Philly Tech Week Puts Philadelphia in Global Technology Spotlight

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Gabrielle Chepurny, for GPA -- This weekend marks the kick-off of the third annual Philly Tech Week held every April throughout the city of Philadelphia. Since 2011, the founders of Technically Philly have planned and organized Philly Tech Week, a week-long celebration of technological happenings that occur in the area. With 10,000 in attendance and 75 events in 2012, Tech Week is aimed to be a community organizing effort, where projected attendance for this year exceeds 15,000 and events number in the 85 and above range.

Along with organizing the entire event, the team at Technically Philly put Tech Week out as an open calendar event, available to many other places who wish to plan happenings during the same time frame. This opened the tables up to a lot of younger startups who will be hosting events. Along with all the new talent coming in, established associations such as Temple University, who planned their IT awards and the Chamber of Commerce, will also hold events during the week. 

Technically Philly founder and editorial content manager Christopher Wink is planning on “Big, open-calendar events that celebrate technology and innovation in Philadelphia”

The week will kick-off in a manner fit for every serious gamer’s dreams: a giant match of one of the earliest video arcade games, Pong.

“The biggest event we’re doing that’s kind of a big celebration to kick-off Philly Tech Week is what will be the world’s largest video game. Friday we’re having a huge crowd of people at the Art Museum steps who will be watching and playing Pong, and the video screen will be the Cira Centre, a 437 foot across University City skyscraper,” Wink said.
This event was put together with the help of Drexel professor Frank Lee, who had the idea for the event but needed help from Technically Philly to make it happen.

Tech Week combines fun and games with a more serious side of technology, recognizing the fact that many people are not computer or technology literate, which can lead to problems ranging from the simple – such as not being able to log on to a social networking site, to more complex – like being unable to apply for a job that requires an online application, which many employers now do.

Wink elaborates, “What’s often forgotten in other conversations, but is very near and dear to our hearts is the story of: how are we getting more people access to, and literate about the technologies that are changing our communities?”

Part of what Philly Tech Week tries to achieve each year is an illustration of how technology is built and who does the building. The week of events broadly represent what technology looks like and how it impacts Philadelphia. This includes all creative aspects such as the visual arts, graphic design and video games – all products that are created in a digital way.

Each year more people become involved in the events planned as part of Philly Tech Week, building its impact exponentially with time. Locally, Tech Week’s impact has grown to show the amazing capabilities of latest technologies across a spectrum of uses, while also emphasizing technology's importance in daily life.

The fact that this week-long event is called Philly Tech Week hasn’t stopped it from receiving global attention. Newspapers as far as Australia have been documenting the event, where specific happenings such as the Pong video game kick-off have received international press, serving as proof of its worldwide impact.

This vindicates all the efforts of putting Philadelphia and its technology scene on the international radar, where the city is continually making its presence known.

Christopher Wink summarizes the role Philly Tech Week plays in promoting Philadelphia as a global city: “What our goal was three years ago when we started was to put Philadelphia’s reputation on a national scale and in an international light.” 



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