Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
April 15, 2021 | Tom Ballard

“InventorCon 21” scheduled for early May in an all virtual format over three days

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Our neighbors to the north in Kentucky have big plans for next month with a virtual, low cost, three-day gathering of individuals who are inventors, others who are entrepreneurs, and those who enjoy both sides of the equation.

“InventorCon 21” is an offering from the Inventor’s Network KY, organization that is billed as “part trade show, part invention expo, part networking event, part education fair, and part Q&A panel.” It begins at 10 a.m. May 6 and concludes at 7 p.m. May 8.

“It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever tried to do,” says Don Skaggs, a Lexington-based serial inventor and entrepreneur who is President of the Inventor’s Network and Founder of “InventorCon.” He knows a thing or two about starting a technology company, having helped launch US Biotex Corporation in an old farmhouse in 1991. When Skaggs and others exited the bootstrapped company 23 years later, it offered more than 100 products for the pathology sector with its market leader being a neutralizer for formaldehyde.

Doing an in-person conference is not something new to the non-profit organization nor is hosting smaller virtual events. “InventorCon 21,” however, is on a much different scale. “We can have as many as 3,000 registered attendees,” Skaggs says.

The overarching theme is “Overcoming Obstacles.” Registration fee for all three days or any portion that a person wants to attend is $10. Individuals can register at this link.

“We’ve really tried to make it a world class event for inventors and entrepreneurs,” Skaggs explains. “Like entrepreneurs, we want to leverage the silver lining out of the dark cloud of COVID.”

Skaggs and Leo York, Vice President at the Inventor’s Network, tout the 30 speakers who will participate over the three days. They include Andrei Iancu, former Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Stephen Key, Founder of the Inventors Groups of America; Dana Knowles, Inventor of the Hanging Fabric Shower Caddy; Marc Portney, Host of Discovery’s “All American Makers” show; Rob Angel, Creator of Pictionary; and Lisa Lloyd, Founder of Invention Accelerator.

“We wanted to feature entrepreneurs and inventors that have made it in spite of obstacles, and Dana Knowles is a good example,” Skaggs added.

The three-day conference builds on the Inventors Network that has existed in some form since 2004. It offers three programs a month with one of those limited to members. There were about 100 members before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Skaggs, it’s all about the linkage between inventing and entrepreneurship. In fact, he’s a fan of what he calls “entreinventors.” They are not just inventors for the sake of inventing, but individuals who understand that creating and selling something is called “doing business.”

Like what you've read?

Forward to a friend!

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!