It's That Time Again, Lafayette - Time to INNOV8!

by Walter Pierce

Our community's annual festival of innovation returns for its third year.

Our community's annual festival of innovation returns for its third year.

INNOV8 Lafayette showcases thought leaders and content experts through dozens of lectures, workshops and networking events aimed at sparking the community's innovative, creative and entrepreneurial spirits. Staged primarily at venues in downtown Lafayette and the University of Louisiana Research Park from April 23 to April 30, events are easy to reach and promise to be filled with participants interested in exploring new ideas and collaborating on opportunities.

Scheduled to coincide with Festival International de Louisiane, INNOV8 capitalizes on the country's best world music festival and adds a new layer for visitors and participants. INNOV8 2014 features inspirational talks by best-selling authors and thinkers, practical workshops for artists and inventors, and pitch events where entrepreneurs and nonprofits can present to investors to get their ideas funded. The programming revolves around the spirit and process of innovation. When you bring engaged people together from diverse backgrounds and industries you create opportunities for new ideas and relationships through the magic of serendipitous collisions.

INNOV8, which was founded and is led by volunteers of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, is a regional gathering that rallies the efforts of individuals, businesses, civic groups, nonprofits, economic-development agencies, the university and government. Although tickets must be purchased to some events, most are free and open to the public.

In addition to a packed slate of engaging programming like the nationally significant CajunCodeFest, a few notable new offerings were added. One brings in a world-class keynote speaker, another offers a thank you to supporters, and yet another will show Lafayette's good "tastes."

The INNOV8 Awards ceremony first held in 2013 was an inspiring event honoring innovators from area businesses and nonprofits. This year, to bring the achievements of these innovators to a larger audience, we've paired the INNOV8 Awards with an address from a leading national thinker. INNOV8 is proud that the inaugural INNOV8 Keynote and Awards Luncheon will feature renowned author Steven Berlin Johnson. In his The Innovator's Cookbook, Johnson says of innovation: "We ... need to encourage surprise and serendipity. We need to play each other's instruments."

The best-selling author has written numerous influential works on everything from cutting-edge ideas in urban planning to the battle against 21st-century terrorism. Prospect magazine chose Johnson as one of the Top Ten Brains of the Digital Future. His most popular work on innovation is the bestselling Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. His work inspired a six-part series on PBS, How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson, that will air this fall.

The INNOV8 Keynote and Awards Luncheon at the Cajundome Convention Center is a "can't miss" event. So get your tickets early.

How could Lafayette host an innovation festival and not show off its culinary chops? Explore Lafayette's good "tastes" at the brand new "INNOV8 the Plate" where some of the area's top chefs show us what they're cooking and offer us a taste. EatLafayette will be there, too.

Organizers created another new offering to thank supporters, the Friends of INNOV8 VIP Suite during Festival International. Event Sponsors and Friends of INNOV8, a group of supporters who've donated $75, will receive passes to the VIP Suite at the former Trynd restaurant on East Vermilion, across from the downtown parking garage and Parc Sans Souci. This great site features indoor and outdoor gated spaces with first- and second-floor patios right in the heart of Festival International. The Friends of INNOV8 VIP Suite will offer festival-goers a place to step out of the crowds, have a bite to eat, sit for a bit and get a reprieve from portable public restrooms. The number of "FOI" passes issued is limited, so sign up soon.

Join us. Get involved. Get inspired. Collaborate. Innovate.

Become a Friend of INNOV8 today. It's a small investment in big ideas.

Check or see the full calendar of events on Pages 54-55 for more information.

Chris Allain is the CEO of Vidox Motion Imagery and the Co-Chair of INNOV8 Lafayette 2014.

Ticketed Events (for info visit


INNOV8 Awards with keynote speaker Steven Berlin Johnson
Sponsored by LGMC and Dwight Andrus Insurance
April 29, 2014 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm | Cajundome Festival Ballroom
The INNOV8 Awards were created by the Innovation Division of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce to honor community members in Lafayette who saw a challenge, imagined a solution and found a way to make it work. The organizers look for ideas that make a difference, whether the innovators invent a new product or develop a new software solution. INNOV8's organizers decided to elevate the prominence of the awards ceremony by pairing it with an address from a leading national thinker on the subject. Steven Berlin Johnson, best-selling author and PBS series host, will deliver the keynote speech. His work on the history of innovation inspired a six-part series on PBS, How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson, and his writings have influenced everything from cutting-edge ideas in urban planning to the battle against 21st-century terrorism. Johnson was chosen by Prospect magazine as one of the Top Ten Brains of the Digital Future.


