FastForward Cuyahoga Event Brings Together Startups and Government to Drive Innovation

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Devyn Giannetti: (216) 443-8393; 

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH — Cuyahoga County has partnered with Plug and Play Cleveland and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) to host FastForward Cuyahoga, a half-day event that brings together innovators in both the public and private sectors to help drive innovation in government.

The goal of the event is for attendees to identify new ways they can work together to solve community challenges. Attendees can save time and effort by learning what has and hasn’t worked for governments when they partner with the private sector and what startups frequently look for when partnering with government entities. Also discussed will be programs currently in place in Cuyahoga County and Ohio.

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted and Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish will discuss innovation and opportunities for growth in Ohio and Cuyahoga County. Also featured at the event will be a panel of civic leaders who have worked in Columbus, Pittsburgh, Detroit, South Bend and Chicago to discuss how they’ve collaborated with the private sector to solve community challenges. A second panel will include startups that have worked with government to solve issues including road improvement, food insecurity, procurement and conducting pilot projects, and the use of blockchain.

“We are looking for new ways to improve government efficiencies and services, and new avenues to solve community challenges,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “Our first FastForward Cuyahoga event is a great way for both innovators and community members to make a real difference for our residents.”

The event is Thursday, April 25th open to the public and will be held at the HIMSS Innovation & Conference Center at the Global Center for Health Innovation, 1 St. Clair Ave. NE, Cleveland, 44114. Registration will be open until the event begins at 2:00 p.m.

“In government we work on the big, sticky problems without straightforward answers,” said Chief Innovation and Performance Officer, Catherine Tkachyk. “It is imperative that governments continue to get better at how we provide services and how we face challenges. Events like FastForward Cuyahoga allow us to learn from others and be open to new ideas.”

The Civic-Minded Startups Panel will include:
Civic-Minded Startups
  • Randy Cole, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer, Ownum
  • Mark DeSantis, CEO & Founder, RoadBotics
  • Abby Westbrook, Chief Strategy Officer, 412 Food Rescue
  • Arik Bronshtein, CEO & Co-Founder, UrbanLeap

The Innovative Civic Leaders Panel will include:
  • Lee Haller, Vice President of Operations at JetPack Workflow and Former Director of the City of Pittsburgh’s Innovation & Performance Department
  • Denise Linn Riedl, Chief Innovation Officer, City of South Bend
  • Mark Patton, VP of SMART Columbus
  • Warren Flood, Corporate Affairs Manager—Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Microsoft Cities Team
  • Dr. Michael Petersen, Clinical Health Innovation Lead, Accenture

The FastForward Cuyahoga Event Agenda:
  • 2:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Arrival and Registration
  • 2:30 p.m.-2:35 p.m.: Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive
  • 2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.: STiR Startup in Residence
  • 3:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.: Cuyahoga County Innovation Programs
  • 4:00 p.m.-4:10 p.m.: Break
  • 4:10 p.m.-4:15 p.m.: HIMSS Battle for Our Babies
  • 4:15 p.m.-5:00 p.m.: Govtech/Smart Cities Startup Panel
  • 5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: Jon Husted, Lieutenant Governor of Ohio—Innovate Ohio
  • 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.: Networking

Sign up through the EventBrite page.