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Minnesota High Tech Association Hosts 19th Annual Spring Conference

Kurt Larson, Founder & CTO, served on an IoT discussion panel at the Annual Spring Conference hosted by MHTA on May 7th.

MHTA The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) hosted the 19th annual Spring Conference on May 7 at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Spring Conference is the region’s largest technology gathering with more than 700 participants sharing new ideas and innovations, as well as working through common challenges.

2015 was a year of exciting changes for the event including a new venue and a new format. The conference included an all-day agenda featuring industry thought leaders, sessions focused on today’s top technology trends, and networking opportunities.

“Our goal at the Minnesota High Tech Association is to make Minnesota one of the top five science and technology states in the nation,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President/CEO of MHTA. “Our Spring Conference was a fantastic day with a packed agenda focused on innovation, professional development, and bringing people together.”

The 2015 Spring Conference featured three keynotes, six panel discussions with local leaders, networking opportunities, informal group discussions, and a closing reception.

The morning’s opening keynote was from Adrian Davis, President, Whetstone Consulting. Davis has worked with organizations such as AOL, KPMG, Motorola, PwC, Phonak, The Globe & Mail, Aviva and Dupont. He is frequently called upon to address senior management teams and sales groups on the subjects of competitive advantage, relationship management and sales excellence.

Davis demonstrated why storytelling is the single most important skill sales professionals can use to convey value and persuade others to action. Davis shared story-telling techniques that enhance sales relationships, engage attention and motivate prospects to buy, while building trust and rapport.

The conference’s midmorning keynote came from Mary Meehan, CEO, Panoramix. Meehan is the co-founder and lead cultural Intelligence analyst for Panoramix Global, an international research consultancy based in Minneapolis that helps brands and organizations understand the complexities of future consumer behavior as a pathway to growth and innovation.

Meehan’s presentation at Spring Conference explored how to embrace and leverage a complex and ever-changing world — a faded American Dream, environmental concerns, ubiquitous technology, and women gaining educational and economic power — to optimize this change for your business and plan for the future.

The conference’s closing keynote came from Josef Brunner, Chief Architect, Cisco. Brunner has a successful track record of starting and growing companies, beginning at age 16 when he founded one of the first unified threat management systems. His last startup, JouleX, was acquired by Cisco in June 2013. His remarks explored new opportunities in connected technology — devices, wearables, appliances, software, sensors, energy management — the importance of partnership and predictions for future development.

The six panels focused on Innovation, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, 21st Century Skillset, Applied Data Analytics, and Digital Marketing.