations are only two of the applied technology solutions that will be presented at the second annual conference held by the Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council (MEC).

“The whole conference is about technology solutions that save the users time and money,” says MEC Executive Director Lori Antoniak.

Exhibitors nearly triple

The conference has grown dramatically since last year’s inception. At the 2001 event, there were 14 exhibitors, including both technology presenters and service providers. This year, the number has jumped to 50. More than half — 27 — are technology firms, most of them based in Charlotte and MEC members.

“These firms are our pride and joy,” Antoniak says. “The tech community in Charlotte is very software-based — we are into applications and working solutions.”

For example, elogex will conduct a breakout session on its transportation solution software, used by Dupont and Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., while Mariner will present a session on its equipment maintenance insurance solution that Royal &Sun Alliance sells to save its customers time and money on insuring their equipment. Other firms exhibiting in the Technology Demo Pavilion include Peak -10, AvidXchange, IP Technologies and Standpoint Technology.

“These live demonstrations by top industry executives will give technology users a true taste of solutions that can provide a competitive edge, make businesses run more efficiently, and enable new capabilities,” Antoniak says.

Speaker, speaker —

There will also be three featured speakers, two in the morning and one after lunch.

First on the agenda is Chip Gliedman of Giga Information Group, who will speak on the value of IT and examine the role of business value, volatility and flexibility in IT decision-making.

Gliedman will be followed by Beth Hardin, head of the Institute for Technology Innovation at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). Less than a year old, the institute works to accelerate the growth of intellectual capital through technological research relevant to the Charlotte region, and Hardin will update attendees on the Institute’s current activities and future plans.

The afternoon keynote will be given by Paul Schmitz, Ph.D., of the Gartner Executive program, speaking on the top 10 2002 CIO issues. His interactive presentation will describe how successful CIOs work as business leaders and identify where entrepreneurs should focus to achieve success.

In addition, four panel discussions will be held on using business intelligence extranets, streamlining logistics, access technology and eLearning.

About 200 people are expected to attend the conference, being at held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in uptown Charlotte from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Event sponsors are Sun Microsystems, Corning Cable Systems, Pioneer DATACOMM and elogex. Participating sponsors are Mariner, Systems Express, Dragonfly Film & Video, and the Charlotte Chamber Small Business Council and Internet Technology Council.

People can still register at Cost is $85 for MEC members and $135 for non-members. For a special rate of $210, people can register and join the MEC, a nonprofit membership association dedicated to educating and supporting high growth businesses and the entrepreneurs who drive them.

MEC Web site: