Keynote Speaker Sept 7, 2023 

Laura Kilcrease is the Chief Executive Officer for Alberta Innovates, including its subsidiaries InnoTech
Alberta and C-FER Technologies.

Laura Kilcrease brings a track record and laser focus to innovation ecosystem performance and design.
Since her appointment in 2017, she has steered Alberta Innovates restructuring, spearheaded
assessment of programs with an eye to the future, and launched Inventures, the flagship gathering of
innovators, investors, industry leaders, and global researchers, which PwC estimated catalysed some
$200M in potential deal flow in 2019.

Born in London, England, and recruited from Austin, Texas, Laura served as a member of the Alberta
Research and Innovation Advisory Committee for seven years prior to joining Alberta Innovates.
She is widely recognized as a key figure in changing Austin’s economy from oil dependency to high-tech
prosperity to become the #1 city for entrepreneurs to live and work in the U.S..

She has more than 25 years of experience in commercializing technology, including:
• founding the venture capital fund Triton Ventures, LP;
• founding the Austin Technology Incubator, among the earliest in the United States;
• co-founding the Austin Technology Council, a premier economic networking organization; and
• launching the Capital Network, one of the largest angel investor networks in the U.S. with over
$150M in completed transactions.

A dedicated community builder, Laura served on various for-profit and non-profit boards, including the
Women’s Leadership Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the
Beyster Institute, World Congress for Information Technology 2006, the IC² Institute at The University of
Texas, and is currently on the board of the University Federal Credit Union, one of the top 100 credit
unions in the U.S..

She has often been recognized for outstanding achievements, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur
of the Year Award, the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award, and the University of Texas
McCombs School of Business Trailblazer Award.

Laura is a Chartered Management Accountant and has an MBA from the University of Texas

Keynote Speaker Sept 8, 2023

Robert Tercek is a global authority on the process of dematerialization and digital innovation. He is an award-winning author, entrepreneur, and educator. He is highly sought after as a keynote speaker at international conferences, and he is the co-host of the Futurists podcast. 

Tercek is the founder and CEO of General Creativity, a strategic advisory firm specializing in digital transformation and long-term planning. Previously, he served in senior executive leadership at motion picture studios, television networks, and software companies, where he supervised the launch of pioneering digital services that are now used by hundreds of millions of people every day. 

In 2021, Mr. Tercek was recognized as the Humanitarian of the Year by the Media Excellence Awards for his leadership in designing and launching COVID SMART™, an interactive training program designed to keep workers safe on the job during the pandemic. 

Tercek’s book “VAPORIZED: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World” was selected as the 2016 International Book of the Year at the Frankfurt Book Fair by the editors of GetAbstract from a field of 10,000 business titles. 

The publication of VAPORIZED established Tercek as an authority on the process of dematerialization into software. Today the process he identified as “vaporization” continues to transform nearly every industry. 

In the media industry, where dematerialization began, Tercek has long been recognized as a thought leader. He served as President of Digital Media for Oprah Winfrey and the OWN Network. Previously, he was Sony Pictures Entertainment’s first Senior Vice President of Digital Media, where he supervised the launch of a series of hugely successful online games. Earlier in his career, he was a creative director at MTV: Music Television. While there, Tercek launched the pop culture network in more than 20 nations. 

He was featured as one of the “25 Executives to Watch” by Digital Media Wire. Variety named him one of the “Digital Dozen” most influential players in new media. The Industry Standard dubbed him the “TV Anarchist”. 

Exploring the Frontiers of Artificial Intelligence

Presented By:

Paul Clark | Instructor, Central New Mexico Community College
Scott Bing | Instructor, Central New Mexico Community College
Sionna Grassbaugh | Associate Dean, Central New Mexico Community College
Jason Vonloh | Systems Administrator, Central New Mexico Community College

This presentation addresses social robots and will include a demonstration of the Furhat social robot. Topics covered include an overview of the components needed for conversational interaction, the challenges of modeling and programming conversation, and building basic skills with visual programming. Social robot conversation includes complex visual cues making it different from other forms of spoken interaction with robots. The panel will discuss the possibilities that social robots present for human interaction and new opportunities for applications, such as job functions like greeting and customer service, companionship and assisting with caregiving.

