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Events Roundup: Fill your September calendar with Pittsburgh tech conferences, startup pitches and Slack AMAs

From in-person networking to a venture fair to bootcamp deadlines, fall in Pittsburgh tech is kicking off strong. (Kennywood startup talent show, anyone?)

Bakery Square. (Photo by Flickr user Norton Gusky, used via a Creative Commons license)

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.

With the complicated combination of new vaccine mandates and rising Delta variant cases, Pittsburgh tech will be hosting a mix of in-person and virtual events this September.

Over the next month is a blend of gatherings meant to help entrepreneurs, founders and investors gear up for a strong fourth quarter, while others are purely focused on reunion after 18 months of online networking. is taking part in this, too, with a continued series of AMA chats hosted on our public Slack. These Q&A-style chats feature leading technologists and community builders across Pittsburgh, Philly, Baltimore, DC and Delaware.

Pittsburgh is heading into the fall as a strong innovation hub ready to make gains on its recent hard work, as it follows a successful summer of IPOs and funding announcements. These events promise a continuation of that momentum — plus a little fun on the side.

Technologist Slack AMAs with reporters

Throughout August and now going into the start of September, reporters across all of our coverage markets are hosting AMA (“ask me anything”) chats with local technologists and meetup organizers. To pop into a session, sign up for our public Slack and check out the #ama channel. For a preview, take a look at this recap from our conversation with newly Pittsburgh-based data scientist Faye Zheng earlier this month. Here’s what we have on our calendar looking ahead:

  • On Thursday, Aug. 26, reporters Holly Quinn and Paige Gross will lead a discussion with women-in-tech meetup organizers from Philly and Delaware.
  • On Thursday, Sept. 2, editor Stephen Babcock will host a chat with coworking space leaders and community members from around the region (including Pittsburgh!).

Mark Cuban Foundation AI Bootcamp deadline

Mount Lebanon-raised Mark Cuban runs a foundation that hosts an artificial intelligence bootcamp for high school students. Participants don’t need any prior experience in coding, and will get exposure to technical skills like Microsoft cloud computing and app building, as well as conversations around the ethics involved with AI. The bootcamp, which is open to all students in ninth through 12th grade in the Pittsburgh region, will take place in person at the Energy Innovation Center across four Saturdays in October and November. Applications close this week.

  • Friday, Aug. 27
  • Free to apply

Richard King Mellon Social Impact Challenge Pitch Competition deadline

One of Pittsburgh’s largest foundations is hosting a social impact-focused pitch competition, awarding up to a $500,000 investment to “novel products, technologies, or services from social-mission oriented for-profit companies.” Applications for the first round are due on Sept. 1, and require founders to submit team biographies and a five-minute pitch video.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1
  • 12 p.m. EST
  • Free to apply

Build412 Tech Happy Hour

Local networking community Build412 Tech held its first in-person happy hour in July after months of virtual events. That will continue this month with the group gathering for outdoor networking at Threadbare Cider House on the North Side. Build412’s happy hours are well known for being popular networking events among Pittsburgh’s tech community, and are must-gos for those looking to make new connections here. (Not to mention the joy of a happy hour that’s far away from any computer screen.)

  • Tuesday, Sept. 14
  • 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Free to attend, with food and drink specials available for purchase

RustBuilt Conference

The inaugural RustBuilt Conference will take place in mid-September at the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre in East Liberty. The all-day event will feature founder success stories, startup-relevant workshops, networking opportunities and a catered lunch. So far, some of the session leaders include prominent personalities of Pittsburgh tech like Metafy founder Josh Fabian, 412 Venture Fund Managing Director Ilana Diamond and Black Tech Nation founder Kelauni Jasmyn. Keep an eye on the event page for future updates and more details as the date approaches.

  • Friday, Sept. 17
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tickets range from $30 to $100

Kennywood Startups Day

The Pittsburgh startup community is coming together for a day of fun at Pittsburgh’s best amusement park. With half-priced tickets and a reserved pavilion, this Kennywood event is an opportunity to see old friends and make new connections in a relaxed social environment. For those less interested in the roller coasters, check out the talent show for the startup community.

  • Saturday, Sept. 18
  • 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (depending on park hours)
  • $30

Fall 2021 Academy Pittsburgh Cohort

The fall cohort for local coding bootcamp Academy Pittsburgh will start on Sept. 20, with rolling applications accepted until that date. The online application involves a series of logic questions, video submission and writing sample in addition to basic information. Those interested in applying can also attend one of the upcoming information sessions hosted by the bootcamp.

  • Monday, Sept. 20
  • Rolling application deadline
  • Free to apply

3 Rivers Venture Fair

This venture capital conference will take place virtually in late September, bringing together venture capitalists, potential investors, founders and other tech and startup-focused community members for networking over the course of two days. With speakers from local firms like 412 Venture Fund, Black Tech Nation Ventures and Magarac Venture Partners, the event will feature both fireside chat-style sessions and venture connection rounds for investors and entrepreneurs alike.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 29 through Thursday, Sept. 30
  • Wednesday: 12:30 to 5 p.m.; Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • $25 to $75
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.

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