This year marks the 3rd Build IT Together event. The event page has all the info about the event, but I wanted to share a bit more about the event that the hard facts maybe can’t communicate.

Idea for the event

We got the idea for the event from the entrepreneurial community. We noticed that entrepreneurs are very collaborative and found it to be a strength of that community and something we could bring over to IT. We decided to call it Build IT Together to help show that we want everyone to work together and share experiences and knowledge so that we can help build the technology community in Michigan.

Who will benefit most?

The audience of this event is different from our past events. We’re gearing the content not only for tech directors, but other business leaders whose jobs are influenced by technology, use it on a daily basis and have a vested interest in it. The points of view of CEOs, Owners, CFOs, CMOs, etc. are very different than those of an IT director. IT directors want to make sure the technology is running stable and secure. CEOs and CFOs want features and usability. Bringing all of these mindsets together in a room will really help increase collaboration and insight among these departments.

So, if you’re a tech director, you definitely need to come. There will be amazing topics surrounding current and future trends in technology.

However, it’s not just IT directors who can really benefit from this event. If you are an influencer in your organization and want to improve the technology environment in which you work – better software, tools, infrastructure, etc. – because technology is what gets the job done from day-to-day, then this is for you as well.

Who will be speaking?

So far we have 2 great local leaders lined up for the event.

Matthew Mace who is a Founder and the CEO of BlueGranite, a company that gathers data and creates meaningful reports for businesses to help with their decisions. Matt was named one of West Michigan’s Top 40 Business Leaders Under 40.

Jen Randall, co-founder of Maestro, will also be there. Maestro creates custom mobile applications to increase employee engagement and productivity.

Newmind Group’s CEO, Matt Vollmar, will be there as well to talk about the current and future trends of Newmind – what we’re seeing and how we’re growing with those trends, including Chrome for Business.

Our full list is on the event page.

What should you expect from this event?

Collaboration and interaction. This isn’t your usual event where you just come, sit down, listen, shake some hands and leave. The entire event is going to be interactive. Sessions will include workshops where you’ll take the concepts and new ideas learned and put them to use with others in that session. Everyone will be sharing experiences and knowledge so you’ll have something to take back with you.

Come with an open mind and be ready to share.

Some hands-on experience

Yeah, we’ll definitely have some cool toys.

Google Glass – version 2. It’s been updated to become a much more stable device and does a lot more, too. It has a lot of new apps and functionality.

We’ll also have all of our new Chromebooks – the new Toshiba, HP 14s, the new touchscreen Acer C720. We’ll even have the new Samsung Chromebook 2!

A device we’ve seen a lot of buzz around is the telepresence robot by Double Robotics.. Attendees are going to be able to take over the robot and drive it around. We use it in our office all the time, as we have remote workers who dial in to it to interact with everyone. Build IT Together


If we find new toys or tech between now and then, we’ll definitely announce it and bring them to the event.

Cool giveaways

We at Newmind really love Kalamazoo and want to celebrate this city at the event as well. We’re currently working with local business to get some cool giveaways. But the value is going to be in the collaboration and knowledge sharing.

What I hope people will take away from BUILD IT…

A sense of collaboration, knowledge, and the experience of shared knowledge. We’re not islands. There is a wealth of knowledge within our respective organizations and in the Southwest Michigan region. If coming together here for a few hours will help spur some new ideas, and maybe offer some new perspectives by standing on each other’s shoulders – well, that would be a huge win.

We hope attendees take what they learn at this unique event, and bring it back for greater collaboration in their workplaces and communities.

Where, when & cost

This will be a half-day event on the morning of June 11th at the Radisson Hotel in Downtown Kalamazoo. There will be a continental breakfast provided as well as free parking. Registration is also free!

How to sign up?

To register, visit the event page by clicking here.

There is room for about 50 people, but register soon because space will fill up. Our last 3 events have been at-capacity. We also ask organizations to send 2-3 people to help leave space for other organizations to send team members.

We look forward to seeing familiar faces, and lots of new ones!