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Bellevue Chamber President & CEO Betty Capestany shares insights from her vantage point as head of Bellevue's premier business organization.


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Unlocking the Code

Posted By Betty Capestany, Monday, June 20, 2016
Trying to figure out how you can connect to the generations in the workplace and what motivates them? Or are you intrigued about technologies that are transforming the way business is done? Does the “inner geek” in you want to see what the future may hold in the way we work and live? If any of these statements intrigue you - then the Eastside Leadership Conference is a place for you.

The Eastside Leadership Conference encapsulates 15 years of melding, science, technology and the wickedly smart people transforming how business gets done. It’s known as the place to be to get an insider look into the disruptive technologies shaping our world and the companies that are on the forefront right here, at home.

The Eastside Leadership Conference is a rare opportunity for traditional business and civic leaders to get a peek at the people and technologies that are transforming the world. Daily our feeds are loaded with amazing discoveries or new technologies. We’ve distilled these large forces for you and are highlighting rapidly emerging clusters that are becoming multi-billion dollar industries.

Now, you may think “Why does it matter? We’re a traditional company providing traditional services.” I would challenge you on this one. My guess is you have a smartphone, your company has updated its IT and is taking advantage of consumer data to find your perfect customer. You are also probably dipping your toe in the water to figure out how to monetize social media to help expand your customer base. You might even use a 3D printer to manufacture prototypes or parts. Exponential growth in these areas is centered in our region – and you have an opportunity to join us for a fast, informative glimpse of what’s in store on topics like the Internet of Things (IoT); Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Cybersecurity, 3D Printing, and Big Data; delivered in a manner even “non-geeks” can understand.

I know these all sound out there but you would be amazed at the small businesses that are taking these concepts and turning them into successful business strategies. You will get to meet these companies. You’ll also hear from Anna Liotta on how to unlock the generational codes in our workplace.

It’s amazing to look back on the cool stuff that was highlighted before it was common place in the market. A few years ago Dave Hasslinger from Washington Federal summed up the conference well. He said, “I left the conference wondering what the bank branch of the future would look like, or if we would even have branches or if the next branch would be on Mars!” The Conference will give you critical insights on how to integrate, respond, and adapt to the disruptive forces changing our world and to use these ideas to help shape our future!

With technology advancing at an exponential pace, hold onto your seats - the next big thing is happening right here, right now. Do you have your reservation? The Conference will sell out - only a handful of tickets remain so reserve your ticket today for the June 24 Eastside Leadership Conference!

Tags:  connections  entrepreneurial  technology 

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The Place to Be!

Posted By Betty Capestany, President/CEO Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Friday, January 16, 2015

As I flip the calendar over to a new year it always causes me to pause and reflect on the opportunities and challenges this last year has brought and what is on the horizon. What stands out to me is what I call the Bellevue and Eastside marketplace convergence zone. An entrepreneurial energy that comes from our startup communities as well as our established companies has us in all respects leading the nation in terms of job creation, ideation and top talent. Add to that, an amazing environment where crowdfunding provides startup capital for great business ideas.

This convergence zone fosters the strong influence that technology has on local companies who need to be connected to what the customers of the future are demanding. Ideas that seemed farfetched a few years ago are becoming more main stream. As I see it, the opportunities in 2015 will continue to be centered around this tech revolution highlighted by these driving factors.

  • The Internet of things. We are in the center of the digital economy. Opportunities of the future will be tied to the Internet even if it is accessing data to grow your customer base or store information.

  • The cloud will continue to be a part of the way business is done. Smaller companies and individuals will access the cloud to provide economies of scale and efficiencies for their company and also to allow for employee mobility.

  • Mobile-powered apps and connectivity will continue to grow. Online purchasing is a $312 Billion industry.

  • Wearables and smartphones will continue to be “hot” and the opportunities are endless from health and fitness to rewards “currencies of change” programs (discounts or perks for being healthy).

  • Increased usage of 3D printers and robots to not only decrease business costs but to also increase customer satisfaction.

  • Customers will continue to be in the driver’s seat demanding brands to align with their needs. You will see a focus on more “Fast Lane Solutions” to allow loyal customers to have accelerated service and be rewarded for their loyalty. Examples will be hotel loyalty programs where customers can check into their rooms via their phones or fast-food ordering programs with retina detection that can tell by how long you view an item, what you are going to order and have it ready for you.

  • Consumers in both the millennial and GenerationZ (born after 1993) believe that business brands should share their same values. They are also more focused on sharing and giving back to the community instead of owning a product or service. Hence we’ve seen the rise of car, bicycle, vacation home, and equipment sharing opportunities as well as apps that make it easy to share fares or split costs. The demand for these opportunities will continue.

Economic success also brings challenges, and to me these are the most pressing issues.

  • Transportation and mobility. Getting people to work, kids to school and consumers to their destination is a critical component that will increase the economic impact of our region as improvements to our infrastructure are made.

  • Access to Talent.  Continuing to be the place of choice for talented people to want to live and work.  There is global competition and a talent shortage.  These are the individuals that will propel our companies as well as generate ideas and products of the future.

  • With all the opportunities available a big challenge (that also creates opportunities) is how do companies navigate in a digital world that is very customized to reach customers. The days of 50% market penetration are long gone. Businesses today have to be strategic to navigate the changing marketplace to find the best ways to connect with their perfect customer.

My hopes and dreams for 2015 are that the really smart people that make our area a place of choice to live and work, continue to innovate. Their success provides an environment that is the envy of communities around the globe. From my perspective, this entrepreneurial energy makes the positives far outweigh the challenges and I look forward to a very prosperous 2015!

Tags:  digital economy  entrepreneurial  tech revolution  trends 

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