A three-day celebration of innovation begins tonight as the 36th annual Edison Awards kick off with a welcome reception at The Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers.
On Thursday, a Meet the Innovators Forum will be held throughout the day at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center, 1375 Monroe St. in downtown Fort Myers. Attendees can participate in executive-level networking and presentations involving a spectrum of innovators and experts. Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger will be the keynote speaker at 8:40 a.m. The 2023 Lewis Latimer Fellows, who will participate in a one-year program designed to help participants unlock the potential of advancing technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics, digital biology, nanotechnology and computing systems, will be introduced at 9:25 a.m.
Other speakers on Thursday include Black & Veatch President Mike Orth, Babcock Ranch’s Kitson & Partners Vice President of Economic and Business Development Lucienne Pears, U.S. Sugar Agronomist Gracelyn Byrd, Eclipse Ventures Partner Diana Zhou and Logitech President and CEO Bracken Darrell, among others.
Edison Awards gold, silver and bronze winners will be announced, as well as the Edison Achievement Award will be presented to Gelsinger and former Apple Chief Design Officer Sir Jonathan Ive at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Friday’s Community Day, which will feature a welcome by Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson, will focus on engaging students and the community in future-forward thinking. Justin Brand, chief development officer of the Charlotte Community Foundation, will introduce the 2023 Young Edison Challenge Student Winners, Sonia Patel, Kayla Davis, Isis Fleming and Amaya Etcheverry at 9:10 a.m. A presentation from Braun Ambulances CEO Kim Braun and former Cardinal Health CEO Mike Kaufmann on leadership opportunities will follow at 9:40 a.m.
NFL cornerback Byron Jones, investment adviser and former NFL offensive tackle Winston Justice, Fifth Avenue Family Office partner Timothy Cartwright and Kaufmann will then host a Shark Tank pitch panel featuring 2024 Edison Award Finalists.