Driving innovation in today's modern, connected world - Online Event

Of the more than 30,000 new products introduced every year, 95 percent will fail, according to the late Clayton Christensen. And the average cost of launching a new product in the U.S. is on the rise. The average cost of bringing a new product to market in the U.S between 1997-2010 was $15 million, according to a Forbes study. Currently, the average R&D investment to bring a new product to market is $25 million.

Emerging technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) pose new challenges, risks and opportunities for organizations and innovators - especially in light of the growing popularity of connected devices. Engineers are tasked with selecting the best design platform for their needs, collaborate in real time with global teams and make product changes and improvements simultaneously - while ensuring that the final solution tackles a major challenge and positively impacts society.

In this panel, we'll discuss:

- Types of innovation -- incremental, disruptive, architectural and radical -- and how each translates for an organization

- Current trends in product development

- Designing products for the connected world (drones, wearables, robots, automated cars)

- Modern tools innovators are utilizing to design in real time

- Mentoring and training future innovators

Featured Speaker(s)

Sharon Rossmark
Women And Drones

Sharon Rossmark is the CEO of Women And Drones, the premier global platform featuring women who are disrupting, innovating and shaping the future of the drone industry. She is also a FAA Certified Drone Pilot. In 2018 and 2019, the company was listed as one of the Top 100 Companies To Watch in the drone industry.

Rossmark is an international speaker, panelist and facilitator. She has taken the stage to share her passion for drones from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. to the World of Drones Congress in Brisbane, Australia.

The organization's educational theme centers on "learning through the wonders of flying robots.â„¢" The focus is on collaborating with community and educational programs to incorporate drones into STEM programming for youth, with an emphasis on engaging girls.

Rossmark is the co-author of several books introducing young children to drones. The books are available in English and Spanish. Most of the characters in the books are girls which is a purposeful, important part of her commitment to engaging more girls in STEM and aviation.

Rossmark serves on the boards of Special Olympics Illinois and the board of trustees at Illinois State University. She also serves on the advisory board for the Canadian Drone Institute and the CompTIA Drone Advisory Council.
Her industry professional affiliations include Women in Aviation International, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and AUVSI.

Rossmark earned her MBA from University of Illinoi, Chicago and her Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University.

To support the women and men who protect our freedom, she has established an endowed scholarship to support US military soldiers and veterans majoring in business at Illinois State University.

Jon Hirschtick
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Division

A technology pioneer and entrepreneur, Jon Hirschtick is passionate about empowering innovators so they can design products that positively impact society and the planet. He understands the challenges engineers face as they build products for the modern era, as well as the design platforms required to accelerate product innovation in today's connected world. This insight and market knowledge have allowed Hirschtick to successfully build and sell two companies. He is now the president of PTC's Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) division.

In 2012, Hirschtick launched Onshape -- the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product development platform. It's the only product development platform that's architected for the cloud, enables engineers to design products on-demand, and lets them collaborate in real time -- without being tethered to a machine or device. Onshape was acquired in 2019 by PTC for $470 million. Previously, Hirschtick created SOLIDWORKS, the first desktop 3D CAD (computer-aided design) solution that made 3D design technology accessible to the masses. SOLIDWORKS was acquired by Dassault Systèmes in 1997 for $310 million.

Hirschtick holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and serves on various boards, including Magic Leap and MarkForged.

When he is not building companies, Hirschtick entertains customers and peers with magic tricks. In fact, he was a member of the famed MIT Blackjack team, featured in the movies "21" and "The Last Casino." In his spare time, Hirschtick enjoys playing golf and practicing yoga.

Jeanette Numbers
Co-founder and Principal
Loft LLC

Jeanette Numbers is an experienced design thinker and leader based in Providence, RI. As cofounder of Loft, Numbers specializes in creating visually compelling, human-centered design solutions that are rooted in purpose and driven by research.

Her work spans dozens of global brands and a wide variety of industries. She's had proven success both in and outside of the corporate environment, leading teams in strategic design thinking, digital and physical product design, and final product commercialization. 

Numbers' career has taken her to New York, San Francisco, Boston, and finally to Providence, where Loft's corporate headquarters is based.

Dr. Zac Dydek
CTO, Vecna Robotics

As CTO, Dr. Zac Dydek is responsible for setting long-term product vision and ensuring that Vecna Robotics remains the technology leader in autonomous material handling. Dr. Dydek is one of the key architects of Vecna's world-class proprietary autonomy stack. Prior to taking on the role of CTO, he led the Navigation and Control functional team and later, as Director of Autonomous Systems, drove cross-product decision making across all disciplines of software development. Under Dr. Dydek, the Vecna team performs cutting-edge research in the areas of navigation, high-level autonomy, manipulation, control, and machine perception.

Dr. Dydek has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology and MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His graduate research involved the conception, design, and implementation of advanced, nonlinear controllers with applications to manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. He received the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship from the Department of Defense in 2006.

Parna Sarkar-Basu
CEO and Founder
Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC

V.P. Brand Marketing

A tech evangelist, Parna Sarkar-Basu serves as a strategic advisor to transformational leaders and tech pioneers, and helps them launch and reinvent companies. Her expertise includes changing market perception, building market relevance, corporate (re)-positioning and new market entry as well as helping companies navigate the digital era.

Recipient of multiple awards, Sarkar-Basu has been instrumental in propelling tech companies into innovation leaders in highly competitive markets, including artificial intelligence (AI), robots, enterprise software, storage systems and managed services. She also supports founders with their fundraising efforts - Initial Public Offering (IPO), Venture Capital (VC) financing and crowdfunding.

Prior to launching Brand and Buzz, Sarkar-Basu led marketing and communications functions for various global companies, including Kaminario, iRobot, iCorps Technologies, Invention Machine (acquired by IHS), and PTC.

A voice for gender inclusivity and STEM, she designs and supports programs to inspire women in technology and future innovators. Sarkar-Basu is the V.P. of Brand Marketing for WITI (Women in Technology International) and serves on the board of WITI Boston and American Marketing Association Boston.

A Forbes contributor, she writes about emerging technology and thought leadership and speaks at various events on a range of topics, including cognitive robotics, innovation for social good, digital transformation, AI and impact on the workforce, and tech trends.

Meeting Notes

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