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Events Roundup: Fill your December calendar with these Pittsburgh tech networking opportunities before the holidays

From founder opportunities to end of year reflections, these events are not-to-be-missed for anyone looking to be part of Pittsburgh's vibrant tech community next year.

Bakery Square, one of Pittsburgh's main tech business districts. (Courtesy photo by Walnut Capital)

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

Looking to get a start on your 2022 resolutions in tech and entrepreneurship?

Then look no further from these events coming up at the end of November and in the first half of December. While events closer to the holidays are scarce, there are plenty of opportunities to build community with new founders, investors, technologists and others before we take a break before the start of next year. Events this month have both in-person and online versions, so you can do whatever works for your comfort level — especially if you’d prefer to stay home ahead of seeing family.

Whatever you choose, these events are a must for anyone looking to join a vibrant community as it looks to repeat the success of this year in 2022. Many are based around celebrations and reflections on that success, so those hungry for new opportunities to build in tech should mark their calendars.

Marketing for Robotics: Building a Brand For Your Industry

Hosted by the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, this event will feature marketing directors from top local robotics companies Near Earth Autonomy, Locus Robotics and RedZone Robotics. The intensely technical nature of the robotics industry can sometimes make it difficult to market to consumers. This online discussion will feature insights on how to build a unique brand around your company’s expertise.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 30
  • Noon to 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Free

Pittsburgh OneValley Office Hours

Entrepreneurship hub and platform OneValley launched its Pittsburgh chapter this summer with a new innovation center and coworking space at Hazelwood Green. Now, the organization is getting more involved with Pittsburgh’s tech scene through community events like this one, with a chance to get feedback on startup and business ideas from local CEOs. The event doesn’t list who those leaders will be yet, but it will also offer a chance to network at the office hours, as well as an open group Q&A session to trade ideas. If you’re looking to get a head start on any entrepreneurship-related New Year’s Resolutions, register now.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 7
  • 6 to 9 p.m. EST
  • Free

Ascender Year End Community Party

This fun holiday celebration from one of Pittsburgh’s central entrepreneurship communities will bring together local founders, investors and others involved in the innovation scene for a reflection on the past year. This online event will feature insights from prominent entrepreneurs in the community like Meter Feeder‘s cofounder and CEO Jim Gibbs, and will give attendees a chance to network with each other and plan for goals next year. Plus, there will be a sneak peek at Ascender’s programming plans for 2022.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 8
  • 6 p.m. EST
  • Free

Computer Science Week Hour of Code

This event hosted by STEM Coding Lab is for young coders in grades 4 through 12 who are looking for a chance to hone their skills. This in-person event will give students a chance to practice designing games, creating animated stories, and of course — build robots (because what is a Pittsburgh tech event without some robots?). Food will be provided for participants, per the Eventbrite link, and all attendees will be entered in a raffle for prizes.

  • Thursday, Dec. 9
  • 5 to 8 p.m. EST
  • Free
  • Pitt Community Engagement Center, 622 North Homewood Ave.

Code & Coffee 

Hosted by Node PGH and Prototype PGH, this in-person meetup is a great chance to practice software engineering skills, whether they be for a work project, a new startup idea or just for fun. The event is BYO laptop and offers a chance to trade advice with fellow technologists of all skill levels and programming languages. Plus (in case it wasn’t obvious from the title) this event features free coffee.

  • Saturday, Dec. 11
  • Noon to 2 p.m.
  • Free
  • Prototype PGH at 460 Melwood Ave. #208

Beyond the Briefing: A Discussion on Infrastructure 

On the tails of the recently passed $1.2 billion infrastructure bill passed by Congress comes this event from tech community leader Pittsburgh Technology Council. In bringing together local legislators, this in-person fireside chat will provide a chance for local entrepreneurs and technologists to understand how new funding for broadband and more will play out in the Pittsburgh region. The event will feature discussion of both ongoing projects and those planned for the future, with opportunities on how Pittsburgh-based companies can help. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Vincent Valdes, the executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, will join.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 15
  • 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST
  • $45 or $55 for members (depending on time of ticket purchase), $175 for non-members
  • Pittsburgh Technology Council Offices, 100 South Commons, Suite 172

Cafe IW: Unwrapping the Mental Health Toolkit

In the last Cafe IW event of the year from startup hub Innovation Works, this morning conversation will cover strategies for management in stressful times as the pandemic, and isolation continue for many. Looking ahead to next year (when vaccination rates will hopefully be high enough for more widespread immunity), these skills in addressing mental health issues among employees will be essential to fostering a healthy and productive work environment — something more important now than ever in the midst of the Great Resignation. Be sure to tune in for insights from YogaRoots founder Felicia Savage Friedman and Equa Health cofounder Mathew Polowitz.

  • Thursday, Dec. 16
  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Free
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Pittsburgh Robotics Network / Innovation Works (Pittsburgh) / Near Earth Autonomy / Meter Feeder

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