Presented By: Sabri Sansoy | A.I. Specialist & Roboticist,

Will present a brief history of A.I. which was coined in the 1950s and how it has evolved thru today. We will then talk about A.I. projects involving driving a car with one’s voice, building a cognitive dress for the New York MetGala, to building autonomous paintball shooters for film director Ridley Scott. The presentation will conclude with some of the current tools and how to use them, like how to write specific prompts for ChatGPT and Midjourney.


1. Current A.I. Technologies

2. A.I. use cases in Automotive, Fashion, Entertainment, Agriculture

3. How to get started using A.I.

Presented By:

Christina Nunez | Educational Technology Support Specialist, Albuquerque Public Schools
Marissa Bannerman | Educational Technology Support Specialist, Albuquerque Public Schools
Kristina Kennedy | Technology Resource Teacher, Albuquerque Public Schools

Join us for an eye-opening session about how AI is transforming today’s education.

Learn how AI can improve student empowerment, classroom learning, and teacher productivity.
Discover how AI is developing in the educational environment from virtual assistants to the new ChatGPT App. Take away some insights on how teachers can automate tasks, provide personalized feedback, and deliver adaptive learning experiences. Be inspired, informed and most of all empowered by the limitless possibilities of using AI in Education.

Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of the capabilities of automating instructional tasks, enhancing learning experiences for students and best of all gaining insights into how AI will impact students’ 21st century skills.

Presented by ANM

Adapting to Cyber Threats – An Architectural Deep Dive into Network Design, Micro-Segmentation, and Secure Application Delivery

Presented By:

Matt Martinez | Director of Network Practice and Principal Architect, ANM
Chris Hammer | Cybersecurity Solutions Architect, ANM

IT and Cybersecurity professionals have faced two watershed occurrences in recent years – the COVID-19 pandemic and also the explosion of cyber threats through the widespread monetization of ransomware attacks. During this session we will examine how network designs have changed and will need to continue to evolve as we deal with the repercussions of these pivotal events. We will explore network architecture through a security lens, and examine topics such as segmentation and micro-segmentation, Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solutions, the changing role of the Wide Area Network (WAN), as well as other topics in this session.

Presented By: JR Garcia | Director – Solutions Engineering, ANM

Application-centric micro-segmentation is a powerful tool to gain detailed visibility, lock down lateral movement, and limit the surface area that adversaries can use to attack your systems. This session provides an overview of micro-segmentation technologies and best practices to help your organization start the process of limiting unwanted east/west movement in your network.

Presented By:

David Abbott | Director – Data Center Practice, ANM

Chad Olsen | Data Center Solutions Architect, ANM

The session will focus on thinking critically about the best ways to architecturally deliver applications to the end-user securely. Technologies such as VDI, published applications, internet-based delivery with a web application firewall, traditional VPN, ZTNA and SaaS/SSO portals will be discussed. Additionally, the session will provide pros and cons of each approach; choosing the right delivery method; securing the delivery method(s); ensuring availability and resiliency of the delivery method(s) and lastly; public cloud considerations.

Workforce Renaissance: Cultivating Tomorrow’s Talent

Presented By: Dr. Lina Germann | Founder and CEO, STEM Santa Fe 

STEM Santa Fe, advocates for, develops, and provides STEM programming, mentoring, and resources for all youth, especially underrepresented groups. STEM Santa Fe constantly looks for ways to keep girls and students of color engaged in their STEM education while providing a local support system of like-minded friends and STEM role models.

In this workshop, you will learn about the strategies used by STEM Santa Fe to develop engaging STEM programs, as well as three key take away points: Project, Place, People. The workshop will include a hands-on exercise and an exploration of the objectives of a STEM education that go beyond simply increasing the number of STEM professionals in the workforce.

