Scottsdale is known around the globe for our world-class resorts, picturesque golf courses, luxury shopping and premiere art galleries.
So, this might surprise you: Scottsdale is also home to a thriving high-tech scene. The West’s Most Western Town celebrates today’s pioneers, too.
That’s why I’m excited to welcome the ninth annual Arizona STEM & Innovation Summit to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 17.
More than 1,200 educators, researchers and high-tech business leaders will gather to showcase new products and discuss emerging trends in science, technology, engineering and math.
They’ll do so within a short walk of the Galleria Corporate Centre, where leading-edge companies such as Yelp, Zillow Group, Square, Carvana, Indeed and many others employ thousands.
To the north, the Scottsdale Airpark buzzes with over 2,900 businesses including some of the biggest names in STEM among the many tech, health care and financial services companies.
Although it’s long been one of Arizona’s largest employment centers, new residential options in the Airpark now make this a prime destination for commercial innovation as well as provide the benefits associated with desirable mixed-use, live, work, play communities for a highly skilled workforce.
To the south is SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, one of the most dynamic centers for innovation and technology in the west.
Cutting edge companies from around the world come together in an environment designed to foster collaborative growth. There are more than 50 companies that call SkySong home, with more than 2,000 employees on site.
We want to see this industry continue to grow. That’s why the STEM and Innovation Summit is so important. Five themed learning tracks will allow participants to focus on their interests, giving them tools they can put to use right away.
I’m even convening a panel of Arizona mayors to discuss the importance of STEM in public policy consideration and the impact that has on our cities and towns.
But perhaps the greatest value of the summit is it brings all the key players together:
Educators who make science and technology come alive for their students, inspiring them to pursue STEM careers.
Innovators who will showcase their ideas, inspiring each other. The Performing Arts Center will be packed with interactive displays and presentations.
Tech business leaders who will share best practices, lessons and stories from the field.
When these 1,200 people gather, they learn from each other. They focus on strategies to continue positioning Arizona as a leader in STEM education and engagement.
They make new connections. They strengthen an ecosystem united in raising public awareness of STEM and increasing workforce readiness.
Yelp, Square, Zillow and many others were attracted to Scottsdale because our downtown has the live-work-play vibe that younger tech workers want and the amenities attractive to executives.
The cost of doing business here is lower than in Silicon Valley, but that isn’t enough.
To continue to attract and keep tech companies, we must continue to develop a quality tech workforce and an ecosystem that welcomes, supports and encourages them.
The Arizona STEM and Innovation Summit serves both of those purposes. That’s why I’m happy to welcome the summit to Scottsdale. Our goals are aligned.
I encourage you to check it out. You can still register, and the fee is modest. Best of all, students can attend for just $10.