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Accelerate Conference

Accelerate 2017 Recap: Wind and Rain won't slow this event down!

By     SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
Accelerate Blog Post

Hurricane Jose subsided just in time to offer this beautiful sunset at Accelerate.

Last week, we hosted our 4th Annual Accelerate event in Boston, MA.  Despite Hurricane Jose hovering off the coast, we had more people attend the event this year than ever before. If you haven’t had a chance to attend previously, Accelerate brings together Autodesk customers, industry executives, top market analysts, and subject matter experts to learn, network, and share strategies for solving modern design and manufacturing challenges.  If you have attended previously, you’ll know that Autodesk doesn’t do much speaking.  We like to take a back seat and give our customers the wheel. This year was no different. Our emcee for the event, Stephen Hooper, leader of Autodesk’s Design & Manufacturing strategy group, kicked off the event with a brief look into the Future of Making Things. But we quickly shifted gears to focus on customers sharing their stories and best practices.

At Autodesk, we make software that helps our customers “make anything.”  And some of the things our customers are making are going to change the world! Case in point: our first keynote speaker, Neil Barker of Advanced Oncotherapy.  Neil and his company are on a mission to defeat cancer with their innovative LIGHT system for Proton Therapy.  Neil shared with the Accelerate audience, the significant advantages of Proton Therapy over traditional radiation treatments. Then he explained how Advanced Oncotherapy is helping to make proton acceleration technology more accessible, more affordable, and more effective.  In fact, they have already broken ground on their first facility on Harley Street, the premiere medical address in London. To learn more about Neil, Advanced Oncotherapy, linear accelerators, and proton therapy, check out this article on the Redshift blog.

Day 2 continued the momentum from Day 1, with an inspirational keynote about the Internet of Things (IoT) from Hugo Fiennes of Electric Imp. Hugo has a rich and storied history of launching connected products.  He shared some of those stories, both funny and insightful, from his years of experience as a tech developer, starting with the Rio MP3 player, launching the first iPhones at Apple, and bringing one of the first IoT products, Nest, to market.  Now the CEO of Electric Imp, Hugo emphasized the impact that data and the IoT will have on the future of product development. If you’d like to better understand how you could be benefiting from your own product data, you can request an IoT Discovery Toolkit here.

Great Challenge

Ryan Robinson from the ink factory used his amazing skills to visually document the sessions.

One theme that we’ve been building at Accelerate 2017 and will continue to grow in the future is the idea of our Product Innovation Platform.  We’re moving beyond our initial ‘Strictly PLM’ approach that attendees at the first few Accelerate events will remember.  This year, a couple of the highlights at the conference came not from PLM presenters, but from customers of Fusion 360 and IoT.  One standout in particular was the session led by Piaggio Fast Forward, an innovative young company developing an autonomous (and incredibly cute) robot that carries your personal cargo, so you can be more mobile.

Accelerate 1

Accelerate 2

Of course it wasn’t strictly business… there’s always some fun and games going down at Accelerate!

There were simply too many breakout sessions, panels, and activities at this year’s Accelerate to describe everything in detail. We had more than a dozen other presenters, representing the following amazing companies: Amsafe, Amsted Rail, Boa Technologies, Bradley Corp., Coca-Cola, Chamberlin & Hill, DesertTech, Fujikura Automotive, Pitney-Bowes, PMP, Spirax Sarco, Spraying Systems Co., Synaptive Medical, and Willerby.   No doubt about it – Accelerate was the place to be last week!  Even Autodesk’s new CEO, Andrew Anagnost, stopped by to connect with our customers.

Whether we’re talking processes, products, or people, Accelerate is all about making connections.  So, we hope you’ll join us at next year’s event to network with your peers and see some amazing presentations live!

If you can’t wait a whole year, there’s always Accelerate Virtual on November 1st – Get registered here.

– Jamie Eckmier, Senior Marketing Manager, Autodesk

Special Thanks to our sponsors who helped to make this exciting event possible: Advanced Solutions, Cadline, D3 Technologies, ImaginIT, Oracle – NetSuite, and Synergis.