The Northwest Arkansas Tech Summit is returning to Northwest Arkansas for its seventh year Oct. 20-23 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers and in various locations throughout Bentonville.

The theme for the year is "What’s Next … After Next."

Keynote speakers for the event include Arlan Hamilton, whose venture capital fund Backstage Capital is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT.

Other keynote speakers include Bill Groves, the chief data and analytics officer at Walmart; Sujata Gosalia, the chief strategy officer at Cox Communications; and Alex Adamopolous, the chief executive officer at Emergn.

The Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce is the organizing body behind the NWA Tech Summit. Chamber President Graham Cobb said the goals of the summit are multifaceted, but its overall aim is to showcase the area as an engine of economic opportunity through technology.

“As the Heartland’s premier conference in this space, the NWA Tech Summit is a mechanism for enhancement and diversification of the economy here,” Cobb said. “The strategic focus of recruiting and retaining top-tier tech talent is at the forefront of our community, and we want to seize on the opportunity to build on the emerging tech hub that is northwest Arkansas.”

With support from the Walton Family Foundation, the 2019 NWA Tech Summit is placing a greater emphasis on increased attendee experience, offering programming sure to satisfy those in all corners of the technology and entrepreneurial landscapes.

Cycling tech

The 2019 NWA Tech Summit will also implement another of northwest Arkansas’ emerging technological outlets with an increased focus on cycling as it relates specifically to emerging tech in bikes. Companies like Allied Cycle Works, based in Bentonville, build high-quality carbon frames with innovative features and manufacturing practices that are disrupting the industry and winning races at the same time.

“In this region, culture and commerce collide with adventure,” Cobb said. “Cycling is a natural accent to elevate our life experiences. Leveraging this attribute serves the mission of the NWA Tech Summit as an engine of economic development and tool for attracting and retaining top talent.”

Presenters include leaders in retail technology, e-commerce, and supply chain as well as brand leaders using technology to impact cycling.

Bookending the 2019 summit will be outdoor gatherings that weave together arts, culinary, technology and cycling. Tech Summit events will highlight some of the area’s most innovative spaces, like the community-focused food hub known as the 8th Street Market and the regional trail system, the Razorback Regional Greenway.