Events Roundup: 8 ways to start your 2020 on the right professional foot - Philly

Professional Development

Events Roundup: 8 ways to start your 2020 on the right professional foot

From coworking Fridays at the Free Library to Techstars' Startup Weekend Latino Edition, here's where to work, connect and learn this January.

The view of the Parkway Central branch's Business Resource and Innovation Center from above.

(Photo by Julie Zeglen)

Events Roundup is a column where we highlight events happening in the Philly area each month. Got a submission? Email us the details so we can consider it for our next roundup.

Many folks heading into a brand new year make resolutions about hitting the gym, cutting out alcohol (hi, dry January) or just paying attention to their health in general. But heading into this new decade, we bet you’re considering upping your professional game as well.

If so, we gotcha: There’s a slew of networking events, spots to hunker down and work, and organizations championing your future success this month. Check out our roundup of noteworthy events in January:

Coworking Fridays at the Free Library

This past summer, spent a day working out of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s flagship location in its Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC). One of the biggest cons of the space, according to our reporter, was its lack of coffee.

“You asked and we heard,” the library said in its announcement. “Beginning in January, BRIC will offer FREE coffee on Fridays. Enjoy coworking, chatting (or not!), and coffee each Friday from 10:00 a.m. until it’s gone.”

  • Starting Friday, Jan. 3
  • 10 a.m.
  • Free, but BYOM (BRIC is encouraging folks to bring their own mugs)
  • Parkway Central Branch (1901 Vine St., ground floor)

ImpactPHL’s Post-Holidays Impact Social

Grab a drink and gather for ImpactPHL’s gathering of the social impact community at Triple Bottom Brewing. The night’s purpose is to celebrate 2019’s accomplishments and look forward to work being done in 2020. The happy hour will convene impact investors, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, conscious company managers, civic leaders and innovators, and the brewery will also be giving tours.


  • Wednesday, Jan. 8
  • 5:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Pay as you go
  • Triple Bottom Brewing (915 Spring Garden St.)

2020 Economic Outlook

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia is hosting its annual look-ahead for economic development in the region. The program’s three-part agenda will feature results from the Federal Reserve Bank’s economic forecast survey of Chamber members; a discussion of the state and future of the global economy and markets from keynote speaker Lara Rhame, chief U.S. economist for FS Investments; and a panel of regional business leaders spotlighting the key economic trends that will shape our region in 2020.

  • Friday, Jan. 17
  • 7:30 to 10 a.m.
  • Tickets start at $70 for Chamber members

Redefining Innovation in Rare Disease Drug Development

This event, at the Pennovation Center, will discuss innovative approaches to addressing the challenges of research and drug development in rare diseases. The panel will also explore how stakeholders in the rare disease community may work together to close the innovation gap and address unmet medical needs for patients. Carter McClure, the managing director of the Pennovation Center, will moderate for panelists Jennifer Farmer, Stephanie Fischer and Saba Sile.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 22
  • 5:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Free
  • Pennovation Center (3401 Grays Ferry Ave., Building 176)

 Penn Nursing Innovation Accelerator Pitch Day

University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing is in the middle of its first-ever year-long innovation accelerator. The program aims to support the creation and testing of early-stage solutions to improve health and healthcare outcomes “with a priority on populations of greatest need,” the school said last year. Come out and support the first cohort’s Pitch Day, where finalists will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 22
  • 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Free
  • Fagin Hall Auditorium (418 Curie Blvd.)

Startup Weekend Latino Edition in Philly

Techstars is hosting another of its local startup weekends — “the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup,” per the org. It kicks off its Latino Edition Jan. 24 for a weekend of learning about entrepreneurship. Teams will work on a business idea together, create a demo of their idea, validate the idea and receive feedback from entrepreneurs and experts.

“We want to inspire more diverse entrepreneurs and founders in Philly,” the org said. “Everyone is welcomed to come build with us.”

  • Friday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 26
  • Begins 6 p.m. Jan. 24 and runs through 9 p.m. Jan. 26
  • Tickets for participants are $30, and attending Demo Day costs $10
  • 1766 Rittenhouse Campus (1608 Walnut St., 12th floor)

Philly Freelance Fest

Head over to REC Philly’s new space at the end of this month for the first-ever Philly Freelance Fest, a gathering of area freelancers across industries and the companies looking for contractors. When we spoke to co-organizer Alex Hillman last month, about half of the events tickets had been released. Expect a day of networking, workshops and office hours (and a take-home guide for who attended, in order to make those follow-up emails easier).

  • Thursday, Jan. 30
  • 2 to 8 p.m.
  • Tickets range from $50 to $175, depending on if you’re getting a freelancer or client ticket
  • REC Philly HQ (second floor of the Fashion District at 9th and Market streets)

Penn LPS Coding Boot Camps Demo Day

This demo event is designed for industry professionals, company partners, current bootcamp participants, alumni of the university and those interested in becoming a partner of the Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies’ bootcamp to network, see participant’s projects, talk industry trends, and share feedback and advice.

  • Thursday, Jan. 30
  • 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Free
  • Independence LIVE (1919 Market St.)
Subscribe to our Newsletters
Connect with companies from the community
New call-to-action


Technically Media

Sign-up for daily news updates from Philadelphia