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Mar. 3, 2010 12:36 am

Ignite Philly 5 marks age of social entrepreneurs, city’s Google bid

Last November, we asked if the Philadelphia technology community was ready to take the next step. Tonight, at a trimmed-down Ignite Philly, we got a glimpse of what those next steps may look like. The event, which forces speakers to cram a presentation into a fast-moving five-minute speech was better attended and was better at […]

Last November, we asked if the Philadelphia technology community was ready to take the next step. Tonight, at a trimmed-down Ignite Philly, we got a glimpse of what those next steps may look like. The event, which forces speakers to cram a presentation into a fast-moving five-minute speech was better attended and was better at holding the attention of attendees than its predecessor (see our humble slideshow).

Fresh on the heels of new technology-based tax incentives, City Councilman Bill Green and Philadelphia CTO Allan Frank kicked off the event by announcing the city’s effort to lure Google’s new Fiber project to the city, an effort that began earlier this week using a #phillyfiber hashtag campaign (much more about the effort here).

Shortly after the rushed Google announcement and after Indy Hall co-founder Alex Hillman‘s subtle rebuttal, the night was characterized by a string of presentations focusing on social entrepreneurship.

The event was one of over 60 Ignites taking place on six continents as part of Global Ignite Week. As part of the Philadelphia event, the organizers were able to donate the event’s 235 five dollar ticket sales to raise $1,175 for Girls Rock Philly, a summer camp that helps young girls become musicians.

After the jump we hand out some awards for the event including best quote, best presentation and the “Kids Table” award.

BEST OVERALL AWARD

Raymond Weitekamp of Princeton’s Laptop Orchestra

Unlike the Oscar’s we won’t make you wait until the end to hear our best of show: Raymond Weitekamp of Princeton’s Laptop Orchestra.

Weitekamp demoed the group’s new software that uses the tilt of your Apple laptop to manipulate the music software of your choice. Therefore using a combination of tapping on the laptop, moving it around and pressing keys, the laptop can become its own spatially-aware musical instrument.

REVERSE SALESMAN AWARD

Although it strives to avoid sales pitches, the average Ignite presentation typically includes a plug for a business on the final slide. Septa Watch‘s Colin Weir, however, just had one goal: to tell us all how he became “Wikipedia Brown” through his knowledge of random facts.

The presentation had no motive (that we know of) and just served as a vehicle for Weir to express his love of history, trains and radios and offer some advice on how others might become as knowledgeable.

TECHNICALLY NOT TECH AWARD

Named after our weekly Monday feature, Jamie Salm of Mio Design‘s presentation about sustainable industrial design purposefully avoided anything technical to instead focus on the goals of their product designs. The result? Lot’s of cool projects that we’d like to use to deck out our future Technically Philly offices.

COLLEGE ROOMMATE AWARD

Michael Highland presents about dreaming and video games. The slide behind him (a screen shot from Zelda: A Link to the Past) reads: “You are the hero in this dream”

Anyone who has ever gone to college had a friend who, in a “moment of clarity,” often shared a long-held and often long-winded idea that bordered between brilliant and bizarre. Phrases like “have you ever just looked at the stars, man?” come to mind.

We had flash backs to our days at Temple when Michael Highland spoke about connecting lucid dreams with his work as a video game designer. The presentation was a strange exercise in self-analysis that will have us looking at Call of Duty differently for the rest of our lives.

KIDS TABLE AWARD

 

Largely addressing a crowd of 20 and 30-somethings, Philly venture capital veteran Garrett Melby described the work of GoodCompany Ventures, a nonprofit focusing on incubating businesses for social good. Decked out in the sleek white dockers of a yacht captain, Melby did what a good Ignite presenter should, he helped unveil a whole new industry. And, it turns out, Philadelphia has a leading role in the socially conscience venture capital community.

BEST QUOTE

 

We’ll agree with @trevmx on this one. It goes to OpenHatch‘s Asheesh Laroia: “What I like about being human is that there are a lot of people like me.”

Laroia, of course, was talking about using common experiences to help motivate each other to become better people. In this context, he was referring to helping a friend learn how to cook by sending her all a recipe along with all of the food required.

Technically Philly staff writer Christopher Wink contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Alex Hillman is a monthly sponsor of Technically Philly.

-30-

Sean Blanda is an adviser to Technical.ly, the local technology news network, having cofounded its flagship Technically Philly in February 2009. He is a media consultant, engagement editor for Behance and lives in Brooklyn, NYC.

