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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

phillytechweek.com

A week-long celebration of technology and innovation in Philadelphia

April 25-30 brought to you by:

digital arts curator

HEX:

incubator

collaboration HEX:

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biotech pioneer

web entrepreneurs

academic

gay rights activist

igniter

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blogger

gamer

startup lawyer

adviser

serial entrepreneur

connector

What it means to work together in Philadelphia technology P12

advocate

investor

city rep

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PLUS

+ THE COMPLETE CALENDAR P4

publisher

+ THE BUSINESS OF VIDEO GAMES P8

+ OPEN GOV IN PHILLY P10


                   

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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE phillytechweek.com Philly Tech Week is a week-long celebration of technology and innovation in Philadelphia. This inaugural opportunity to grow the impact of this innovative city of firsts through events that focus on fun, technology, collaboration and improving Philadelphia is organized by local technology news site Technically Philly.

Lead Organizers and Technically Philly Co-Founders Sean Blanda, Brian James Kirk, Christopher Wink

Contributors Cover Photos Collaboration Interviews Copy Editing Design and Printing Logo and Website Publisher

Neal Santos Steve Metzger Shannon McDonald Red Flag Media Devnuts Technically Media Inc. 1515 Market Street Suite 400

TABLEOF CONTENTS PAGE

4-6 Inaugural Philly Tech Week Calendar PAGE

8 Entrance Exam

A Letter From Philly Tech Week Organizers & Technically Philly Co-Founders This isn’t exactly the start of something, as much as it is another marker along the way. You’re holding in your hands the program of the inaugural Philly Tech Week, a region-wide, open calendar of events celebrating technology and innovation in Philadelphia, first held April 25-30, 2011. The mission of this project has everything to do with trumpeting what is already here: robotics, video games, sustainable innovation, a young startup network, a robust creative scene and so much more. But we hope Philly Tech Week will also help to grow collaboration across these varied, often segmented innovation communities. In March, before the week, we brought together 19 leaders of these varied communities, founders and CEOs, executives and organizers from places like the University City Science Center, the Chamber of Commerce, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Hive76, Independents Hall, Morgan Lewis, Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, University of the Arts, Temple, Drexel and others building businesses in Philadelphia. [Read on Page 7 what some of those leaders had to say about collaboration.]

We highlighted how some were already collaborating — the life sciences research park incubating a digital art gallery or the Old City co-working staple partnering with a young leaders group — but also compelled those attending to start greater collaboration in the coming years. The Digital Philadelphia initiative from the city highlights three ways technology can have greater impact on improving the region: making government more transparent and efficient, increasing access for lower income individuals and creating business and job opportunities. Philly Tech Week has events and conversations on all three of these topics, but to see real change, we’ll need collaboration from everyone innovating in Philadelphia. That’s not a start, it’s the next important step to improving the region. Thank you for supporting the first Philly Tech Week. We look forward to many more as part of a once again flourishing Philadelphia. With great hope, SEAN BLANDA, BRIAN JAMES KIRK AND CHRISTOPHER WINK

Philly Tech Week organizers Technically Philly co-founders

Why some new faces are joining Philly’s tech scene PAGE

8 Game Start

The future of the city’s Video Game Growth Initiative PAGE

10 Data Crunched

How the City’s open gov movement was restarted PAGE

12 Better Together

Why Philly’s technology leaders say collaboration is important PAGE

14 How to Brag about Philly Tech

A flow chart for boasting about our tech scene photo by Neal Santos I : 8 = C > 8 6 A AN E = > A AN# 8 D B  ™  E = > A AN I : 8 = L : : @ # 8 D B

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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

CALENDAR See all events and details at phillytechweek.com/events

MONDAY

APRIL 25 KICKOFF BREAKFAST 8:00-9:00 AM @ Temple University Center City; Invitation-only

OPENPHILLYDATA.ORG UNVEILING Come join us to meet and learn more about OpenDataPhilly.org, a first-ofits-kind online catalog of data about our city, built to inform the public about our region’s trends and increase government Mark Headd of Voxeo accountability. showing off a simple text message tool using the The project is Philly API. Photo by John led by Azavea, Mertens. which is creating the data catalog, with support from the City’s Division of Technology, Technically Philly and WHYY. MONDAY, April 25 12:00-1:00 PM @ WHYY, 150 N. Sixth Street at Race, Old City; Free with registration http://bit.ly/ptw_opendata PHIJI: ONLINE SPORTS JOURNALIST ROUNDTABLE 12:00-1:00 PM @ Tuttleman Hall, 13th Street and Montgomery Avenue, North Philadelphia; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_phiji FIRST ROUND CAPITAL OPEN OFFICE HOURS Join us for a chat about a current startup, an idea for launching a new venture, or your interest in joining a startup. 6:00-8:00 PM @ The Mission Grill, 1835 Arch Street, Center City; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_officehours JUNTO: RETHINKING SHELTER We will look at the future of alternative housing models. 6:00-8:30 PM @ P’unk Ave, 1168 E. Passyunk Ave, South Philadelphia; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_junto

