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Wichita Welcoming UAS Leaders for Annual Tech Forum


Entrepreneurs, investment professionals and other industry leaders involved or interested in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) will converge in Wichita, Kansas, August 30-31, for the 2017 UAS Tech Forum. The event will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport.

Regarded as the annual anchor event for the UAS Cluster Initiative for Oklahoma and South Kansas, a collaborative funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Tech Forum will bring together in one place, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, technology transfer professionals, economic development officials and other service providers.

Forum participants will have the opportunity to hear various technology presentations and thought-provoking panel discussions as well as listen in on several relevant keynote presentations from some of the industry’s most respected speakers. Networking opportunities with other attendees and exhibitors will be available throughout the event as well as various investment opportunities.

The agenda also includes pitch sessions where pre-selected and prepped entrepreneurs and researchers showcase their technologies to a wide array of potential strategic partners, investors and licensees. Presenters go through a six-week mentoring process leading up to the Tech Forum, designed to help them prepare for their pitch sessions.

“Think ‘Shark Tank’ meets traditional investor Pitch,” said UAS Cluster Program Manager Amanda Radovic. “Just by going through the process, Pitch presenters are creating a polished pitch, expanding their networks and gaining exposure to strategic partners.”

The UAS Cluster Initiative is partnering with several entities to put on the Tech Forum, including host organizations the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), Greater Wichita Partnership, Wichita State University, and Kansas State University.

“The UAS industry is an ideal fit for the state of Kansas, and the energy behind growing new business here is remarkable,” said Bob Brock, KDOT director of UAS. “The Secretaries of Transportation and Commerce have dedicated time and resources to foster partnerships with universities, aerospace companies and other state agencies that we believe will be essential to helping UAS businesses thrive in Kansas.”

Jeff Fluhr, president of the Greater Wichita Partnership, said he is excited that the Air Capital of the World will be hosting this year’s UAS Tech Forum.

“The greater Wichita region is one of five aviation clusters in the world. We have been a leader in this industry for 100 years, which creates a dynamic opportunity for South Kansas and Oklahoma to cultivate and grow the UAS industry by leveraging our regional strengths and working collectively,” he said.

Anyone wishing to register for the 2017 UAS Tech Forum or to sign up as a sponsor or apply for one of the Pitch presentations may do so by visiting the Cluster Initiative website at https://uascluster.com/pages/techforum2017-home.html.

About the Cluster Initiative

Administered by Development Capital Networks, the Cluster Initiative’s mission is to accelerate the growth of the UAS Industry by enabling established companies and emerging entrepreneurs, in particular those located in Oklahoma and South Kansas, to connect, work together and gain access to national technologies, global capital, advanced business models and global markets. It accomplishes this through a variety of activities and events, including webinars, SBIR workshops, mentoring and acceleration services, roundtable discussions, a student UAS competition, the UAS Tech Forum and other networking opportunities.

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