Diversity & Inclusion
Awards / Delaware

10 moments to remember from Delaware Innovation Week 2016

The Delaware tech community convened, learned, collaborated and celebrated. It was a whirlwind of a week.

The 2016 Delaware Innovation Awards. Who will win this year? (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Parsons)

If you missed it this year, you missed out big. This year’s Delaware Innovation Week was even bigger than last year’s. Attendance was nearly at 2,500 technologists versus 2,000 last year. The events doubled in numbers and the momentum was even greater.
Although unofficially, the week really pregamed with Delaware’s largest coding competition to date, {OpenBracket, the weekend before. Five banks collaborated on backing this competition, bringing 100 technologists together in the First State, a place that many of them had never set foot in prior to that weekend. Barclaycard and Chase both interviewed technologists from the competition. The event set the tone for what was next to come.
Then there was Startup Weekend Delaware, which featured bright business ideas at University of Delaware’s campus. The top three were tech furniture product Custom Cushion, fashion alteration hub Thimble and investor connection platform Shell Capital. Among the judges was the vice president’s daughter, Ashley Biden.
The week officially kicked off with a talk at tech incubator 1313 Innovation by gamification expert Karl Kapp on the use of gamification in everyday life and its effect on motivation and personal happiness. “Good gamification isn’t about games, it’s about game elements,” said Kapp.
DIW was also where Delaware financial futurist Jim Lee taught us about reinvention at the Grand Opera House, “Reinvention is an essential career skill,” he said.
Some technologists were seen walking around in the unofficial “tech uniform,” a DIW shirt and a company hoodie during of Dev Day. There were two concurrent workshops. One was an intro to Javascript platform node.js taught by Zip Code Wilmington instructor Froilan Miranda and an intro to Python workshop taught by Chatham Financial software developer Min Lee. There were between two to five women in each 13 person classroom, which is why it made sense to include panel on women in tech. Surprisingly, the panel, composed of three software developers Bhavana Hindupur, Jocelyn Harper and Shilpa Jindal, was not about being women in tech, but the diverse set of life experiences the developers experienced in their careers. “If you’re in your comfort zone, get out of it,” said Jindal.
There was a business announcement made during Delaware’s flagship tech conference Tech2gether at World Cafe Live at the Queen by social monetization app Veepio CEO Jonathan Ohliger, who said that his company had established a footprint in the state. This took place before the student demo pit, which was where students like Garry Johnson got their first chance at pitching in front of a crowd that was bigger than a classroom. The demo pit was also where student company Silk Tours made the cut as the winner after a successful 90-minute pitch.

Tech2gether was also where Christiana Care Healthy System’s chief transformation officer Edmondo Robinson talked about machine learning’s transformational powers in healthcare innovation.
The week wrapped up with a star-studded reception, where the Delaware tech community was heavily represented in industries across the board at the annual Delaware Innovation Awards at 1313 Innovation. Girl Develop It won mission organization of the year while The Mill won colocation community of the year. Here’s the full list of winners. Hugs were given and people were congratulated.
As the event came to a close, the spirit of collaboration was definitely alive at #DIW16, just as the 10 tech leaders expressed prior to the event.

Companies: Thimble / Chatham Financial / First Ascent Design / The Mill / InSiteHub / Zip Code Wilmington / 1313 Innovation / ChristianaCare / Girl Develop It / University of Delaware / World Cafe Live
Projects: OpenBracket / Delaware Innovation Week

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