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Chamber of Commerce with John Horner: ‘Disrupt Forum’ encourages us to innovate

Published in the May 10 – 23, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By John Horner

John Horner

Every workday thousands of talented working professionals get up and leave Morgan Hill in pursuit of higher paying, exciting jobs to the north. Morgan Hill residents produce more than 300 U.S. patents per year, mostly for their out-of-town employers.

Fortunately, we also have leading innovative companies like Specialized, Mission Bell, Tencate, Anritsu, Sakata, Gryphon, Velodyne and more doing ground-breaking innovative work here in Morgan Hill every day. Creative companies thrive when there are many of them in close proximity to each other. This seems a bit counter-intuitive, but it really does work that way.

Creating opportunities for tomorrow’s growth companies starts with supporting, connecting and encouraging the entrepreneurs who drive business creation with the necessary supporting cast. Supporting the development of these future championship companies brings us to Morgan Hill’s first annual Innovation Goes Outside — Disrupt Forum start-up pitch event June 2.

Local entrepreneur Danielle Davenport is the driving force behind this effort, and the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be an organizational incubator for the project.

Tickets are available at IGO.eventbrite.com. Tickets range in cost from $15 to $50 including food and beverages.
Specialized is graciously hosting this event on their campus. What company better exemplifies the potential to build a massive business in recreational technology? Among its many accomplishments, Specialized created the first commercial mountain bike and has gone on to drive much of the cycling world’s progress all while keeping its primary R&D, marketing, finance, training and corporate headquarters operations in Morgan Hill.

Event participants will hear from expert panels addressing questions such as:

“What are the trends in sports innovation?,”

“What will be the biggest disrupter in 2020?”

“Can entrepreneurs be made and can innovation be taught?”
After these thought-provoking discussions from innovative leaders the day will move on to the pitches from up to 10 promising start-up companies. The expert panel will then provide feedback and significant prizes based on the strength of the pitches, teams and underlying opportunities.

We believe this event will be a watershed moment for Morgan Hill. If you are an entrepreneur, you are going to want to be there.

John Horner is the president and CEO of the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce.