"We're still getting attendee numbers in, but we'll be around if not above 10k, double last year," reports Christopher Wink, who co-organized Philly Tech Week along with Sean Blanda and Brian James Kirk on behalf of
. Culminating with the Signature Event, a chic cocktail party featuring high end demos from The Knight Foundation, Wharton Computing, T-Mobile, NextFab and Hive76, Philly Tech Week was a total success by all measurement. For Wink, one highlight was when "the mayor dropped an open data executive order that we've been pushing on for a year." The impact of Philly Tech Week, says Wink, is real.
"It's like family," said Novotorium's Mike Krupit of the startup community that packed Thursday night's Fourth Annual Entreprenur Expo, held at the Gershman building of the University of the Arts. Presented by Philly Startup Leaders and organized by Gloria Bell, forty entrepreneurs lined up in a ring around the perimeter of the auditorium. Dozens of enthusiastic teams were on hand, some of which are so familiar that they've set up permanent space in this reporter's head, such as Lokalty, CloudMine, AboutOne, Basecamp Business, PalmLing and HeartMe.
Others doing a great job of bringing attention to their product included Patty Tawadros' iWoof'd Up
, a pre-launch company offering a behavior modification program to reward family members with points redeemable for wish list items; Artsy Canvas
, from the talented Kendall Schoenrock, whose large scale graphic repro company LTL
has become the go to business for tech startups (LTL has created sheets of nametags for many Philly Tech Week Events).
, from Eric Sauers and Eric Greenberg, automatically updates your private address book using social media. Said Sauers, "The part of the expo that really stuck out to me was the great collection of attendees. I've been to other expos and have found the audience really doesn't fit the companies displaying." Indeed, it was not unusual to see participants floating around the room, away from their tables, catching up with their colleagues. In attendance were many familiar faces from the Philly Startup community, including several teams from Startup Weekend, like Zazzberry
and Credit Cardio
, who were still aglow from the high of building businesses from the ground up in 54 hours.
"The growth of Entrepreneur Expo, from 20 companies and approximately 200 attendees four years ago to 40 companies and over 500 attendees this year, has been a direct reflection of the growth of the tech community as a whole," said organizer Gloria Bell. "It just seemed such a natural fit to schedule the event as part of Philly Tech Week this year. For me, the highlight of Expo is always watching the intense interest on the faces of the attendees and exhibitors as they interact. Last night was no exception."
Tonight is the Signature Event of Philly Tech Week, to take place at Moore College of Art, and the week wraps up tomorrow with 10 more events.
SnipSnap Clips the Competition at Switch Philly
Like magic. On the same day that Ted Mann's SnipSnap
mobile app debuted on the iTunes Store, Switch Philly
awarded Mann and team the winning spot in Wednesday night's tech startup competition. Switch, one of the highlights of Philly Tech Week
, took place at the University of the Arts
SnipSnap is on a fast track forward, and it's the second win this week for the coupon scanning team of Mann, Kyle Martin and Kostas Nasis. Earlier in the week, SnipSnap won Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic
"I'm the father of two kids and an unsalaried CEO of a startup," says Mann. "We have what we call the bowl of shame in our house. It's filled with coupons."
Elsewhere, the coo-pon versus kew-pon pronunciation debate
continues at The Reckoner, whose creator Dan Koch, now on board as a Senior Architect at AppRenaissance
, was in attendance on Wednesday.
SnipSnap impressed judges Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital
, Mayor Michael Nutter
, and Ellen Weber of Robin Hood Ventures
, triumphing over worthy contenders PalmLing
(which won Philly Startup Weekend), and Airtimem
Weber, speaking after the event, reports that she is getting an iPad this weekend as a result of her time at Philly Startup Weekend with the Yagglo team, whose designer Shawn Hickman, she says, is one to track.
: Mike Krupit, Novotorium; Ted Mann, SnipSnap; Ellen Weber, Robin Hood Ventures
: Sue Spolan