11 Business and Tech Events to Check Out Before Holiday Parties Overtake You

Carve out time this holiday season to amp up your professional development and networking game before the year is out.

iStock | YurolaitsAlbert

While the chilly weather makes it tempting to stay in, December is an important month for networking and cultivating new skills. Plus, it’s your final chance to make good on last year’s new year’s resolution whether you set out to meet new people or hit some other professional milestone.

While you’ve probably got a holiday party or two penciled in on your calendar, try adding in a few business and tech events to cap off the year. With fascinating speakers and free food and drinks, we promise these events will be as fun as any other festive bash.

A Brand New You: Brand Building Women’s Luncheon

When: Sunday, Dec. 2; 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.
Where: William Way Center, 1315 Spruce Street

Hosted by author, actress, and TV personality Jamila T. Davis, this half-day event seeks to help women entrepreneurs learn more about building a brand. The event will feature a catered lunch and a panel discussion on building creative digital, personal, and visual brands. Tickets are $50-$100 and are available here.

Digital Health and Design Series: Designing Innovative Products and Experiences

When: Tuesday Dec. 4; 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Where: InstaMed Collaboration Center, 1880 JFK Boulevard, 9th Floor

Facilitated by Independence Blue Cross’ director of innovation Michelle Hinstand and innovation analyst Dan Whitzer, this event will explore prototypes in three different forms: physical, digital, and experiential. The discussion will help entrepreneurs, developers, investors, and many others better understand what goes into making a good product prototype and how that prototype can be used to gauge customer interaction.  The event also includes a networking breakfast prior to the discussion. Tickets are $20-$50 and are available here.

Founders 101

When: Monday, Dec. 3-Wed. Dec. 5
Where: Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs, 1717 Arch Street, 48th Floor

This Comcast and Linode sponsored Philly Startup Leaders event will gather aspiring entrepreneurs and connect them with local business leaders who will help them learn more about how to get their ideas off the ground. Each session will cover a different topic, including an “Is Your Idea Worth It?” workshop on Dec. 3, a “Fail Forward” session on Dec. 4th, and the discussion “The Power of Storytelling” on Dec. 5. The lineup of speakers for the event is stacked with leaders like Jeannie Heck, vice president of AI at Comcast, producer Victor Limjoco from NBC Nightly News, Brendan Lowery, member of the founding team at Curalate and creator of Peopleadelphia, FieldLabX founder Ronethea Williams, and many others. Tickets are $65-$200, and you’d better purchase them soon because there are only 50 seats available. To register for the event click here.

The State of University City

When: Wednesday, Dec. 5; 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: World Cafe Live Philadelphia, 3025 Walnut Street

Join the University City District for a celebration of University City’s progress in 2018 and for a look at what’s ahead in 2019. The event features a brief program followed by free refreshments and networking. Tickets are free. RSVP here.

Communicating Science: Using Data for Change in Anti-Science Times

When: Wednesday, Dec. 5; 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

This half-day event, sponsored by Resource Media and the Academy of Natural Sciences, will feature training on how to discuss and use scientific data in an anti-science world. The event will help businesses integrate data into their work in ways that are both accurate and accessible to a general audience. Registration is free and can be found  here.

Defining Innova+ion Speaker Series: Hal Gregersen

When: Thursday Dec. 6; 8:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Where: Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S Broad Street

MIT Leadership Center executive director Hal Gregersen will discuss how asking questions can help encourage creative thinking during this month’s talk for the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s Defining Innova+ion speaker series. His talk will draw from his recent book Questions Are the Answer, and it will feature networking opportunities during the morning registration. After his talk, Gregersen will join the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce for a Strategy Salon with several regional experts in innovation. During this time he will discuss creative advantages and answer audience questions. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.

Wine, Women, and Tech: a Holiday Fundraiser for TechGirlz

When: Thursday, Dec. 6; 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Hoover Lounge, Vance Hall at Wharton, 3733 Spruce Street

This fundraiser will help you meet women in tech all while supporting TechGirlz, a non-profit that seeks to get middle school girls involved in STEM. There will also be opportunities to network during this Women in Tech event and guests will hear from Elizabeth Vianna, one of the few female winemakers in the U.S. Tickets are $50 and are available here.

Temple Business Roundtable Series

When: Thursday, Dec. 6; 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Alter Hall, 1801 Liacouras Walk

This Fox School of Business event, will bring together emerging entrepreneurs to discuss their small business plans and to provide resources to help attendees make informed decisions about their business’ future. This month’s roundtable will focus on real estate and the construction industry. To register for this free event, click here.

Founder Factory 2018

When: Thursday, December 6; 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: FringeArts, 140 North Christopher Columbus Boulevard

Philly Startup Leaders’ annual conference is sure to help aspiring entrepreneurs get their feet on the ground. Nearly three hundred people, including startup founders, investors, and government representatives, are expected to attend the daylong event. This year’s speakers include La Colombe CEO and co-founder Todd Carmichael, Venture for America CEO Amy Nelson, and founder and CEO of Techstars, David Cohen. Tickets are $125-$1,000 and are available here.

The State of the Economy

When: Thursday Dec. 13; 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Where: KPMG, 1601 Market Street, 36th Floor

Senior macro strategy analyst for Global Wealth and Investment Management Jonathan Kozy will be giving a talk on interest rates, the global economy, and how the economic landscape is changing in America. This information is meant to help attendees make informed decisions about the future of their businesses. Prior to the talk at 8 a.m., a networking reception will be held. Tickets are $60 and are available here.

Venture Cafe Thursday Gatherings

When: Thursdays from 3 p.m.-8 p.m. throughout December
Where: 3675 Market Street, 3rd Floor

Each Thursday, Venture Cafe hosts a gathering for entrepreneurs to network, meet mentors, watch insightful presentations, and attend panel discussions and workshops. These free events include refreshments and emphasize face-to-face interactions in our ever-evolving digital world. Free to attend. Learn more here.