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Innovation and inventions are one of the keys to our success as a nation. A single idea can lead to the creation of businesses and jobs. But it can be difficult to navigate the next steps of patenting, manufacturing and marketing. That is why I am proud to sponsor this year’s Inventors Conference, which is being held at Eastern Wyoming College on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

The Inventors Conference began in 2004 and is near and dear to my heart. I am committed to helping Wyoming's small business owners and inventors succeed in today's marketplace. That means making information about the patent process, business planning, funding options and marketing readily available.

You will hear from folks who have turned their invention and entrepreneurial dreams into a reality and learn about the resources available in Wyoming to help you do the same. You’ll be able to network with your fellow attendees who have ideas and experiences you can learn from. Inventors need a resource to help create plans for expansion of their ideas. This can be that resource.

This year’s keynote speaker is CEO of Omni-wearables Bob Fuziak. His company manufactures sports sunglasses with a built-in, high-definition camera created to capture photos hands-free.

We will have three additional speakers at the conference. Davona Douglass is the director of the Research Products Center and will discuss patent searching. Toni Tease, an attorney, will discuss intellectual property education. Molly Kociaklsi is the director of the Rocky Mountain US Patent and Trademark office and will discuss the business case for intellectual property. There will also be three panels that discuss getting an idea off the ground, alternative methods to funding and marketing your product.

The conference is free and open to the public. Doors open October 21 at 7:30 a.m., and I will be there to kick off the day’s events at 8:30 a.m. Pre-registration is available now by contacting my state director, Karen McCreery, at (307) 527-9444 or Karen_McCreery@enzi.senate.gov. If you’re unable to pre-register, registration will be available the morning of the conference.

Regardless of background or experience, everyone is welcome to attend and learn how to build on their ideas. I highly encourage Wyoming citizens to register and take advantage of the knowledge and opportunities this conference provides. I hope to see you there.