The XSITEment Returns on June 17 at Babson College—X Prize Founder Diamandis to Keynote Xconomy Summit

4/22/10Follow @wroush

Most Xconomy events last only an afternoon or an evening. Barely enough time, in other words, to scratch the surface of all the amazing work technology entrepreneurs are doing around New England, in areas as varied as cloud computing, health IT, mobile commerce, smart grid technology, and the future of drug development. But our flagship annual conference, the Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (XSITE), is different: it’s a chance to gather for a full day with leading innovators and investors from New England and around the country and hear all the details on what they’re doing to turn ideas into great businesses.

We’re pleased to announce that registration is open for this year’s edition of XSITE, which will be held for the first time at Babson College in Babson Park, MA (that’s next door to Wellesley, for those of you not up to speed on your suburban geography). Neighboring Olin College joins Babson as co-host of the event, and we couldn’t ask for a more appropriate venue, given the focus at Babson and Olin on entrepreneurship and engineering that meets real social and economic needs.

Babson president Leonard Schlesinger, a nationally celebrated leader in the field of entrepreneurship, will be on hand to help us kick off the event, and we’ll also hear from keynote speakers like Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, who knows a lot about igniting entrepreneurship and innovation. Other featured speakers will include Rod Brooks, whose startup Heartland Robotics is reimagining the way factory workers do their jobs; Alkermes chairman and CEO Richard Pops, a national leader in biotechnology; and Bob Metcalfe, the Ethernet inventor who has made a mission of promoting “enertech” or the idea of clean, super-abundant next-generation energy technologies. We’ve posted the whole list of confirmed speakers, who already number almost 30, over at the XSITE registration page, where you can buy a ticket to XSITE at our “super saver” rate until April 29.

The theme for XSITE 2009, last June, was “The Recovery Starts Here.” We planned all of our keynote talks and panel discussions around creative ideas from New England tech and life sciences companies for lifting the country out of recession. The theme this year, “Building the Next Economy,” grows directly out of the 2009 conference—but with a crucial difference.

There’s no question now that economic recovery is underway, though it’s been slow to show up in some parts of the country, like Xconomy’s newest home city, Detroit (from whence we’ll have at least one speaker). What’s important now, as we head into this century’s second decade, is the choices we make about the kind of economy we really want. Will it be based on rusty, outdated, and wasteful approaches to energy generation, transportation, healthcare, communications, and consumer-goods manufacturing? Or will it be built around new ideas like using advanced 3D design and prototyping technologies to streamline product development, putting IT and modern communications technologies to work remove the excess costs from patient care, and managing the electric grid and our homes and offices to extract hidden efficiencies?

Obviously, we have a bias here—because we believe, at bottom, that technological progress is what drives exponential growth (that’s where the X in Xconomy comes from, after all) and that innovation is the straightest way out of the economic doldrums and toward a solid, sustainable, rewarding economy.

In addition to our plenary sessions, we’re expanding the conference this year to include four breakout tracks. Three will be the same as last year: Life Sciences, Energy, and Information Technology. The new track will be focused, like our just-announced new channel, on Health IT.

And, like last year, we’ll close out the formal sessions with a raucous XSITE Xpo, a rapid-fire series of presentations by 12 startups in life sciences, energy, and infotech with the audience voting on their favorites. An evening networking party will follow, naturally.

We’ll provide a lot more details about the conference agenda over the coming weeks…but we hope you will sign up early for what’s sure to be 2010′s most XSITE-ing celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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