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PHILADELPHIA CONTENT STRATEGY MEETUP 6:00-7:30 PM @ Temple University Center City, Rm. 515, 1515 Market St., Center City; Free with reservation bit.ly/ptw_contentstrat SUPERFLUID IN MEATSPACE A project-matchmaking event for folks interested in starting a project or business and looking for collaborators. 7:00-9:30 PM @ NextFab Studio, 3711 Market St. University City; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_superfluid HIVE76 OPEN HOUSE Come visit our workspace for a special, extended set of Open House hours for Philly Tech Week. 8:00-10:00 PM, Hive76, 915 Spring Garden St., Spring Garden; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_hive76

TUESDAY

APRIL 26 MONGO PHILLY A one-day conference dedicated to MongoDB. 9:00 AM-6:00 PM @ Sheraton Society Hill, One Dock St., Society Hill; $100 http://bit.ly/ptw_mongo WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING AND WHY SHOULD NONPROFITS CARE? 12:00-1:00 PM @ WHYY, 150 N. Sixth St. at Race, Old City; Free with registration http://bit.ly/ptw_cloud MUSIC TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH @ DREXEL Hands-on demos of our current projects, like dancing and piano-playing robots, and new iPhone and iPad musical instruments. 2:00-5:00 PM @ Bossone Research Center, 3128 Market St., University City; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_metlab

TECH TALENT EXPO Are you seeking technical talent? Or are you an underemployed, unemployed Technical Talent in the Philadelphia area seeking employment? Then come to Philly Startup Leader’s Tech Talent Expo. 4:00-6:00 PM @ University Science Center, 8th Floor, 3711 Market St., University City; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_techtalent CLOUDCAMP An unconference for early adopters of Cloud Computing. 6:00-9:00 PM; Location TBD; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_cloudcamp GIRL GEEK DINNER Meet fellow geek girls in the Philly community. 6:00-9:00 PM @ Triumph Brewing Co., 117 Chestnut St., Old City; $5 at door, girls only http://bit.ly/ptw_ggd OFFICE SPACE PRINTER SMASH WITH THE HACKTORY Finally, a chance to take your aggression out on that @#*^% printer! 6:00-8:00 PM @ Nonprofit Technology Resources, 1524 Brandywine St., Spring Garden; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_smash SWITCH PHILLY TECH STARTUP DEMO EVENT Five Philadelphia-area companies give seven-minute demos. 6:00-7:30 PM @ Wharton Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut St., University City; $10 with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_switch TEK LADO COSPLAY CONTEST Proceeds to go to Japan relief. 7:00 PM @ Moon Comics, 4040 Locust St., University City; Donation or free http:// bit.ly/ptw_cosplay HIVE76 OPEN HOUSE 8:00-10:00 PM, @ Hive76, 915 Spring Garden St., Spring Garden; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_hive76

AUGMENTED REALITY: SEEING THE FUTURE NOW What is Augmented Reality and what will an augmented future look like? Learn more from a panel of experts that includes cutting-edge artists, software developers, gaming specialists, sociologists and social historians. Following the panel discussion, attendees will reassemble outdoors for an interactive demonstration and virtual art tour that blurs the line between the real and the virtual. This is a Breadboard production. TUESDAY, April 26 6:00-8:00 PM @ Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Van Pelt Auditorium, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Art Museum; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_ar

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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

WEDNESDAY

APRIL 27 EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENTERPRISE The 6th Annual Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference has become the Mid-Atlantic’s go to conference for developers, architects, and IT executives. Subjects as expansive and intricate as emerging technology and Open Source require a dynamic forum. Organized by Chariot Solutions. WEDNESDAY, April 27 8:00 AM-5:00 PM @ Sheraton Society Hill, One Dock St., Society Hill; $365 with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_ete PHILADELPHIA 2035: THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN Planning Commission representatives will talk about its draft of the City’s first longrange citywide physical development plan. 12:00-1:00 PM @ WHYY, 150 N. Sixth St. at Race, Old City; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_2035 SCHOOL 2.0 Learn about our vision for the future of education. Our renowned faculty will discuss topics of 21st Century education, inquiry-driven and project-based learning. 3:00-4:00 PM @ Science Leadership Academy, 55 North 22nd St., Center City; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_school CREATING AND SUSTAINING A CULTURE OF INNOVATION At this talk we’ll share some of these challenges and how our culture of innovation enabled Neat Company to solve them. 6:00-6:45 PM @ Neat Company, 1601 Market St., Suite 350, Center City; Free with reservation to mdantonio@neatco.com ONE GREAT IDEA PHILADELPHIA: TECHNOLOGY PRIORITIES 2011 & BEYOND A panel discussion lead by Philadelphia Media Network CEO Greg Osberg, based around the organization’s One Great Idea editorial series and with a focus on technology leadership. 6:00-8:00 PM @ PMN Headquarters, 400 N. Broad St., Center City; Free with reservation bit.ly/ptw_greatideas

