Largest Tech (un)Conference in the South, NOLATech Week, Announces Official 2015 Lineup of Marquee Events Speakers

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On the heels of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, major players including Microsoft and Twitter head to the Big Easy to talk tech

NOLATech Week 2015

New Orleans has experienced a true renaissance within the last three years, and NOLATech Week has grown right alongside it.

NOLATech Week presented by LookFar, the largest tech (un)conference in the South, today announced its official 2015 lineup of speakers. With focuses including diversity in tech and utilizing technology for social good, the premier entrepreneurial event takes place October 5-10 and includes three days of community-generated events followed by a centrally located conference on October 8 and 9 at the New Orleans Jazz Market. The week’s events will include everything from roundtables and panel discussions with major tech influencers from Twitter and Microsoft to happy hours and hackathons. A few of the most anticipated events include various product launches, a three-day intensive coding course completely free and open to the public and a TechCrunch pitch competition, where the winner will win one of the coveted tables in TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Alley.

With over 50 events last year and far more projected for this year, the conference will showcase the technology industry’s growth, not just in New Orleans, but also in the entire region on the heels of the 10th anniversary of Katrina. The (un)conference is also intended to be a weeklong conversation on how the region’s innovators can continue to spark growth around the region’s core competencies such as oil and gas, health IT, urban development, EDtech and the arts.

“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.”

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.

Other standout events include Hell Yes Fest, a comedy hack/standup show, and three complimentary four-hour coding classes by Tech Talent South.

"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."

Local businesses and organizations are encouraged to host events of their own during the week, provided they are free and open to the public. Events can revolve around any tech subjects such as tours of local accelerators, panel discussions, happy hour events and more. Past participants have included those from a variety of fields, including teachers, lawyers, nonprofit leaders and artists.

The full schedule for NOLATech Week, October 5 -10, 2015 can be viewed here, and will continue to be updated as users submit their community events. Register for the event at NOLATechWeek.org/registration/. General registration is free, but supporter and VIP registration can be purchased through the site. Spaces are filling quickly, but local businesses and organizations can submit their community event idea here.

About NOLATech Week
NOLATech Week is the largest tech (un)conference in the south. In its third year, the conference curates marquee events throughout the week, including innovators with a wide variety of expertise. Events include everything from VC pitch competitions to keynotes and hackathons. Additionally, community members and other organizations are encouraged to create their own community events during the week, which are then aggregated and added to the schedule. The conference will take place October 5-10, 2015. Visit NOLATechWeek.org for more information and Follow us on Twitter at @NOLATechWeek.

About LookFar
Founded in 2015, LookFar is a New Orleans-based idea acceleration company best described as a hybrid between a dev shop and an accelerator. The company offers startups a discounted rate in exchange for equity as well as ancillary services, such as financial modeling and go-to market strategy consulting to prepare them for every phase of growth. In addition, LookFar builds web apps, mobile apps, e-commerce solutions and business intelligence tools. Visit lookfar.com for more information on becoming a partner and follow us on Twitter @Loofar_Ideas.

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Madeline Elliot
@NOLATechWeek
since: 07/2013
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