As a ramp-up to Twin Cities Startup Week Oct. 7-14, the social change organization Synapse MN is hosting a symposium on Oct. 3 to highlight pockets of innovation in the region and discuss ways to make opportunities more inclusive.

The event, which runs from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Norway House in Minneapolis, includes an array of speakers, including Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, former Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and leaders in such areas as technology, philanthropy, agriculture, finance and the arts.

Attendees also can participate in structured, small group discussions about broadening entrepreneurship in the region.

Tickets are $10 for students; $25 for the general public; $50 to sponsor an artist, student or entrepreneur. Happy hour follows the presentation from 5 to 6 p.m. For more: www.synapsemn.com.

Also the inaugural national conference of Blacks in Technology will run Oct. 11-13 at several venues. Organizers expect the event to draw up to 1,000 people, said Sharon Kennedy Vickers chief information officer of the City of St. Paul and co-founder of the Minnesota chapter.

Vickers scheduled the conference during Startup Week to take advantage of the activities and opportunities for technologists and business people of color to be visible and engaged. The Blacks in Technology conference will sponsor paels and workshops at Target Corp. headquarters in downtown Minneapolis, around St. Paul and at the Best Buy headquarters in Richfield. More info: www.bitcon2018.com.

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