Presented By:  Amy Traylor | Computer Science Program Development Specialist, Albuquerque Public Schools 

Professionals from Albuquerque Public School’s Career Connected Learning Department will present the current state of career-connected learning at APS, future goals for computing education specifically, and multiple opportunities for community involvement.

Under the new leadership, APS Career Connected Learning is reinvigorating the focus on student career development and moving away from the antiquated notion of career versus college preparation. We will share potential growth areas for computing and creative technology that synergize New Mexico community strength areas with local, state, and regional economic priorities.

Presented By:

Courtney Power | Deputy Director, Education & Workforce Development, NextFlex
Drew Lauderdale | Educator, Explora!
Sheldon Hamilton | X Studio Programs & Partnerships Manager, Explora!

Emerging technology like flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) is changing the way electronics are designed and products are manufactured.

Through the FlexFactor program, youth are introduced to FHE and work in teams to identify a problem, design a product solution, build a business model, and pitch their product. NextFlex, a Manufacturing USA Innovation Institute, and Explora! have partnered to bring this innovative curriculum to New Mexico with the goal of engaging the next generation of talent.

During this session, you will participate in your own FlexFactor design challenge, see student solutions, and learn how you can support this important STEM and advanced manufacturing recruitment program.

The Future of Security in the Cyber Landscape

Presented By:  Jason Graun | Director of Consulting Systems Engineering, Enhanced Technologies, Fortinet

Organized threat actors continue to be the most dangerous risk in Cybersecurity. The tactics used to get into endpoints are constantly evolving in sophistication and scale.

In this session we will discuss industry trends/challenges, as well as walk through the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by threat actor groups by using a known active group as an example. We will also discuss practical real-world situations and how to defend against them using a unique approach to stopping ransomware before it becomes an active breach.

Presented By: Chris Perkins | Staff Solutions Architect, Splunk, Inc. 

Explore the transformative power of unified data analytics for state governments in this session. Learn how it enhances data-driven decision-making, ensures compliance, and strengthens cybersecurity. Discover strategies to optimize IT operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Gain insights into employing unified data analytics to detect and prevent fraud, safeguarding state resources. Join us for this informative session to harness the power of unified data analytics, driving innovation and delivering better services to residents and visitors.

Presented By:  Kristen Sanders | Senior Security Advisor, Aquila

Many organizations are highly reliant on VPNs to support their remote workforce. Developed in 1996, VPN has managed to outlive AOL, the Macarena, and even the Nintendo 64. From obnoxious worms to devastating ransomware attacks, the threat landscape has drastically changed. Is this 27-year-old security solution still the best solution?

 Connecting New Mexico: Broadband Strategies and Solutions

Presented By: 

Drew Lovelace | Operations Manager, New Mexico Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE)

Jennifer Nevarez | Broadband & Digital Equity Support Team, New Mexico Office of Broadband Access and Expansion & CLN

Meet representatives from the Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE), and learn how New Mexico is mobilizing to receive historic federal funding for connectivity and working collaborating statewide to support bold, equitable, and inclusive broadband solutions for all. This important briefing and community update will provide valuable information on the planning and implementation process, funding opportunities ahead,  timelines, and an overview of the latest drafts of the State Broadband and Digital Equity Plans. Learn more about how you and your business can support and benefit from improving broadband infrastructure, adoption, and use in your area, as we work together to Connect New Mexico.

Presented By: 

Corian Zacher | Senior Policy Counsel, State & Local Initiatives, Next Century Cities
Catherine Nicolau | Broadband Program Manager, City of Albuquerque, New Mexico
Monique Glaude | Director of Community Engagement, City of Topeka, Kansas
Chad Crager | Broadband Director, City of Fort Collins, Colorado

With billions of dollars available for broadband, everyone has a role to play in bridging the digital divide. Community leaders nationwide are using innovative strategies to bring broadband access, devices, and tech support to their residents. From community wireless projects to device refurbishment partnerships, local leaders are bringing connectivity within reach for the millions of people who are cut off from essential resources like healthcare, education, and access to justice.

