Nine days, 100+ events: Why we are proud to support Philly Tech Week.
More than half a century ago, Comcast was what you’d call a startup today. Now, we make it our mission to support the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. We strive to build meaningful relationships with startup and tech communities in cities across the United States.
We first signed on as Title Sponsor of the event in 2015, and proudly returned this year, working closely with Technical.ly (our partner on the recent Tomorrow Tour to deliver an exciting roster of events to thousands of Philly’s most innovative minds and those looking to learn more about entrepreneurship and technology.
It’s not much of a secret that our hometown of Philadelphia is becoming a hot spot for tech talent. In 2012, Fast Company described Philadelphia as "America’s Next Big Tech Town." It tied with New York for fifth place on Huffington Post’s list of the Top 10 Tech Cities in 2016. Most recently, a study commissioned by 1776 and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation ranked Philly in eighth place—ahead of both Washington, D.C. and New York City—on its list of cities best prepared for the digital economy.
PTW gives our city (and surrounding areas) a chance to show off what’s going on in the local tech scene. This year’s lineup featured more than 100 independently organized events, divided into six tracks: Access, Business, Civic, Creative, Media and Dev.
The kick-off event, the Arcade @ Dilworth Plaza, brought thousands of people out to the park to check out apps and games produced by local designers and companies, including projects made by local game-makers such as Flyclops and CypherPrime.
Four of the tracks – Business, Civic, Dev, and Media – got their own day-long conferences, designed to examine the impact of technology in those areas. At Dev Day, programmers, project managers and designers got a chance to hear about challenges and innovations in the field from peers at dozens of local companies.
Several team members from Comcast gave talks at the conferences, including Leslie Chapman, Principal Engineer, TVX Applications Engineering, who shared the story of the development of the X1 Entertainment Operating System during a talk at the Dev Day conference. During the Media Conference, Courtney Goldstein, Vice President, Digital Marketing, Online Sales, discussed this year's most important, research-driven media trends.
Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Officer, Comcast Cable had the pleasure of kicking off a panel at Comcast Center around the Internet of Things (IoT) with colleague Dan Herscovici, who leads Xfinity Home. Joining them were some of the industry’s most innovative leaders, including Eli Baruch from ARRIS, Michael Smith from Lutron, and Michael Balog from Zonoff. With Mari Silbey from Light Reading as the moderator, we noted just how many strong companies in the IoT market have been setting up shop in Southeastern Pennsylvania, as evidenced by the roster of professionals who routinely participate in Philly IoT Meetup events like this one.
One of my favorite events is the Entrepreneurs’ Expo, Philly Startup Leaders’ showcase of our community’s latest creations. Dozens of companies demonstrated apps, services, and even consumer products. Our Entrepreneurial Engagement team welcomed over 1,500 attendees from our space near the entrance of the 23rd Street Armory. We connected with founders from the region’s most exciting new companies, including ROAR for Good, My Milkcrate, and Biomeme, among dozens of others. With a special visit from Mayor Jim Kenney and RECPhilly supplying music, this annual event injected fun and fellowship into our digital community.
We ended the week with the Signature Event at the URBN campus inside the innovation hub at the Navy Yard. Many people don’t realize that the parent company of retailers such as Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Anthropologie, launched from West Philadelphia and still maintains its corporate headquarters here. People flocked to the event, where local startups showcased their biggest ideas in a fun, friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Philly Tech Week is an extraordinary annual event that showcases our city's innovative spirit and Comcast NBCUniversal is excited to be a part of the action. We're already marking down April 28 to May 6, 2017 for next year's event. PTW might happen just once a year, but at Comcast, we’re committed to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship all year round.
To learn more about what’s happening throughout our entrepreneurial community, tell us about what you’re working on at ComcastPartner.com. We’re sending out e-mail alerts with news and insight for growing companies, as well as bulletins about opportunities for us to connect at future events.