ARTICIAN DIGITAL MEDIA GALLERY Come out for a night of free drinks, an awesome display of Philly’s best digital art and your chance to win an iPad 2. 6:00-10:00 PM @ 908 North Third St., Suite A, Northern Liberties; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_artican THE FUTURE OF MUSIC Acclaimed producer, musician and singer RJD2 and Founding Publisher of two.one.five magazine Tayyib Smith will lead this discussion on future of music and technology. 6:30-9:00 PM @ University of the Arts: Arts Bank, 601 South Broad St., Center City; Free with reservation to mrx@215.com AN INTRODUCTION TO AWS ELASTIC BEANSTALK Learn more about one of the newest Amazon Web Servicesproducts: AWS Elastic Beanstalk. 7:00-8:30 PM @ Sheraton Society Hill, One Dock St., Society Hill; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_beanstalk BUILDING TWITTER WITH GRAILS IN 90 MINUTES The fast-paced and code-driven presentation will build a Twitter-like application from scratch using Grails and its rapid application development capability. 7:00-9:00 PM @ Sheraton Old City, One Dock Street, Society Hill; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_twitter MAIDEN MEDIA’S SOCIAL MEDIA BOOT CAMP Get educated on the advantages and disadvantages of various social networks. 7:00-9:00 PM @ Apple Store, 1607 Walnut St., Center City; Free; RSVP to dschwartz@maidenmediagroup.com

THURSDAY

APRIL 28 EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENTERPRISE (see Wed.) 8:00 AM-5:00 PM @ Sheraton Society Hill, One Dock St., Society Hill; $365 with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_ete CHALLENGES AND INNOVATIONS IN NONPROFIT WEB DESIGN A discussion with local nonprofit technology leaders discussing unique challenges and opportunities found in nonprofit web initiatives, organized by boutique firm Happy Cog. 12:00-1:00 PM @ WHYY, 150 N. Sixth St. at Race, Old City; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_design PHILLY PROGRESSIVE THINKERS FORUM ON TECH POLICY A focus on the laws and regulations that make or could make Philly a high-tech leader. 12:30-1:30 PM @ Ballard Spahr, 1735 Market St., Center City; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_techpolicy PHILLY ROBOTICS EXPO You don’t have to be a science geek to have a blast playing with real robots and learning from the Philadelphia businesspeople, engineers and students who are transforming science fiction into science reality. Central High School’s Robolancers will unveil the newest and most exciting advances in the field of robotics, welcoming adults and children of all ages. 2:00-8:00 PM @ Drexel Recreation Center, 3301 Market St., University City; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_robotics

HIVE76 OPEN HOUSE 8:00-10:00 PM, @ Hive76, 915 Spring Garden St., Spring Garden; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_hive76

IGDA PHILADELPHIA GAME SHOWCASE The game industry is one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the Greater Philadelphia area, with more than 15 new studios having set up shop here. This showcase allows local game developers to show off their newest games and lets you, the public, see what games are being made right here in Philly.

Screenshot of ‘Jamestown,’ by Center City’s Final Form Games

WEDNESDAY, April 27 7:00-9:00 PM @ The University City Science Center, 3711 Market St., University City; Donations or free http://on.fb.me/ptw_games

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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

CALENDAR See all events and details at phillytechweek.com/events

FRIDAY

THURSDAY

APRIL 28

continued...

WORDPRESS HAPPY HOUR A meet and greet for anyone interested in learning more about our group and WordPress in general. 5:00-7:00 PM @ National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., Old City; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_wordpress CREATIVE WAYS TO COMPENSATE STAFF IN CASH STRAPPED STARTUPS Join us to learn how to compensate your employees during these tough economic times by leveraging technology. The event is presented by the African American Chamber of Commerce and CognisIT 5:30-7:30PM @ CLEAR, 4327 Main St., Manayunk; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_creative MADE IN PHILLY SOFTWARE SHOWCASE & INDYHALL BEER PONG TOURNAMENT The Made in Philly Software Showcase will put our locally made software on display. 6:00-9:00 PM @ IndyHall, 20 N. 3rd St. Unit 201, Old City; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_indyhall CHIP MUSIC SHOWCASE PRESENTED BY 8STATIC AND THIRD GENERATION A multisensory showcase for some of the city’s finest original sounds and sites created using old video game hardware and other non-traditional technology. 7:30-11:30 PM @ N. 12th St & Spring Garden St., Spring Garden; $8, $5 with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_chipmusic

APRIL 29 Solar panels atop the Crane Arts building, presented by Micah Gold-Markel as part of the Green Tech Showcase.

