New conference website!

After 5 successful conferences, we’ve outgrown our website and have upgraded!

Visit the new Innovate Carolina site and register today!

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Save the date! Innovate Carolina 2015

We’re excited to announce that the next Innovate Carolina conference will be on April 24, 2015 in Charlotte, NC at UNCC’s new Center City campus.  We’re proud to have the sponsorship of UNCC’s Belk College of Business.

More details on the theme and speakers to come, but circle the date on your calendar for another great day of innovation learning and networking!

In the meantime, check out this Nov. 17 talk by one of the authors of Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results if you’re in the area and want catch a sneak peak at the UNCC space.

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Innovating for Innovation conferences

We’re taking the pulse of our visitors and trying to decide on next year’s conference theme.  Check out our options and let us know which conference theme you find most interesting!

Poll closes on 10/15/2014


Option 1: Understanding customer needs

This theme would focus on market research, customer research, and tools and techniques to understand customer needs.  Everything from traditional quantitative research to ethnography and anything in between, as well as analyzing and synthesizing research and developing needs or jobs to be done.


Option 2: Developing innovation culture and leadership

This theme would focus on the factors that constitute an “innovation” culture, and highlight how to identify, train and develop innovation teams and leaders.  This one would include a fair number of case studies from local firms.


Option 3: Innovation from other industries

Recognizing that many ideas and processes are borne from looking at industries outside of a company, this theme looks at different ways to find and repurpose them for your own.  Tracks might include research, an update on open innovation, and outside development processes.


Option 4: The future of innovation

What does the future of innovation look like in a world where sustainable competitive advantage gives way to transient competitive advantage and opportunities need to be captured at increasingly fast speed?  This theme would focus on emerging new product and service development trends as well as methods and resources that are already used today by companies facing this dilemma.

1 Comment

by | September 15, 2014 · 7:48 pm

Who will you meet at Innovate Carolina 2014?

As in past years, you’ll meet with peers from companies of all sizes and product, technology and service types, including:  Plexus, Duke Energy, Quintiles, BASF, LexisNexis, RJ Reynolds, Shurtape Technologies, Kalypso, Newell Rubbermaid, Wells Fargo, NetApp, Inc., Sealed Air Corporation, LipoScience, CHEP, and many more.

book-largeOur keynote is Keith Sawyer, Ph.D.. Keith is the Morgan Distinguished Professor in Educational Innovations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and one of the world’s leading scientific experts on creativity. He is the author of over 80 scientific articles and 13 books including Zig-Zag, The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity.

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Why is this conference different from other innovation conferences?

As a member of the planning committee for Innovate Carolina in years past, I’m most excited about this year’s agenda. Here’s 3 good reasons that this conference is unlike the many other innovation conferences out there:

  • The short-course format – We’ve ensured that each session will send you home with immediately actionable training, not just feel-good case studies that hardly apply to your organization.  Our “teachers” represent some of the leading firms across the country that offer day-long or week-long workshops and training on these topics.  We want to bolster your Product Development skill set with the same techniques in a fraction of that time!
  • Regional “classmates” –  With built-in networking opportunities, expect to also learn from your fellow students who come from all over the Carolinas.  Our attendees include product development pros, product managers, innovation and research experts across all sorts of industries from companies big and small who may be facing the same challenges that you do.
  • Amazingly affordable “tuition”- Other conferences or onsite training sessions can easily set you back hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in registration fees alone.  Then there’s travel and hotel expenses.  Innovate Carolina offers professional career development just down the road for less than $100 (if you register by March 15.)

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Registration now open! Sign up now for the Early Bird rate!

Join our fifth annual full day conferenceApril 25th at NC Biotechnology Center, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Building Your Career Toolkit: Innovative Paths for Innovative Product Development 

The fields of product management, product development and innovation are rapidly changing.  New tools and new techniques are constantly surfacing.  Whether you are new to innovation or product development, or have years of experience, Innovate Carolina 2014 is for you.  In response to our surveys, our conference this year is a mini-university, where our speakers will focus on education, training and seminars on some of the latest product management, product development and innovation methodologies.  You’ll have the chance to select from a wide array of tools, techniques and methods, which will make you more effective in your current job, and help you build skills to further your career, including:

  1. Creative Problem Solving
  2. Portfolio Management
  3. Market Research Strategy
  4. Scenarios / Futures Planning
  5. Life Cycle Management
  6. Product Requirements
  7. Leading Innovation Teams
  8. Product Line Roadmapping
  9. Intellectual Property Strategy for Product Development

Here’s what attendees said about previous Innovate Carolinas conferences:

“Gained new insights, met great people”

“Great insight to what others are doing”

“Truly current and leading edge thinking = very stimulating”

Register Today for the $50 Early Bird Rate! 

Register Now

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Who’s coming to Innovate Carolina?

Here is a word cloud of the titles of people who have already registered to join us April 12th, 2013 – Greensboro, NC

Titles of registered Attendees- Innovate Carolina 2013

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Need more reasons to join us on April 12 for Innovate Carolina?

Check out what some of our attendees said about our conference last year?

  • “Gained new insights, met great people”
  • “New ideas and new ways to sell them”
  • “Fresh perspective about what’s working in other orgs”
  • “Some innovation ideas that I can carry back into my work”
  • “Great content – and local!”
  • “Truly current and leading edge thinking = very stimulating”

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Our 2013 theme: Bridging the Gap

The theme we have selected for this year’s conference is “Bridging the Gap between Ideas and Execution.” It is evident that more innovation is happening in many businesses, but in many cases that means idea generation is increasing, but doesn’t often translate into more new products and services.  A gap exists between pure “innovation” – idea generation and evaluation – and product/service development and commercialization. How do we “bridge the gap” between developing and generating ideas and increased product development and successful commercialization and launch?

Our speakers and panelists will describe the issues they faced in bridging the gap, and identify potential solutions and pitfalls they faced as they developed a bridge between innovation and commercialization.

This year we’ll be gathering at the historic NC A&T State University in Greensboro, NC.  Please save the date, Friday, April 12 and look for more information and registration in the weeks to come.

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Protected: 2012 Innovate Carolina presentations

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