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Monday, January 14, 2008

Sandbox in Vegas

I haven't met too many entrepreneurs who aren't gamblers on some level, and I'm not an exception. We take a dozen risks and bets on our judgement each day, with every decision we make. Yet I can't say I'm a big fan of Vegas.

Unless, of course, thousands of people are coming into town to share their consumer innovations at CES. This year, a small group of media pros active in youth media and education services (Robin Raskin, Claire Greene, and Wendy Smolen), had the brilliant idea of organizing a conference within the huge CES conference and dubbed it "The Sandbox Summit" -- a sandbox for industry folks to gather to "to look at the way technology is affecting our kids’ lives". All kinds of info about it at http://www.sandboxsummit.org/index.html, including a Tutor.com-centric blog entry at http://www.sandboxsummit.org/blog/?p=22.

I expected a modest audience for the first year of this concept of a conference, but it turned into a standing room only experience with at least a couple hundred in the audience for the list of panelists (http://www.sandboxsummit.org/summit_ces.html) and networking times. Lots of great partnership leads for us out of the summit, and excellent press coverage -- http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gH8Rv3BUqji6dFLbGS7Rt0wuu1UAD8U20PC80, http://www.pr-inside.com/tutor-com-featured-at-sandbox-summit-at-r371323.htm, and http://www.centredaily.com/business/technology/story/322428.html).

Here's my official vote for a 2nd annual Sandbox Summit next year at CES, and hopefully at other conferences -- we need our best innovators to gather in sandboxes everywhere and focus their energy on how to best serve kids.

George Cigale, gcigale@tutor.com
http://www.tutor.com/
(Picture above left is Bart Epstein, our SVP Corporate Development, being congratulated and awarded a prize by Miss America for winning the Norton Cyber Smackdown kids online safety game show at CES.)

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