Entrepreneurs of all stripes are gearing up for the Forward Festival, which starts Thursday and runs through Aug. 24.

The annual eight-day event is in its eighth year and includes more than 50 sessions, including five separate pitch contests and panel discussions on issues such as technology to help improve the lives of older residents; how startups can work to fight poverty; the role of immigrants in entrepreneurship; and how to advance expertise in analyzing big data (huge databases).

Forward Fest has become “more community focused,” said Laura Strong, a member of the committee organizing the event and president of Propagate Health. Read the full story here.