2018 VOICE Summit


Dear NJIT Community Members,

Last week, NJIT hosted the 2018 VOICE Summit, sponsored by Amazon Alexa. This was the first major tech conference in our new Wellness and Events Center, and the event was an outstanding success. The Summit drew nearly 3,000 industry leaders and developers at the forefront of both natural language processing and technologies that are revolutionizing user engagement by leveraging voice. The conference featured more than 150 speakers, including thought-leaders from eight different countries as well as NJIT alumnus David Isbitski ‘98, who is Amazon's chief evangelist for Alexa and Echo. Additionally, scholarships provided by Panasonic, Prudential, Horizon, RWJ Barnabas, and Net2Phone enabled nearly 400 students from NJIT and other area schools to attend the VOICE Summit.

By hosting this event, we succeeded in shining a spotlight on NJIT’s growing prominence in the technology economy, in addition to our capabilities as both a top polytechnic university and a destination for conferences and other professional gatherings. Media coverage of the VOICE Summit, of NJIT’s role as the conference host, and of Newark as the host city was extensive locally, regionally, and even nationally, while social media chronicled, to a global audience, the excitement on campus throughout the three-day event. In addition, we seized upon this opportunity to create new connections between a plethora of well-established and rising tech companies and NJIT, its students, and its faculty.

Bringing the VOICE Summit to NJIT was an enormous undertaking, and it would not have been successful without the tireless efforts of a dedicated campus team that included individuals from the Offices of the President, Strategic Initiatives, Media Services, Information Services and Technology, Physical Plant, Public Safety, Budget and Finance, and Gourmet Dining, among others. I especially would like to thank several individuals whose contributions merit personal recognition, including Angela Garretson, Lorie Brown, Albert Martinez, Peter Teklinski, Joe Bonchi, Phil Stickna, Joe Marswillo, Andrew Christ, and Thorin Aiello. It took a campus-wide effort to make the VOICE Summit at NJIT such a significant success, and I thank everyone who played a part. The results speak for themselves and have elevated awareness of this innovative and entrepreneurial technology university we serve, as well as the city in which it resides.

Thank you,

Joel S. Bloom