Moderated By: Stephine Poston (Pueblo of Sandia) NM Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE) Tribal Engagement


Kimball Sekaquaptewa (Hopi Tribe of Arizona) | Chief Technology Officer at Santa Fe Indian School and Chair of the Connect NM Council

Godfrey Enjady (Mescalero Apache) |General Manager at Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc. and President of the National Tribal Telecommunications Association.

Ken Lucero, Ph.D. | Tribal Policy Consultant

Indigenous and rural communities in the United States have an unprecedented opportunity to tap into record levels of broadband funding. However, planning, securing, and applying for the funds can be complicated and can further disenfranchise rural areas and tribes who need it the most. Maximizing grant awards is difficult. Negotiating favorable contracts that honor tribal sovereignty is key and often overlooked. Building a skilled workforce to install, maintain and operate broadband enterprises is a heavy lift. Tribal communities, however, are mobilizing to address such challenges and forming coalitions to aggregate demand, vet the right private/public partners, amplify tribal voices through advocacy, deepen the dialogue around digital skills, and build their own workforce development programs and partnerships. Tribal panelists will share their boots-on-the-ground experiences around mobilizing and coalition-building for connectivity to tee up New Mexico’s rural and tribal communities to achieve their broadband goals.

Alternate Realms: Unleashing the Power of AR/VR

Presented By:

Bill Halverson | Sr. Technology Advisor, CNM Ingenuity

Robbie Firestone | Creative Director, NFT Club FOMO

In this demonstration, the presenters will explore the benefits and applications of virtual reality (VR) in multiple scenarios, including a demo of the latest technology for immersing in training WITHOUT the use of HDMs (head-mounted displays). The presenters will take attendees on a tour of creating and exploring a digital twin of an art gallery and a live demonstration of creating digital & generative art with the metadata and smart contract of the asset. Finally, the presenters will share how to get started with the exploration of career opportunities in the VR and digital art generation industry.

Presented By: Lauren Cason | Cofounder/Creative Director, Refract Studio

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, augmented reality (AR) has emerged as a powerful tool for blending the physical and digital world. Location-based augmented reality takes this experience to new heights by incorporating geospatial data to enhance interactions in specific physical environments.

In this talk, participants will dive into the world of location-based AR and gain valuable insights into tools and best practices, along with breakdowns of exciting New Mexico based projects built by Refract Studio.

Presented By: Eric Miller | Principal & Co-Owner, PADT, Inc. 

The use of computer models of products and systems has moved from troubleshooting field failures and driving new designs to become a must-have for the next generation of smart products and processes.

From the factory floor to interplanetary probes, every bit of software and hardware needs a version that exists in the virtual world to enable accelerated Machine Learning, generate information for big data analytics, train autonomous systems, and improve product and system performance.

In this presentation, we will cover what a digital twin is, how people create them, how they are used, and go over some current and future use cases. if you are not thinking about your digital twin strategy for your hardware and software products, then you are not ready for the next generation of solutions.

Empowering Innovation: The Power of Public-Private Partnerships

Moderated By:

Lucas Reigelsperger |Program Manager, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Judy Hendricks | Program Manager, Los Alamos National Laboratory


Srikanth Kodeboyina | Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Eye Soft/Blue Space

Charles Curtain | Director and Founder, Sangre de Cristo Mountain Initiative

Paul Laur |  President & COO, Mercury Bio

This panel explores how local businesses have utilized National Laboratories programs, such as the New Mexico Small Business Assistance (NMSBA) Program and TRGR: A Technology Readiness Initiative, to increase their capacity for innovation.

The panel members will share their experiences and provide an understanding of these programs’ benefits. Attendees will walk away with the understanding of 1) how collaborating with the labs can help companies prepare for the future by maturing, developing, and adopting new technologies, 2) what laboratory expertise and capabilities are available; and 3) how to initiate a partnership with the labs.

