2016 BE.INnovative Symposium in Review

The BE.INnovative Symposium, a Serious Success

At this year’s third annual BE.INnovative Symposium, the theme ‘Innovation for All’ could equally have been dubbed ‘Inspiration for All’. Participants at packed panels went home with practical takeaways. Quality connections were made between students, startups, professors and even political leaders at the Presidents kick-off breakfast on Thursday morning at Junior’s.

As the official opening to this year’s Symposium, the All-Star panel featured top Brooklyn entrepreneurs and included excellent insider advice. Jesse Middleton, Founder of WeWork Labs, explained that high-level entrepreneurs do indeed want to talk to you – they just want to talk to you about something specific. Just don’t ask to ‘pick their brains.’

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Other gems included:

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Next up, the Her innovation panel focused on female entrepreneurs breaking through the glass ceiling. Rhonda Schaller, Director of Career & Professional Development at Pratt, encouraged women to ask for more help more often.

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The Civic innovation panel got practical, with panelists sharing dozens of resources for getting involved in civic tech and Noel Hidalgo, co-founder of BetaNYC, talked about top opportunities at 18F, who responded:

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While the Inclusive Innovation panel was one of the most inspiring, panelists also had the room rolling with laughter. The light-hearted spirit may have had something to do with the little tiny robot seated on the panel. Great nuggets of advice included:


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The night’s networking event at AVABrew was intended to be a relaxing place for students and startups to connect, but several students actually walked out with internships on the spot.

After over 50 students joined the next morning’s open office tours, the Symposium cranked on with a day filled with career-focused panels on getting the job, creating the job and hacking your way to the top. At the hackathon panel, Steven Kuyan, Managing Director, Incubators and Entrepreneurship at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, urged students to push beyond resting on the laurels of a college degree, while Is Possible founder Tiffany Roessler talked about the importance of mindset fit as culture fit.




Over 30 participants headed straight to LIU’s Entrepreneurship Center for the weekend Hack Brooklyn Innovative Challenge to compete for the $2,000 prize. After being greeted and inspired by Pat Sapingsly, green tech expert and head of NYU’s Urban Future Lab, the group split off into nine teams and spent the weekend focused on creating solutions for a more sustainable Brooklyn. Six LIU students made up the winning team who created Wi-Move, a sensor that keeps the community connected to WiFi powered by exercise checkpoints.

For a full story of the #beinnovative #beinbrooklyn Symposium in Tweets, check out this Storify story. http://bit.ly/beinnovative

Keep up with all our amazing panelists by subscribing to Symposium member Twitter list. https://twitter.com/BEIN_BK/lists/beinnovative-symposium/members

Make sure to check out BE.IN’s new website at http://beinbrooklyn.org.