Techweek Kansas City, the headline event for local techies and entrepreneurs, got underway Monday afternoon with Uber executive Brian McClendon discussing the future of technology at the Sprint Accelerator in the Crossroads Arts District.
McClendon, a Lawrence native who attended the University of Kansas, joined Uber a year ago as vice president following a stint with Google.
His appearance is the first in a string of high-profile speakers on the slate for Techweek Kansas City.
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Jeff Hoffman, co-founder of Priceline.com, will be this year’s headline speaker. He takes the stage at 9 a.m. on Thursday at Union Station’s Extreme Screen. His speech is titled “Global Lessons for Our Local Ecosystem.”
Other notable speakers include Stefan Weitz, strategy officer at Radial and former co-founder of Microsoft’s Bing search engine; Gabi Zijderveld, chief marketing officer at Affectiva; and Roger Craig, data scientist at Digital Reasoning.
Techweek culminates in an announcement Friday of winners of the LaunchKC awards. LaunchKC sponsors a competition among 20 tech entrepreneurs vying for $500,000 in grants and other prizes.
The competition will choose 10 winners. Each receives their own $50,000 grant, plus rent-free access to office space in downtown Kansas City and professional mentoring.
Find a full schedule for Techweek Kansas City here.