I-20 Top Twenty showcases innovators

May 17, 2018


Staff Reporter|djr029@latech.edu


Innovation Enterprise presented a night of groundbreaking originality, where several innovators and entrepreneurs gathered to talk about their ideas and business ventures.


On May 1, Innovation Enterprise hosted the annual I-20 Top Twenty event in University Hall. Top 20 is a regional showcase that features some innovative entrepreneurial ventures that are located at or associated with Louisiana Tech. There were presentations made by several different entrepreneurs about their respective products and services.


Kathy Wyatt, director of Innovation Enterprise, said the event gave individuals a chance to learn more about entrepreneurship and to get information about their product or service out there.


“It is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs who are just getting started, people who are organizing and creating new organizations or ventures or any individual who is interested in innovation and entrepreneurship to come together and meet with more experienced entrepreneurs and business and community leaders who can help facilitate an idea exchange,” she said.


Wyatt also said the goals for the event were to help entrepreneurs who are just starting out learn more about the world of innovative thinking and to show experienced business professionals the ventures that the young entrepreneurs of Tech are taking.


“The goal for the individuals who are new to entrepreneurship and innovation would be to help them broaden their network, identify resources that can help support the development and growth of their idea and allow them to interact with their peers and other individuals of a like mind set,” she said. “For the people who are experienced executives or business and community leaders, our goal for them is to become more aware of the interesting, innovative and inspiring entrepreneurial activities occurring at the university.”


Entrepreneurs in attendance for the event said they thought I-20 was a helpful learning experience. Jacob Johns, a junior mechanical engineering major, said the event was informative and felt his group was able to receive good advice about their mobile application, Faidd.


“By participating in in this event, it allowed us to get solid feedback on our idea,” Johns said. “It was great to network with others and hear about all the interesting companies, ideas and clubs around Tech’s campus.”


Tom Barnett, director of innovation and technology scouting for CenturyLink, was one of the more experienced entrepreneurs at the event and said he thought the event would be very helpful to those who aspire to be entrepreneurs in the future.


“This program is astonishing; I saw presentations that reached from technology all the way to expanding our social experience,” Barnett said. “I come to these events because I can learn things and because I am always looking for the next best thing.”


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