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N50 Commerce and Innovation in Sept.

Just as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair focused on innovation and the future, the Next 50 devotes the month of September to Commerce and the Innovation Economy. Trade summits, high level discussions, career development activities, startup weekends and lively forums will consider the place of alternative energies, transportation, IT, global development, women and much more in future regional prosperity.

The most event-packed month of the Next 50 provides many opportunities for our community to engage, participate and learn about the place of regional innovation, education/training, entrepreneurship, infrastructure and immigrant contributions to the sustainability of Washington State and the world beyond. Highlights of Commerce and Innovation Economy month:   

Commerce & Innovation Video Contest:  Commerce and Innovation Economy month seeks two-minute inspirational videos on innovation in the next fifty years, advances that currently shape the way we live, work and play or your vision for future innovation possibilities. Great prizes for winning entries. Deadline is Sept. 1, in partnership with the Washington Economic Development Commission.

Evergreen Apps Final Presentations:  Designed to encourage the development of applications using government data to stimulate economic development in our state, the Evergreen Apps Challenge is open to people who live, work or study in Washington. 10+ prizes totally more than $75,000 are available for winning apps. The challenge officially opened on July 9 and will close on Sept. 6. A panel of judges will rank the top ten apps and award prizes at the Final Presentations. 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Oct. 1, in partnership with the City of Seattle, King County and Washington State, free.

 Startup WA / Commerce & Innovation Launch:  Join us for a look at this month’s numerous activities – to discover which innovators and entrepreneurs are striving to make Washington the Innovation State. Contribute your voice and energy to the movement.  6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Sept. 6, Intiman Playhouse, in partnership with StartUp Washington, free with advanced registration. .

Electric Vehicle Showcase:  Watch alternative energy infrastructure in action at an exhibit of alternative fuel vehicles of all sorts. Evening, Sept. 6 and all day, Sept. 7, Founder’s Court between the Playhouse and Phelps Center, in partnership with Plug-In America, free.

Beyond Oil Conference:  Transforming Transportation in Century 21:  Hear from government and industry leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators on how our region is driving a convergence in advanced information and smart grid technologies, communications and electric vehicles to make transportation safer, faster, more affordable and greener. 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Sept. 7, Intiman Playhouse. Advanced registration required.

Titans of Innovation Speaker Series:  Featuring leadership teams from our region’s most innovative companies, including Costco, Nordstrom and Phillips. Each evening presents one of the three in an informative and inspirational discussion of what motivates their companies to succeed. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Tuesdays, Sept. 11, 18 and 25, Intiman Playhouse, in partnership with the Foster School of Business, free.

The Eternal Glow of Electric Hearts:  A live sculpture/theater performance investigating these questions through the frame of the World’s Fair. A cast of actors, dancers, musicians, and visual artists perform on a machine run on energy generated by the performers. Directed by Tim Smith-Stewart. 8 p.m., Sept. 7–8; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 9, Intiman Playhouse Studio, free.

Start-Up Weekend:  developers, marketers, product manager and startup enthusiasts have 54 hours to share ideas, for teams, build products and launch startups?  Join them with your innovation dreams, and you might find that they can come true. Working sessions, Sept 14 – 16; Final presentations 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Sept. 16. Fee of $99. Register online:

Cultural Exchange Tours:  Learn about the contributions our diverse communities are making to the economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest on organized tours to four Seattle neighborhoods:  South Park, Martin Luther King Way, International District and Ballard. The tours start and end at Seattle Center and include lunch. Cost varies. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturdays, Sept. 15, 22 and 29.

Pacific Northwest Innovation Summit:  Business, state government and academic leaders from western Canada and the United States gather to discuss best practices and identify collaboration opportunities on the future of the Pacific Northwest innovation ecosystem, leveraging assets of the entire region for economic growth, job creation and competitiveness. Sept. 17 – 18, Northwest Rooms and Intiman Playhouse, in partnership with Pacific Northwest Economic Region.

