25 Tech Leaders Share Their Can’t-Miss Events for Philly Tech Week

You won’t want to miss them either.

Philly Tech Week signature event at Comcast Center. Image via Visit Philadelphia.

Philly Tech Week signature event at Comcast Center. Image via Visit Philadelphia.

Philly Tech Week 2017 officially kicks off this afternoon, but some of you may still be feeling (happily) overwhelmed by the week’s 100 options. There’s everything from the inaugural innovation crawl around Center City to panels on every topic you can think of and networking soirees with Philly’s best.

To help you finalize your Tech Week schedule, Biz Philly reached out to some tech community leaders to see where they’ll be and why. Here’s a list of their top picks:

Jeanne Mell
VP Marketing Communications & Community Engagement, University City Science Center

Image courtesy of Jeanne Mell.

Image courtesy of Jeanne Mell.

Top Pick: A New Reality: How Virtual and Augmented Reality are Shaping the Future
Tuesday, May 2, 3-6:30 pm: Microsoft Reactor at the Science Center

AR/VR trailblazers can be the first to experience the new Mixed Reality Café at the Microsoft Reactor featuring Microsoft’s HoloLens.


Luke Butler
Strategy and Operations, Curalate

Image courtesy of Luke Butler.

Image courtesy of Luke Butler.

Top Pick: Curalate’s Scavenger Sprint & Sips
Tuesday, May 2, 5:30 pm: Start at Curalate

Umm…because we’re organizing it! And because all proceeds go towards supporting Coded by Kids, an incredible organization doing important work in our city. Best deal at #PTW17 – 10 bucks to charity gets you all the Starr food you can eat washed down with Yards beer and Stateside Vodka, plus $250 to the team that completes the scavenger hunt first. AND Mayor Kenney is kicking off the whole thing at Curalate HQ.


Yifan Liu
Founder, WISE; Analyst, Osage Venture Partners

Image courtesy of Yifan Liu.

Image courtesy of Yifan Liu.

Top Pick: 3rd Annual Women In Tech Soirée
Wednesday, May 3, 5 pm: WeWork Northern Liberties

I’m the founder of WISE (Women Investors, Startup Leaders, and Entrepreneurs), and I want to support women in the local tech scene.


Bob Moore
President, Philly Startup Leaders; Chairman, Stitch; Head of Magneto BI, Magento

Image via Twitter.

Image via Twitter.

Top Pick: Accessibility Hacks: Keeping Tech Inclusive for Everyone
Tuesday, May 2, 6:00 -9:00 pm: Benjamin’s Desk

#techInColor hosts great events that celebrate the diversity in our technology and entrepreneurial communities. At this year’s event, attendees will share strategies and tactics for ensuring tech is kept accessible for people with disabilities, an important topic that every technologist should consider when building a product.


Mayor Jim Kenney

Photo | Jim Kenney

Photo | Jim Kenney

Top Pick: Mayoral Tech Town Hall
Monday, May 1 9:30 am- 12:30 pm: PHL Next Stage Med @ Schuylkill Yards

I have to include a shameless plug – come hang out with me on Monday morning so we can discuss all things Philly tech. We all know innovation and tech will be driving our local economy for years to come. I’m fresh off a trip to SXSW in March, so I’m excited to keep that conversation going. Once my Q&A is done, stick around for an expert panel on the economic impact of tech, featuring the City’s Director of Entrepreneurial Investment Archna Sahay.


Wayne Kimmel
Managing Partner, SeventySix Capital

Image courtesy of Wayne Kimmel.

Image courtesy of Wayne Kimmel.

Top Pick: A New Reality: How Virtual and Augmented Reality are Shaping the Future
Tuesday, May 2, 3 pm: Microsoft Reactor at the Science Center

I am excited to see how the Microsoft AR and VR technology, including the HoloLens, will shape our future innovations. I’ll also be delivering remarks at 5 p.m. on how I see this technology playing out in the future.


Jonathan Mellinger
CEO, uTu.ai

Top Pick: Technical.ly Introduced: A Curated B2B Event
Thursday, May 4, 11:30 am-2:30pm: Seer Interactive

We are a startup developing artificial intelligence for enterprise marketing applications in the conversant channels chatbots, Alexa skills, and SMS. We’ve been operating in stealth mode for about six months and this event will provide us a forum for a “soft launch” as well as business development opportunities with companies that we know are in our target vertical markets. Philadelphia is a great place for us to find customers in our own backyard.


Tracey Welsson Rossman
Chief Marketing Officer, Chariot Solutions; Founder, TechGirlz

Image via TechGirlz.

Image via TechGirlz.

Top Pick: Driving Tech Talent Growth in PHL
Tuesday, May 2, 8-10 pm: Cira Centre

Besides the fact that I co-chaired this report, this event gives a full overview of the current state of our technology workforce in this region. If you are interested in having an innovation economy, you need an innovation workforce. This event will offer the statistics and suggest a path forward to make our region stronger.


Tim Raybould
CEO, Ticketleap

Photo courtesy of Tim Raybould.

Photo courtesy of Tim Raybould.

Top Pick: Entrepreneur Expo
Wednesday, May 3, 5:30-8:30pm: 23rd Street Armory

I’ve been going to this event for 10 years. It’s grown so much and is now a must-stop during Philly Tech Week to meet new startups, new people, and chat with longtime members of the Philly startup community.


Kristen Fitch
Senior Manager Marketing and Media Relations, University City Science Center

Image courtesy of Kristen Fitch.

Image courtesy of Kristen Fitch.

Top Pick: #Failfest
Thursday, May 4, 5:30 – 8:30 pm: WeWork Northern Liberties

It’s always a good reminder that we’re all human. Even the people at the top of their game have made mistakes, acknowledged them and used those opportunities to grow, learn and keep moving forward. It’s a reminder that failure isn’t a reason to stop what we’re doing. It’s an excuse to assess, regroup and move forward. I think everyone can find a common thread with the stories heard at FailFest, but it’s even more impactful hearing it from people who moved beyond those hurdles to be where they are today.


Laurie Actman
Chief Marketing, Communications and Program Officer, Pennovation Center

Image courtesy of Laurie Actman.

Image courtesy of Laurie Actman.

Top Pick: Building a Venture-Backed Business: Firseside Chat with Josh Kopelman
Monday, May 1, 6-8 pm: Pennovation Center

The event will feature Josh Kopelman, partner at First Round Capital and Apu Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Curalate, both interviewed by John Swartley, associate vice provost for research and managing director of PCI. I’m going to hear thee leaders who have delivered incredible growth and value to the Philadelphia entrepreneurial ecosystem and who represent the three legs of the entrepreneurial stool, if you will. Josh Kopelman is a prominent national investor and Penn alum who spots trends early in the tech space and does his best to support local student startups via the Dorm Room Fund. Apu Gupta is perhaps the hottest tech CEO in Philadelphia behind the fast-growing Curalate. And John Swartley is the under-the-radar head of Penn’s commercialization center who is responsible for PCI’s huge growth and success translating Penn discoveries into the market. He’s a key person to know if you are serious about leveraging (and investing in) technology invested by Penn faculty.


Aaron Haydn McLean
COO, Stuzo

Top Pick: Bots, AI & Conversational UI
Tuesday, May 2, 6:00-8:00 pm: Stuzo

We are excited to host Microsoft Tech Evangelist Dave Voyles!


Mark Kuhn
CEO, Oat Foundry

Image courtesy of Oat Foundry.

Image courtesy of Oat Foundry.

Top Pick: Innovation Day
Friday, May 5, 9:00 am-12:00 pm: O3 World 1339 Frankford Avenue Suite 3

O3 world invited us to share some insight into hardware and software prototyping while were building the Split Flap signs for Honeygrow. Pumped to bring one down and share. I go on at 10:15.