INDesign Awards and Stephane Kirkland
April 24, 2014 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm | Hilton Lafayette | Tickets are $45 per person or $395 for a reserved table for eight
Stephane Kirkland will be the keynote speaker for the 10th annual INDesign Awards celebrating excellence in architecture, interior design, historic preservation and urban planning in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes. Kirkland, who studied architecture, earned a post-graduate degree in architecture history, a degree in urban law and economics and an MBA, is the author of Paris Reborn, an account of Paris' mid-19th century transformation from a dirty, congested and dangerous city to a global travel destination. As Plan Lafayette moves into the implementation and adoption phase of the first-ever comprehensive plan for this community, Paris serves as a shining example of the enduring value of thoughtful design and planning. In addition to awards for excellence in architecture and interior design, the INDesign INNOV8tion Award will go to the LCG Comprehensive Plan and a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented the family of the late architect Dave Perkins.


Doug Hall - Innovation Engineering for Business Executives
April 23, 2014 | 8:00 am - 5:00 pm | Louisiana Ecological Services Office
Doug Hall is a professional innovator, an adjunct faculty member, an academic researcher, a best-selling author of four books and a popular speaker on sales, marketing, creativity and innovation who has hosted and starred on a wide range of network radio and television programs. As founder of the Eureka! Ranch International team, a corporate innovation, research and training center that has worked with big name companies like Disney and Nike, Hall will lend his knowledge and experience to INNOV8's Engineering Executive Program, a 1.5-day training course. Up to six executives per team can participate.


Dealmakers Summit
April 29, 2014 | 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm | AcA
At the summit, attendees connect with dealmakers to discuss investment strategies, crowd funding, SEC legislation and other important investment topics. Speakers include Angels of Southwest Louisiana's Ron McGinley and other formal investment groups from around the state. People will hear pointed questions and reasons why some people get funding and some don't. Food will be provided and participants will have VIP seating at The Vault Business Pitch event, which will follow the summit. At The Vault, Zachary Barker, executive director of Lafayette's Opportunity Machine, will moderate students, start-ups and non-professional quick pitches followed by bigger money pitches moderated by InventureWorks.

Launch hour: Startup Crash Course
April 23, 2014 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm | AcA
The first Launch Hour presentation of the festival will highlight five key areas entrepreneurs should be aware of to avoid traps and pitfalls associated with their new business.

Launch Hour: Moving Ideas to Execution
April 25, 2014 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm | LEDA
The second Launch Hour will help entrepreneurs foster ideas from dreams to execution through a simple one-page strategic approach focused on goal setting, creating prioritization in key tasks, measuring success through key metrics and performance indicators to rapidly grow. The RockHabits, presented by the Opportunity Machine, is a blend of the management principles in the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits with the focused discussion on automation, delegation and elimination found in The Four-Hour Workweek.

Launch Hour: Professional Services
April 28, 2014 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm | AcA
At the third Launch Hour, panelists including a banker, an accountant, an attorney, a social media specialist and a small business consultant. They explain what they do, how they can help small businesses and when entrepreneurs should call them.

Launch Hour: Makers and Manufacturers
April 30, 2014 | 11:30 am - 1:00 pm | AcA
Innovators and manufacturers in various local industries will act as experts with the purpose of answering questions and providing guidance to budding innovators and makers. Following the last Launch Hour, at 2 p.m. UL and a panel of local manufacturing owners will to talk with attendees about how to get great ideas from concept to production at the breakout session event Makers and Manufacturers Showcase.

Fiber for Breakfast: Fueling Healthcare
April 23, 2014 | 7:30 am - 10:30 am | LITE
This event will showcase ways Lafayette's health care community is utilizing technology to provide better patient care. Local health care entities utilizing connectivity in innovative ways will be highlighted. For years now there has been talk about what is possible with broadband connectivity by next generation networks like LUS Fiber; this event will focus on realities, not possibilities. Admission is free but space is limited.

