Each year the Carolinas PDMA hosts Innovate Carolina -  a one day innovation conference, to highlight innovation best practices and local innovation practitioners.  The 8th Annual Innovate Carolina conference will be held April 21, 2017 at the BioTech Center in Research Triangle Park, NC.

We are issuing a “call for speakers”.  The Innovate Carolina team has drafted a theme and identified some of the key factors or components that we want to focus on for the event.  Any corporate practitioner, consultant, academic institution or other organization is invited to submit a request to speak at the event.  Our conference theme is:  Accelerating ideas to market.  Please read the detailed information about the conference theme below.


Conference Theme

Our theme for the 8th Annual Innovate Carolina conference is Accelerating Ideas to Market, and during our day long innovation conference on April 21, 2017 we’ll focus on the tools, cultural changes and methods to accelerate good ideas in the “front end” and how to bridge the gap between idea development and product development, so that you can learn how to get the best ideas to market more rapidly.


The concept of accelerating ideas to market incorporates two important concepts:

1.      How do we do a better job speeding up innovation in the “front end”, generating and evaluating more ideas more quickly, without narrowing the scope of the ideas or simply making innovation processes more efficient but less disruptive?

2.      How do we transfer nascent new product concepts from the front end to a well-defined product or service development organization that is highly effective and adverse to risky or unformed ideas?


Key ideas/themes: 

We seek speakers who can address any of the following topics:

1.      Reducing risk and uncertainty in the front end

2.      Addressing cultural barriers to innovation

3.      Identifying and implementing innovation best practices

4.      Expanding the scope of innovation while improving the speed

5.      Broadening the definition of innovation to include more than product innovation

6.      Validating customer needs and implementing rapid prototyping

7.      Introducing the concept of MVP to the front end

8.      Best practices in transferring ideas from nascent concepts to scheduled product development projects

We are open to other topics that support or reinforce the concept of Accelerating ideas to market by improving speed and effectiveness in the “front end” and/or improving the transition of ideas and concept into product development and speeding product development to launch.


How speaking requests will be evaluated

Speaking submissions will be evaluated by a team of Carolinas PDMA members who are active in the definition and development of the conference.  Special emphasis will be given to corporate practitioners who are interested in presenting their company’s successes or case studies.  Special emphasis will be given to companies or consultants who operate in the Southeast US (Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia).

We will evaluate speaking submissions based on their alignment to the conference theme, their expected benefit to attendees, and the expected educational or informational value.  All submissions will receive a response from a Carolinas PDMA reviewer.


Speaking / Sponsorship Expectations

The Innovate Carolinas Conference is run by the Carolinas PDMA chapter, a non-profit organization and is run completely by volunteers.  The conference is funded by conference fees paid by attendees and by sponsoring companies.  Corporate practitioners are not required to sponsor the event in order to speak.

We do ask that consultants and software firms who wish to speak also sponsor the event.  If selected to speak you will be contacted about a potential sponsorship.  These sponsorships are usually in the range of $1000-$3000 dollars and include the option of branding and a table or booth in our networking area.


Questions / Speaking Submissions

You are welcome to contact Jeffrey Phillips, Innovate Carolinas Content Chair, if you have questions about speaking opportunities or if you’d like to discuss your topics and ensure that the topic is relevant.  You can reach Jeffrey at jphillips@ovoinnovation.com.

Speaking submissions are welcomed anytime after November 28, and spots will be filled as we identify speakers that meet our needs and achieve a balance between the topics we’ve identified, and a balance between corporate and commercial speakers.