GREEN TECH SHOWCASE On Arbor Day, five groups will present their environmentally focused innovations in Philadelphia. 12:00-1:00 PM @ WHYY, 150 N. Sixth St. at Race, Old City; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_green RAILS BOOTCAMP We’ll start by going over the basics about Rails, help you get it installed, and work with you on creating your first views and models. 12:00-4:00 PM @ 101 W. Elm St., Conshohocken; $50 http://bit.ly/ptw_rails PHILLYR MEETING Drew Conway, PhD candidate from NYU’s Department of Politics, will discuss how to use these R packages to perform network analysis. 7:00-9:00 PM, 3535 Market St., University City, 16th Floor Conference Room B; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_phillyr

HIVE76 OPEN HOUSE 8:00-10:00 PM @ Hive76, 915 Spring Garden St., Spring Garden; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_hive76

SATURDAY

GREY LODGE TECH QUIZZO Come to one of Philadelphia’s coolest bars, for four rounds of trivia on the gadgets, games and technologies of the day and all the fun stuff they replaced. 8:00-10:00 PM @ Grey Lodge, 6235 Frankford Ave., Northeast Philadelphia; Free http://bit.ly/ptw_trivia

BARCAMP NEWSINNOVATION An annual, free, one-day national unconference on journalism innovation and the future of news. 9:00 AM-6:00 PM @ Temple University Annenberg Hall, 13th and Diamond streets, North Philadelphia; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_news

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SIGNATURE EVENT To celebrate the first-ever Philly Tech Week, come out to WHYY for a gala event, where technology community leaders will be honored, notable regional leaders will speak to the importance of innovation and, yes, there will be an open bar. More than 200 technology community leaders will attend the Philly Tech Week Signature event, including Philly Tech Week’s sponsors, event organizers and Technically Philly community members. What the future of government transparency with technology is in the City of Philadelphia will be shared by Managing Director Rich Negrin FRIDAY, April 29 6:30-10:00 PM @ WHYY, 150 N. Sixth St. at Race, Old City; $20 with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_signature

APRIL 30

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BCNI OPEN GOV HACKATHON Coders and designers will build tools, applications and visualizations using newly cataloged City of Philadelphia agency data and information 9:00 AM-6:00 PM @ Temple University Annenberg Hall, 2020 N. 13th St. at Diamond, North Philadelphia; Free with reservation http://bit.ly/ptw_hack


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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

PHILLY GAMERS TAKE MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS

ENTRANCE EXAM

Mike Worth says his deja vu moment came in March, at the Game Developers Conference in California

collected by

CHRISTOPHER WINK

As part of the Why I Love Philly campaign from Young Involved Philadelphia and Indy Hall, Technically Philly hosts an interview series with technologists who move to Philadelphia. Tell the world why you love where you live by tweeting#whyilovephilly.

by SEAN BLANDA

If you love Philly, Philly will love you back. If you hate Philly, Philly will give you that exactly back. AMY HOY

In Philly, there is a feeling that you can do anything. There are people that did everything. In Vienna, it’s so culturally restricted that people don’t even try. If you do a business here, you can find people who will be excited with you, and you can grow a business that is successful. It’s been done, people see it.

AMANDA FEIFER O’ BRIEN

THOMAS FUCHS

JavaScript front-end web development specialists Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs relocated to Philadelphia from Vienna, Austria

Philadelphia isn’t for everyone. If you want a sterile and harmless environment, this is not it. But if you don’t mind a little grit and an occasional challenge, Philly goes as deep as you want it to go.

food blogger

We’re staying because our neighbors have become like an extended family. I couldn’t even tell you the name of my neighbors growing up in California. Here it is like, once you’re accepted, you’re getting cookies, plates of food, people are always trying to lend you a hand and invite you over. I’ve never met so many good people as here in Philly. 8

