The bad news is that TEDx Raleigh sold out in minutes when ticket sales began last Friday. The good news is that the entrepreneurial community is well represented in the mix of 13 local speakers and performers who will present March 19. 

The theme for the event is “wonderlust”—organizers hope to inspire a new state of curiosity and awe in its attendees, in addition to letting speakers share “ideas worth spreading”. Kevin Snyder, a curator for the event, says attendees should “want to learn together.” 
The selection process for the speakers was intense, with its 250 applications temporarily crashing the TEDxRaleigh site. The team of volunteers required a talk outline, along with a video and interview for the top 24 finalists. Snyder says the organizers struggled to choose from many high-quality applications, but finally narrowed the lineup down to a group of “diverse, powerful” speakers that range from a high school student to a  magician. They wanted to be sure the chosen presenters each had something valuable that the attendees could apply in their own lives.
The full list of presenters is here, but we’ve got a deeper dive into the entrepreneurs and innovators in the bunch: 

  • Dr. Veena Misra is a professor at NC State University and director of its NSF ASSIST center (Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies), which works to invent robotic systems to monitor health. Dr, Misra will talk about medical devices that are not powered by traditional battery systems, but instead run off the body’s energy.
  • Ricky Hopper has dual roles as a developer at unmanned aerial vehicle startup PrecisionHawk and user experience designer and developer at DXLab Design, a downtown Raleigh design agency that works with startups and more established businesses to create new apps, products and services. He will discuss how the future of technology will be created by artists, whose goals will not only be to create products but experiences. 
  • A talk on valuing skills equally in education will be given by Peyton Holland, who believes that all students should be empowered may they wish to be a welder or a doctor. Holland is a public speaker and executive director of SkillsUSA North Carolina, a non-profit organization built on partnerships between industry, teachers and students to ensure that there is a skilled workforce in the United States. The group puts on leadership workshops and conferences, and hosts a variety of skills contests.