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

There are 99 tech week 2018 events, kicking off on Friday and continuing all through next week. Feeling overwhelmed? Here's your guide!

Philly leaders weigh in on their top Philly Tech Week 2018 picks.

Philly Tech Week kicks off on Friday (!!!), and the organizers over at Technical.ly are putting on quite the show for 2018. There’s an impressive total of 99 events under the #ptw18 umbrella taking place all across the city and surrounding suburbs between April 27 and May 5.

Wondering how you’ll get to all 99 events? Sadly, it’s physically impossible! But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, let the Philly community make up your mind. I reached out to a number of local leaders inside and outside of tech to see where they’ll be and why. Consensus shows that the top events to see and be seen (and also learn and network, of course) are Introduced by Technical.ly, a new all-day conference featuring some pretty big local and national names, and Philly Startup Leaders’ signature Entrepreneur Expo, where known and new startups showcase what they’ve got.

You can view the full calendar of events here, but I really recommend that you consider the pretty compelling pitches of the Philly leaders below.


Bruce Marable

Employee Cycle, CEO

Top Pick: Youth Financial Reality Fair
Saturday, May 5 | 9:30am-12:30pm | String Theory School

Although Philly’s newfound sports success is awesome, we’ve historically been dropping the ball when it comes to our city’s poverty problem. That’s why I recommend every parent to attend this event with their children, since it helps to tackle the problem of children lacking financial literacy, which unfortunately is also not taught in Philly public schools.

Laurie Actman

Chief Marketing & Communications program officer, Penn Center for Innovation (PCI), University of Pennsylvania

Top Pick: Disrupting Cancer
Tuesday, May 1 | 8:30-10:30 am | Pennovation Center

PCI is partnering with PACT for the second year to bring together a great program for the PhillyTechWeek crowd. There have been a lot of headlines about Penn’s leading role in CAR-T cell therapy for curing cancer led by Dr. Carl June, but unless you are in the life sciences or cancer space you may not really understand the significance of how these discoveries are truly changing the innovation landscape in Philadelphia.

To introduce a new audience to the amazing impact that this work is having and how several new startups are quickly growing here, we are so excited to bring Dr. June (recently announced on the TIME 100 impact list) for a fireside chat at the Pennovation Center with one of our very prominent investors and life science leaders (and Penn Trustee) Osagie Omagie.

They will be followed by a panel that features CEOs of two fast growing Penn startups in the space and another Penn Medicine faculty researcher on the cutting edge of science and discovery in cancer. This group may never be in the same room again due to their fast-moving and busy schedules so I truly do consider this a program not to miss, especially if you want to understand the true impact of how this sector is growing in Philadelphia.

Dan Ford

Azavea, community ambassador

Dan Ford

Top Pick: 2018 Philly Mapathon
Thursday, May 3 | 5-9pm | Azavea

Last year, about 65 volunteers gathered to put over 9,000 buildings on a map to be used by the Clinton Health Access Initiative for planning anti-malaria measures in Zimbabwe. This year we’re aiming to have an even greater impact! We need the help of volunteers – no experience necessary, just bring a computer – to create a map that will go directly to nonprofits, like the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, to be used for navigation, planning, and disaster response. Enjoy food, drinks and a fun atmosphere while you help people around the world receive aid!

Ronethea Williams

Field LabX, founder & CEO

Ronethea Williams

Top Pick: Field LabX: Innovation By Design
Wednesday, May 2 | 4pm-8pm | Rec Philly Rec Room

Field LabX and Think Company have infused all of the key ingredients for an ideal learning experience – it’s hands-on, cool subject matter, expert facilitators, and ends with networking, food, and drinks. I can pretty confidently say that even if I didn’t build this event, it would still be at the top of my list.

Archna Sahay

J Nowak Strategy, senior consultant

Top Pick: Introduced by Technical.ly (specifically: Beyond the Startup Bro, 5pm; Closing Event: An Investor’s View, 6pm)
Thursday, May 3 | 9am-7pm | Science History Institute

Arlan Hamilton, the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital is coming to Philly Tech Week and wherever Arlan is, is where I will be. There is a lot of talk about the lack of representation on the founder side of the table but not enough is said or done about the lack of representation on the funder side, which in my opinion is just as important, if not more so.

