October was nigh in Wilmington last night as the sun set early and rain showers chased the post-workday bustle off of Market Street.
Not that anybody inside the coIN Loft for September’s Delaware Tech Meetup could have noticed. Just as autumn was creeping in, everything the community had been waiting for all summer long was about to come to a head.
Five presentations from five organizations had the attention of a room jam-packed with technologists, entrepreneurs, creatives and connectors.
Organizers Ajit Mathew George and Rhianon Husmann gave a presentation at last night’s meetup announcing some news about the forthcoming TEDx conference at The Queen on Oct. 28. The annual conference, now in its fourth iteration, is already sold out this year. There will be 29 speakers, including a talk given by Carvertise founder Mac Nagaswami.
“We have had 63 speakers through all of our TEDx talks. Most importantly, we’ve had 308,000 views of our talks for Wilmington worldwide, which is a lot of views,” said George. “A good TEDx talk would get about 2,000 views. We’ve had one talk in 2014 that continues to grow at 196,000 views. That’s serious views around the world.”
The summit, which started in Philadelphia and just went national over the summer due to popular demand, was represented at the meetup by cofounder Gloria Bell, fresh off an appearance at Technical.ly’s Baltimore Innovation Week. In addition to conferences being held in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C., next spring, the fifth-annual summit will take place during Philly Tech Week 2016 — and they need speakers.
“When we say the words ‘women in tech,’ everyone immediately thinks developer,” said Bell. “What’s interesting is that doesn’t happen with men. There are men business people, CMOs, CEOs, designers, project managers who consider themselves men in tech. That doesn’t happen with women and we want to change that.”
Now that the nonprofit has officially launched in Wilmington, three representatives had some announcements to make at this month’s meetup. GDI Wilmington’s first event will be a meet-and-greet on Oct. 21, though its first class will be held on Oct. 29 and taught by Zip Code Wilmington’s community engagement manager Dominique Clarke, who spoke highly of her experience with GDI.
“I encountered women that were strong and powerful and skilled, so nice and generous and really wanted to help every person they encountered,” she said. “I fell in love with that community, and that made me want to remain in tech.”
4. Hatch House
The new live/work space was set to open this fall, but according to founder Steve Boerner, construction and permits have pushed the launch date back a bit — possibly to June 1, 2016.
5. Zip Code Wilmington
The code school’s instructor Tariq Hook took the stage to give the community a quick update on the first class’ progress.
“I have never met a more tenacious group of pre-developers in my life,” said Hook. “They’re doing test-driven development, they’re having good object-oriented design, some of them are developing better than people I’ve worked with in the industry.”
Hook also told the meetup that Zip Code Wilmington is open to working with other area nonprofits.
“We’re a nonprofit that has goals aligned with a lot of other nonprofits in this room,” he said. “If there’s any way we could form some kind of partnership to facilitate the growth of your program and our program, we’d love to talk.
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