Free Event to Feature Global Tech Company Google Cloud

MILWAUKEE, WI (August 3, 2021) – Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., is excited to announce more details for the fourth annual Summerfest Tech, which will take place on Wednesday, September 8, 2021, as a FREE hybrid event.  All programming will be accessible virtually, including in-person sessions during the afternoon, at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage at Henry Maier Festival Park, the home of Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance.

Summerfest Tech programming will culminate with a keynote presentation from Google Cloud, featuring Google Cloud Developer, Nathen Harvey, and Head of Customer Engineering, Elaine Stephens.  They will highlight Summerfest Tech’s 2021 themes of “Making a Tech Town” and “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” into this marquee talk, discussing Google’s best practices and how individuals can use these lessons to drive improvements in their own teams.

“We are excited about the compelling presentations planned for Summerfest Tech and invite our community to join us,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “I am thrilled that the event will feature an increasing number of global companies, which was a part of the original vision. The growing interest and collaboration around Summerfest Tech has exceeded our expectations, and we are grateful for the ongoing support of our regional tech community, as we continue to grow.”

“We are proud to support this event and look forward to engaging in important discussions around technology topics for businesses of all sizes,” said Kip Ritchie, President of Data Holdings Data Center. “As a Milwaukee headquartered company, we understand the importance of building a strong and vibrant tech town. We are happy to sponsor this incredible information sharing opportunity because it will help local companies build stronger technology foundations.”

Rashaun Williams (Manhattan Capital Ventures) will return to the event this year with two other established investors, Candice Matthews Brackeen (Lightship Capital) and Karen Kerr (Exposition Ventures), to discuss their rise through the venture capital community, in addition to providing insight and wisdom for minority founders on how to access venture funds. This programming is in partnership with American Family Insurance.

Summerfest Tech will once again include the Summerfest Tech Pitch Competition, produced by Young Enterprising Society and sponsored by Molson Coors. This competition will feature six live pitches, narrowed from a record-breaking 113 applicants, all vying for a portion of $20,000. The six who will be pitching live during the competition are : Vaia, ZapLife, SoleSafe, Liiv, Debtle, and INvestii.

Additional Summerfest Tech Programming includes:

  • Keynote Panel – “The Making of a Tech Town” - CIO roundtable, led by Generac CIO Tim Dickson, discussing “The Making of a Tech Town,” featuring local and national tech leaders
  • Breakout Sessions:
    • Smart Cities
    • Sustainability
    • Community Influence
    • Tech Growth through Startup Stories
  • Keynote Panel – “A (r)Evolution of Equity in Technology Talent Trends” – led by Art Hopkins (Russell Reynolds Associates), discussion of the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in tech.
  • Breakout Sessions:
    • Strategies for growing your tech talent diversity
    • Perspectives on tech careers and the tools to pursue them
    • Techquity and the initiative for digital equity and inclusion
    • Equitable Access to Venture Capital Funds

Johnson Controls will lead a panel discussing perspectives on diversity in technology careers and how to provide people a foundation for their success. “As Milwaukee’s Summerfest Tech extends its reach globally, this is an important time for us to discuss critical issues that affect communities around the world,” said Denise Malloy, Johnson Controls vice president of Diversity and Inclusion. “Johnson Controls is honored to help lead the discussion of how to attract and retain diverse talent for long-term technology careers.”

Throughout the event, attendees will be able to connect with partners who have upskilling strategies or open positions available and are encouraged to apply. Additionally, many of the event’s partners will have a booth on the virtual platform, as well as in-person, during the onsite programming.

Summerfest Tech is made possible by our sponsors: Generac, Johnson Controls, Data Holdings, American Family Insurance, Clarios, MolsonCoors, SoftwareONE, UScellular™, Confluent, Deloitte, Dematic, Google, United Way with EY, Wipfli, and WEDC. The Milwaukee Business Journal and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee are media partners.

To see the full programming lineup and to register, visit

About Summerfest Tech
Summerfest Tech, produced by Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., 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. In 2021, Summerfest Tech will take place as a hybrid event, with programming accessible virtually and in-person, on September 8th, 2021. For more details, visit