It is imperative to express diversity in terms of who is cutting the checks for us to have a chance at truly diversifying who is on the receiving end of those checks. Arlan is a great example of someone working extremely hard in a super authentic way to make this happen. I am thrilled to have her in Philly, to hear from her, learn from her and to show off our City! Do not miss the chance to see her speak and snag some time with her while she is in town!

Tiffanie Stanard

Stimulus, founder & CEO

Tiffanie Stanard


Top Pick: Female Founders Panel
Monday, April 30 | 2-4:30pm | 1218 Chestnut St.


Presented by ChickTech, attendees will hear four local women share their experiences of starting, growing and running their own business! They will be sharing both the advantages and disadvantages they have faced being a female business owner.


Rick Nucci

Guru, co-founder & CEO

Rick Nucci

Top Pick: Dev Talks
Wednesday, May 2 | 2-6pm | Temple University Alter Hall

Great group of speakers covering very current and interesting topics such as AI, Blockchain, Slack, etc.

Kiera Smalls

Philly Startup Leaders, executive director

Top Pick: PSL Entrepreneur Expo
Tuesday, May 1 | 6-9pm | The Franklin Institute

I have to do a shameless plug for the Entrepreneur Expo. It’s our largest event of the year and the perfect opportunity to support the growing startups in the region. I am particularly excited to showcase the early stage startups that need creative insights in order to take their ideas and products to the next level. And right before the Entrepreneur Expo, the ITEM is hosting a great event called Career Conversations & Coffee for newbies in the tech space. This event will help individuals learn how to begin a career in tech, and I’m excited to see how it goes!

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg

Zivtech & Probo.Ci , co-founder & CEO

Top Pick: Drupaldelphia
Friday, April 27 | 8:00 am-5:00 pm | Hussian School of Art

For the first time, Philly’s annual Drupal camp is taking place as part of Philly Tech Week. As usual, you can expect a day of great sessions about the Open Source CMS, as well as sessions oriented towards project managers and javascript developers.

Cory Donovan

ImpactPHL, program manager

Top Pick: Introduced by Technical.ly
Thursday, May 3 | 9am-7pm | Science History Institute

Kudos to the Technically team for incorporating an Impact track into their new “Introduced” event on Thursday. If we’re going to overcome the challenges that face Philadelphia, we need people at all levels of the business and tech communities engaged. Instead of creating the next social app, let’s solve some real problems. Start here!

Jumoke K. Dada

Signature RED and Tech Women Network, principal and founder

Jumoke Dada


Top Pick: HUE Tech Summit
Friday, May 4 | 8:30am–4pm | Hussian College

The inaugural HUE Tech Summit is the first conference in the Delaware Valley designed to educate, elevate, and empower women in tech. The theme is “No More Hidden Figures” and keynote speakers include Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, Google/WEEN, and Dr. Sandra K. Johnson, SKJ Visioneering. Over 40+ speakers will share their knowledge and experiences in tech. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.


Dean Miller


Top Pick: Disruptive Hospitality featuring Michael Schulson, top restaurateur & David Gutstadt, ‎Fitler Club
Wednesday, May 2 | 5-7pm | Independence Beer Garden

Why go? Philly’s cultural & culinary scene has been on fire. Come hear how technology and innovation are driving the next generation of hotspots!

Dave Silver

REC Philly, founder

Top Pick: PTW Official Afterparty at Milkboy Philly

I live and breathe local music and this after party event is a great time to be introduced to some of our best local musicians. It’s an eclectic lineup to groove to. Plus, there will be free cover and a free drink for all attendees thanks to Naked Grouse.

Jeanne Mell

University City Science Center, VP Marketing Communications & Community Engagement

Jeanne Mell

Top Pick: Innovation for Social Change: A Venture Cafe Experience, Powered by Quorum
Monday, April 30 | 3:30–7 pm | Quorum, University City Science Center

In addition to the meaningful and timely topic, I’m really excited about giving the tech community a sampling of Venture Café powered by Quorum and offer a glimpse into the dynamic programming that will become a weekly occurrence here in Philadelphia this fall.

