Minnesota boasts a growing number of tech businesses and professionals. Tech-focused firms occupy half the spots on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Fast 50 list, offering an array of IT solutions, business analytics, and e-commerce services. Yet despite local resources, some companies have left the Twin Cities in search of tech talent and community. Started in 2015 at the Carlson School of Management within the University of Minnesota, Tech Cities focuses on the intersection of tech and business in Minnesota. Who's innovating? How is the state responding to the need for tech talent? What are the region's strengths and challenges when it comes to nurturing tech professionals and businesses? Members of the community share their insights on these and other topics in a setting that promotes mutual learning. Plus catch Creating IT Futures in the exhibitor area and at the session, Building the Next Tech Workforce Before They Opt Out. As the tech skills gap widens, and Minnesotan businesses miss out on growth opportunities due to a lack of skilled workforce, the importance of bringing young people into technology curriculums becomes even more critical. We need to build the next generation of our tech workforce before they opt out of tech careers due to a lack of information, hands-on tech experience, and exposure to tech professionals. Learn about programs your business and employees can get involved with to inspire tweens, teens, and youth. By instilling confidence in their use of technology and introducing them to adult mentors who are living that life, we can change the future and bring more young people into the tech workforce. Hear what’s working already in Minnesota to build the next generation with speakers from Best Buy’s Teen Tech Centers, Target and TechGirlz, and others in this Tech Cities session moderated by Sue Wallace of Creating IT Futures. Learn more.