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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 Tech Week kicks off on Friday (!!!), and the organizers over at 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, 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

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

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 (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

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.

Read the full story here.

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing