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LaunchPad innovation session is Wednesday; will GoDaddy speaker address the SOPA issue?

Spokane-based networking team LaunchPad INW is hosting an “innovation show” on Wednesday at Mirabeau Park, running from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (really).

The event is described as a series of tech-connected events, starting with a lunch, followed by topic sessions, followed by a networking party.

The keynote speaker is Dave Koopman, who is the chief scientist for website domain registrar GoDaddy.

It would be interesting if Koopman talks about the unfortunate decision GoDaddy made on the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) issue that erupted into widespread discussion last winter.

In a move that didn't suggest corporate support for web innovation, GoDaddy initially took the wrong side of that SOPA argument. For background: a number of members of Congress supported the SOPA bill that would have given legislators and regulators unusually broad powers to go after website owners who were accused of copyright violations.

Many opponents argued SOPA would have amounted to outright censorship of businesses or website operators who were accused, and not even convicted, of those violations.

At first, GoDaddy was among the companies that fully backed SOPA. Later, after a storm of criticism erupted and thousands of its customers switched their domains from GoDaddy, the company changed its mind, and decided it did not back SOPA. It issued a statement backing “First Amendment rights” and web innovation.

The bill in Congress later died. For a SOPA overview, try out SOPAStrike.com.

Koopman will speak starting around noon, according to the LaunchPad releases.

The cost, if you're not a LaunchPad member, is $35. To register and find more information, go to this link.

LaunchPad lines up a long list of medical, professional leaders for Tuesday session


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Tuesday's LaunchPad event, starting at 1 p.m. at the Riverpoint Higher Education campus, offers a cross-section of area researchers and business people talking about Spokane's health sciences sector.

Around 1:15 p.m., Seattle journalist Luke Timmerman will talk about biotech prospects for the region.

Following his remarks, a number of breakout sessions will be offered, from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., and 3:15 to 4 p.m. The full day's agenda will be at Washington State University's South Campus Facility Court, 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Who's going to be on deck for those breakout sessions? Here's some of the lineup: Howard Grimes, WSU dean of the graduate school and VP of research; Steve Neff, CEO of Revita Rehab; Dave Vachon, of Iasis Molecular Sciences; Jon Copeland, CEO of Inland Imaging; Buck Somes of GenPrime; Paul Domitor of Rehab Logic, and Dr. Patrick Tennican, of Hyprotek. 

To register, use this link.

LaunchPad gets ready for its new downtown Spokane digs


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Spokane-based networking group LaunchPad Inland Northwest holds an open house to mark its relocation to the 1889 Building in downtown, 120 N. Stevens.

The event will run from 4 to 7 p.m. at the new Training Center and Co-working Space, occupying the main floor of that building. Sharing the other part of the main floor is newly launched winebar Nectar Tasting Room.

LaunchPad is a for-profit group devoted to promoting business and entrepreneur networking. It's relocating from its first downtown offices, at the Holley Mason Building.

For information on the event, go to the LaunchPad info page.