A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

TechOlympics offers high school students a premier technology competition and expo, Feb. 18-19

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

Nerds – do apply.

And we say that with much respect.

Talent – much talent – is required.

The TechOlympics 2023 is here.

“It’s Cincinnati’s premier technology competition and expo,” Vinaya Sivakumar told the Northern Kentucky Tribune. “Here,” she adds, “you’ll be able to spend two days competing with other schools in challenges ranging from programming to design to networking.”

Sivakumar is the Chief Marketing Officer for INTERalliance, a student-run non-profit trying to inspire and assist young talent to pursue an IT career in Greater Cincinnati.

“We produce programs such as Paid Summer Internships, Professional Development training, and TechOlympics – the nation’s largest student-led IT conference for high school students,” Sivakumar said.

And for two days at Great American Ball Park, downtown Cincinnati (Feb. 18 and 19 high schoolers – regardless of technical experience – will have the opportunity to explore the technology industry.

The TechOlympics includes a wide-range of workshops, competitions, speakers, keynotes and breakouts presented by industry experts and educators.

“Students are given invaluable opportunities to network with and learn directly from local professionals from over 30 companies such as Fifth Third, ADM, 84.51, GE, Procter and Gamble, Ascendum, ITA Audio and Visual and Elevance Health,” she said, “And educators from universities like UC Lindner School of Business, NKU College of Informatics and Xavier University.”

Students get to choose what sessions they attend at TechOlympics, according to Sivakumar. Sessions include: Software Development, Cybersecurity, Career Readiness, Data Science, AI, Bio-Med, Digital Wellbeing and Entrepreneurial Tech.

Sivakumar says this marks the 20th year for TechOlympics – they were virtual the past two years due to the pandemic. 

“We’re expecting about 280 high school students from the tri-state,” she said, “and about another 100 adult volunteers, plus around 40 of our sponsors.”

She said prizes in various categories include gifts like air pods, laptops and gift cards. “It’s gifts that students want,” she said.

Tickets for the two-day event for the competitors is $150, Sivakumar said, “But we have financial scholarships. And,” she added, “We’re just about registration full this week.”

Parents can attend only if there is a student need, she said, and they can attend free as a volunteer.

“TechOlympics is an investment in yourself, to meet new people and to learn and experience what many vastly different paths exist in IT careers,” noted Christopher Schmidt, VP/Group Manager Technology Product Owner, Fifth-Third Bank. “If you attend TechOlympics, you are on a path forward and maybe you’ll find an amazing summer paid internship.

“Oh, and it’s pretty much fun,” he added.

But it was Vinaya Sivakumar who summed-up TechOlympics best:

“We simply want to be the Silicon Valley of the Midwest,” she said.

And it starts in a baseball stadium in Cincinnati.

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