Ignite the Night

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I’ve never heard so many people talking so quickly.

With 20 slides and five minutes to tell their stories, the 15 presenters at Tuesday’s Ignite Memphis event were urged to enlighten or entertain us, but to “make it quick.”

Presentations ranged from blogger Kerry Crawford-Trisler telling the audience how to make an “I like you, but …” mixtape to Computable Genomix CEO Brad Silver talking about the future of personalized medicine.

“This was an absolutely perfect opportunity to highlight what a truly remarkable, innovative city we have,” said Elizabeth Lemmonds of MemphisConnect, which, along with LaunchMemphis, organized the event. “We wanted a broad spectrum of topics, but also something that might not be told elsewhere.”

At least one presenter, web designer Zach Whitten, wanted to talk about technology singularity, or “the nerd rapture,” for fun.

“It’s always fun to get up in front of a group of people and rant,” he said.

Even so, Whitten did several run-throughs of his presentation the night before.

“I love the format. People think it’s so simple: I’ll just get up there with 20 slides and just riff on it,” he said. “You have a slide advancing every 15 seconds. It takes a lot of practice and concentration.”

About 200 people attended Ignite Memphis, and organizers expect to host a second event in the spring.

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