Philadelphia will be abuzz this week talking about the next big thing in technology.
Philly Tech Week, which officially begins today, is a string of workshops, panels and hackathons in celebration of the technology scene in Philadelphia. It aims to showcase what tech-savvy people and organizations in the city have been working on for the past year.
The week is organized by Technically Philly, a technology blog, and the events are hosted by individuals and organizations such as the 54-hour Startup Weekend and co-working space IndyHall. Events will cover everything from technology entrepreneurship to visual design to getting funding for startups.
“We know that Philadelphia has a vibrant technology community … but it is not always recognized,” said Christopher Wink, co-founder of Technically Philly and a lead organizer of Philly Tech Week.
Though the week is only in its second year, Wink predicts that between 7,000 and 10,000 people will attend at least one event this week.
Wink wants the technology community to be more recognized within Philadelphia. “We want people to get up and shout at the top of their lungs about the technical community,” he said.
Some members of the Penn community will also be involved in the week.
On Saturday, as part of the week’s kickoff, the Women in Tech Symposium was held in Huntsman Hall. The event aimed to empower women who work in technology and attract more females to the field.
Anthony Coombs, a 2002 College graduate, is speaking at an event today about mobile technology, specifically focusing on geo-social applications that leverage location tracking on mobile devices to create social interaction. He will also be talking about his own mobile startup, Interact.
Coombs looks forward to “showing people what we have and how [Interact] differentiates itself from other applications,” while “getting people more interested in mobile.”
College and Engineering junior Pratham Mittal has his own startup Newsance and is excited for Philly Tech Week “because there’s a lot of entrepreneurial-relevant content, so it gives you opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs outside of Penn.”
Wharton junior Casey Rosengren is also planning to go to multiple events during the week.
“It’s cool that Philadelphia has a cohesive technology community and is able to put on something like this,” Rosengren said.
However, after attending some of the kickoff weekend events, Mittal found that there was not a strong showing of Penn students.
He attributed the low attendance to the busyness of finals season and said it shows “a disconnect between Penn and the larger Philadelphia technology community.”
Rosengren agrees, adding, “if it was not finals week, then you would get a greater showing of Penn kids.”
Wink said they are working on attracting more college students to the week’s events and to “convey to students that Philadelphia is a great place to build something.”
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