Bill Gross Innovation Summit The first ever Innovation Summit Pasadena, produced by Pasadena Magazine and the Five Star Institute, was held on Thursday, October 10th. As inaugural events go, the Innovation Summit was a smashing success and debut of all things innovation happening here in Pasadena. Attended by 600 people interested in science, technology, engineering, design and entrepreneurship, the Innovation Summit had a lot to offer attendees. From the Fast Pitch Competition and panels to the diversity of keynote speakers and networking opportunities, the event was full of forward-thinking and thought-provoking content.

Event attendees had the opportunity to speak with George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, about building spaceships and space travel and hear from Idealab Founder Bill Gross about the importance of entrepreneurial problem solving and using failures to achieve success. Both Virgin Galactic and Idealab are located in Pasadena.

According to Bill Gross, innovation unlocks human potential but new ideas may not immediately be accepted by the general public. The more “disruptive” an idea is the better. A disruptive innovation will improve a product or service in ways the market didn’t expect.

Innovate Pasadena Co-Chair Andy Wilson pitched the idea of having a “Geek Week Pasadena” to Mayor Bill Bogaard and the crowd. The idea was met with enthusiastic applause and if the interest and participation in the inaugural Innovation Summit proved a point, it’s that Pasadena has the chops to be a key player in the greater Los Angeles start-up, tech and design scene.

Photo By Jamie Pham