Meeting of the Minds Breakfast Series
A four-day series of roundtable and panel presentations begins April 25 from 7:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m. at IberiaBank Board Room and continues April 28-30. The first Meeting of the Minds will follow up on Stephane Kirkland's inspiring story of Paris's period of civic investment and the rewards it has reaped for future generations. PlanLafayette, the recently-completed Comprehensive Plan for Lafayette Parish, recommends a "reinvention" of the Hub City not altogether unlike the investments Kirkland describes in his April 24 talk for the INDesign Awards. The second meeting will feature stories from local innovators who turned interesting ideas into multi-million dollar businesses. The third meeting is a Q&A discussion with the production company Believe Entertainment, which recently wrapped the feature A Sort of Homecoming in Lafayette. The last meeting will follow up INNOV8 keynote speaker Steven Johnson's inspiring stories of innovation and tips for seeing things that others cannot see as a pathway to innovation.

CajunCodeFest 3.0

CajunCodeFest is a 2.5-day health care coding competition looking for the next innovative idea in the areas of software development, health care or business strategy industries related to "Aging in Place" with a sub-theme called "Internet of Things," specifically focused on how uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations can help people. Teams compete for cash prizes and may be able to take their idea to the next level. In addition to professionals, this year CajunCodeFest partnered with LITE to bring in high school teams to compete. The Jr. Coders have a chance to win all prizes and compete for Best High School Team. After 27 hours of innovating, the CajunCodeFest will end April 25, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., where top teams will present their five-minute project pitches. Held at LITE, this event is free, but pre-registration is required to attend.

Opening Ceremony with Dr. Mark Blatt, Intel
April 23, 2014 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Dr. Mark Blatt will kick off the code fest at its opening ceremony. He is worldwide medical director of Intel, concentrating on how health information technology infrastructure can enable providers to deliver cost-effective, quality care. He has a particular interest in integrated care delivery, mobile point of care, secure computing and the emergence of cloud computing services.

Plenary Session: Bryan Sivak, HHS
April 24, 2014 | 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer at the Department of Health and Human Services, is returning to INNOV8 to discuss home health care. As CTO, he is responsible for helping the leadership harness the power of data technology and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation. Sivak previously worked as CTO of Maryland, leading it to embed concepts of innovation into the DNA of state government; CTO of the District of Columbia, where he created a technology infrastructure that enhanced communication between residents and their government, and implemented organizational reforms that improved efficiency, program controls and customer service.


Plenary Session: Kathy Kliebert, DHH
April 24, 2014 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Kathy H. Kliebert, appointed by Gov. Bobby Jindal last year, is secretary of the state's Department of Health and Hospitals. She has been in the department for more than 25 years, leading efforts to promote independent living for individuals with developmental disabilities and working to transform behavioral health care services for Louisiana residents. Kliebert and Angela Baltazar, global health and human services specialist with Esri, will talk about using Esri's GIS mapping software to understand and visualize data to track the aging population to better serve its needs.


Plenary Session: Jeff Makowka, AARP
April 24, 2014 | 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Jeff Makowka, senior strategic adviser in AARP's Thought Leadership group, helped to launch, and now co-manages the [[email protected]+ initiative](mailto:[email protected]+ initiative); the program enlists the expertise of visionary thinkers, entrepreneurs, investors and nonprofits to spur innovation to meet the needs and wants of people over 50. Makowka, who has over a decade of experience in strategic analysis, management consulting and market research, will talk about home health care at the event.


Plenary Session: Nadine Robin, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum
April 24, 2014 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Nadine Robin serves as health IT program manager for the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum; with more than 10 years of business and economic development as well as project management experience, Robin will discuss home health care. Robin is responsible for integrating the needs of the health IT program's goals and objectives with state and federal agencies as well as with partnering organizations, groups and associations. She also plans and implements services related to the Louisiana Health Information Technology Resource Center and the Louisiana Health Information Exchange.


Friends of INNOV8 Package
Friends of INNOV8 receive not only a custom designed INNOV8 2014 T-shirt and discounted tickets to INNOV8 Keynote and Awards Luncheon, INNOV8 the Plate and the Steampunk and Makers Ball, but also an invitation plus one to the INNOV8 kickoff reception. There will also be a VIP suite at 116 E. Vermilion, across from the downtown parking garage and right next to Festival International's Parc Sans Souci stage Friday, April 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, April 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 27, from 11:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. FOI membership includes two badges, which will be required for admission. Children under 12 get in free when accompanied by adult member. The suite will include indoor and outdoor gated spaces with first and second floor patios, heavy hors d'oeuvres from Zeus and Agave Cantina, bottled water, a cash bar with seating, indoor restrooms and a mobile phone charging station.

