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MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Presents "The Democratization of Innovation," Featuring Keynote by Ray Kurzweil, Acclaimed Inventor, Entrepreneur, Author and Futurist

Sim Simeonov of FastIgnite to Lead Session on the Rapidly Changing Landscape of Technology Development, Distribution and Adoption

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/29/09 -- On October 14, the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge will feature a keynote presentation by prolific inventor, entrepreneur, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil to discuss the unprecedented acceleration in technology development and adoption, along with the rapid decline in the cost of distributing new innovations. Kurzweil will share his thoughts on the changing information technology business model and how distribution methods such as open-source, software-as-a-service, cloud computing, user-generated content and "freemium" are making it cheaper and easier to create and implement new technology solutions.

Following the presentation, Sim Simeonov, founder and CEO of FastIgnite, will lead an in-depth conversation with Kurzweil and Bill Warner, founder of Avid Technology, to further explore the issues surrounding the shift in how new innovations are affecting traditional business models. The conversation will cover topics ranging from forecasting technology shifts and timing markets to practical techniques for fostering market-focused innovation.

Keynote speaker:

Ray Kurzweil is an inventor, entrepreneur, author and futurist. Called "the restless genius" by the Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes, his ideas on the future have been praised by prominent persons ranging from Bill Gates to Bill Clinton. His national best-selling book, "The Age of Spiritual Machines," has received widespread acclaim. In it he argues not only that machines will surpass human processing capacity, and thus become the most significant intelligent force on Earth, but that this dramatic change is imminent.

Kurzweil is widely regarded as one of the leading inventors of our time. He was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition (OCR), the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed, large-vocabulary speech recognition technology. These technologies continue to lead the markets in their respective industries, industries that he pioneered.

Kurzweil received the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the nation's largest award in invention and innovation, and was inducted in 2002 into the National Inventor Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton. He has received eleven honorary doctorates, seven national and international film awards, and honors from three U.S. presidents.


Sim Simeonov is founder and CEO of FastIgnite where he helps entrepreneurs shape promising ideas, raise capital, build teams and execute across all stages of the startup lifecycle. Simeonov is also co-founder of San Francisco-based Thing Labs (makers of Brizzly and Plinky) and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the MIT E-Center. Prior to starting FastIgnite, Simeonov spent seven years as technology partner at Polaris Venture Partners where he made investments in the online, enterprise and mobile sectors and helped start four companies invested in by Polaris. Earlier, Sim was a founding member and chief architect at Allaire, one of the first large Internet platform companies.

Bill Warner is the founder of Avid Technology, Inc., a leader in video, film and audio editing systems, as well as Wildfire Communications, Inc., FutureBoston, Inc., and Warner Research, LLC. For his work on the Avid editing system, Warner won an Emmy in 1993 and in 1995 an Engineering and Scientific award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1999, the Academy presented Avid with the Oscar for its success in transforming the editing process in filmmaking. A serial investor and entrepreneur, Warner has acted as an angel investor for eight startups and three non-profit organizations and is a long-time trustee of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.

When:  Wednesday, October 14, 2009
       5:30pm: Networking mixer
       6:15-8:00pm: Program
       8:00-9:00pm: Networking reception

Where: MIT Stata Center (Building 32), Kirsch Auditorium, 32 Vassar St.,
       Cambridge, MA

Registration and information:

Pricing: Forum members: $25, Non-members: $40. Students from all
universities are free with college ID. Pre-registration is encouraged.

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Trish Fleming
MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge
Email Contact

Brad Baker (for MIT Enterprise Forum)
Email Contact

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