CONNECT Kickoff BannerWe’re still receiving positive feedback from our recent  inaugural CONNECT Weekend, but we wanted to offer some highlights from each collaborator’s hard work.

During the 4-day celebration we coordinated 14 events with over 50 partners and sponsors and had nearly 2,500 attendees!

Our goal was to showcase the inventors, scientists, and reachers that make the Greater Pasadena area a prime place for difference makers and disruptors.  Not only did the weekend-long series of talks, panels, hack and code events, open-houses and mixers show our pride in Pasadena’s innovative community, we think our collaborators really got the conversation started and set the stage for something that will continue to grow and spread in the future.

Now we’re planning our next CONNECT event series, so if you haven’t already signed up for our newsletter, please do so here and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and @InnovatPasadena so we can keep you updated.

What did CONNECT accomplish?  Here are some highlights from the weekend:

* Pasadena’s own Bill Gross, CEO of Idealab, shared his radical new “open-source ideas” strategy which leverages our community of entrepreneurs to launch startup companies

* Art Center College of Design opened the doors to its newest South Campus building

* Senior executives from many of Greater Pasadena’s most innovative companies teamed up with the first few companies to graduate from the Design Accelerator to speak with nearly 150 local entrepreneurs

* The Business Technology Center of Los Angeles County held a workshop for over 50 representatives from local tech startups that included information on how to market and offer services to government agencies

* The City of Pasadena held its first ever civic hackathon, where over 100 participants of all ages applied the city’s newly opened data sets to programs that solve real community problems. 14 apps were created, over $7,000 in prizes was awarded, and 3 lucky teams met with local venture capital firms

* 3 pitchfest competitions were held over the weekend, with over 20 teams turning out to pitch their digital media, cleantech, and technology business concepts

* Pasadena City College unveiled its new Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) with demonstrations of 3D printing, laser cutting, coding technology, and digital sewing

* Everyone from grade school students to retired JPL scientists visited the Pasadena Bioscience Collaborative (PBC), a non-profit biotech incubator, and learned about their 18 early-stage life science companies

* Rails Girls held their largest event ever, with over 250 women and girls turning out to learn how to sketch, prototype, program and deploy a web app

* Over 50 middle school, high school, and college students interested in careers in science got a first-hand look inside a working chemistry and biotech lab at the Oak Crest Institute of Science

* To highlight the the Ray Eames exhibit currently on view, Art Center College of Design hosted a public panel discussion with women in design to explore the state of working, making, and creating

* Mayor Bill Bogaard got in touch with his geekier side, joining the wrap-up party at the Ice House for award presentations and geek humor from an electrical engineer turned stand-up comic

We are still collecting responses to our CONNECT wrap-up survey, so please help us improve and grow our future events by filling out the survey here.