Over the past decade, Philadelphia has slowly but steadily built up its tech landscape. Among the many highlights:
- In 2012, the city appointed its first-ever chief data officer, Mark Headd.
- That same year saw the launch of StartupPHL, a city initiative to use public money to match investment in Philadelphia’s innovation ecosystem.
- In 2016, University of Pennsylvania launched Pennovation, a business incubator and laboratory that brings together researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs for the commercialization of research discoveries.
- Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology recently announced its Smart City roadmap, a master plan for the deployment of smart city technologies.
Philly Tech Week has seen the same kind of growth—it began in 2011 as a gathering of local stakeholders and is now the main yearly check-in point for the growth of the ecosystem, according to local tech news site Technical.ly Philly, which organizes the event.
This year’s 9th annual Philly Tech Week, which runs May 3-11, is organized into seven tracks—Creative, Access, Dev, Civic, Business, Media, and Sciences. It will feature nearly 80 events at venues across the city and beyond. Highlights include:
Friday, May 3:
The kickoff festival in Old City blends the best of Philly Tech Week with Old City’s longstanding First Friday tradition. The kickoff headquarters will be located at Linode (also the event’s sponsor and host), and highlights include a high-tech scavenger hunt, food, drinks, and prizes.
Tuesday, May 7:
The 5th Annual Women in Tech Soiree: This event, which will be held at the Comcast Technology’s Center’s LiftLabs, will feature a keynote speaker alongside a panel of notable women from the regional tech community.
Wednesday, May 8:
Dev conference at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business: A day full of dev talks across all levels of expertise that are focused around problem solving and innovative solutions.
Thursday, May 9:
Introduced by Technical.ly 2019 at Convene CityView. A one-day conference that includes programming, demos and networking. The focus will be on new content, ideas, companies and more.
Friday, May 10:
PTW19 Signature Event at the Comcast Technology Center. This year’s closing party is being billed as cocktail reception meets interactive local technology expo. Highlights include open bar, giveaways, plus demos—including the chance to play virtual reality games built by students at the Immersive Research Lab (IRL) of Drexel University, and the opportunity to try the latest Oculus technology and learn about the Free Library of Philadelphia’s VR programs and workshops.
It’s important to note that Philly Tech Week is not just for developers and the development community. The conference includes dozens of workshops, talks and other events aimed at anyone (or any organization) interested in learning how to use technology to innovate and drive growth—in other words, nearly every company today. Topics include data privacy, learning and development, technology’s role in sales, and more. Among the standout events:
Saturday, May 4:
“Millennial-ize It: Simple Strategies to Make L&D Programs Relevant to Millennials” – An exploration of how to re-imagine training for the millennial population in your workforce.
Tuesday, May 7:
“The Importance and Impact of Data Wrangling/Data Prep”– Business intelligence (BI), machine learning and artificial intelligence aren’t powered by magic, but by prepped data. This event focuses on the importance of prep to get an accurate story from your data.
Much has changed in the business technology landscape since Philly Tech Week’s inaugural event—digital is now the expectation for every company, old and new. Employees, too, must have a higher level of tech understanding and proficiency. The programming for this year’s conference reflects these changes.
As Technical.ly Philly’s Roberto Torres wrote in a recent blog post, “Philly Tech Week is now about way more than Tetris.”
We’re excited to see what this year’s event inspires.
Jen is an award-winning journalist who writes about workplace productivity and technology for Vitalyst. She believes in the power of using plain language, especially when writing about technology, and lists “achieving and enabling clarity” among her life goals.