Maximizing Entrepreneurship and Innovation:  This day-long, participant driven conversation among entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, government officials, angel investors and academics examines the role of small business and innovation in fostering entrepreneurial development in our economy.  9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sept. 19, Intiman Playhouse, sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, free with advanced registration.

Own It!:  Celebrating the impact of global education on Seattle youth, OneWorld Now! highlights youth accomplishments in the areas of international education, social ventures, study abroad and social justice through a symposium, speeches and performances. 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sept. 21, Fisher Pavilion, in partnership with OneWorld Now, free.

Women in Innovation Summit 2012:  Learn about the life-enhancing contributions of women in the innovation economy, focusing on their roles in leadership, science and technology and social change. The summit is designed to inspire and create action in the areas of environment, economy and organizational development. 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sept. 22, Intiman Playhouse. Pre-registration required.

Global Fest – Stand for Girls:  Join a global meet-up addressing women’s issues in global development. The event focuses on innovation, in keeping with the month’s theme, at the heart of solutions to global problems. Global Fest invites the community to learn how we can partner to solve global problems and more. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sept. 22, Seattle Center Armory, in partnership with Global Washington, free.

EV Showcase:  During this national EV day, a range of electric vehicles, up to 40 in total, are exhibited at International Fountain. Sept. 23, in partnership with Plug-In America, free.

Fledge Incubator “Demo Day”:  The public is invited to join in the unveiling of exciting, innovative and inspiring companies as they present their visions for meeting the needs of environmental- community- and sustainable-conscious consumers. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Sept. 23, in partnership with Fledge, the “conscious company” incubator presenting this inaugural class of “fledgling companies,” free.

The Future of the Seattle Waterfront:  Learn about the Viaduct Replacement Project, Elliott Bay Seawall Project and Waterfront Seattle through displays, including a model of the tunnel boring machine, and an expert panel discussion. Displays, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; presentations and Q&A, 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Sept. 24, Seattle Center Armory, in partnership with Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Transportation and Waterfront Seattle, free.

Collaborative Innovation 2012:  Bringing together researchers, academics, entrepreneurs and the Regional Advanced Technologies Cluster (RATC) to focus on business investment, partnering opportunities and the development of a skilled workforce, all necessary to innovation ecosystems, the event presents keynote speakers, breakout panels and information sharing designed to promote successful regional and national collaborations. Sept. 24 – 25, in partnership with RATC and the Washington Economic Development Commission.

Youth Trade Show:  The show provides an opportunity for up to 40 internationally certified youth entrepreneurs to exhibit and sell their wares to commercial buyers. Friday offers a YouthTrade workshop for local students and youth entrepreneurs seeking information on how to access markets. Sept. 27 – 28. Fee for entrepreneurs at the trade show; Friday workshops are free.

Washington State Summit on U.S.-India Trade:  Building on past trade missions and development between the region and India, this two-day summit presents keynote speakers, networking and breakout sessions to explore and showcase the opportunities for collaboration and partnerships in trade and commerce.  Sept. 27 – 28, Northwest Rooms and Intiman Playhouse, in partnership with the Washington State and India Trade Relations Action Committee in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in San Francisco, City of Seattle, Port of Seattle, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Foster School of Business.

See It. Be It. Explore your Future Career:  Up to 60 organizations demonstrate the future at work and offer resources for further career exploration. All day, Sept. 29, Northwest Rooms, in partnership with Seattle College Access Network, free.

#SocEnt Weekend Final Presentations:  Developers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts spend the weekend in a 50-hour hands-on meetup with like-minded social entrepreneurs to dream, create or have fun helping other build new companies, laying out their ideas to a panel of judges and the public at the Final Presentations, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Oct. 7, Intiman Playhouse, free.

Commerce and Innovation Month seeks to take stock of the region’s economic progress, look boldly into the next 50 years, create innovation synergies to sustain our region and foster the leadership within the region that will help sustain the planet far into the future. For more information on Next 50 and Commerce and Innovation Month, visit or call 206 684-7200.