Summerfest Tech Celebrates 5th Year with Focus on Innovation Grows to 2 Days, Adds Locations, Expands Reach, Doubles Pitch Competition Prize

March 1, 2022 | Event

Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. (MWF) is excited to announce details for the fifth annual Summerfest Tech, which will take place Wednesday, June 29 and Thursday, June 30, 2022. Summerfest Tech will be a two-day in-person event and all programming will be free and accessible virtually. Events will take place across the city of Milwaukee, including at the Saint Kate Arts Hotel, the new BMO Tower, Milwaukee Artist Resource Network’s (MARN) new location in the Third Ward, and at Henry Maier Festival Park during Summerfest. To register, visit .

The Summerfest Tech Pitch Competition produced by Young Enterprising Society and in partnership with Molson Coors Beverage Company, will return. This year, the prize competition money will be doubled to $50,000. The competition is open to startups at all levels. Eight participants will have the chance to win a portion of the $50,000 cash prize. Applications are now open. The deadline to apply is midnight, April 10, 2022, at Summerfest Tech Pitch Competition.

“Five years ago, Summerfest Tech started as an idea, and it has grown into a two-day event that engages executives, investors, entrepreneurs and students from across the globe, while showcasing Milwaukee as a burgeoning tech hub,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “We are so proud of our progress and look forward to a bright future and continued growth.” 

Driven by a steering committee of Wisconsin’s tech leaders, Summerfest Tech 2022’s focus will be on innovation, with keynotes discussing Innovation by Design, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Collaborations, Cybersecurity, Machine Learning, and Cryptocurrency/Non-Fungible Token (NFT). 

Featured speakers for Summerfest Tech include:

  • Kesha Williams, Senior Principal at Slalom and Amazon Web Services Machine Learning Hero, will discuss machine learning, what the future holds, and how ethical AI should be considered when adopting machine learning in the enterprise and broader society. 
  • Generac Power Systems’ and Rockwell Automation executives will highlight how IT and engineering teams can and should collaborate to propel organizations forward in the robotics and animation space, creating a potential for Milwaukee to become an AI leader.
  • Led by Rite-Hite, global manufacturing organizations will discuss how Industrial Innovation drives their business growth and has allowed them to integrate sustainability solutions, data, and technology into their business models. 
  • A panel focused on cryptocurrency and NFTs, driven by Jake Rohrer at Wipfli, will feature representatives who will discuss education, economic engine growth impact, artist opportunity, and the future.

More details on the agenda and other speakers will be forthcoming, and all attendees will receive FREE entrance to a networking luncheon at Summerfest on Thursday, June 30, 2022.

New this year, Summerfest Tech is partnering with VC MKE to hold one-on-one meetings in Milwaukee between Midwest founders of color and national investors that specifically work with these under-represented founders. For more information about being a startup or investor in this program, visit VC MKE 

Also new for 2022, Summerfest Tech attendees will have the opportunity to see the innovative ideas and technologies coming from Wisconsin universities. Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), in partnership with Michael Best Strategies and Venture Best, will host “WARF Innovation Day” at Summerfest on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. To learn more about this programming, visit .

Summerfest Tech is supported by Generac Power Systems, Data Holdings, Molson Coors Beverage Company, American Family Insurance, Rockwell Automation, Wipfli, Rite-Hite, Broan/NuTone, Collabera, Marquette University, Michael Best Strategies and Venture Best, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, AE Business Solutions, Alverno College, New Resources Consulting, and Godfrey & Kahn. 

Visit for updates on the agenda, to register, and to apply to the Pitch Competition, Investor/Startup meetings, and WARF’s Idea Day. 

About Summerfest Tech

Summerfest Tech began in 2018 with the goal of leveraging the Summerfest brand to showcase technology and provide a forum for attendees from the tech and business community to network, educate, and celebrate the evolution of technology. Summerfest Tech continues to champion the regional business community, while shining the spotlight on Wisconsin’s growing reputation as a tech hub, highlighting the growth and opportunity in the region. Programming from local, regional, and national speakers, as well as a cash-prize pitch competition, connects the tech community around relevant topics. Summerfest Tech will take place as a hybrid event, with programming accessible virtually and in-person, on June 29 and June 30, 2022.  For more details, visit

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