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Comments

  1. Julia Hays / March 3, 2010

    This was my first time attending an Ignite Philly event. It was really interesting, and the speakers covered a pretty wide range of topics. Looking forward to the next one!

  2. Technically Philly » Philadelphia to apply for Google’s experimental ultra-high speed broadband | Covering the Community of People Who Use Technology in Philadelphia. / March 3, 2010

    [...] city Chief Technology Officer Allan Frank said, throwing his hands in the air and walking off stage at the fifth Ignite Philly, seemingly surprised by the cheers and laughs the slide [...]

  3. How to Get People to Like You: The Science of Persuasion / March 3, 2010

    [...] was invited to speak at IgnitePhilly 5 to a  sold-out crowd of about 300 people, including the speakers and their guests.  About a dozen of us spoke, and I [...]

  4. Mimi Sheller / March 3, 2010

    C’mon TechPhilly, don’t forget a shout out to the women who spoke too — Kate Clark & Lauren Hood, Mimi Sheller, Andrea W. Silva, Jennifer Cohen. ANd to co-organizer Roz Duffy. Best quote of the night: “We all want a world where girls rock”, Geoff DiMasi.

  5. Jonny Goldstein / March 3, 2010

    I thought the bit on how all the Boomers in leadership positions at nonprofits will be retiring and calling Gen X-ers and Millenials to step up their involvement was pretty powerful.

    All in all I had a great night, socializing and learning.

    Thanks for your coverage.

  6. Christopher Wink / March 4, 2010

    Mimi:
    This is a very fair criticism, and something we take seriously. However, I think this is an exception, not a rule, particularly of Ignite.

    I’d point you to our coverage of the last event (http://technicallyphilly.com/2009/10/14/ignite-philly-4-hosts-free-library-and-mayoral-cabinet-officials-as-vgi-impresses), in which we highlighted a number of female participants, including Free Library President Siobhan Reardon and Shmitten Kitten’s Anna Goldfarb.

    For Ignite Philly 3, we twice praised Molly Wright Steenson and lauded Kendra Gaeta (http://technicallyphilly.com/2009/05/03/ignite-philly-3-packs-johnny-brendas-again).

    Still, we want very much to be representative of this entire community. We hope everyone will continue to voice such concerns, either publicly via social media or in our comments, or privately by contacting us at info at technicallyphilly.com. I’d also add that we quite agree that Girls Rock and should be given more opportunities to do even more.

    Thanks much for reading and commenting. Please let us know of any lingering concerns.
    -cgw

  7. rawray7 / March 4, 2010

    Thank you for the award!

    SMACKTOP LINK:
    http://code.google.com/p/smacktop/

  8. THANK YOU, PHILLY! / March 11, 2010

    [...] are coming soon, until here’s a review of the evening’s speaker from our friends at Technically Philly. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a [...]

  9. Technically Philly » Friday Q&A: Garrett Melby, CEO of Good Company Ventures | Covering the Community of People Who Use Technology in Philadelphia. / March 26, 2010

    [...] sat down with Melby, who spoke at this month’s Ignite Philly,  to talk about invading the 67th Ward, the incubator’s future plans and why he only has 70 [...]

  10. Technically Philly » Event Highlights for April 5th – 11th, 2010 | Covering the Community of People Who Use Technology in Philadelphia. / April 5, 2010

    [...] April 6th – In case you missed it, Philly is taking this whole social entrepreneurship thing rather seriously. Come explore the next level of the conversation at NetTuesday’s meetup, Social [...]

  11. Technically Philly » Shop Talk: The DIY game-makers of Port127 | Covering the Community of People Who Use Technology in Philadelphia. / April 14, 2010

    [...] company is helmed by its one full-time employee: Ignite Philly presenter, Penn Digital Design grad and video game filmaker Michael Highland. The company’s other [...]

  12. Technically Philly » Event Highlights: October 25 – 31, 2010 | Covering the Community of People Who Use Technology in Philadelphia. / October 25, 2010

    [...] five minutes to enlighten a packed house at Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown. Check our reviews of past Ignites and be sure to head out to number six. We hear the speakers are awesome. Nudge. Nudge. [...]

  13. Ignite Philly 7: less tech, more cash — Technically Philly / March 28, 2011

    [...] Ignite Philly 5 [...]

  14. Ignite Philly 8: women take the stage, money goes to Hybrid X — Technically Philly / September 23, 2011

    [...] Ignite Philly 5 [...]

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