What: Rising Tide Initiative Launch and Panel Discussion.
When: Friday, April 28, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
1600 Gendy St. Fort Worth 76107
Presented by: Higginbotham and Associates and Foundry Club.
*Dr. Julienne Greer, University of Texas-Arlington theater arts professor working with UTA Research Institute in the field of social robotics and performance.
*Dr. Doug Roberts, chief technology officer, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, who will speak to the increasing role of technology in museums.
*Kevin Grace, Rising Tide Initiative. He works with innovative technology companies that include artificial intelligence, cloud computing and software as a service and is focused on helping entrepreneurs connect the dots through Catalyst Partners, a local investment firm.
Refreshments: Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
The tide is rising in the world of technology, and a Fort Worth group is working to keep the city ahead of the pace.
The Rising Tide Initiative has a mission to enhance entrepreneurship, innovation and technology in Fort Worth and Tarrant County through a vibrant and collaborative technological ecosystem.
Curious? Those who want to know more are encouraged to visit the group's Initiative Launch and Panel Discussion Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The event is being sponsored by Higginbotham and Associates and Foundry Club.
"We are celebrating innovation and startups in Fort Worth. This includes the expanded technology vision of the Fort Worth Science and History Museum," said Kevin Grace, MBA, one of the group's original founders.
Grace will also be a member of the panel Friday, with their focal point being "Emerging Technologies: Meeting Our Future." He works with innovative technology companies that include artificial intelligence, cloud computing and software. He founded multiple technology businesses and now focuses on helping entrepreneurs advance through local investment firm Catalyst Partners.
Grace will be joined on the panel by University of Texas-Arlington Theater Arts Professor Dr. Julienne Greer, who is working with the UTA Research Institute in the field of social robotics and performance. She will have on hand her robot, NAO, who can recite Shakespeare, among other things.
Rounding out the panel will be Dr. Doug Roberts, chief technology officer for the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. He will speak on the increasing role of technology in museums.
The event is free to the public.
Also a member of the Rising Tide Initiative is Mike Field of Catalyst Partners, one of the Fort Worth Business Press' 40-Under-40 honorees, commemorating 40 successful Fort Worth area business persons under the age of 40. He believes organizations such as RTI are essential to progressive cities such as Fort Worth if they are going to continue moving forward.
"As technology continues to become a more essential part of, not only technology-centric companies but all types of businesses, connecting our current tech ecosystem while continuing to foster new innovation will become vital to maintaining Fort Worth’s trajectory towards success," Field said.
Rising Tide Initiative's first roundtable was held on Nov. 16, 2016, sponsored by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. It featured the current state of the ecosystem and Grace was a presenter.
Nathan Ryall, another member of the group, gave the presentation at the second roundtable on Feb. 23, again sponsored by the Fort Worth Chamber. There they clarified 2017 goals and discussed this Friday's event.
"Rising Tide, by nature, is a collaborative and inclusive environment where we intend to see all of Tarrant County engage and rise together," Ryall said. "Stephen M. R. Covey's words explain succinctly what we were all saying in the room. 'What is in it for me, should be replaced by what is in it for us... together.'"
Grace said it all started with a small meeting discussing what is missing in the startup and technology community.
"The idea is being actively incubated in the community," Grace said. "We are building awareness and collaboration across the community."
This awareness is not only for the business community, Field said. He noted that anyone can learn from Friday's event and help Fort Worth grow.
"Anyone that has a passion for Fort Worth and wants to learn more about what is happening on the technology front in our community can join and ask questions from the panel of innovators in our community," he said.
On its web site, www.risingtideinitiative.com, the group states has a quote from internet and media entrepreneur Ronald Burr, "The creative spark on which serendipity depends, in short, is to see bridges where others see holes."
The site also has statistics supporting the reasoning behind the cause, such as 60.4 percent of Texas high school students want to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) related fields in their future, it is expected the population of Texas will double by 2050, and as of 2016.
"We need to keep supporting new ideas and businesses," Grace said. "If, as a community, we can help connect a few dots for entrepreneurs, we help everyone."
Ryall said the group is asking that after Friday each community member take ownership of their own part in Rising Tide, and that each person at the table will engage with the community with the clear intention of pushing the initiative forward.
"By making the History and Science Museum event a success, we can start to build the conversation outside of the boardroom with media coverage and further engagement with the community," he said.