The Innovation Speaker Series highlights leading #ChangeMakers across the nation who have created a product, service, or organization that has resulted in substantial impact in their market or community.

As a community lecture series, this spurs creative and innovative conversations about creating a similar impactful change in our communities across Florida.

These events are open to the public and occur the third Thursday of every month and are located in the Innovation, Science and Technology Building at Florida Poly, in the Aula Magna room.

The event is free; however, registration is required. Register using the form below. Participants will receive a confirmation email with parking and other event information after they register.

For more information, contact Lidia Vigil.

Upcoming Events

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April 2019 Speakers: RJ Reed and Matt Bleakley

RJ Reed

Director of Practice Innovation
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Since joining the company in 2008, RJ has been instrumental in developing Whiting-Turner’s innovation and technology portfolio. Practice Innovations is the network of team members who are discovering, evaluating, and sharing innovative technologies and techniques that allow teams to improve the delivery of projects. RJ trains staff across the country on emerging technologies, maintains a company newsletter highlighting technology trends, and engages with project teams to develop strategies for successful execution. Reed joined Whiting-Turner after six years as an architect, where he employed virtual design on highly themed entertainment construction projects. Reed graduated from the University of Florida with a B.D. in Architecture, now lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife Kristen and 2 awesome kids.

Matt Bleakley

Senior Project Manager & National Lean Leader
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

Matt has 18 years of construction industry experience which includes direct oversight of projects both large and small. Through the years Matt’s project experience has been in mission critical, cleanroom, themed entertainment, historic renovation, tax credit, new construction, and general renovation projects. Matt enjoys taking on the technical and logistical challenges of large projects.

Matt found his greatest passion in challenging the construction industry to learn and continuously improve. He constantly challenges the industry norms and always pushes his teams to work together to solve daily challenges. Matt believes through collaboration, communication and mutual respect we can build a better industry and be more fulfilled both professionally and personally.

March 2019 Speaker: Lewis McClam

Topic: Monetizing every demographic in VR & AR

Lewis McClam is a serial entrepreneur who has built many companies on upcoming technologies. With over 20 years as a technology consultant, he has developed projects using VOIP, Predictive Dialers, Cloud SaaS, Gaming, Extended Realities, & Sales Management. He currently is the Founder of Viewz Marketing, an extended reality tracking and monetization firm located in Tampa, FL.

Viewz Marketing is a boutique firm specializing in advertisement delivery in extended realities. Their patented tracking technology allows any 3D object to return analytical data to determine user behaviors in real-time. Virtual Battlegrounds launching out of Orlando, FL is planning a full deployment of this revolutionary technology.

February 2019 Speaker: Dan Rasure

Topic: Preparing to be an Entrepreneur

We spend lots of time telling people how to set up an LLC, raise money, design products, and sell our ideas, but preparing to be an entrepreneur is often times the difference between success and failure.

In this session, we’ll dive into the steps aspiring entrepreneurs can take now as a student to prepare for entrepreneurship and the workforce.

Dan Rasure is the CEO of TheShop.build, a makerspace with locations in San Francisco, San Jose, and soon Lakeland.  He has led sales, marketing, engineering, and operations teams. His entrepreneurship experience ranges from solo entrepreneur, internal corporate entrepreneur driver, engineering product startup, distribution, retail, and construction startups.

January 2019 Speaker: Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is an international speaker, futurist thought leader, and entrepreneur. Jim currently serves as the CEO of the Central Florida Tech Alliance. The Tech Alliance is dedicated to connecting industry leaders throughout the seven counties of Central Florida to build a brighter and more prosperous region for us all.

Previously, Jim served as the Executive Director of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce…and prior to that spent ten years working in government and politics at the local, state, and federal levels including time in Washington DC working for a Florida Congressman.

Jim has an undergraduate and master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. He is a native of Los Angeles but has enjoyed calling Central Florida home for the past eight years.

Registration