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JARED VALDEZ

community organizer, moved from San Diego to Lawncrest in Northeast Philadelphia

“When you went down the opening flight of steps, there was a huge banner, 80 feet wide, that said ‘INVEST IN CANADA,” says Worth. All Worth saw was what could have been for Philadelphia. At the same conference in 2009, Worth and other Philadelphia developers had the idea to put Philadelphia on that giant banner. Along with a handful of other local video game developers and business owners, Worth help co-found the Video game Growth Initiative in 2009 to help Philadelphia leverage tax incentives and other benefits to help lore large video game studios to Philadelphia. Back then, the motivation stemmed from attending GDC in 2009 After all, Philadelphia is home to the only Ivy League graduate-level video game development program in the country at Penn, has a cheap cost of living compared to other video game industry cities like Boston and San Francisco and is sandwiched oh-so-perfectly between the European and West Coast time zones. However, two years after VGI was first presented its ideas as a PowerPoint to state and city officials, the city’s video game community has decided to matters into their own hands. “I was so focused on getting a studio to move here and hire me, then we thought: ‘why not build a studio and hire yourself?” says Worth. Along with CEO Leo Tranchitella, Chief Creative Officer Brandon Van Slyke, and CTO Albert Vazquez, Worth has founded Play Eternal, Philadelphia’s first “AAA” studio designed to produce high-budget games for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC. Currently the studio is beta-testing its first demo that it hopes leads to a publishing deal that would allow the company to hire more than 20 employees. Along with Center City-based game studio Burst Online and a handful of smaller, independent shops, VGI Philly hopes that having studios grow organically is the best way to attract outside attention to Philadelphia. And it’s already working. Armed with two announcements from Burst Online and Play Eternal at this year’s GDC, Worth says that he was constantly being approached by Philly expats asking how they can help put Philly on the map. “We haven’t had that homerun of getting a [large studio like] Activision to move here,” he says, “so we’re focusing on getting us all on base.” he says.


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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

FULL DISCLOSURE:

DATA CRUNCHED

All that’s needed to jump start an open data movement is a city government that doesn’t stand in the way by CHRISTOPHER WINK

I

f you were going to judge the City of Philadelphia’s involvement in the buzzy good government movement of the past five years, you’d need some way to evaluate how much of its agency data is shared. Until the launch of OpenDataPhilly.org in late April, it’s not entirely clear where you would have started. The web and its users, some progressive governments and their constituents have all conspired together in the past half decade to set a precedent troubling for others: the data and information, numbers and calculations, charts and graphs that government institutions have collected for a century or two should be made available for public consumption. The city governments of Washington D.C., San Francisco and London are leading the way, creating agency workflow that incorporates the Internet and uses it to share its practices and data collection as a norm. This year, New York City followed its BigApps contest — built to spur third-party development around city data — by unveiling a real-time 311 request map and plans to put QR codes on building permits by 2013. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake signed an executive order compelling agencies to post its data online, and Raleigh, N.C. has made a case for open source technology. More broadly, the Canadian federal government has launched a data catalog of its own, following Data. gov, championed by the Obama administration. Now, with the April 25 unveiling of OpenDataPhilly. org, the City of Philadelphia has made a great, albeit perhaps belated, step forward. The puzzling part seems to be how little the city actually had to do with it.

WHAT OPENDATAPHILLY.ORG IS OpenDataPhilly is a searchable website that aims to be the central resource for all relevant, civicorientated tools, applications, data and information in the region from both governmental and non-government groups. What that means is that if you’re the type to look at an Excel spreadsheet full of data points, or files listing longitude-latitude markers, and you see the potential for visualizations or content for applications, you finally have a starting point. To be clear, there really isn’t anything new on OpenDataPhilly.org just yet. Its point, the man behind its creation says, is in its ability to finally track what is already out there and make clearer the interest for more data to be made available. “This just needed to be done to actually begin talking about what comes next,” said Robert Cheetham, the founder of Azavea, a small geospatial and geographic data application development company

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based in a renovated brick warehouse at 12th and Callowhill streets. “It’s been the clear first step for a long time.” The actual files aren’t hosted on or anywhere associated directly with OpenDataPhilly. Instead, the site is kicking off as little more than a card catalog of what various city agencies already host publicly, either out of individual effort or by some specific requirement or policy to do so. To start, the site catalogs dozens of initial data sets, APIs and data-centric mobile and webbased applications, including things like city property parcels, Cheetham said. Coders, developers, designers and their ilk, emboldened by a decades-old open source movement, tend to like to build tools and displays using meaningful information and share them with the world, sometimes for money, but often for nothing but their use. At its best, this broad community helps create online, mobile, software and even desktop applications that can better help journalists, academics, legislators, researchers and the curious to visualize, contextualize, quantify, understand and explain the world around us. Communities can be better served, governments can be made more efficient and transparent and we can all be made more aware, educated and decisive. “This is the future of accountability,” says Chris Satullo, the Executive Director of News and Civic Dialogue at WHYY who has taken interest in the project. Simply put, good data can inform action that makes our lives better, an end goal that, you know, used to be the sovereignty of the state alone.

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It’s an interesting time for journalism. Here you find the story of kicking off an open data movement in Philadelphia, one that involved action, guidance and perspective throughout from this reporter and the Technically Philly news site that is organizing Philly Tech Week. Therefore, by traditional standards, there is little distance between writer and subject. We think it’s part of the future of how things get done, but disclosure will always be important.

