Small business tour invades Polytechnic campus

The Polytechnic campus will host the third annual Small Business Technology Tour on Friday.

The conference, which will be in Arizona for the first time, is sponsored by Intel Corp. and produced by This website is designed to educate businesses on the benefits of technology in the workplace.

Ramon Ray, editor of and regional development director at Infusionsoft, started the tour three years ago after his New York summit became popular.

“I wanted to help businesses get to know their customers better and be able to put out products that are more profitable,” Ray said.

The seminar, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will address how to use technology to boost business.

ASU College of Technology and Innovation Dean Mitzi Montoya and professor Anshuman Razdan will discuss the importance of establishing a connection between schools and small businesses.

Richard Filley, director of iProjects and eProjects at CTI, will also be speaking at the conference. He said he will give an overview of iProjects and why it makes sense to partner with small businesses.

iProjects are student projects that undertake real-world challenges by creating prototypes, devices or software that solves problems faced by companies and organizations.

About 30 industry-sponsored teams are working with research labs, small businesses and even large companies like Honeywell this semester.

Filley said this program is effective because it prepares students for the future.

“It provides a great opportunity for students and lays out a buffet of real-world experiences for them,” Filley said. “When the classroom and real world meet, there is a lot of learning going on.”

Creating new jobs and services is a business marked by innovation, and iProject can offer talent and quality work that is cheap, he said.

“CTI is trying to put out innovators and thinkers,” Filley said. “It is natural and strategic for us to partner with local businesses.”

One focus of the college is to change the way students and the public experience technology, CTI Partner Relations Manager Jackie Terry said in an email.

“By incorporating hands-on, needs-driven projects into the curriculum, CTI students collaborate with industry and community partners,” Terry said. “The CTI model results in the creation of innovative products and an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Ray said academic institutions are the “third leg” of the business ecosystem.

He said schools like ASU have good resources and programs and it is smart for businesses to use the resources in their own backyard.

After the conference, participants will have the chance to also tour two of Polytechnic’s laboratories.


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