Product Innovation Summit Set To Foster Connections On Feb. 26 In RTP

Innovators of the area, unite. The 2020 Product Innovation Summit will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Research Triangle Park. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is hosted by the PlazaBridge Group

PlazaBridge Group works with innovation teams inside companies, looking at what the next generation of the company should be and why. Teresa Spangler, PlazaBridge Group’s CEO and Founder, said that because of the roll-up-the-sleeves practitioner work they do, they thought it would be helpful for others to understand more about the challenges of getting innovation out the door—and how to combat these challenges.

“I think it’s challenging today to look at all the different technologies and influences that companies have to deal with, to then think about what’s next,” Spangler said. 

Thus, the questions that Spangler and PlazaBridge Group have brought forth: 

“What can we do to help companies survive this next decade?” Spangler said. “What can we bring in knowledge that we’ve learned? What can we share that others have done and bring that collaboration and just the thoughtfulness to it that may help others?”

An event such as the Product Innovation Summit is their answer. Or a way to collectively arrive at some answers, anyway.

“The ‘inside thinking’ sometimes is not as easy as we think because everyone, at some point in time, needs to buy in to the innovation that you want to output from the company,” Spangler said. “So there’s internal challenges and there’s external challenges to getting it out the door, and we wanted to share what we’ve learned.”

The Innovation Summit is a good place for large and small companies alike, Spangler said. Speakers for the event include investors and innovators across fields, such as Paige Mullis, the innovation expert at textile company Glen Raven, and CEO Terence Mills. All of the speakers can provide insight into innovation at different levels. [Editor’s Note: Those links are to “Speaker Series” articles interviewing those speakers.]

One speaker—Michael Thomas, a patent-holding systems architect at SAS—is looking forward to engaging with others over his work in the augmented and virtual reality space. He said augmented reality and virtual reality are projected for a multibillion dollar market.

“It’s not just for gaming,” Thomas said. “There’s a place for it in business and a place for it in enterprises, but there are a lot of hurdles we need to overcome. That’s what my talk on intelligent realities is really about: how can we make work better by making reality itself more intelligent?”

Other broader topics include Pivot to Scale and Partnership Strategies for Innovation Success. The cost is $239 per person until Feb. 18, but Spangler said they are willing to work with people who need special pricing.

The Product Innovation Summit is not the only conference PlazaBridge Group plans to bring to the Triangle tech community. One or two conferences a year of this caliber will follow as part of PlazaBridge Group’s goal to foster connections and ignite innovation in the Triangle tech community.

“I hope people will walk out with two or three tidbits that will help them in their day-to-day planning and innovation workflow,” Spangler said. “I also hope they walk away with thinking differently, that we are able to open the mind a little bit differently than when they walked in and they can see how they might be able to take something they thought was going to be so challenging and break it down into smaller parts and get it out the door.”

About Suzanne Blake 362 Articles
Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. Before working at GrepBeat, Suzanne attended UNC Chapel Hill, obtaining a degree in journalism and political science. Previously, she wrote for CNBC, QSR Magazine, FSR Magazine and The Daily Tar Heel.