Moderated By:  David Kistin |Manager, Technology and Economic Development, Sandia National Labs


Jake Douglass | Quantum Business Development Lead, Sandia National Labs
Scott Puetz | Embedded Technical Business Development Specialist, Sandia National Labs
Colleen Pastuvic | Regional Technology Commercialization Program Manager, NM LEEP

In this panel the moderator will guide the panelists through a conversation about their work with the national labs located in New Mexico, namely Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Labs, and the Air Force Research Labs, and showcase the programs that are making a positive economic impact on the state of New Mexico and local businesses. The session will be moderated by an economic development professional and includes highlights from quantum, AI, and advanced manufacturing programs in the region.

Presented By:

Natalie Runyan |NM Geospatial Information Officer, State of NM
Patrick Baldwin | Senior GIS Analyst, RESPEC

This presentation offers expert insight into the use of geospatial technologies and how they are shaping the future of broadband access in the state of New Mexico. This session represents a state-scale approach to analytics and will include viewshed analysis and crowdsourced data for challenging service availability; database design for remaining responsive to an ever-changing landscape of information accuracy; data modeling to identify community needs and marketability; system integrations via web API’s; data development such as building footprints and addresses, and UAS and LiDAR feasibility for data collection efficiencies.

Advancing Communities: Tackling Future Challenges with Today’s Ingenuity 

Presented By: Nicolas Seet | CEO, Undesert Corporation

It is estimated that climate change will cost corporations $200 billion per year by 2050. Governments and corporations need to combat climate change, but the current solutions are insufficient and lack transparency. This presentation highlights a local solution to this problem and showcases a local start-up that is leading the way in the burgeoning green economy. In this informative and innovative session, the presenter will educate the audience on the science behind the patented water desalination technology that is cleaning wastewater and making an economic impact in southern New Mexico. Attendees will learn about this specific green start-up and learn more about the broader legion of tech start-ups that are addressing tomorrow’s problems.

Presented By:

Brian Rashap |Educator, Central New Mexico Community College
Katie Neely | Chief Visionary,
James Black | Artist
Adrian Pijoan | Artist
Owen Schwab | Artist

Through a partnership between the City of ABQ and CNMI’s Deep Dive Internet of Things (IoT) boot camp, several public artists learned how Through a partnership between the City of ABQ and CNMI’s Deep Dive Internet of Things (IoT) bootcamp, public artist learned how to infuse IoT into their art and created installations for the upcoming Rail Trail. We will share the lessons in teaching technology focus oncreative and artistic endeavors. In addition, we will share how the artistic perspective enhanced the learning not only for the artists, but the general workforce training participants in the CNM program. Finally, several of the artists will join the presentation to share the experience from their perspective, as well as show off the technology-infused public art that they created for this program. Finally, all four installations from this program had functionality that is a launch pad for other smart community efforts.

Presented By: David Hanson | Assistant Vice President for Research, University of New Mexico

Everyone has too much data now, and every minute requests for new data arise. New sensors create more data daily, and new algorithms are used to mine those data in unforeseen ways. Since New Mexico lacks the workforce pipelines and jobs to lead, we keep falling farther behind at an alarming pace. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom.
  1. We have the intellectual and innovative power to reverse the trend and lead the nation if we build the workforce.
  2. We have the ability to build the workforce and create the jobs that will hire them here in New Mexico.
  3. Building a dynamic, physics-based, real-time, 3D digital twin of Albuquerque will provide the workforce, shared platform, analytical power, and visualization tools needed for informed and just policy decisions.

