In 2014, Springfield’s Mercy Research & Development collaborated with the eFactory and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce to create the SPIN66 Innovation Summit.
According to Dr. Cody Stringer, entrepreneurial specialist with Mercy R&D, the multidisciplinary research and development group within Mercy Health System was seeking to cultivate a community of innovators in southwest Missouri.
“And as we looked around at events and conferences that were taking place, particularly in the Midwest, we just weren’t finding anything that really fit the bill. And so that led us to a question of what if we did it ourselves?” Stringer said.
About 150 entrepreneurs and spectators attended last year’s half-day event, which has expanded to a day and a half for this year.
Stringer says there’s been a groundswell of entrepreneurial activity in recent years, and the SPIN66 summit is designed to help and motivate these individuals further.
“So we really wanted to inspire our attendees, to keep doing what they’ve been doing, or maybe start a new project; to really push that entrepreneurial activity forward” says Stringer. “But we also wanted to showcase and highlight some other innovations happening in the area, particularly innovation that’s happening in traditional organizations or corporations where people are being innovative, creative and doing new things. And so we just wanted to kind of fuel that spark that’s happening in southwest Missouri.”
The summit begins Thursday with a series of seminars on, among other things, intellectual property, patent protection, and digital marketing; and continues with various speakers on Friday. In addition, local startups will participate in an investment pitch competition.
Tickets are $80 for both Thursday and Friday’s sessions, or $65 for Friday only. It will take place at the eFactory. Learn more about the various event sessions and register for SPIN66 here.
Above, hear our complete conversation with Dr. Cody Stringer.