NOLATech Week, now in its third year, is the largest free technology conference in the south. Organizers have officially announced the 2015 lineup for events including everything from VC pitch competitions, to keynotes and hackathons.
Scheduled October 5-10, the first three days will be filled with community-generated events followed by a centrally located conference on October 8 and 9 at the New Orleans Jazz Market.
In 2014, NOLATech Week hosted 55 events with over 1700 attendees from all over the world. With such unprecedented growth, organizers are expecting an even larger, more diverse attendance than with exciting new programs.
“New Orleans has experienced a true renaissance within the last three years, and NOLATech Week has grown right alongside it,” said Jason Seidman, executive director of NOLATech Week. “The region is just beginning to be recognized for its tech innovation, so it’s our goal to bring influencers down here, not just to speak for one day, but to also engrain themselves in the community and really help get stuff done to further our region’s prosperity.”
Representatives from major tech companies including Microsoft and Twitter will be in attendance as well as national media outlets such as TechCrunch and The Huffington Post.
Confirmed speakers presenting during marquee events on October 8 and 9 include:
- Jordan Crook – senior writer at TechCrunch and host of TechCrunch Disrupt. Jordan is an advocate of women in technology and hopes to meet with female-led startups in New Orleans.
- Kelly King and Jon Kuperman – Twitter software engineers who will be speaking about social media, graphic design, high growth potential startups and entrepreneurship.
- Kevin Wang – founder and ringleader of Microsoft’s TEALS, a program that recruits and trains tech professionals to volunteer as high school computer instructors that he hopes to soon bring to New Orleans.
- Tess Posner – managing director of Samaschool, a social venture that prepares low-income people to succeed in the digital economy. She’ll be discussing ways that technology can be used to improve quality of life, and create jobs in previously unavailable fields, in hopes of bringing Samaschool to New Orleans.
- Ethan Fedida – strategic partnerships manager, senior social media editor for The Huffington Post, will be discussing social media, internet virality and the interpersonal relationships between and dealings between various news outlets.
- Carly Gillis – deputy editor of Upworthy, a news site focusing on the intersection of the “awesome”, the “meaningful”, will discuss New Orleans unique opportunity to use technology for good, and how media has changed.
“As a local dev shop/accelerator, it’s important to attract top talent for both our team and our entrepreneur partners, and we can’t do that without a thriving ecosystem,” said Chris Reade, president of presenting sponsor of NOLATech Week, LookFar. “Showcasing the breadth and strength of the tech community in New Orleans is a key component to this, and we love that NOLATech Week’s (un)conference format is as unique as the city herself.”
Additional highlights of NOLATech Week include: the Silicon Bayou Startup Showcase; Hell Yes Fest, a comedy hack/standup show; a pitch competition hosted by TechCrunch; and three complimentary four-hour coding classes by Tech Talent South.