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EP18 - InnoVenture Futures Fest: Innovation is a Contact Sport

A conversation with John Warner

Episode Summary

This week on a special edition of the Carolina Code Cast, host Barry Jones chat with John Warner…twice! Due to some technical difficulties that prevented his original interview from running as Episode 2 ahead of the Innoventures Futures Festival in September, so we had John back on the show in November to talk about how things went and what the future looks like. In this special episode, you get to hear both conversations as Barry and John talk about Innoventure past and future, the transformation of Greenville over the last few decades, advanced manufacturing, economic development, what it takes to attract and retain talent and much more. It’s a very insightful look from one of the upstate’s greatest advocates.

“We’ve got best in class manufacturing and supply chains here. I think we can position ourselves as best in class in the world.” - John Warner

Episode Notes

Highlights from this week’s episode include:

  • November Interview: InnoVenture Futures Fest Recap (1:05)

  • Future of the Futures Fest (3:10)

  • Overlap of Advanced Manufacturing and Code (6:05)

  • Potential Spring Event (9:10)

  • Mechatronics (13:00)

  • Favorite Memories from InnoVenture (16:24)

  • September Interview Introduction (18:29)

  • How did InnoVenture get started? (23:09)

  • Trying things to see what works (28:42)

  • Structure of InnoVenture Futures Fest 2023 (31:42)

  • Scheduling around football season (35:51)

  • Greenville’s transformation wasn’t an accident (38:44)

  • Clemson ICAR’s off-road autonomous vehicles (44:59)

  • Attracting talented people to Greenville (49:49)

  • Benefits of the Swamp Rabbit Trail (55:34)

  • Warren Buffet and the Wright Brothers (59:21)


Carolina Code Cast is a podcast that covers a wide variety of topics in the coding and data space. Learn more about this year’s Carolina Code Conference at

Developed with assistance from Heard Media.

Carolina Code Conference™
Carolina Code Cast™
The tech podcast of the Carolina Code Conference, a polyglot conference for all who code that's held every August in Greenville, SC. The podcast features interviews discussing a wide variety of topics from around the programming, DevOps and security community.