The inaugural MANOVA conference is off and running. The ambitious new conference started its first morning of the conference with a mix of local, national and international speakers addressing a range of health, wellness and innovation topics illustrating the type of global conversations on the future of health that conference organizers had hoped to inspire.

The MANOVA Conference was created to foster connections at the intersection of health, retail and technology.

Mark Addicks, CEO of 2023 Partners, the presenting sponsor of the conference basically pulled together a global conference in about four months. 2023 Partners and co-sponsor Medical Alley Association announced they were launching a new conference at Medical Alley Association’s annual meeting at the end of April.

“I feel like we’ve been running sprints since then,” Addicks said on Monday morning between presentations. “In June, July and August we really put it all together.”

Addicks credited a number of people and founding event sponsors Walmart, Mayo Clinic and the Medical Alley Association wth stepping up to make the conference happen in a short time frame, 

Addicks reported that registrations and ticket sales for the inaugural program have met some initial projections. 

“We’ve had 1,000 program registrations, which is really good for the first year,” Addicks.

 “It’s affirmation that our hypothese was correct,” said Kathy Tunheim, one of the partners behind 2023 Partners, of the initial response to the conference. “That this is the time and place to foster these discussions based on expertise we have here.”

Addicks said on Monday he’d take a short break after the conclusion of the summit but jump right back in to start planning for a bigger event next year. “We’ll announce Wednesday dates for next year,” Addicks said.

The MANOVA Conference is running the same time as the fifth annual Twin Cities Startup Week and a new Food, Ag, Ideas Week both of which are spinoffs of the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Cup competition.

Addicks sees parallels with the other local conferences and says there is room for more collaboration with those events next year. “I think you could stack these things in a very positive way,” Addicks said.

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