WHO IS BEHIND OPENDATAPHILLY.ORG To date, the City of Philadelphia hasn’t spent a dime on ODP. The construction of the site’s look, feel and functionality came by way of a pro bono effort from Azavea, on the call of founder Cheetham, a precise and wonkish self-described geek, with gray hair and a folding bicycle.

It’s a project he says he’s long Robert Cheetham, founder of Azavea. thought needed to be done. “Philadelphia has had many public data sources for more than 10 years, but there hasn’t been a place to bring it all together,” Cheetham says. “This is intended to do that, thereby making it easier for developers and other people to use that data in useful and inspiring ways.” In truth, Cheetham’s work isn’t selflessness under glass. A not insignificant portion of Azavea’s funding comes from local government contracts, including the City of Philadelphia. Continuing a nearly unrivaled reputation for handling data-driven GIS builds for his hometown is surely no small feather in his cap. But he was brought on the project for that reputation. It was mid-January 2011 when a handful of civicminded technologists met in the darkly lit lobby of the Phoenix Building at 16th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway. Cheetham, Mark Headd, an


2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE open gov organizer and hobbyist hacker from national VoIP carrier Voxeo, and Nathan Solomon, the founder of virtual currency startup Superfluid, were brought together, with this reporter, by Roz Duffy. By most accounts, Duffy, the user-experience designer who built a reputation by bringing national tech events to Philly — Refresh Philly, Barcamp Philly, TEDx Philly — proved a natural convener. “I needed to bring [them] together, step back and see what could happen,” Duffy said then. These and others took hold of the initiative. Duffy brought the group together and designer Johnny Bilotta, a regular at Old City co-working stalwart Independents Hall, branded an early version of the initiative’s logo. Technically Philly offered audience: helping to organize the Philly Tech Week ODP unveiling and, with Headd, an Open Gov Hackathon at BarCamp NewsInnovation April 30 to bring together coders to use the data. “This is the beginning of the open data movement in Philadelphia,” says Division of Technology Chief of Staff Jeff Friedman.

THE CITY’S ROLE If nothing else, former city Chief Technology Officer Allan Frank put a mark on leading IT initiatives for the City of Philadelphia during his tenure from summer 2008 to this February. Data was part of the talk. Under his reign, Mayor Michael Nutter consolidated all government IT, previously governed by individual agencies, under the purview of Frank, who became the city’s first CTO in summer 2009. With greater control and a fatter budget, Frank took a vague message to the people: “Digital Philadelphia.” By fall 2010, Frank had the pitch down pat. Digital Philadelphia was a broad vision meant to encompass the three biggest ways technology could improve Philadelphia: creating jobs, increasing access for lower income individuals and boosting government transparency and efficiency. OpenDataPhilly.org, a branded searchable portal for city data, then, is a major accomplishment in an overall movement that has been reliably slow moving. That’s a big win coming from a relatively small group of volunteers doing so as a side project in fewer than six months. “We start with the premise that we don’t necessarily know everything or have all the answers and we want to rely on this community for ideas,” Nutter told Technically Philly in July Friedman and 2010. Cheetham at a “This isn’t really work that we’d leaders breakfast be definitely doing in-house anyorganized by Technically Philly way,” says DOT’s Friedman. “So

