Weeklong Ann Arbor tech festival returns with expanded speaker events

Ann Arbor SPARK's annual a2Tech360 event will return to Ann Arbor Sept. 14-22. The week-long event features numerous speakers, networking opportunities, an awards ceremony for fast-growing companies, and more.
"The whole point of a2Tech360 is to really shine a spotlight on the tech ecosystem that we have here in the Ann Arbor region," says Vicki Joling, director of a2Tech360.
This year's event will include two notable improvements over past years, Joling says. The first centers on a2Tech360's Tech Talk, which will occur Sept. 19, at the Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor.
"We really wanted a really robust and curated list of speakers," Joling says, which the event organizers worked hard to acquire.
This year, for the first time, the Tech Talk will also have a headliner, Duo Security co-founder Dug Song. Duo is known for being Michigan's first and only "unicorn" – a privately-owned company valued at over $1 billion. The company was sold to Cisco for $2.35 billion in 2018. Joling says organizers are "super excited" about Song's presentation.
Tech Talk will be followed by a networking hour, complete with food and beverages, where attendees will have the chance to meet and mingle with speakers.
The second upgrade to this year's a2Tech360 will focus on the Women in Tech event, which will take place Sept. 18 at Venue, 1919 S. Industrial Hwy. in Ann Arbor.
This year, Women in Tech will be longer and will include more speakers than ever before. According to Joling, that means "more insights, more connections, more everything."
Joling is quick to add that a2Tech360 offers "a little bit for everybody," including a film festival and a music festival. Joling says her goal is "just to feel good and to keep the conversation going."
Additional information on the events can be found on a2Tech360's website.

Natalia Holtzman is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and others.

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor SPARK.
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