Arkansas possesses a rich history of innovation and technological development. For decades, Arkansas businesses have been recognized for creating and delivering advanced products and services to consumers around the globe. As Arkansans, we are proud of this heritage and we want others to become aware. We do not want to hide our light under a bushel.
Techtober celebrates our heritage by providing a recurring opportunity to showcase and proudly spread the word about ongoing innovation and entrepreneurial accomplishments in Arkansas.
Techtober is not a single, one-time event. It is a yearly observance – a special Arkansas season of independently-created and scheduled events, all showcasing the innovative energy that drives discovery and entrepreneurship; and all focusing on aspects of technology, creativity, or the spontaneous spark that fuels startup enterprises.
Each year, Techtober in Arkansas brings engaging, multi-day events that draw hundreds, with attendance growing from year to year.
- In central Arkansas, celebratory events include the Little Rock Tech Fest and the Jolt Hackathon.
- Northwest Arkansas celebrates with a full week of exciting events linked to the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit.
- Northeast Arkansas makes its mark on Techtober as the home of the Arkansas Science Festival.
- Elsewhere around the state, there are a number of one-day events that may move locations, from year to year. These events include the Arkansas Maker Summit (in Northwest Arkansas for 2017), the annual meeting of the Arkansas Academy of Computing (in Central Arkansas for 2017), and the Arkansas Computer Science Education Leadership Summit 4.0 (at Arkansas Tech for 2017). In addition, Techtober in Arkansas brings dozens of other celebratory activities, with some scheduled as recurring events hosted at Entrepreneurial Support Organizations (ESOs) throughout the state. These ESOs include the Venture Center (Little Rock), The Conductor (UCA Conway), Startup Junkie Consulting (Fayetteville) and the Innovation Hub (North Little Rock).For example, in North Little Rock, the Innovation Hub’s October Hub UB (UB = Uberty Babble; similar to a TED Talk) will feature a talk titled “Design for Real,” by folks from the Instructional Systems Group of CAE USA (Sherwood) and Southern Arkansas University Tech (Camden). The talk will highlight a cooperative partnership (between CAE USA and SAU Tech) to bring real- world design challenges to students working in multimedia instruction endeavors.
Furthermore, this year’s Techtober will deliver events supporting educational technology, including Encounter EAST (Little Rock), the EAST Initiative’s open house that will spotlight virtual reality (VR); and the 2017 Arkansas Conference of Technology (ACOT) (North Little Rock), bringing Arkansas K-12 educators together with technology vendors.
Techtober includes scholarship awards for future computer science teachers, to be announced at the 2017 Little Rock Tech Fest, a two-day conference that brings together software developers and employers with a focus on nurturing and growing the strong computer science education program in Arkansas.
In addition to serious events, this year’s Techtober includes several lighter events with humorous names, such as the Startup Crawl (Fayetteville), involving 40 businesses, 4 stages, and 12 craft breweries; and the Ozark Mountain Brawl robotics competition (Searcy), both on the same day. Two other fun events are AMP Fest 2017 (Arkansas Music Pavilion, Rogers), featuring beer sampling, technology activation, and live music; and the Conway EcoFest, a city-wide festival spotlighting environmental advocacy and education.
As we celebrate Techtober 2017, we look forward to a year ahead of increasing creative excitement and growth in technology and entrepreneurism in Arkansas. Also, this year, we look back to celebrate our past by marking the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Systematics (now FIS), the oldest of Arkansas’ global software companies.
For more information about events – and to list your event – visit www.Techtober.com. The site includes information about sponsoring organizations, along with blog posts related to technology and entrepreneurial accomplishments in Arkansas.
To stay informed, follow @TechtoberAR on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/techtober.
Once again, it’s Techtober in Arkansas! Have fun, learn a bunch, and encourage others to expand innovation and entrepreneurial opportunity across Arkansas.