2017 Conference Schedule

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New Venture Challenge trophyEntrepreneurs have registered and are ready to pitch their innovation-based venture to a panel of judges, which includes select entrepreneurs, investors and entrepreneurial service providers, and win cash and in-kind service based prizes.  

Selected applicants compete in one of three categories: student-led teams made up entirely of students; pre-revenue teams representing companies in the pre-revenue stage; and commercial teams of post-revenue, startup or existing companies with an innovation-based new venture opportunity.


Sponsor and Speaker ReceptionJoin us for cocktails, light appetizers and an opportunity to mingle with our speakers and other sponsors. This year's reception will take place off-site at a unique venue in downtown Jackson. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Registration for the Conference

Join us on the Mezzanine to register for the event. We'll have coffee available before breakfast and an opportunity to visit Innovation Alley. 

Roberto Gallardo speaking at COTI2017Dr. Roberto Gallardo

"The Rural Digital Divide"
Assistant Director / CRE Specialist at Purdue Center for Regional Development

Join us at a sponsor's table in Innovation Alley for a special coffee treat and a quick presentation.

John Maynard speaker COTI 2017Jon Maynard

"Think Small... or Die"
President and CEO at Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation



Matthew Bolian speaking at COTI2017Matthew Bolian

"Keeping Millennials In Mississippi"
Project Manager at C Spire / London School of Economics and Political Science



Dr. Phillip Hickman COTI SpeakerDr. Phillip Hickman

"Radical New Education Required"
Superintendent of Schools and Founder/CEO of MindAble Solutions and K-12 Consultants, author.



Tracci Schultz - Conference speakerTracci Schultz

"More Women in the Technology Workplace"
Tracci Schultz is Vice President of FedEx Freight IT, leading her team through the largest IT transformation initiative in the history of FedEx Freight.


Tim Mask - COTI speaker - Maris West and BakerTim Mask

"Brain Drain Legislation"
Tim Mask is an equity partner with the creative content and marketing firm Maris, West & Baker.

Shark-Tank Style PresentationsJoin the winners from Tuesday's New Venture Challenge for a "Shark Tank"-style presentation of their ideas with our guest "Sharks" in attendance.

Join us at a sponsor's table in Innovation Alley for a special coffee treat and a quick presentation.

Dr. Lou Marciani

Did you know that Mississippi is home to the world’s leading resource for spectator sports safety and security? Thanks to the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, professional sports leagues, national collegiate and high school associations and marathon and endurance event organizers are trained to anticipate, prepare for and skillfully respond to acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks, pandemics and natural disasters.

By taking an innovative approach to research, training and development, NCS4 works with experts from government, industry, public safety, private enterprise and academia to create best practices, strategies, training, certifications and technology solutions for event staff and first responders to ensure safe spectator sport experiences.

Not only have 1,000+ sport venues been prepared and 5,000+ security professionals trained through NCS4, 4,000+ individuals have achieved the status of Certified Sport Venue Staff, the country’s first comprehensive sport and special event security credential for front line venue and event staff.

Established in 2006 – in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks – NCS4 has generated more than $11 million in grants from the Department of Homeland Security, Mississippi Office of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Education. In addition, it has formed a strong international partnership with INTERPOL and its 190 member countries.

Join us at a sponsor's table in Innovation Alley for a special coffee treat and a quick presentation.

Dr. Sarah Lee launches a discussion on "Women in STEM" and technology careers with talks by Lisa Kemp (Reactive Surfaces) and Tracci Shultz (FedEx).

This session leads into a "fireside chat" with the participants and audience on how we can encourage more women to participate in technology careers.

The Rankin Robotics team launches our second session with a demonstration of their award-winning robots and a discussion of the role that extra-curricular STEM activities can have in encouraging kids to pursue technology careers.

Dr. Cris Surbeck of the University of Mississippi speaks on encouraging girls to pursue engineering.

Dr. Shonda Allen of Jackson State University discusses her STEM initiatives for kids and how early technology experience can encourage women in technology careers.

Networking at COTI 2017Wine Down Wednesday - Sangria! - Conference on Technology InnovationJoin us in Innovation Alley for special sangria drinks (plus wine and beer), paired snacks and one last opportunity to explore the vendor stations and network with fellow participants.

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