Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Who builds the local tech community? Tell us for the inaugural RealLIST Connectors

This May, Technical.ly is launching the RealLIST Connectors, our roundup of folks working to build their local tech, entrepreneurship and innovation community — especially now, when we can't meet IRL.

A professional development workshop at NET/WORK Philly 2018.

(Photo by Dominique Nichole)

What’s a connector?

It’s a person who has invested in a community around them, who has trust, insight and integrity. Community building can only happen with them.

With the world in chaos, it feels like a natural time to go back to these ideas, and ideals.

In May 2020, Community Building Month, Technical.ly is focusing on the work being done to better connect the tech, entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems of Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C. and Delaware, especially in the midst of a pandemic that is changing how society operates in micro and macro ways.

One big question we’ll seek to answer with our reporting: What does community look like when technologists and company builders can’t meet IRL?

We’re excited, too, to announce the inaugural RealLIST Connectors, our roundups of folks doing that work on the ground — especially behind the scenes, and especially now, during a crisis moment.

Inspired by our longstanding RealLIST Startups and year-old RealLIST Engineers, these will be lists of the couple dozen people we’d tell someone who’s new here to first meet for coffees — or these days, virtual chats — to understand what makes this community tick. (Critically, we won’t be advising you to go ask all these people to meet — please do not send them a “pick your brain” message and blame us.) These lists are not meant to be the city’s most powerful, though there’s clear overlap, but those who are influential connectors in the most dynamic part of this region’s economy.

Our RealLIST Connectors might volunteer for a well-regarded programmers’ meetup, run a program improving access for underserved groups, or be an entrepreneur who now mentors others. Or they might do something wildly different; we’re open to your interpretation of the term.

Who’s connecting your city’s tech community? Tell us via this form by EOD Wednesday, May 6:

Nominate someone for RealLIST Connectors

Other stories you can expect to read this month might focus on on entry points for new technologists and entrepreneurs, meetups gone virtual and modern mentorship. Some relevant stories we’ve published recently:


Follow along here once the month kicks off. Have an idea for a story, or an exciting company we should look into, or a report we should read, or an expert we should talk to this month? Want to write a guest post on a relevant topic? Let us know:

Contact us

And hey, we’re trying a new thing: We recorded our newsroom meeting kicking off the month! If you’ve ever wondered how we brainstorm ahead of writing about our editorial calendar themes or what our wardrobes look like when we work from home or how our beautiful voices sound, well, here’s your chance, friends.


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