ineffective systems,” Green said in January. “So pick something. We just need to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘from this date on, we’re only taking electronic forms [and move forward from there.]” Perhaps a bigger concern is that no one person owns the initiative. For now, the ODP site and domain name is in Cheetham’s hands. Individual city agencies have their own protocols and standards. Jones is the interim CTO but has said his top priorities are foundational elements, like network infrastructure and the city’s IT help desk, not highPhiladelphia has had level good government initiatives. many public data Managing Director Rich Negrin, sources for more than who has taken a personal interest 10 years, but there in data-driven operational manhasn’t been a place to agement, has said it’s a balancing bring it all together. act between his office, inter-agency This is intended to do accountability program PhillyStat, that, thereby making it 311 and initiatives from DOT. easier for developers “We still need to develop the and other people to use backbone,” Negrin, who is speakthat data in useful and ing on transparency through techinspiring ways.” nology at Friday’s Philly Tech Week ROBERT CHEETHAM Azavea Founder Signature Event, said in March. “That way we can do the big lift.” Cheetham has said Azavea isn’t the logical place to maintain ownership of any of it. THE FUTURE OF OPENDATAPHILLY.ORG “This should be a collaborative initiative, not someLike with most good government initiatives, you’d be hard-pressed to find a clear and consistent op- thing from one group or business,” he says. “The city ponent to utilizing the web to share government has to host the data, but it’s proven not very good at data and information. The question at hand is one getting anybody to use it or know it’s there.” There are other possible, sensible owners. Jones around priorities. “Let’s talk about the staff capacity. I knew capac- has talked about partnering with a large IT company ity was an issue when I came here, but I had no that could securely host the data, like a Microsoft or idea how bad,” says Tommy Jones, the interim Divi- an IBM, and then perhaps have a limited interface sion of Technology CTO, whom predecessor Frank to cull through it. WHYY has taken interest in the data space, in conpoached from Washington, D.C. city government. “I have two people in my network group here. In nection with its push online with NewsWorks.org. The William Penn Foundation is funding a new D.C., I had 13.” Philly’s city government is still ‘in its infancy’ when Center for Public Interest Journalism at Temple it comes to sharing data, Jones says. While OpenDat- University to be operational by year’s end and data aPhilly is a novel way to start, showing off what work will likely play a role. There are any number of advohas already been done, Jones says there are hurdles cacy or nonprofit groups that would happily steward still in the way to getting new data. The city doesn’t the ship. Whatever the future, it seems likely there will be yet have a consistent, secure place to host its data, there are still cultural concerns in some agencies a relationship between the city and some private around the issue and a debate hasn’t yet been settled enterprise. “The value of what we’re doing is around breakon if raw data is really what should be shared. “Philly is taking on so many challenges at once ing down the walls between ‘the public’ and ‘the because we have no choice, so the individual prog- government’ and working collaboratively, in full ress seems very slow,” Jones says. “I don’t blame partnership, to advance an important set of related [residents] for being frustrated, I’m frustrated, but initiatives,” says Friedman. That much is sure. While the city slowly, subtly I’m closer to it, so I understand why.” made some of its data public beginning in the 1990s, How big of a priority is getting data out there? For one, City Councilman Jim Kenney, who is the public face that may, for the first time, really see credited with bringing the 311 concept to Nutter regular outside interest and use, is coming from pro during the 2007 mayoral campaign, says it can’t be bono support from a development firm, with help a top initiative, “maybe a five on a scale of 10,” he from a couple of news sites. “It’s government as platform, facilitator, supporter says, when compared to crime prevention, education and the like. Councilman Bill Green has bigger of important work, not necessarily ‘doing’ all of it. concerns about how accurate or consistent any city More steering, less rowing,” says Friedman. “We’re reinventing urban governance.” data can be. “Most of city data would come from inefficient or we want to play the support role.” That’s a role the city has played. Since June 2010, the city’s Division of Technology had convened a stakeholders group of mid-level city officials; technology community members like Duffy, Headd and Bilotta; nonprofit partners and other residential voices. By the end of 2010, there was a push to release some data from three broad areas: non-emergency service line 311, geospatial parcel files and crime numbers. But an internal deadline was missed, and the group was searching for a new one. In January, the group set its sights on Philly Tech Week as a launching point for something. Cheetham was pulled into the meetings and, frustrated by the lack of momentum on something as actionable as highlighting what data sets are already available, offered to move, leveraging an asset survey commissioned the previous year by WHYY for its NewsWorks.org website. “This is the low-hanging fruit,” Cheetham says, “that can lead to more substantive gains.”

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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

BETTER, TOGETHER interviews by STEVE METZGER

GATHERING

19 leaders of Philadelphia’s technology community wasn’t all about a photoshoot, some bagels and coffee. It would have been a shame to let them slip out of the room with only a cover photo to show for it. Instead, we took the rare gathering as an opportunity to hear about what was on our minds when it came to developing Philly Tech Week: collaboration. No one could have created a week of programming like Tech Week alone. We relied heavily on the impactful organizations and individuals that make this city’s tech community great. So we turned to those often well-known leaders to see what collaboration means to them. And we hope it’ll only mean more of it. BACK ROW, FROM L TO R: Breadboard

Curator David Clayton, Azavea Founder Robert Cheetham, City of Philadelphia Division of Technology Chief of Staff Jeff Friedman, Morgan Lewis Partner Steve Goodman, SEER Interactive Founder Wil Reynolds MIDDLE ROW, FROM L TO R: Greater

We at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce put a high premium on collaboration… because quite frankly that’s how jobs are created – and, particularly, jobs for the 21st century. ROB WONDERLING

President, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Collaboration is what’s going to make the difference if we’re going to be a major center of technology innovation and compete against our home-base rivals…they’re all working together as a community, and that’s where we really need to distinguish ourselves in Philadelphia.

CHRIS BARTLETT

Executive Director, William Way LGBT Community Center

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When you’re writing a blog and generating content, it’s important to collaborate with your readers…because if I was only doing things that interested me, chances are, the site wouldn’t have grown as much as it has, and people wouldn’t be that interested.

