Professional Development

February Events Roundup: From agtech to new investments, don’t miss these 8 Pittsburgh tech meetups

This month's tech calendar is full of forward-minded discussions, two hackathons and the latest investment announcements from Innovation Works.

Scenes from a past Invest In Her Pitch Competition.

(Photo via twitter.com/InvestInHer)

Events Roundup is a Technical.ly 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: pittsburgh@technical.ly.


Where January may offered a slow start to events season for the Pittsburgh tech community, February’s packed calendar is launching new momentum.

Now, the pandemic is very much still happening. But local organizers are excited by the prospect of bringing people together for new hackathons and discussions about developing sectors. And for those still hesitant about in-person interactions until case numbers go down again, there are plenty of online events that will help set the tone for the new year, too. Be sure to add these to your calendar as we fully kick off 2022.

Note: Please make sure to check descriptions of all in-person events for any mandates or location changes due to the pandemic.

How to Throw a Business Shower

Hosted by community capital fundraiser Shine Registry with support from entrepreneurship community Ascender and forthcoming startup studio Hooman, this online event explores the concept of a “business shower” — akin to a bridal or baby shower, yes, but for your company. The idea is that such an event gives supporters an official chance to provide capital or gifts like desk chairs, society memberships and more. As the event description says: “You can ask for a gravy boat when you’re getting married — with Shine Registry you can ask for office supplies and network connections when you’re starting a business.” The event will feature three case studies of businesses that have raised up to $12,000 at business showers.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Free to attend

Pittsburgh Bitcoin Meetup

Open to everyone, this informal monthly meetup of the Pittsburgh Bitcoin Users brings together locals interested in cryptocurrency. From the biggest bitcoin expert to someone who just heard about it yesterday, all will find a place for discussion at this meetup. The event details emphasize that all political views are welcome, and that respectful discussion of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency is encouraged. Pittsburgh, for its part, has picked up its crypto activity with last year’s IPO for Stronghold Digital Mining. Time will tell if these meetups and public offerings are the first of many more cryptocurrency ventures to come here.

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  • Wednesday, Feb. 2 (and every first Wednesday of the month), 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Roland’s Seafood Grill & Iron Landing at 1904 Penn Ave.
  • Free to attend

TartanHacks

One of the largest hackathons in Pittsburgh is back for 2022. Run by ScottyLabs — a student run organization at Carnegie Mellon University — the weekend-long event is open to undergraduate students across the country, working together for 36 hours on a variety of projects. Last year’s winners included an augmented reality geospatial social media platform; a spontaneous route mapper for walking, running and biking; and an extension that allows people to round up online purchases to donate the change. This year, all events will take place online, but CMU students have the option to attend in person.

  • Friday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, Feb. 6
  • Hybrid event
  • Free to attend for all undergraduate students

Robotics Industry Insights: Robotics in AgTech

The first of two events from the Pittsburgh Robotics Network in February features a closer looking at an exciting new robotics sector popping up in Pittsburgh: agricultural tech. Featuring the cofounders and executives of three of the most promising companies working in that space — Fifth Season, Four Growers and Bloomfield Robotics — the event will center on discussions of industry challenges, commercialization, customer success, state of the industry and other lessons learned in agtech. Plus, there will be a chance at networking, and yes, lunch is included with your ticket.

  • Thursday, Feb. 10, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Slate Studios at 2517 Penn Ave.
  • $45 for general admission, $25 for Pittsburgh Robotics Network members

Innovation Works New Portfolio Showcase

Apart from being home to three of Pittsburgh’s top accelerators, Innovation Works is also one of the largest early-stage investors in the region. This event will be the first announcement of new companies the org is added to its investment portfolio, with a focus on software and hardware related to AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear investments. Though Innovation Works also operates AlphaLab Health, the young accelerator won’t be included in this showcase.

  • Thursday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Online event
  • Free to attend

2022 Invest In Her Pitch Competition

The fifth annual Invest In Her Pitch Competition is back this February, this time partnering with Pittsburgh-based community nonprofit Omicelo Cares. Though applications for this year’s product and service focused business pitches are now closed, the event is open to anyone to attend. Winners will not only receive the usual cash prize, but will also have a chance to participate in Omicelo’s 7 Pillars of Sustainable Business accelerator.

  • Thursday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Online event
  • Free to attend

Ignite AgTech Hackathon

Washington, PA-based Ignite Business Incubator will partner with Mimetic to host one of the region’s first agricultural tech-focused hackathons. This in-person event dovetails with recent successes Pittsburgh has seen in the overlap of AI and robotics with the farming industry, much of which surrounds Pittsburgh. This first hackathon from the two organizations will focus on projects aimed at solving the high price of farming equipment.

  • Saturday, Feb. 19, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Ignite Business Incubator, 57 E. Chestnut St.
  • Free to attend

Human-Computer Interaction Design for Robotics

The second event hosted by the Pittsburgh Robotics Network next month will focus on developing around the interactions of humans with computers, robotics and other machines. Speakers for the online event have not been announced yet, but the description says that the discussion will center on the design, challenges, customer impact, user adoption and commercialization of human-computer interaction tech.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 22, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Online event
  • Free to attend

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. -30-
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