Forget Silicon Valley and New York, game-changing innovations in technology come from all over the country — from blue-collar towns like Philadelphia and Detroit to the sunny beaches of Miami to the hustle-and-bustle of Chicago. But what’s going on in each of these budding tech hubs? Who are the key players? How can entrepreneurs in those cities maximize their reach?
Comcast is hoping to get a handle on those questions and more with a new initiative called the Tomorrow Tour. Organized by Comcast NBCUniversal and Technical.ly, it will bring together entrepreneurs and tech innovation influencers for knowledge-sharing sessions examining how entrepreneurship, technology and innovation intersect — and how it can lead to improved startup ecosystems and better-functioning cities. It will be held in six cities across the United States.
Unlike Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Tour, participants won’t be touring different sites, but instead coming together for a summit during the day and an evening event for networking. Philly is first up on January 27, but the details, speakers and agenda have not yet been released. The daytime portion will be a curated group of invitees but people can register for the evening event on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Register for tickets here.)
Danielle Cohn, director of entrepreneurial engagement at Comcast, called it a “listening tour” and said Comcast is most interested in “sitting at the table with startups, understanding what it is they’re doing and how they’re working to create stronger cities.”
When it’s all finished, organizers will post data about startups and innovation to TomorrowTour.com — which organizers hope will become a central hub for information about entrepreneurship in each city. Plans call for stories about entrepreneurs as well as tips for startup founders — like how to get funding or how to refining sales pitches.
“It’ll be an open-source, crowd-sourced location that will be really resourceful for entrepreneurs,” said Cohn. “We’re trying to better understand and uncover the best innovation and tech stories in each market and help share those stories with a larger audience.”
In a statement, Technical.ly Editorial Director and Cofounder Christopher Wink praised Comcast’s commitment to helping young innovators.
“This is what you want one of the largest media and technology companies in the world to do: convene people who are helping to grow local economies and encourage learning across various cities,” he said. “It’s our mission to cover, convene and challenge local communities to make them smarter, and the Tomorrow Tour will be a chance to do that on a national scale.”
The Tomorrow Tour will visit the following cities:
- Philadelphia – January 27
- Denver – February 3
- Miami – March 2
- Chicago – March 8
- Detroit – March 10
- Atlanta – March 23
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