RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Technology is cool, faster PCs are great to have and de-bugged software is a dream. The latest in gadgets, gizmos and applications will be on display at the Computer & Technology Showcase next week. But this year’s event has a different twist to it as well.
What’s going on behind the scenes at the General Assembly, in venture financing and deal making, and in the world of digital media that, collectively, will help drive the state’s technology industry in the future?
That’s what Sig Hutchinson, who is in charge of the speaker part of the show, wanted to find out — and why he has recruited several well-known speakers to address these key topics during the two-day event next Tuesday and Wednesday at the state fairgrounds.
“The theme is ‘The State of Technology,'” Hutchinson tells Local Tech Wire. “My personal mission was to find the real leaders making it happen right here in the Triangle and offer them the opportunity of a keynote address about what they see going on in Technology. The exciting thing to me is how each of our speakers are so involved in different aspects of technology but all are critically important to where we are and more importantly, where we are going.”
Hutchinson lined up Senator Eric Reeves – one of the few in the General Assembly who really understands technology – to talk about legislation. Mitch Mumma of Intersouth Partners will talk VC. And Jim Goodmon, chief executive officer of Capitol Broadcasting and as big a driver of technology (Internet, HDTV) as there is in the Southeast, if not the country, will discuss what’s happening in digital media.
“Rarely do we have the opportunity to be hearing from leaders on the front lines of making it happen,” Hutchinson says. “To understand what they are thinking and doing, can give us a real competitive advantage in the marketplace whether we are running a technology company, investing in a technology company, selling for a technology company, working for a technology company or simply want to know.”
Hutchinson describes the speakers as his “A” list.
“Intersouth just closed on a 204M venture fund now making them the largest venture capital organization in the southeast. Senator Eric Reeves in Co-Chair of the Senate Committee on Information Technology and has been a real champion for the technology community and has some bills currently in the legislature dealing with technology and the technology community right now.
“And Jim Goodmon–well what can you say. Visionary, media giant, community advocate, ball club (Durham Bulls) owner, real estate developer (in Durham). Jim is an icon of the Triangle, and we are fortunate to have him here. He is involved in so many great things that to have the opportunity to hear Jim is worth coming alone.”
Hutchinson drafted himself to talk about leadership in tech companies. An entrepreneur himself, he has interviewed many “thought leaders” for his Internet show “Success Today.”
“As producer of SuccessToday.com, I have the opportunity to interview some of the individuals leading technology companies in the Triangle. As a result, I have become interested in leadership and how these individuals are leading their companies,” he explains. “What I have found is that whereas each have very different personalities, collectively there are ways in which they think, and things that they do that make them successful. In my keynote on Leadership in Technology companies, we will be looking at how we can become better leaders no matter what our personality style is.”
Is he concerned about the quality of leaders at companies these days?
“Leaders are leaders in good times and in bad. However, they do change their emphasis and direction based on what is happening,” Hutchinson says. “Within the technology community what I find it encouraging is that people seem more positive, in many ways because they are just tired of seeing it so bad. ‘We have to get on with life’ seem to be the attitude.
“Personally, I still think we are a ways off from seeing a real recovery, but it is encouraging that people are feeling better if only to accept the situation we are in and start working to improving it.”
Hutchinson will deliver his speech at 11 AM on Tuesday followed by Mumma at 1 PM. Reeves talks at 11 AM on Wednesday followed by Goodmon at 1 PM.
For information about the show and to register, go to www.techshows.com
Hutchinson’s web site is: www.successtoday.com
Rick Smith is managing editor of Local Tech Wire.