By Jen Sweeney
When thinking about tech and innovation, Philadelphia may not be the first city that comes to mind—but it should. This city figures prominently in tech and innovation history and has been the site of a number of “firsts.”
- The first general purpose computer (ENIAC, all 30 tons of it)
- The first hospital (Pennsylvania Hospital)
- The first pharmacy school (Philadelphia College of Pharmacy)
- The first medical school (University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine)
Plus, dozens of inventions and discoveries are credited to Philly’s favorite founding father, Benjamin Franklin.
That spirit of innovation is alive and well in the city today, and is the focus of Technical.ly Philly’s 6th annual Philly Tech Week, which runs through May 7. This year’s conference is divided into six different “tracks”—Creative, Access, Dev, Civic, Business, and Media—and features nearly 150 events at venues across the city and beyond. Highlights include:
Wednesday, May 4:
- A full-day Dev conference with events that explore development’s role in problem-solving and innovation. Also of note: The 2nd Annual Women in Tech Soiree.
Thursday, May 5:
- A half-day business conference with events focused on ways in which startups can find success.
- #FAILFEST, a two-hour session that celebrates failure’s important role in success. Local business leaders will share stories of past failures and how they helped shaped their successes.
Friday, May 6:
- Philly Tech Week concludes (*almost) with a full day of events, plus a closing cocktail reception/ interactive local technology expo and demo party. (*Tech Week continues on Saturday, May 7, with a handful of events.)
Since its inception, Philly Tech Week helped launch important initiatives like Open Data Philly, a catalog of open data in the Philadelphia region, and the Commit Pledge of Service, a yearlong initiative to get technologists involved with area nonprofits. We’re excited to see what comes out of this year’s event.