Cosmic Ventures: Shaping the New Mexico Space Industry

Presented By:

Scott Maethner | VP, Operations & Integration, NewSpace Nexus
Charles Rath | Founder & CEO, RS21
Scott Ziegler | CEO & Principal Technologist, Space Kinetic
Casey DeRaad | CEO/Founder, NewSpace Nexus
Bill Goodman | Founder & CTO, Goodman Technologies
Ricardo Aguilar | CEO, Proof Labs

At this panel discussion, the audience will hear from space companies that are participating in the NewSpace Ignitor program. They are benefitting from the supportive space tech ecosystem that is burgeoning in New Mexico and will share how the Land of Enchantment is offering a helping hand to their business efforts. The audience will hear more about this ecosystem and each company on the panel (Goodman Technologies, Proof Labs, Blue Space, RS21, Space Kinetic, and NewSpace Nexus) will provide a brief overview of their journeys as space companies, discuss the challenges they’ve faced, and how New Mexico expertise, advice and resources have aided their journeys from idea to concept, product and sales.

Presented By:

Dr. Shelly Gruenig | CEO, Be Greater Than Average
Kathy Steen | Sr. Program Manager, Hyperspace Challenge – CNM Ingenuity

Join us to experience an interactive demonstration of how rewarding and easy it can be to build your organization’s tech workforce pipeline by mentoring STEM students. Learn about the innovative partnership developed by CNM Ingenuity and R4Creating to increase interest in the Emerging Commercial Space Industry. We will demonstrate a method of inspiring interest in emerging and high-demand STEM career fields while building relationships and growing the community. Takeaways will include actionable steps to adapt this method to your organization and your tech field, grow your network of workforce resources, and eliminate future Tech hiring shortages.

Presented By: Space Valley Coalition Members 

TJ Cook |Fund Manager, Ingenuity Venture Fund at CNM Ingenuity
Gabe Mounce |Director of Tech Engagement Office, Air Force Research Lab 
Nora Sackett | Director, NM EDD

As society enters the “2nd Golden Age of Space”, the nation’s economic prospects are increasingly tied to the “new” Space sector.  With the State’s space heritage and home to elements of the newly established US Space Force, New Mexico is playing a key role in this new economy thanks in part to a collaboration of several entities that are accelerating the rate of growth of this sector via the Space Valley Coalition.  The audience will hear from several of the coalition members and their perspectives on this growing sector.

Nexus of Visionaries: Founders and Funders Unite

Presented By:

Milica Tenic| Program Manager, Sr., NM FAST – Arrowhead Center
Kathy Foster | Economic Development Officer, Sr., NM Fast – Arrowhead Center
Dana Catron | Deputy Director, NM FAST – Arrowhead Center

Join us for a workshop on unlocking non-dilutive funding opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators. In this session, we work through the world of the SBIR and STTR programs, shedding light on the application process, eligibility criteria, and funding mechanisms. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring from SBIR/STTR experts. Whether you’re a startup, a small business, or a technology-driven venture, this workshop will provide valuable insights to propel your innovative projects forward. Attendees will take away an understanding of the SBIR/STTR funding mechanism, the ability to find and access SBIR/STTR funding opportunities, and an initial scope match to an SBIR/STTR participating agency.

Presented By:

Drew Tulchin | President, New Mexico Angels
James Ortiz | Principal, State and Local Tax, REDW

In this session, REDW will partner with the NM Angels to educate attendees on the Angel Investment Tax Credit, other tax credits, and other public sources of capital for high growth and early-stage businesses. The presenters will share what your company needs to do to benefit from tax credits and other public capital available to all companies and how to get more involved in utilizing these opportunities. During this interactive and informative session, the presenters will share specific cases and examples and draw upon audience experience.

Presented By: Chris Corbine |Program Manager/Economic Development Officer, Arrowhead Center – NMSU

In this talk, we’ll journey into the transformative role of AI in entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, promoting the concept of AI as a strategic partner, rather than just a tool. Discussion about how AI can free more time for humans to work on strategic areas of humanity. We’ll explore compelling AI-enabled use cases in innovation ideation for business growth or new venture. This talk is aimed at entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, tech professionals, and business leaders likely early and late majority AI users.
  1. Treat Artificial Intelligence as a collaborator rather than just a tool.
  2. A brief dive into existing AI technologies and application methods.
  3. Apply knowledge gained to entrepreneurial and Intrapreneurial ventures.