CEO of York Exponential, President of the Fortress Initiative and the Fortress Academy

John McElligott

At a glance:

John McElligott has always had a passion for helping and improving the quality of life of others. Known professionally as a Vision Caster and Technical Futurist, John believes that emerging technology represents an incredible opportunity for all of our citizens and that it is his responsibility to do what he can to expose our citizens to robotics and other technology in an effort to leave no community behind.

John McElligott has always had a passion for helping and improving the quality of life of others. As a Marine, he was employed as a combat engineer during 9/11. Specializing in demolitions, explosives, construction and engineering, he also served as a SAW (squad automatic weapon) gunner and ultimately Squad leader. John was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.

As Co-Founder of Royal Square Development and CEO of the Squared Collective, John spearheaded technology, marketing, community engagement and investor relations as well as being a driving force in Business and Economic Development. Helping to grow the company from 4 employees to nearly 40 in 18 short months he also worked on the acquisition and development of more than 50 properties in downtown York including but not limited to the $1,650,000 Bond Building project and most recently the $14,000,000 Market Street Revitalization Project.

Previous to co-founding RSDC, John served as CEO and Founder of two tech startups and was a graduate of the Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners, Techcelerator program, with his company being the only graduate from that cohort to receive investment funding.

A sought after national speaker on the impact exponential technology, robotics and artificial intelligence will have on rural and 3rd tier cities John left Royal Square 3 years ago and is currently the President of the “The Fortress Initiative” CEO of “The Fortress Academy”and CEO of “York Exponential” a collaborative robotics company. John is also the lead in the York Plan 2.0 Innovation District, a proposed, 250,000 sqft Robotics and Technology campus in downtown York PA.

John’s primary passion has been focused on the rise of third tier cities. Known professionally as a Vision Caster and Technical Futurist, John believes that emerging technology represents an incredible opportunity for all of our citizens and that it is his responsibility to do what he can to expose our citizens to robotics and other technology in an effort to leave no community behind.

  • Embracing Disruption

  • Finding Opportunities in the Age of Exponential Change: Turning Massive Disruption Into Massive Growth

  • The Rise of Third Tier Cities

  • The Exponential Economy: How the Next 20 Years Will Define the Next 1000

    The future is here and it's not waiting on any of us. Thanks to breakthroughs in robotics, AI, quantum computing, the future has come crashing in on us and the pandemic only supercharged it. But how did we get here and what does it mean for education, government, humanity? Emerging technology represents an incredible opportunity for all of our citizens and that it is all of our responsibility to do what we can to expose our citizens to robotics and other emerging technology in an effort to leave no community behind. CEO, Roboticist, Inventor, Educator, and Technical Futurist, John McElligott explains how we got to where we are, where we're going, and how we only get one chance to get this right.
  • Seeing the Future: How to Spot the Significant in the Seemingly Insignificant

  • Exponential Education: The Super Hero Generation

  • Exponential Entrepreneurship: Growing Companies Outside the Valley and Inside the 4th Industrial Revolution

The conference went great and John’s talk was truly amazing! Will definitely keep him in mind as a repeat speaker since technology is moving at such a fast pace. It’d be great to have him back regularly for updates.

—Christy Rohmer, NYSERNet.org, Inc

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