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LANCE: Geekend offers free tech sessions for adults, kids

If you are a regular to this column, you are sure to have read about Geekend, The Creative Coast’s annual conference that connects the brightest hackers, hustlers, makers, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs from all over.

The Creative Coast and partner Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center are in the final leg of preparation for this two-day event, which takes place October 14 and 15 at The Guild Hall located at 615 Montgomery Street. Attendees will learn about cutting edge concepts and realities that cannot be discovered in a simple Google search. If you cannot make it to the entire conference, we hope you and yours will stop by on Saturday for several sessions that are free and open to the public.

We have teamed up with Maven Makers, Savannah’s makerspace for creating or learning a new skill, to offer another interactive opportunity for students at Geekend. From 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, students can learn the basics of 3D modeling by designing Geekend’s one and only mascot, the Geekbot, for free. After the session, students will have a file they can take to a 3D printer to make their model come to life. Free snacks will be offered during this session thanks to our sponsor Shipt.

Heard of virtual and augmented realities? Virtual reality has been discussed for years and involves placing users in a fake world of 3D images and experiences. Think “The Matrix.” You may know augmented reality from a game called Pokemon Go, which places virtual 3D images of Pokemons in the real world. Beyond entertainment, these technologies are changing the way businesses manufacture, design, relate to consumers, and more. Thanks to a showcase from Gulfstream’s Immersive Realities Technology, we will be able to share with you for free a sample of what virtual and augmented realities can do. This session takes place from 10:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday as well.

Perhaps one of the most talked about sessions every year is the Geekend Arcade, which takes place on Saturday October 15, from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Forget PacMan, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Mario Brothers.

This is THE showcase of kids creating technology, not just consuming it! Students ranging from elementary to middle grades code video games then the public is invited to this free session to play these games. This is a perfect opportunity to bring your kids and let them see how computer programming is fun and rewarding.

The fun’s not over yet! Directly following the Geekend Arcade you can attend a free speaker session from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. with Chris Kelsey, a San Francisco based entrepreneur and a 19 year-old former high school drop-out. Kelsey founded Appsitude, an app/web development and marketing company that grossed more than $10 million in less than two years after leaving high school in 2014. His team of 60+ employees worldwide was responsible for building massively viral apps such as Premium Wallpapers HD which received more than 40 million downloads and $8 million revenue in 2015. Chris now runs Appsitude Accelerator, a global startup accelerator that partners with entrepreneurs by refining their ideas, building their app/website, helping with marketing strategies, and connecting them to investors to raise funding. He also co-founded Azgard Angels, an angel investment fund with Deepansh Jain, who sold his app Shifu which sold for $8 million after acquiring 1.5 million daily active users.

We hope to see you at these free and open to public sessions for a fun time. Bring your colleagues, friends and families. If these sessions sound enticing enough that you would like to attend all of Geekend, you can purchase a ticket to the full conference by visiting www.geek-end.com. Please send any inquiries to kait@thecreativecoast.org.

 

Kait Lance is an entrepreneurship evangelist and community manager at The Creative Coast, a not-for-profit organization that promotes the creative and entrepreneurial community within the region. Kait can be reached at 912-447-8457 or kait@thecreativecoast.org.

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