The year, dear friends, is coming to a close.
As you scramble to wrap-up those final emails, erase the red from your Asana or check the price of Bitcoin one last time, take a moment to grapple with what a year 2017 has been.
A landmark year for politics and diversity discussions entering our tech scene. A sluggish year for venture capital. A slate of promising startups. A bunch of new Philly-born technologies and a more mature tech industry that starts to embrace its sense of greater community.
Here’s what you read the most, Philly tech. It’s been a pleasure covering your every move:
10. Comcast launches machineQ
Amid its push to enter new verticals like the mobile space, the Philly-based telecommunications company rolled out a network that utilizes long-range (LoRa) technologies aimed at the Internet of Things space.
9. The Zoomer saga
A Navy Yard-based delivery company aimed at the B2B space, which was backed by a cadre of local investors, shuttered its operations in January. It was later announced that Wisconsin’s EatStreet took over Zoomer’s operations in 10 markets. The deal was officially billed as an acquisition.
8. An unlikely partnership in Southwest PA
Shoutout to GrowPA, our reporting series underwritten by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, which looks at strategies for economic growth across Pennsylvania. In this item, we hear from reporter Kim Lyons on a partnership between a local paper and a private college to “breathe business activity into the downtown corridor of Washington, Pa.”
7. Your browsing data is fair game
When the Trump administration signed a bill that lets ISPs sell your browsing data, activist Kate Krauss dropped some wisdom on ways to protect your digital privacy. Fun fact: the story got an uptick in pageviews when Net Neutrality regulations were rolled back by the FCC last week.
6. Grappling with diversity
News broke on a Saturday: Yuval Yarden, the young executive director of decade-old tech nonprofit Philly Startup Leaders, had resigned after a string of controversial comments at a panel on diversity. The community took issue with her challenge to entrepreneurs of color and their criticisms against the org’s yearly Diversity Dinner event. Yarden has since joined D.C.-based Global Entrepreneurship Network as Director for Ecosystem Engagement. A search for her replacement is still underway.
5. A profile of a Philly tech elder
From the piece, written by Technical.ly alum Juliana Reyes, now a reporter at the Inquirer:
We will never have another Goodman, someone who carries the entire weight of a tech community on his shoulders, because we will never need another one. Instead of just one front door, we have many. It’s what the godfather of Philadelphia startups dreamed of all along.
4. A sexist gets called out
CandiDate founder Amber Wanner got some national press after owning a creep who slid into her LinkedIn DMs.
3. An employee-led protest
It was quite a sight: workers emerging by the hundreds from the Comcast building to protest Trump’s travel ban against people from a handful of Muslim countries. The protest was organized through Slack, and we had the scoop.
2. A squabble over Amazon
We spent weeks talking about it, not just in Philly but across Technical.ly’s five markets. No word yet on what Amazon thinks of Philly’s pitch but, among local stakeholders, the collaborative process of whipping together a bid was the real prize.
1. A slate of promising startups
We ID’d the best and brightest and watched the group of startups grow and develop. Our realLIST cohort raised capital, launched products and made key hires. One changed its name and another hit it big in Germany. Look out for the 2018 list coming out in mid January.
Knowledge is power!
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