Top Tech Events of the Fall—an Xconomy Guide

My head is exploding trying to keep up with all the tech-business events going on around Seattle these days. Here’s a quick guide to the most prominent ones on my brain, in the hopes of saving you some stress (and keeping you up to date):

—Last night’s “Women in Tech” event from TechFlash was a smash hit, with a first-rate panel and networking. You can check out recaps of the event here and here. Yes, the crowd was predominantly women. I’m surprised more tech guys weren’t there to soak up the diverse perspectives and add their own input (or to get a date).

—Tonight’s panel on “the changing face of venture capital” at the University of Washington (computer science and engineering) should provide some spirited discussion of the unique challenges that investors and entrepreneurs are facing in the current climate. It’s an all-star lineup of local VCs: Mark Ashida from OVP, Greg Gottesman from Madrona, Ron Howell from WRF Capital, Bill McAleer from Voyager, and Cam Myhrvold from Ignition.

—Also tonight is the Clean Tech Open’s Pacific Northwest Regional Awards gala at the ACT Theater in downtown Seattle. Gov. Chris Gregoire is giving the keynote address, and will be followed by the announcement of three Northwest finalist winners (cleantech companies) who will then move on to a Western regional competition.

—Next week brings NWEN’s “Entrepreneur University” on Nov. 5 at the Bellevue Hyatt. It’s an all-day extravaganza about starting, growing, and managing your own company. Don’t miss the talks by Jennifer Mintz Clark, Andy Sack, and the Bacon Salt guys, or the “Entrepreneur Idol” pitch competition. (I’ll be there as one of the judges.)

—That same afternoon, on Nov. 5, Microsoft chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie is speaking at UW, as part of the computer science and engineering department’s Distinguished Lecturer Series. Mundie will talk about how software and information technology can help solve our most pressing global challenges and reshape scientific exploration. (I’ll need to go quantum so I can be in two places at once that day.)

—On Nov. 6, the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association (WBBA) is holding its annual meeting at the Sheraton Hotel downtown. Elias Zerhouni, the former director of the National Institutes of Health, is giving the keynote.

—A bit further out, Nov. 18 is the night of the Washington Technology Industry Association’s annual “predictions” dinner event at the Grand Hyatt in Seattle. John Cook of TechFlash will put some of the usual VC/entrepreneur suspects on the spot about their thoughts on 2010. On a separate note, WTIA recently announced that applications are now open for its 2010 Industry Achievement Awards, which will take place on March 4.

—Last but not least, Xconomy is organizing an evening on “The Future of Search and Information Discovery” (and Seattle’s role in shaping it) on Nov. 30, at the University of Washington (Walker-Ames Room in Kane Hall). We’ll get Google and Microsoft to share the stage, and surround them with some compelling VCs and startups, to talk about the technical problems and business opportunities in Web search, real-time information discovery, social media, and user interfaces.

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