As an effort ages, it must also evolve.
From the inaugural celebration in 2011 to Philly Tech Week 2016 presented by Comcast, the goals of growing and celebrating the technology and entrepreneurship work in Philadelphia haven’t changed. But our approach has.
This year’s Philly Tech Week was as big as ever: hundreds at the Startup Crawl, thousands at our (again) rain-delayed kickoff, 1,500 at the latest PSL Entrepreneur Expo and nearly that much at our Signature Event, the region’s biggest ticketed tech and startup affair.
But perhaps more importantly, it was also as small as ever. We brought together some of you for a small pre-PTW stakeholder meeting to hear about community developments. We held a private health IT and commercialized sciences luncheon in advance of an at-capacity 150-person event on the same topic. We vetted and curated meetings between local startups and big IT customers.
Because of its 150 events, 20,000 attendees and dozens of partners, PTW can be a tad overwhelming. Maybe that’s why it took us six weeks to share this. So here’s one small attempt at wrapping together a very busy 10 days with a mix of media and ideas.
To be clear, when you have an event of this magnitude, you can’t share everything, so these are themes alone:
- Mayor Kenney engages. To his credit, Jim Kenney is putting the time into better understanding this city’s tech and innovation community. He headlined the PSL Entrepreneur Expo, which was as big as ever, and took a personal interest in a Coded by Kids info session at a neighborhood rec center. He also showed off at the PTW Mayoral Forum his developing vision for an inclusive tech city, even while being pushed on turnover within his innovation team.
- Health IT must shine in Philadelphia. The region’s health-IT future is helped by increasingly connected conversations between academia, investors and the talent-rich startup scene. We heard lots about this.
- Storytelling needs more best-practice sharing. More than 200 crowded the Fringe Arts building near the Delaware River for the latest iteration of our Media Conference, featuring trends in digital marketing and storytelling. Curalate’s Brendan Lowry led a panel conversation on social tools for selling, with a heavy focus on selling ROI for longterm brand building. Technical.ly’s own Alisha Miranda showed off about how we’re developing sponsored content. Philadelphia University’s Natalie Nixon discussed the “design of the intangible.” It was a next step forward in the development of an annual conference we’ve held for years.
- Technical sub-communities are thriving. Look at the depth of conversations at events like our Dev Conference (MC Elise Wei graciously wrote about the whole experience here) and PhillyForce. Then the topic-specific sessions on ARM and dev leadership and ESRI mapping tools and more.
- Tech diversity is taken seriously here. For an example, just about half of Technical.ly’s Dev Conf speakers were female or people of color. EvoXLabs hosted another of its evoHaX, a hackathon on accessibility, and there were events on youth STEM learning and people of color navigating tech communities, plus several meetups and awards for women in tech.
— Liz Brown (@lizbrownsays) May 4, 2016
- The entrepreneurship conversation continues to mature. At our Technical.ly Introduced event, we matched local startups with a dozen large IT purchasers, and we hosted our largest #Failfest yet. Larger companies made their presence known to intersect with a growing community here, like Buffer’s community culture event.
- The social impact conversation is growing. Our sister site Generocity.org called out the week’s social impact-orientated events.
- One of the state’s first conferences on legalized marijuana was held.
- Look at the #UberPitch contest announcement and its surprising winner.
- Did you see our secret art installation? See the Kid Hazo and Wallsome contest and winner announcement.
#PTW16 media coverage:
- Philadelphia City Biz List
- Delphic Digital
- Visit Philly
- Seer Interactive
- Saul Ewing
- Startup Story
- Rad Girls
- Philadelphia Health It Up Circle
- Evo Hax
- Bressler Group
- Philly Ad Club
- Philly Typer
- The Women in Tech Summit
- Garfield Group
- Northern Liberties Neighbors Association
- Philly Tech
- Philadelphia Style Magazine
- Philadelphia Alliance for Capital & Technologies
- Video Game DJ
- The Philadelphia Citizen
- Philadelphia Business Journal
- The Philadelphia Tribune
- Yikes, Inc.
- University of Pennsylvania
- Nextplex Philly
- CBS Philly
- O3 World
- Free Library of Philadelphia
- Philly in Focus
- Duane Morris
- International Association of Exhibitions and Events
- Startup PHL
- TimeOut Philadelphia
- MLeads Blog
- Yahoo Finance
- Campus Philly
- McCarter & English
- Philly Happening
- LinkedIn Pulse
- DMI Partners
- Griot Digital
- Brownstein Group
- Think Brownstone
- Business Wire