From April 27 to May 5, Philadelphia celebrated the 8th annual Philly Tech Week. As a sponsor, Penn participated in many events, including hosting the “Grow” track at the new Introduced by Technically conference on May 3, and bringing together several departments and organizations for a trade show table at the Signature Event on Friday evening.
At the Introduced conference, the “Grow” track opened with a lightning talk by Dr. Alan Flake of CHOP. A later panel focused on University Innovation, featuring Vanessa Chan of Penn Engineering, Genevieve Dion of Drexel, and Bon Ku of Thomas Jefferson University. The panel, moderated by PCI’s Laurie Actman, covered many of the challenges and successes in recent innovation efforts. Panelists discussed the importance of a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset, reframing failures as learning experiences, and cross-pollination of different specialities driving innovation.
After lunch, a panel entitled “Inside the Deal” brought together founders and investors, including Red & Blue Ventures’ Brett Topche, to discuss the current state of investment. The panelists explored several topics, including investment options beyond VC, the importance of reaching beyond your usual network to reach new ideas, and the need for investors to diversify their investment targets.
Throughout the day-long conference, Penn representatives explained various innovation offerings at our branded table, including the Pennovation Center and the upcoming Pennovation Accelerator, Penn’s Coding Boot Camp, the Singh Center for Nanotechnology, and the many IT jobs available at Penn.