What Tech Week gives Philadelphia

As one of Greater Philadelphia’s most promising industries, the technology sector is vitalizing the region and encouraging new entrepreneurship. Connecting to bright, young entrepreneurs is essential for Greater Philadelphia to become one of the most desirable places to work and live.

And bolstering a stronger sense of collaboration among members of the business community is a step well taken for the region to thrive.

A few weeks ago, the great folks at Technically Philly held the second annual Philly Tech Week. PTW attracted new technology ventures and jump-started collaborative efforts among a spectrum of companies large and small. This year’s PTW brought together more than 10,000 people, 40 participating sponsors and intense media coverage. With approximately 80 different events taking place themed “Making a Better Philadelphia Through Technology”, innovative entrepreneurs from numerous fields featured the latest in cutting-edge apps, issues with technology accessibility, mobile technology, robotics and more.

The partnership of entrepreneurs, small and large companies, and the city of Philadelphia during PTW helps raise interest and creates opportunities for technology to grow in our region. An event like this capable of bringing together government officials, tech designers, business people, educators, artists, media and more, is one that will shape our future.

One of the events that highlighted some of the promising upcoming projects between private organizations and the city Philadelphia was the OpenAccessPhilly Showcase. Hosted at WHYY in Old City, presenters from Code for America, Open Plans, SEPTA, the Philadelphia Police Department, Azavea, Technically Philly, the city of Philadelphia, and Comcast covered a wide array of topics — from initiatives for enhanced data accessibility to community media sharing. Comcast’s Philly in Focus, part of Project Open Voice, emphasizes how local government, educators, organizations, nonprofits, and community can all connect in one place through video sharing. Whether to provide pertinent local information or entertain, the goal of Philly in Focus is to have content made solely about and for Philadelphians more readily available and to bond together citizens of the region.

A few other standout events to me included programs designed to demonstrate how technology can be used for urban renewal projects and how greater availability of technology can be provided to many Philadelphians that have limited access to computers.

This type of proactive community engagement and innovative collaboration will drive the region’s growth and make it a destination for entrepreneurs to start and develop their businesses. Advancement of the rapidly growing technology field in our region will be one of the key factors to maintaining a healthy local economy and community in the future.

As part of staying current with technology innovations, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is holding a Health Technology event on May 31 and invites those with interest in how technology is affecting all aspects of health care to join us.

– Rob Wonderling is the president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. His column runs the second Wednesday of every month.

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