A local organizing committee is helping to organize the Women in Tech Summit coming to Baltimore on Sept. 26.
The committee includes Margaret Roth, cofounder of Yet Analytics and the national group EdTech Women, Emerging Technology Center Program and Community Manager Jackie Albright and SmartLogic Director of Marketing and Community Engagement LeAnne Matlach.
Gloria Bell, who is the Women in Tech Summit’s operations director, said the committee has been working to identify speakers and spread the word about the event.
“While we may have the experience to know how to handle all the logistics and operations of running a large scale event, the local community is the one who can best tell us who we need to be connecting with to be speakers, attendees and sponsors,” Bell said. “They know the hidden-gem speakers that we should be giving a stage to.”
The daylong Sept. 26 summit, which will be held during Baltimore Innovation Week, at the University of Baltimore is the Women in Tech Summit’s first event outside of Baltimore. The event was founded in Philadelphia in 2012, and organizers plan further expansion to D.C. and Raleigh in 2016.
“The Women in Tech Summit has always been about bringing the women in the community together to meet each other, learn from one another and to inspire each other,” Bell told Technical.ly Baltimore.
The keynote will be delivered by Kelly Hoey, founder of Women Innovate Mobile, a startup accelerator focused on “gender-diverse founding teams.” Hoey also headlined the 2015 summit in Philadelphia in April.
Baltimore speakers include SameGrain founder Anne Balduzzi, ETC President Deb Tillett and StraighterLine Chief Operating Officer Kerry Nagle.
— Women In Tech Summit (@WomenTechSummit) August 28, 2015
The Summit is split between hands-on workshops on using technology (for instance, there is a Python workshop in Baltimore), speakers and panelists who discuss how businesses use technology and a separate career track where speakers focus on particular fields.
Bell said Baltimore was chosen as the first city for the summit outside of Philadelphia because its emerging technology community would provide an excellent base of attendees, as well as speakers. Bell said several Baltimore women travelled to Philly for past summits, indicating that there was interest.
The local organizing committee represents one way that the Summit taps into that existing community, Bell said. The Summit had local organizing committee in Philly, and plans to replicate that in each city as the organization expands.
Profits from the event go to TechGirlz, a Philadelphia nonprofit that helps to educate middle-school girls about careers in tech, Bell said. The organization conducts hands-on workshops called TechShopz that introduce the girls to coding, game design and other areas. The nonprofit seeks to replicate its model nationally with a program called TechShopz in a Box, which can be downloaded for free and provides guidance on how to set up a similar workshop.
According to Bell, early-bird signups for the conference end on Sept. 1.