Calling all technologists, entrepreneurs and innovators, Philly Tech Week is back, and returning to in-person events for the first time since 2019.
Technical.ly — a Philly publication dedicated to all aspects of tech — will once again host the weeklong festivities in an effort to offer a more sociable element both for beginning novices and for those knee deep in true tech. Philly Tech Week is now in its 12th year, and will take place from May 6-14.
“At Technical.ly, we report every day on techonomies and the access to them, and first organized Philly Tech Week to serve this area’s entrepreneurs and tech types,” says Christopher Wink, CEO and cofounder of Technical.ly.
Knowing that this town is long on the precipice of being a tech giant on its own, Wink hoped to push Philly over the edge, and into the poplar conscious, with a week dedicated to his cause.
“When we first launched Philly Tech Week, we were this quirky organization doing something even quirkier, but, there is precedent for something as such since South By Southwest was started by Austin’s alt-weekly. There is a great tradition of news organizations celebrating what they report on,” he said.
Reporting on tech advocates, activists, business associations and and practitioners, each of those divisions realized that technology and digital transformation was important for the region.
“The original Philly Tech Week was to give these diverse groups a shared flag,” says Wink. “Over our first ten years, as far as Philadelphia sub-communities go, we brought together those inside and outside the periphery of technology, entrepreneurship and digital access. In the last few years, then, Philly Tech Week’s purpose changed.”
Now, Wink sees Philly Tech Week as an “onramp” for professional and personal tech heads in the region, as well as for those outside of the city looking for a “snapshot” as to what is happening in this area. And presently, the snapshot of the city’s businesses that Philly Tech Week presents focuses on newer matters of sustainability and inclusivity, as well as issues of the recent past including robotics.
“Alan Curtis Kay, a famous computer scientist, had a line that went, ‘Technology is everything invented after you were born,” quotes Wink. “The funny thing about conversations surrounding emerging technologies is what is new, novel and overhyped one day is quietly integrated into the present and future. It becomes the norm.
“Looking at events and organizers of the past, I can remember having early blockchain symposiums, pre-NFTs, as well as rideshare panels about the possibilities in Philly,” Wink continues. “Hard tech, artificial intelligence, robotics and biomedical research, too, had their day. Now, this work and commercialized technologies happen everyday. We had big events toward the emerging trend in Black entrepreneurship back in in 2012, and other themes that are mainstream today.”
A transitional year for sure, Wink says the biggest theme around 2022’s Philly Tech Week is: Where do we go from here? With that, metaverse events such as a Tech Women Network, a local artist-driven NFT world exhibition, area high school science class robotics competitions and a HACKATHON predicting MLS game outcomes using data science will take place.
“There’s a lot of streaming and e-sports and Web 3 events will be part of Philly Tech Week, which makes sense since – as a point of pride – this week draws from all ages and all areas of the United States beyond Philly,” says Wink.
“Entrepreneurs of every race and background, technologists working on a dizzying array of projects and the merely curious will all be here.”
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