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NorTech VP to Talk Inclusive Competitiveness at SSTI National Conference

Johnathan Holifield Will Lead Discussion on Improving Minority Performance in Innovation Economy

8/9/2013, 2:32 p.m.
Johnathan Holifield

What: NorTech Vice President of Inclusive Competitiveness Johnathan Holifield will discuss strategies to make the innovation economy more reflective of America's diverse population at SSTI's 17th Annual Conference.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Where: Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, 921 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204

Who: State, regional and local leaders from government, academia, business and nonprofit organizations will come to Portland from across the U.S. to attend SSTI's three-day conference.

Why: CB Insights found in 2010 that 86 percent of venture-backed companies have all-male founding teams and only one percent of VC-backed company founders were black. Mr. Holifield will share his insights on the demographically-driven, economic competitiveness imperative to improve the performance of women, African Americans and Latinos in America's innovation economy.

Details: Mr. Holifield will lead the discussion with Mark Green, fellow co-founder of America21, one of the first projects to target high-tech and Internet ventures in the African American community. The two change-makers will discuss their experience in the field and provide an outline of steps to broaden opportunities in regional innovation economies.

SSTI's annual conference, titled "Dynamic Innovative Ecosystems: Bringing It All Together," will draw about 300 participants from 45 states. Mr. Holifield's talk, themed "Broadening Ownership of the Innovation Economy," is one of 16 breakout sessions at the national conference, which will also include three plenary sessions and three intensive workshops from Sep. 15 to 17.

NorTech is a technology-based economic development organization working to revitalize Northeast Ohio by accelerating the growth of innovation clusters in advanced energy, flexible electronics and water technologies. NorTech engages small, medium and large companies and universities for business, funding and research opportunities that create jobs, attract capital and have long-term, positive economic impact. NorTech also positions Northeast Ohio as a hub of innovation to attract resources and scans for opportunities in other emerging industries to grow the region's economy.

For more information, visit www.ssticonference.org or contact Christian Taske, director of communications, at 216.640.8224 or ctaske@nortech.org.