Downtown business incubator Awesome Inc. has again lured representatives from technology heavyweights for MobileX, its annual mobile technology conference.
The one-day Lexington conference will feature employees from Microsoft, PayPal, AT&T and Samsung, said Brian Raney, co-founder of Awesome Inc.
The annual event continues to grow, he said, and now, in its fourth year, will have speakers from 11 states.
"It has been really exciting to see the MobileX brand grow, and I think it's also exciting for the city of Lexington since it all started here in 2009," he said.
While there has been an event in Lexington each year, there also were conferences in Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville in 2010. The organizers kept it only in Lexington in 2011 but already have held a MobileX conference in Cincinnati this year.
"It's pretty likely we'll be going to Columbus later this year in the fall," Raney said. "And there are some other cities interested, too."
Among the top speakers this year will be Sean Shadmand of Socialize Inc. He will talk about how developers can make mobile app development easier.
The conference will again have four workshops. Two are technical, with information on developing for the Windows and Apple mobile operating systems. The other workshops feature discussions about entrepreneurship and mobile marketing.
The conference includes a contest in which aspiring entrepreneurs may pitch ideas and receive feedback. The winner receives $500 in PayPal cash. There also are a number of giveaways, Raney said, including one of the latest iPads.
Scott Johnson, who attended last year and plans to do so again, said the event "has a youthful, forward- thinking energy that makes every conference dynamic, informative and fun."
"I look forward to it every year," said Johnson, an information technology director at the University of Kentucky College of Communications & Information Studies.
"I love that MobileX gives our students and programmers a vision of what their next steps can be after graduation," he said. "The conference is filled with 20-somethings who had great ideas for mobile applications and had the guts to actually build them and bring them to market."
And the event continually brings together the local community of app developers, many of whom often work in isolation, he noted.
"It's an opportunity to find new inspiration, pick up some new skills or network with like-minded geeks," he said. "It's a great way to spend a day."