Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Novel Idea for Kansas City Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Nam P. Suh may not be a household name for many entrepreneurs.  But maybe he should be.  As a retired professor at MIT, a director at Forbes and president of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the man has quite the resume.  But there's more to Nam Suh than an impressive career path.  He also may be one of the great fathers of innovation.

In recent research conducted by Nam Suh, he discovered the importance of the innovation continuum and how we can increase the rate of successful innovation.  One of his research sites was Kansas City, Missouri.  Through extensive research, it was found that Kansas City may lack the the infrastructure and risk-takers it needs in order for rapid innovation to occur.  But there may be a paradigm shift happening in the Show Me State--a shift that could potentially increase the rate of innovation, encourage entrepreneurs to take risks and allow residents "think novel".

At least Jabbar Wesley, economic development professional at Missouri Gas Energy, seems to think so.  According to Wesley, Kansas City is experiencing an interesting paradigm shift.  In order to foster it, he has rounded up a team of entrepreneurs and innovators to host NovelDay--a jam-packed day that celebrates a new era of innovation and entrepreneurship.  The event will assemble novel leaders and organizations with global influence to work together and showcase Kansas City as a NovelCity.

"Peter DiSilva (UMB Financial Corp.) recently told me that Kansas City is one of America's best-kept secrets," says Jabbar.  "I think we need to showcase it!  There are so many dynamic things happening here.  The growth could be a result of Google."

NovelDay will provide a revolutionary platform that facilitates the information and innovation spillover.  The event will feature a NovelBox Mock Incubator (a private meeting space for venture capitalists, staffing interviews, speed consulting and life coaching), meet-and-greets, live demonstrations, panel discussions, video presentations, quick pitches, brand competitions and an awards ceremony   NovelDay will also feature expert speakers such as Todd Long (Cerner), Armstrong Williams (political commentator), Bill Murphy Jr. (Inc.) and Nick Wallenda (Niagra Falls tight rope walker).  The audience will be given insight by a risk-takers round table, informed by a corporate innovation showcase (featuring Google, Cerner, Sporting Innovations and others), entertained by a startup showcase, and awed by "Novel Talks" (which will follow the same format as the well-known TED Talks).  In other words, NovelDay is a jam-packed day of innovation and entrepreneurship.

"I am excited about seeing entrepreneurs, startups, big companies and small companies come together for a cause--that's what's novel," says Wesley.  "We want attendees to walk out of this event and do something!  We want them to discover new ideas, find new opportunities and develop a new energy, new drive and new optimism to say 'hey, I can do it.'"

NovelDay will take place November 29, 2012 from 8:30am-4:30pm at 9400 Ward Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri.  Tickets are available now and range from $15.00 (students) to $35.00 (entrepreneurs) to $60.00 (corporate).  Purchase your ticket today and think novel!

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