3 tech predictions from WeWork’s Future of Philly event

The coworking provider got an all-women panel talking about more than being women in tech.

Stimulus' Tiffanie Stanard (center) in 2017. (Photo by Roberto Torres)

Say what you may about venture-backed out of towners WeWork, but last week the coworking provider managed to pack well over 300 attendees in its NoLibs location for a discussion of Philadelphia’s tech future.

Temple University’s Ellen Weber moderated a panel comprised of Danielle Cohn, director of entrepreneurial engagement at Comcast; Tiffanie Stanard, CEO and founder of Stimulus and New York-based Stephanie Glenn, VP of SMB sales at Salesforce.

(Likely, you noticed it too: it was an all-women panel. As many event goers mentioned last night, it was refreshing to see an all-women panel talking about tech itself, versus the more frequent topic: being women in tech.)

One of the first lines to grab our attention came from Comcast’s Cohn, who pointed out the heavy attendance as a sign of something bigger. “This is a movement,” Cohn said. “Philly tech is at a tipping point.”

As we wrote in our preview for the event, we were curious about what a Salesforce exec from New York would have to contribute to a discussion on the future of Philadelphia’s tech community. One interesting thought from Glenn, whose work with Salesforce has led her to travel around the country, is that growing a tech ecosystem should be “less about infrastructure” and more about “meaningful connections,” referring to things like accelerators and incubators.

We marveled at Stimulus founder Stanard, who gave a passionate speech about Philly’s inclusiveness in contrast to the climate she’s seen in other cities. Stanard, who is based out of the Microsoft Reactor Philadelphia as part of their Startup in Residence program, also gave a shoutout to the accessibility of local champions like Startup PHL’s Archna Sahay.

And speaking of predictions, as the event wrapped up each of the panelists took a stab at forecasting trends in Philly’s tech ecosystem. Glenn made a more general statement about a field to watch in 2017:

For Stanard, it was about more women founders coming to the ecosystem:

And finally, Cohn composed on the spot a news headline she’d like to read in the future:

Companies: Salesforce / WeWork / Comcast

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