Last week, my colleagues and I had the incredible opportunity to attend Teardown 2023, a highly anticipated conference held in Portland, Oregon. The event brought together a diverse community of electronics hobbyists, engineering students, makers, and energetic entrepreneurs from North America.
EdTech conference 1 - Teardown 2023, Portland, June 23-25
As proud sponsors, our company's products garnered significant attention, allowing us to establish valuable networks, exchange information, share opinions and interests, and explore the vibrant entrepreneurial and technological ecosystem in Portland and elsewhere in US.
Embarking on a remarkable journey, we drove approximately six hours from Vancouver, Canada, to reach the city of Portland. The moment we stepped foot into the conference venue, we were greeted by a vibrant atmosphere buzzing with the collective passion for electronics and innovation.
On Saturday evening, we also had opportunity to explore Portland's local hacker space—a hub of creativity and technical ingenuity. This visit allowed us to witness firsthand the remarkable projects, collaborative workspaces, and state-of-the-art facilities that foster innovation in the city. The hacker space provided a glimpse into the thriving entrepreneurial culture of Portland, inspiring us with its relentless pursuit of technological advancement and community-driven initiatives.
Our time at Teardown 2023 and our interactions with the diverse range of attendees left an indelible mark on our team. The knowledge gained, the connections forged, and the inspiring atmosphere of collaboration and innovation will undoubtedly shape our future endeavors. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to return to Portland and engage once again with this dynamic community of talented individuals.
EdTech conference 2 - 12th Annual PBL World Conference, Napa Valley, June 26 - 28
Technically I was not the person to attend this conference. My other colleagues already scheduled for this event and have their flights booked. However, one colleague was not able to make the trip due to some unexpected urgent reason, and this trip definitely requires at least TWO people to handle (lots of stuff, demos, promotional materials and give away gifts...)
The moment we know this incidence was on Sunday morning (June 25), at that time I was about to check out from Hotel and attend another 3-4 hours show at Teardown 2023 and then drive back to Vancouver.
"Are we going to Napa instead?" my colleague asked me, since it was a 1000km+ trip and if we decide to go, we must leave right now and get there by tonight (since the PBL Works show starts on Monday morning).
Instead of wasting time on discussions, it takes me almost 0 seconds to make a decision: instead of heading back to Vancouver, we redirect ourselves all the way to Napa Valley, California. It was at 9:30am June 25.
To make this unplanned adventure, we embarked on a high-speed journey, rarely pausing except for essential refueling and restroom breaks. Our initial task was to make a detour to Dublin in order to retrieve our sizeable boxes containing conference materials. These boxes had been conveniently pre-shipped to our designated contact's location, as they were impractical for carry-on luggage. When we got to the hotel at Napa, it was 9:00pm, not bad timing since the sky was not completely dark yet.
On Monday morning, we visited American Canyon High School, the school that hosts the PBL 2023 event. This is a young and beautiful American school, a large playground big enough to accommodate a massive crowd at the same time. Buildings are facilities are modern and clean.
We got lots of pictures, site seeing and visited some innovation labs in Stanford University. It was supposed to be a perfect day, except for this...
Right, our car back window was smashed during the moment when we were dining in Denny's. The two most important demo units: an elevator model and a traffic light intersection model were stolen! Fortunately we've got all other valueables and IDs with us, otherwise we are all completely screwed...
Nevertheless, the rest stuff were still there, making us still presentable for the shows in next days.
The PBL Works 2023 events officially started on Tuesday, we got over 1000 teachers and school coming, nice day, amazing food, cheerful talk, and lots of teachers were impressed by our technology educational products. Many teachers and schools are committed to try out our products for their classes, and we believe this is a good starting point for the STEM technology education in US schools.
Our two big demo units were stolen, plus we need to head back to Vancouver with a broken glass car, we had to cut our trip short and departed sooner.
Overall, the conferences went well, and our team made it back home safely on June 29th. We gained valuable experience in handling international conference shows and should definitely be better prepared for future events. This blog post is just a commemoration of this unforgettable experience, and our team is looking forward for the two events in October.