Thursday evening could not have been a more perfect time for Philadelphia’s innovation crowd to descend upon the Navy Yard to bask in the sun and in the glory of how much the community has grown.
Posted up at a picnic table all night was Cloudamize CEO Bob Moul, who managed to get nearly everyone to buy the tech community’s hottest, most coveted item: the #TEaCH shirt. There was PACT president & CEO Dean Miller, who between sips of his Dock Street beverage, managed to drop some serious knowledge on the tech tax to anyone who would lend an ear. He even informed attendees that the night’s event, in fact, wasn’t the first time the community organized an innovation picnic. About ten years ago, Safeguard Scientifics, with its own version of Sand Hill Road, brought the innovation community together out in the burbs. So the picnic was basically born out of nostalgia and the team’s effort to resurrect the gathering of the past. And then there were the folks like Technically Philly’s lead reporter Roberto Torres and the pretty much the entire Stitch Data team who were high off of wins (or losses) in tug of war, Connect Four, hula hoopin’ and more.
Most notably, the event raised more than $10,000 for iPraxis, Spark, and TechGirlz, three Philadelphia nonprofits focused on connecting schoolchildren to tech education and mentors. It was also an impressive way to show that good things happen when a super long list of organizers and sponsors (organizers: Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Life Sciences PA, PACT, Philly New Tech Meetup, PSL, University City Science Center, Safeguard Scientifics; sponsors: Broadpath, Janney Montgomery MVM Associates, Viawest, Nextfab, Good Company Ventures, Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Safeguard Scientifics, University City Science Center) get together for an important cause.