Emily Foote
Co-founder, Practice

Image courtesy of Emily Foote.

Image courtesy of Emily Foote.

Top Pick: Brain-Based Learning in the Virtual Classroom
Wednesday, May 3, 6:00 – 8:00pm: Drexel University Gerri C. Lebow Hall

Creating dynamic virtual trainings is crucial to learning in the 21st century. Practice is constantly looking for ways to iterate our product to better engage our users. With a focus on the neuroscience of learning, this session should help all attendees learn how to better stimulate and connect with their markets.


Ellen Weber
Executive Director, Temple Fox School of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and Robin Hood Ventures

Photo courtesy of Ellen Weber.

Photo courtesy of Ellen Weber.

Top Pick: The 3rd Annual Rad Awards
Tuesday, May 2 7:00 – 11pm: Stratus Rooftop Lounge

I am so honored to be nominated for my work at Temple by this very cool group of women. I love the idea of being a “rad girl,” and my daughters are so proud of me.


Ned Moore
CEO & Co-founder, Clutch

Image via YouTube.

Image via YouTube.

Top Pick: Building a Venture-Backed Business: Fireside Chat with Josh Kopleman
Monday, May 1, 6:00 – 8:00 pm: Pennovation Center

Josh has built a couple companies from the ground up and then founded First Round Capital, so he’s bee really successful on both sides of the table. To have someone with his amount of experience and the number of companies he has seen and been involved with – if you are interested in starting your own company, don’t miss this one.


Archna Sahay
Director of Entrepreneurial Investment, City of Philadelphia

L to R: Lauren Cox, Department of Commerce communications director; Mayor Jim Kenney; Archna Sahay, Philadelphia's director of entrepreneurial investment; and at SXSW 2017.

L to R: Lauren Cox, Department of Commerce communications director; Mayor Jim Kenney; Archna Sahay, Philadelphia’s director of entrepreneurial investment; and at SXSW 2017.

Top Pick: Q&A with PA Gov. Tom Wolf
Wednesday, May 3, 12:00-1:00 pm: Temple University, Alter Hall

Collaboration across the state is more important now than ever before. When companies make decisions to leave Philadelphia, often times they leave not just the City but the entire State. Retention of tech talent and strategic economic development centered on tech innovation cannot happen in isolation. Working closely with the State and cities across PA like Pittsburgh and State College, is a no brainer as we move to become leaders in this space.

Bonus:
Top Pick: evoHaX: Hack to Change Lives
Friday, April 28- Sunday April 30: Benjamin’s Desk Rittenhouse

evoHaX is the fourth Hackathon in the series of Hackathons focused on developing accessible technologies. Diversity is an important issue for me period but a deeply personal one as well. Oftentimes we only consider one or two elements when we discuss diversity. Diversity goes beyond race and gender however. Language, socioeconomic status, education, age, and physical and mental abilities are also points of diversity that should be championed and celebrated. evoHaX is one of my favorite things to have come out of Philadelphia’s tech ecosystem. I am honored and excited to take part this year as a judge on Sunday. It’s a 3 day affair filled with panels, great conversations and cool technologies. Come for some, stay for it all!


Bob Moul
CEO, Cloudamize

Bob Moul is the new CEO of Cloudamize.

Bob Moul is the new CEO of Cloudamize.

Top Pick: The Multi-Layered Social Impact of Technology
Monday, May 1 6:00-9:00 pm: O3 World

I’m going because I’m committed to helping all our Philly kids get the same opportunity in tech that I had, and I’m a big fan of Hopeworks.


Kate Cassidy
Program Manager, Temple University Blackstone LaunchPad

Top Pick: #Failfest
Thursday, May 4, 5:30 – 8:30pm: WeWork Northern Liberties

Success stories rule … but an insider scoop into the major setbacks along the way? That really rules. This event is a fun, rare and completely honest look into the biggest challenges some of Philly’s most successful leaders have faced.


