SOURCE: Washtington Technology Industry Association

Washtington Technology Industry Association

September 29, 2010 13:51 ET

WTIA Concludes Successful Inaugural TechNW Event

A Sellout Crowd of 350 Thinkers and Doers From the Northwest Tech Community and Beyond Gather for an Enlightening Day of Discussion and Debate

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - September 29, 2010) -  The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) (http://www.washingtontechnology.org), one of the largest statewide associations of technology companies, IT departments and individual technology professionals in North America, today celebrated the success of its inaugural TechNW: North to Innovation conference. The sell-out event featured more than 350 attendees and presenters, including tech giants, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and media engaged in thoughtful and challenging discussions around gaming, mobility, cutting-edge devices, social media, corporate development and cloud computing.

Among the most compelling sessions of the day was a rare, side-by-side panel of the people guiding mergers and acquisitions at Amazon.com, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Google and Microsoft that was moderated by the Foundry Group's Managing Director, Brad Feld. These global industry leaders shared insights about their approach to buying and selling companies, provided tips for how entrepreneurs and venture capitals can most effectively engage with them and defined their views on "successful" acquisitions. Marc Brown, managing director of corporate development at Microsoft, received some chuckles from the audience when he suggested that there is a fine line between overselling and lying, and that it never helps when companies email Steve Ballmer directly since he's not directly involved in M&A activities.

"In my role as moderator at the WTIA's TechNW event I had the exceptional opportunity to grill corporate development experts from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Cisco all on one panel. This is a rare circumstance, something that the Seattle and greater Northwest community can really thrive on," said Feld.

The consumer Internet and social media panel, moderated by Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome, brought together business leaders and marketers with deep experience in creating and growing successful Internet companies. Panelists from Bonanza (formerly Bonanzle), BuddyTV, Intersect, Lockerz and Tippr.com discussed how they have cut through the large signal-to-noise ratio in social media to connect with their target audiences, keys to success for social commerce, how to manage customer feedback and rapidly iterate new product enhancements and how their learnings can be applied to the business-to-business setting.

Matt Hulett, senior vice president of the Games Division at RealNetworks, kicked-off the day with a lively discussion with David Roberts, CEO of PopCap, and Mike Peronto, CEO of WildTangent, that included some good-natured industry smack-talk. Roberts commented that Zynga is more of a media company than a gaming company, and that great games will always be better than great marketing. They also discussed how the days of easy money in social gaming are gone now that the market is maturing.

Cloud computing is having a massive impact on the IT industry, and the luminaries from the companies guiding the space talked about its opportunities and potential pitfalls. The technical leaders of Amazon Web Services, Citrix, Microsoft's Windows Azure Platform and RealNetworks discussed the evolution of cloud computing, how to manage IT's fear of losing control versus enterprise users' demands to access data and applications anywhere, anytime and on any device, and how the future for IT workers will be more focused on the intellectual property of IT rather than on more mundane systems maintenance.

The Pacific Northwest has a long history in the wireless space, and during the mobile sector panel, executives from Amdocs, Clearwire, Microvision and Motorola discussed the state of the industry in the Northwest and beyond. There was debate regarding the definition of a "mobile" company and/or developer, and how it is changing as mobility becomes an increasingly pervasive requirement for all applications. The panelists also shared differing views regarding consumer demand for converged devices, the future of "open" and "walled garden" approaches to mobile application development, and whether Android fragmentation will be a challenge or an opportunity for the industry.

Other sessions included an overview of Verizon Wireless' LTE 4G network by Kelley Kurtzman, president of the Pacific Northwest Region for Verizon Wireless, an inspiring talk regarding social responsibility and the need for systemic changes in education, healthcare and government regulation to improve US competitiveness from serial entrepreneur David Giuliani and presentations about next-generation multiprocessor computing from LightFleet and cutting-edge fuel cell technology from ReliOn, Inc.

"The sold-out TechNW conference was the perfect opportunity and audience for Verizon Wireless to discuss plans of our highly anticipated 4G network launch," said Kurtzman.

"We are thrilled with the success of the inaugural TechNW conference. The collective group of high-level attendees and industry-leaders participating in our keynotes and panels sessions made for an inspiring and insightful day," said Susan Sigl, president and CEO of the WTIA. "We are already beginning plans for next year's event, and with the great feedback we've received from attendees and panelists alike, hope to make it an even more dynamic and educational conference."

About the Washington Technology Industry Association
The Washington Technology Industry Association, founded in 1984, is one of the largest statewide associations of technology companies, IT departments and individual technology professionals in North America. With more than 1,000 members representing more than 125,000 employees in Washington State, the association is a catalyst for sharing expertise, fostering collaboration, delivering key business services and advancing the value and global impact of technology companies doing business in Washington. The association's global partners are Microsoft, Regence BlueShield, Vertafore and Wells Fargo Insurance Services. The association's funding partners are AH&T Insurance, F5 Networks, Moss Adams LLP and RealNetworks. For more information, go to www.washingtontechnology.org.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Chris Warfield
    Sterling Communications for WTIA
    206-388-5758
    Email Contact