Mike Krupit

Trajectify, CEO

Top Pick: Bootstrappers Breakfast
Tuesday, May 1 | 8am-9:30am | Morris Café

Folks need to come to the Bootstrappers Breakfast Tuesday morning. It’s the sixth year we’ve done it for PTW. We have a guest Bootstrapping entrepreneur, Joe Cotellese of Sharey. The highlight is a huge mastermind session where entrepreneurs and professionals help one another solve each other’s challenges. (You can find Krupit’s full list of recommendations here.)

Bob Moore

Philly Startup Leaders, president

Top Pick: PSL Entrepreneur Expo
Tuesday, May 1 | 6-9pm | The Franklin Institute

This is my favorite Philly Tech event of the year, hands down. I haven’t missed a year since 2010, and this year promises to be the best ever. Over 100 companies are taking over the Franklin Institute to share what they’re building with a crowd of thousands that includes startup enthusiasts, investors, influencers, and leaders from across our region.

Erica Windisch

IOpipe, founder & CTO

Erica Windisch

Top Pick: HUE Tech Summit
Friday, May 4 | 8:30am–4pm | Hussian College

We don’t see enough conferences in tech centering women of color. I want to encourage all woman of color in tech, or considering a career in tech, to attend and make this event successful!

Emeka Oguh

PeopleJoy, founder & CEO

Top Pick: Philly Fintech Forum
Monday, April 30 | 1:00-4:00pm | Slice Communications

Besides being one of the panelists, I’m looking forward to hearing from some really amazing fintech entrepreneurs including H. Adam Holt, founder & CEO of Asset-Map, Amanda Levinson, co-founder and COO of NeedsList and Michael Carter, CEO of BizEquity.

Brigitte F. Daniel

Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc., EVP and Mogulette, founder

Brigitte Daniel

Top Pick: 4th Annual Women in Tech Soiree
Wednesday, May 2 | 5- 8:30pm | SEER Interactive

Besides the fact that the 4th Annual Women In Tech Soiree will be one of the most collaborative tech community events that will feature and advocate for diversity and inclusion within the Philadelphia tech community, this is also Mogulette’s biggest event of the year. So I absolutely endorse coming to experience all of the fabulousness! The icing on the cake this year: renowned tech founder, Angel Rich, whom Forbes Magazine named last year, “The Next Steve Jobs,” will be our keynote speaker. Angel will be accompanied by a stellar panel of women power tech leaders, which includes Ebony Lee, Felicite Moorman and Kimberly Blessing, to share their expertise, wisdom, and personal and professional journeys into the tech community. You don’t want to miss this one!

Kristen Fitch

University City Science Center, Marketing & Media Relations senior manager

Kristen Fitch

Top Pick: Introduced by Technical.ly
Thursday, April 3 | 9am–7pm | Science History Museum


Who knew it was possible to bring the entire entrepreneurial and tech community together for one day under one roof? Technical.ly defied the odds and made it happen. The breadth of speakers and topics that will be covered at Introduced has me simultaneously excited for the wisdom I plan to absorb and anxious about having to choose which concurrent sessions to attend!

Anthony Maher

1776, co-CEO

Top Pick: #SGWomen – Startup Grind PHL with Danielle Cohn (Lift Labs) and Jennifer Maher (1776)
Friday, May 4 | 5-7pm | 1776 Curtis

Startup Grind is global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. It is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. We are excited to put two of the biggest Philadelphia (and Northeast Corridor) champions on the stage together to talk impact, diversity, and entrepreneurship.

Darla Wolfe

Philly New Tech Meetup, executive director and Sweat EquitE, founder

Top Pick: The 4th Annual Women in Tech Soiree hosted by Mogulette, Stimulus, Coded by Kids and Seer Interactive
Wednesday, May 2 | 5:00pm | Seer Interactive

I was there for the first one, and they’ve only gotten better each year!

Maya Baratz Jordan

Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator, Powered by Techstars, managing director

Top Pick: Introduced by Technical.ly
Thursday, May 3 | 9am-7pm | Science History Institute

I’m keynoting the conference, alongside Josh Kopelman and Arlan Hamilton. I’m biased, but I think it’s going to be a great conversation to be part of!

