The Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) has announced the first Ignite Howard County event scheduled for April 13. The inaugural event will take place at Jailbreak Brewing Co., in Laurel.

Ignite Howard County is a high-energy evening where the community comes together to share their passions. The goal is to create collisions of conversations and collaborations between people in the artistic, entrepreneurial, creative, technical and innovative communities.

“We are constantly looking for ways to enhance the community, from attracting new businesses to supporting nonprofits,” said Larry Twele, CEO of the HCEDA. “Ignite events will allow us to engage people in a different way around ideas and issues they’re passionate about, providing a great new platform for community collaboration.”

Ignite events are currently held in more than 100 cities worldwide. Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, for a total of just five minutes.

The first Ignite took place in Seattle in 2006, and since then the event has become an international phenomenon, with gatherings in Helsinki, Finland; Paris, France; New York and many other locations.

“Our goal is simple. We want people to come out and share their passions and engage the rich fabric of the Howard County community,” said Twele.

Ignite events are open to everyone, but people who live and work in Howard County will get first preference as speakers. Those interested in presenting at Ignite Howard County can visit for details.