Philly Tech Week 2018 presented by Comcast was a big week. The mayor talked tech, industry leaders confronted systemic inequality in venture capital, Seer Interactive’s Wil Reynolds and La Colombe’s Todd Carmichael both dropped major founder knowledge as well as multiple F-bombs, and impact professionals stressed the importance that kids of color see adults that look like them succeeding in their field.
And we’re not even talking about all of Philly Tech Week — that was just on one day.
— Liz Brown ??????? (@lizbrownsays) May 3, 2018
On Thursday, May 3, during the eighth annual PTW, 100+ speakers and 500+ attendees converged at the Science History Institute for Introduced by Technical.ly. The event — a chock-full day of learning and linking — was developed out of a desire to bring innovators together more efficiently, more productively and in more creative ways. The inaugural conference united the the seven tracks by which Technical.ly organizes editorial content and events (minus Dev, which had its own conference on Wednesday, May 2).
With 25 panels and discussion sessions, it was easy to get caught up in the dynamic, interdisciplinary programming. But Introduced was so much more than a panel-based conference, and some of the most illuminating connections happened while attendees were taking private meetings with potential investors, exchanging business cards across tables on the demo floor, noshing on tofu bahn-mis in the Comcast lounge and passing each other in the hallways between sessions. Or while waiting in line for their turn in front of the sweet Technical.ly photo backdrop:
This picture is exactly me and who I am all the time. Thank you @technical_ly for the coffee and for the opportunity to share how grateful I am to be able to do what I do everyday. See you next time @phillytechweek! #bmoretech #yetisyet #femalefounders #ladyboss #PTW18 #intro18 pic.twitter.com/5z76uIkeg8
— Margaret Roth (@margaret_h_r) May 4, 2018
“Introduced was a great reminder that Philadelphia is at the center of some of the most important discussions in technology today,” SAP Senior Vice President Lloyd Adams said. “And I’m not just talking about Amazon HQ2, though that was a hot topic. I’m talking about the social responsibility of tech companies, building startups outside of Silicon Valley, the future of Smart Cities — all areas of rich discussion at Introduced.”
In addition to the ambitious programming, Introduced sought to make real, one-on-one connections between specific players in the hopes of forming relationships that open up future opportunities. Attendees had the opportunity to apply for private meetings with founder mentors like Liz Brown of Webjunto, purchasing or service reps at companies like PHLCVB and potential investment specialists like Ben Franklin Technology Partners.
All told, Technical.ly was able to facilitate 50+ founder-to-founder meetings, 25+ B2B pitches and 30+ investor pitches. The curated meetings added another level to the conference, with participants ducking out of the regular schedule for a curated meeting, then rejoining the flow with a new perspective, and possibly some new funding, inspiration or leads.
Even attendees who didn’t opt for a closed-door meeting had plenty to keep them occupied. The Science History Institute’s parking lot and hallways were transformed into a bustling, vibrant demo floor featuring 24 exhibitors, organized into three shifts:
Discover, featuring innovators like Tyler School of Art and Jefferson Health:
— DICE (@DICEGRP) May 3, 2018
Get Involved, featuring impact specialists like Girl Develop It and Hopeworks ’N Camden:
— Suzie Nieman (@suzienieman) May 3, 2018
Play, featuring some locally designed fun from folks like PHL Collective and the Entrepreneurial Game Studio (EGS) at Drexel University:
Our wonderful co-op Utkarsh is showing off @SplitSideGames new whacky racing platformer "Fling to the Finish" here at the Introduced by @TechnicallyPHL conference. Come play a round! #Intro18 #PTW18 pic.twitter.com/9rmezFoUKU
— EGS (@egsdrexel) May 3, 2018
Throughout three full turnovers on the demo floor, all the day’s exhibitors brought their A game, engaging Introduced attendees with their tech, their talk and their treats:
— Hero Digital (@HeroDigitalHQ) May 3, 2018
Will Crowley, marketing manager at Relay, which was one of the sponsors of Introduced felt the impact:
The event really was all about connecting. The panels brought together thought leaders passionate around topics ranging from smart cities to healthcare to design thinking. The demo floor and sponsors tent was constantly buzzing with people. Before noon we had spoken to customers, press, potential partners, and job candidates.
It takes an industry (or really, lots of industries) to innovate. Thank you to all our 2018 Introduced by Technical.ly sponsors:
- University of Pennsylvania
- The Archer Group
- Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
- Vanguard Innovation Studio
- Think Company
- Hero Digital
- University City Science Center
- Temple Fox School of Business
- Morgan Lewis
- Ben Franklin Technology Partners
- Peirce College
- Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
- Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council
Special shoutout to all of the social butterflies in attendance that had #INTRO18 trending on Twitter!
— Roberto Torres (@TorresLuzardo) May 3, 2018
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