INNOV8 the Plate
April 28, 2014 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Jefferson Street Pub | Tickets are $20
A Lafayette special: the eat and greet. A quick roundtable with some of South Louisiana's most innovative foodies, including food producers, manufacturers, restaurateurs and, of course, chefs. The night will end with samples of food and drink from local restaurants and manufacturers like E's Kitchen, Bread & Circus Provisions, Social Southern Table & Bar, Bruce Foods, RĂªve Coffee and more.

LAGCOE social and spotlight on energy innovation
April 24, 2014 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm | AcA
This is an after-hours event where companies like 3rd Dimension Media, which provides a suite of digital products such as computer modeling, 3D animation, walkthroughs, renderings, illustrations and customized presentations, and UL Lafayette's budding engineers will have the opportunity to showcase their cutting-edge products in the energy industry. Each company will be given an area to "spotlight" and/or demo their innovations. Complimentary appetizers will be served and a cash bar will be available.

Steampunk and Makers Ball
April 30, 2014 | 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm | Trynd | Tickets are $10
The Party - appropriate for all ages - will cap off this year's INNOV8, celebrating innovators and makers from Louisiana and beyond. Steampunk - like innovations - started off with the question, "what if?" What if people in the 19th century had moved toward steam-operated technology rather than oil and gas? Retro-futuristic gadgets, gears, goggles and top hats are rooted in the era's perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style and art. The featured band will be The Confabulation of Gentry, a rockin' New Orleans-based Dixieland/Ragtime troupe with male and female singers mixed with trumpet, trombone, tuba, xylophone, piano, banjo and a clockwork drummer. There will also be a family-friendly variety show by The Kitten Caboodle Cabaret, innovative vendors and creative contests.

Webinar Series
April 23-25 and 28 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Online
The Webinar series will be online seminars conducted by experts on different topics. The first Webinar is April 23. Tobey Osborne, creator of Toast Mobile games and apps, will show the basics of game development for the iPhone and iPad through a step-by-step demo. The second Webinar discusses the differences and unique benefits of responsive websites or mobile apps for businesses and demonstrates examples of both for consideration. On April 25, Enterprise Data Concepts, a company that has functioned as a virtual CIO for hundreds of small businesses for the last 12 years, will illustrate "best-practices" policies that can be implemented to protect data and businesses using cyber security. For the last Webinar on April 28, Tre King, founder of mobile business developing company iCandyLabs, will offer solutions that help businesses get up to speed with technology.

INNOV8 app
The INNOV8 app, available on iPhone and Android, was designed by iCandyLabs to provide a guide to the entire eight-day festival's events, along with venue directions and details.

Let's get stARTed

No community in the 21st century will thrive without activating its creative talent. The stART events anticipate the creation of collaborative platforms for our community's full range of talent: discovered, latent, undiscovered and thriving. Backing it up is a marketing forum that explores the success of artists who hail from here and whose mark has been made on regional, national and international scenes: artists who have achieved financial stability through the pursuit of their passions.

These three linked events will give musicians, dancers, actors, writers, designers, visual, video and digital artists, as well as stage craft specialists, the chance to envision new work ranging from playful partnerships to full-scale, multi-disciplinary creative opportunities.

On April 23, Creative Courting - a call out for artists and designers of all types - launches the stART segment of INNOV8. Can a writer pair up with an illustrator to produce a book for children? And is there a musician who can create a music bed to back an audio version of the book's narrative? Who can produce this? Is there a digital artist who's looking for a choreographer and is that choreographer looking for dancers to set new work on? Will people who have fundraising and financial expertise support a new product? Do you have an idea?

Creative Courting may be just the place to get traction under a new idea, so bring it to this gathering. First Date comes later.

Can these potential and other pairings ignite and explore ideas over the next eight days? What next?

On April 28, participants from all fields of innovation can hear from our successful homegrown artists at Make a Market. These select, yet-to-be-revealed panelists will tell their stories, providing insight into the kind of determination it takes to make their markets.

On April 30, as INNOV8 winds down, First Date calls back the creative forces. Over the course of INNOV8 and Festival International, what opportunities, resources and obstacles have emerged? What new ideas have found interest and partnerships? First Date is designed to be the beginning of relationships that can invigorate the talent that streams through our community. - Jackie Lyle