Councilman Allan Domb

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/tag/allan-domb/#yov81b2TdtFSVoOi.99

Photo of Allan Domb in the lobby of Parc Rittenhouse by Laura Kicey.

Top Pick: Curalate’s Scavenger Sprint & Sips
Tuesday, May 2 5:30-9pm, Start at Curalate

This event is supporting Coded by Kids, and I have been working with founder Sylvester Mobley and his team, as well as many others, to increase opportunities for Philadelphia students to learn coding. Great opportunity for our students, and our city job market and economy could benefit long-term. Many thanks to all who have supported these efforts along the way. I am hopeful we’ll continue to move the ball forward and encourage more people to join.

Philly Tech Week has really become one of the annual events that are crucial to our city’s identity. Our tech and startup scene has made serious strides in recent times and this is an opportunity to highlight once again everything going on in Philadelphia. We had a strong presence at SXSW, now let’s celebrate and bring it all to light in our own backyard.


Rick Nucci
CEO, Guru; PSL Board Chair

Image via Youtube.

Image via Youtube.

Top Pick: Out to Launch
Monday, May 1, 12 pm: The Museum of the American Revolution

Besides Guru being one of the launch companies, which I am certainly excited about, I think the event idea and format is very cool and novel. It should be a fun way to get a brief glimpse into a bunch of new Philly innovations.


Sylvester Mobley
Founder & CEO, Coded by Kids

Sylvester Mobley far right at a Coded by Kids class. Photo courtesy Coded by Kids.

Sylvester Mobley far right at a Coded by Kids class. Photo courtesy Coded by Kids.

Top Pick: Coded by Kids Community Tech Event North Philadelphia and South Philadelphia

We are bringing Philly Tech Week to underserved communities. These two events are the exact same. They’re just in two different neighborhoods.


Jake Stein
CEO, Stitch

Image courtesy of Stitch.

Image courtesy of Stitch.

Top Pick: Entrepreneur Expo
Wednesday, May 3, 5:30-8:30 pm: 23rd Street Armory

I’ve been to every one of these since we started RJMetrics 8 years ago, and I am really excited to be at the Stitch booth this year. There is literally no other time where I can see as many friends, peers, and potential partners all in one place. If I wanted to introduce someone to the Philly tech community in a single night, this would be it.


Darren Hill
Co-founder & CEO, WebLinc

Image courtesy of WebLinc.

Image courtesy of WebLinc.

Top Pick: The Future of Digital Marketing
Tuesday, May 2, 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. National Museum of Jewish History

We’ll be showing up to see our friend Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive gives his talk “Looking at Google Through New Lenses” at 4 p.m. He was the keynote speaker at WebLinc’s annual customer summit last year. Always full of energy and passion, he’s a crowd pleaser and makes sure everyone has several takeaways.


Tiffanie Stanard
Founder/CEO, Stimulus

Image courtesy of Tiffanie Stanard.

Image courtesy of Tiffanie Stanard.

Top Pick: Out to Launch
Monday, May 1, 12- 2:00 pm, Museum of the American Revolution

Folks should attend because the “Out to Launch” lunch features companies in different stages of the startup ecosystem from early-stage to venture backed to a seasoned company launching a new product. The “Out to Launch” After-Party will bring together technology and food, featuring new and seasoned restaurant owners with their best dishes.


Stacey Mosley
Founder & CEO, FixList

Image via Meetup.

Image via Meetup.

Top pick: Signature Event
Friday, May 5th, 6:30-10 pm, The Pennovation Center

The Signature Event is by far the best celebration of our growing tech community in Philly, when camaraderie is at its peak and the sheer size of the crowd reminds us how far we’ve come together.

P.S. If you text “Ptw17” to 797979, you’ll get texts of the locations of secret after-parties and special deals throughout the week.

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