Liz Brown

Liz Brown.

Design Jawn, CEO

Top Pick: Signature Event

Friday, May 4 | 7:30pm-10:30pm | Reading Terminal Market

I had to miss last year’s Signature Event due to a scheduling conflict and I’ll be damned if I miss it again. The Signature Event is one of the best parts of tech week every year, hands down. This is your last opportunity to do some networking and enjoy everything that tech week has to offer.   

Jeffrey P. Bodle

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Top Pick: Coded by Kids’ CTO Roundtable
Tuesday, May 1 | 5:30–8pm | Comcast Collaboration Studio

I look forward to hearing the CTO perspective, as ultimate employer, on complex education policy and programming challenges and opportunities to successfully build a diverse tech workforce in Philly.

Robert S. Pugliese

Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacist, Clinical Assistant Professor, Associate Dir, JeffDESIGN, Founding Director, Health Design Lab at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital

Rob Pugliese

Top Pick: Accessibility Hackathon at NextFab in partnership with Inglis
Saturday, April 28th | 11am-10pm | NextFab

What’s better than a hackathon during Tech Week? A hackathon focusing on accessibility! We’ve all seen the 3-D printed prosthetic superhero arms, which are amazing, but did you know that therapists and technicians around the world use tech like 3-D printers and laser cutters to design small and large hacks that make a big impact on people with a disability? No two individuals have the same needs, and for many, there simply aren’t commercial products out there that solve their unique problem. Love the partnership with Inglis since the best solutions are designed with a user and not for them! An opportunity to help others while hanging out at NextFab…win-win!

Allan Domb

City Councilman At-Large, entrepreneur and owner, Allan Domb Real Estate

Top Pick: Philly Bootstrappers Breakfast
Tuesday, May 1 | 8AM-9:30AM | Morris Café

I plan on stopping by this breakfast to join entrepreneurs interested in sharing ideas and growing their businesses … hopefully in Philadelphia!

Felicite Moorman

STRATIS and BuLogics, founder & CEO

Top Pick: BlackTech Weekend Philly Tech Crawl
Wednesday, May 2 | 2:45pm- 8pm | Pickup at Seer Interactive at 2:45, then STRATIS, The Yard, and NextFab follow

Brigitte Daniel is my shero and everyone should do whatever she says.

Kyree Holmes

Onyx Valley, founder

Kyree Holmes

Top Pick: WURD WILCO Philly Tech Week Panel: The Marginalized Power of Black Women Tech Founders
Wednesday, May 2 | 12–2pm | Parkway Central Free Library of Philadelphia

As a black woman who works in tech, I feel compelled to attend this event. Our journey through this industry is unique to us, and I get inspiration from hearing stories from other people like me.

Sylvester Mobley

Coded by Kids, CEO

Top Pick: Coded by Kids CTO Roundtable
Tuesday, May 1 | 5:30-8pm | Comcast Collaboration Studio

This is a great opportunity for technologists to participate in the conversation regarding the skills that young people need to be successful in tech, while giving educators, parents, people who work in policy the opportunity to learn what young people need to be successful in tech and how they can help ensure that young people are prepared.

Chris Molaro

NeuroFlow, founder & CEO

Top Pick: realLIST2018: Growing Your Startup Outside of Silicon Valley part of Introduced by Technical.ly
Thursday, May 3 | 9am-7pm | Science History Institute

It’s an opportunity to celebrate what we have in Philadelphia — a tight-knit community of entrepreneurial leaders driven to make things happen.

Chris Chapman

Amino Payments, founder & SVP of Engineering

Chris Chapman

Top Pick: Dev Talks
Wednesday, May 2 | 2pm-6pm | Temple University Alter Hall

Why you’re going or why folks should attend: I’m looking forward to hearing developers share real-world use cases for technologies like AI & Blockchain during the Dev Talks. Amino’s very own VP of Engineering, Daniel Wharton, will explain how blockchain is much more than the underlying technology of Bitcoin and essentially the biggest technological advancement since the internet.