iKC Entrepreneurship and Innovation Conference is June 20 at H&R Block Hosted by The Chamber and Think Big Partners

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iKC announces agenda, speakers, keynote address, exhibit opportunities and Fire Up pitches for June 20 conference.

iKC

iKC, the premier conference on innovation and entrepreneurship, was born out of a merger between two successful events – the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Conference and Think Big Partners’ Think Big Kansas City Conference. This year, the two organizations have teamed up to bring Kansas City one of the country’s biggest and best innovation and entrepreneurship conferences.

iKC 2012 will take place on June 20 at the H&R Block World Headquarters in downtown Kansas City. It is a day-long event that will feature exhibits, breakout sessions, expert speakers, Fire Up pitches, Inspire Talks, networking opportunities, and an after-party at the Kansas City Power & Light District.

The Chamber and Think Big Partners invite budding entrepreneurs, startups, students, mid-size businesses, or large corporations who are looking to spark innovation, generate ideas, foster creativity, and make new connections to attend this year’s conference.

"As we've moved forward toward The Chamber's Big 5 goal of making Kansas City ‘America's most entrepreneurial city,’ we've realized we need to foster an ecosystem and a culture that supports our local entrepreneurs," said Jim Heeter, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. "We do that by providing events and resources like iKC. By joining forces with Think Big Partners, we're taking the conversation on innovation to a whole new level."

“We look forward to co-hosting iKC in order to blur the line between innovation and entrepreneurship and to spark the conversations that lead to taking action,” said Herb Sih, managing partner of Think Big Partners. “Ultimately, we hope this conference will further reinforce Kansas City as a place where entrepreneurs and innovators can collaborate, launch successful ventures, and create sustainable jobs for the future."

The keynote address will feature Dr. Michael E Raynor who will present, “The Innovator’s Manifesto: Deliberate Disruption for Breakthrough Growth.” The keynote address will prove that a strategic approach to innovation is systematically more successful. As a director with Deloitte Consulting LLP, Raynor works with leading companies from a range of industries around the world. Additionally, Raynor has written three books on innovation and his most recent, The Innovator’s Manifesto, demonstrates that Raynor’s unique take on innovation can actually improve the ability to predict accurately which innovations will be successful.

The conference will also feature a number of breakout sessions hosted by various local experts and entrepreneurs on topics such as creating strategic partnerships, how to create the perfect pitch, the communication secrets of Steve Jobs, the power of crowd-based marketing, and more. Visit http://www.sparkinginnovation.org/agenda to view a complete schedule of breakout sessions.

A unique feature of iKC will be Kansas City's first Fearless Innovators' and Ruthless Entrepreneurs' Unconventional Pitch - "Fire Up" for short. With only fifteen seconds per presentation slide, Fire Up presentations will put entrepreneurs in a hot seat and will force them to be concise, to think on their feet and to spark the interest of the crowd. Watch an example of a Fire Up pitch here. To participate in a Fire Up pitch, visit the Fire Up page.

This year, iKC is offering two types of exhibit booths for those interested in showing off a company, event, or idea. To learn more about the exhibition opportunities, download the exhibit packet.

Early bird tickets for iKC are on sale now and range from $60 - $109. After May 23, ticket prices increase to $75 - $189.

iKC is one of the many events happening during One Week KC on June 18-26, 2012. One Week KC is a consolidation of the region’s large and grassroots events that help educate, inspire, encourage, and celebrate entrepreneurship in Kansas City’s quest to become “America’s most entrepreneurial city.” One Week events include tech meetups, classrooms, conferences, networking, speakers, parties, and more. Learn more at http://www.oneweekkc.com.

iKC is sponsored by Master Your Card Missouri, H&R Block, Inboun, the Kansas City Business Journal, KC Business Magazine, Hovey Williams, and The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel.
For more information on iKC, event updates, and tickets, visit the event site sparkinginnovation.org, or contact Katie Daily at (816) 374-5472.

About the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is the area's oldest and only regional chamber of commerce, serving both Kansas and Missouri companies throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Founded in 1887, 2,500 companies and organizations belong to The Chamber, including most of the community's major employers.

The Chamber's mission is twofold: to provide responsive and committed leadership that builds a vibrant and thriving community and to assist members in growing businesses. For more information, visit http://www.kcchamber.com.

About Think Big Partners

Think Big Partners is an early-stage startup accelerator and mentorship-based collaborative network located in Kansas City, Missouri. Think Big Partners has successfully launched or grown over 100 successful companies with its creation of coworking spaces, entrepreneurial conferences, essential services, startup resources and funding. To learn more about Think Big Partners, please visit http://www.thinkbigpartners.com.

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