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These 10 ideas from our ‘Help plan #BIW15’ event are actually happening

In May, the community gathered to brainstorm ideas for Baltimore Innovation Week 2015. A few months later, 10 of these ideas are real-life events. Here are the details.

One of the six brainstorming groups at Technical.ly's BIW planning event. (Photo by Catherine Sontag)

This past May, Technical.ly hosted a “Help plan Baltimore Innovation Week 2015” event at HomeSlyce with support from collaboration sponsor Agora. We brought together more than 50 community members to brainstorm new ideas for Baltimore Innovation Week 2015 (happening Sept. 25-Oct. 3). Attendees split into groups based on the week’s six tracks (Creative, Dev, Civic, Access, Business and Media) to discuss new ideas for advertising, programming, accessibility and more.
Here are a few ideas from the brainstorming session that have become full-blown events. (For a full list of ideas that came out of the event check out our recap article.)

  • Idea: How can we approach investors? Have an event to meet VCs.
  • Idea: Bring out more of the sciences. MICA professor Ryan Hoover could talk about 3D fabrication and biosciences.
    • Reality: With the support of BIW sponsors Camden Partners and the University of Maryland BioPark, participate in Civic Conference on Monday, Sept. 28. In the afternoon, attend Switch Baltimore and hear from the experts about the current state of the health and science sector, hear five different demo pitches and network with fellow professionals in the industry.
  • Idea: Bring out the college students. More students should be out and about during the week. Set a goal of having students from all the region’s universities somewhere. Connect with college students groups.
    • Reality: Students are invited to attend Friday, Oct. 2’s Business Conference for free with the “BIW15BizStudent” code. We’ll be reaching out to career centers at all of the local colleges and universities, inviting them to share the event with their students.
  • Idea: Get under-represented groups involved. We want to see women in tech conversations and extra effort to bring out people of color and other under-represented communities.
  • Ideas: 1.) How can kids get involved? We want high school students, like college students, to know this work is happening. There were many mentions of the Digital Harbor Foundation. 2.) Game jam. Let’s show off the region’s gaming community and connect more kids with gaming.
  • Idea: Host a Startup Crawl, where people can visit multiple tech companies near downtown.
    • Reality: Done! Join us on Friday, Sept. 25 for the #BIW15 Innovation Crawl and discover some of downtown Baltimore’s most innovative tech spaces. We’ll start at Betamore and finish at new coworking space, Spark Baltimore.
  • Idea: More from our regional strengths. We want edtech events and social enterprise conversations.
    • Reality: On Wednesday, Sept. 30, NewsUp is organizing Quizzical ConversationsSam Gallant, Joe La Bella, Jess Gartner, and Senator Bill Ferguson will discuss the perils and successes of public education in the city, the role of technology in the classroom and ways the public and private sectors can work together to drive meaningful change for the future of education in Baltimore and beyond.
  • Idea: Show off the maker community. Either through a mini-maker faire or bringing out maker efforts at other events. We want Baltimore Node to be out again and 3D printing exposed.
  • Idea: Demystify coding. Offer more events for more people to be exposed to software
    • Reality: Join Technical.ly Baltimore on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at Groove for Dev Conference. Start the day with intro courses on JavaScript, Node.js and Sass. In the afternoon, hear from more than 10 developers from local tech firms talking about real-life problem solving using programming tools. Finally, network and grab a beer at our Dev Conference After Party!
  • Idea: Put local tech on display. Have a big event with lots of people from Baltimore and have more local tech there for people to meet and play with.
    • Reality: Celebrate the start of our fourth annual Baltimore Innovation Week on Friday, Sept. 25 at Power Plant Live! We’re partnering with The Gathering again this year for our #BIW15 Kickoff Festival and bringing you food trucks, live music and more than 10 tables of interactive technologies.

Thanks to the amazing Baltimore tech community for bringing more than 50 events to the calendar for our fourth annual Baltimore Innovation Week. We’re two weeks away, and we’re very excited about the best BIW yet.

Companies: Lesbians Who Tech / The Agora / Revolution / Camden Partners / Code in the Schools / Groove / Maryland Institute College of Art / NewsUp / University of Maryland BioPark / Digital Harbor Foundation / Betamore / Technical.ly

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