FRONT ROW, FROM L TO R: BrainRe-

wards CEO Jane Hoffer, Philly Startup Leaders Board Member Tracey Welson-Rossman, Indy Hall Co-Founder Alex Hillman, two.one.five magazine Publisher Tayyib Smith, Temple University Center for Design and Innovation Director Youngjin Yoo, P’unk Ave Co-founder Geoff DiMasi, University City Science Center CEO Steve Tang

TERRANCE HICKS

ERIC SMITH

Co-Founder, Geekadelphia

CEO, University City Science Center

Vice President of Investment Group, Ben Franklin Technology Partners

There’s a lot of organizations out here that are doing good work, but we’re siloed, and having that cross-communication helps us bring up new ideas and helps us solve some of the issues that we’re facing here in Philadelphia.

It’s very, very important as the city’s ecosystem for technology and commercialization grows that there be collaboration, because none of us is able to do everything that we need to do to get a business going.

In Philadelphia, specifically, putting the technology and life-science worlds together is really an exciting prospect for us…I just think it makes the whole region stronger; it makes all of us stronger because we gather ideas.

I’ve lived here off and on most of my life, but you can learn something from a person who’s new to the city by giving you a different perspective…it’s always important to exchange ideas and not always have a singular view.

STEVE TANG

What’s really exciting about this tech community is that we’re almost a coffee shop…the size and the intimacy of the community means that there’s a really energetic crossfertilization of ideas.

Without collaborations with universities, private investors, venture capitalists, angels, attorneys and accountants, you know, all those parties that make up the ecosystem, we wouldn’t have a vital community here in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce President Rob Wonderling, Morgan Lewis Partner Jeff Bodle, Phrequency.com Editor Leah Kaufman, NuPathe CEO Jane Hollingsworth, Geekadelphia Cofounder Eric Smith, Ben Franklin Technology Partners Investment Group Vice President Terrance Hicks, William Way LGBTQ Commuity Center Executive Director Chris Bartlett

TRACEY WELSON-ROSSMAN

STEVE GOODMAN

JANE HOLLINGSWORTH

TAYYIB SMITH

Board Member, Philly Startup Leaders

Partner, Morgan Lewis

Co-Founder and CEO, NuPathe

Publisher, two.one.five magazine

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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

sponsors

LEVEL IV

LEVEL III

LEVEL II

City of

Philadelphia LIFE

LIBERTY

A N D Y O U TM

Your mission. Our technology.

Pennsylvania

LEVEL I

MEDIA

Plutomic Hosting MissionStaff Defined Clarity Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Razor Servers MakePhilly Neat Company Hive76

Mashable Flying Kite

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2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

BRAGGING ABOUT PHILLY’S TECH COMMUNITY art & text by SEAN BLANDA

When it comes to the Philadelphia technology scene, there’s a lot to brag about. So much, in fact, that it is often hard to keep track. To help maximize your boasting time we’ve created this handy flowchart. Whether you are talking to a CEO, John Street or your plumber, Philly Tech Week has you covered.

Do you want to brag about Philadelphia? NO

Go home and think about your life.

YES

Is the person you’re talking to wearing a suit?

NO Say the phrase “Web 2.0.” Did the person roll her eyes?

YES

Did the person you’re talking to get more than four hours of sleep last night?

YES

NO

Did the person ask you for money?

YES It’s a venture capitalist: “The Philly region has more than 17 incubators and the nation’s leading business school. Entrepreneurs are everywhere.”

NO

It’s a CEO: “The Philadelphia region is home to 92 colleges and universities, making it the perfect place to scout great talent.”

Are you a VC?

YES

It’s an entrepreneur: “The Philly region had more than 80 early-stage investments in Q4 2010 alone.”

YES NO

NO

Is the person constantly playing with her iPhone?

YES

NO

Is the person currently in your house?

What app is she using?

Email

NO

YES

Is the person John Street?

Twitter

Did you just realize that you’ve been talking to yourself the entire time you’ve been reading this flowchart?

YES It’s a social media addict: Have you SEEN the #whyilovephilly hashtag?

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It’s a student: “Of the five largest employers in Philly, two are technology companies. You’re in good hands here.”

It’s your plumber: “Philly was home to the first computer ever: The ENIAC, made at Penn.”

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YES

It’s a city worker: “OpenDataPhilly.org will help create tools to streamline your job and make helping Philadelphians much, much easier.”


2011 PROGRAM & MAGAZINE

participants WHYY, the signature public media organization of the Delaware Valley, is the official headquarters and a media partner of the first ever Philly Tech Week. WHYY powers NewsWorks.org, the new regional multimedia news and information website.

Devnuts is a collaborative entity, allowing a variety of freelancers to come together to work on projects larger than they could normally handle while retaining credit to develop their personal portfolios.

Artician is a community for creative professionals. We allow artists, designers, photographers, and other creative individuals to build completely personalized portfolios for free.

Wharton School of Business is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university in Philadelphia.

Philly.rb is the one and only user group in the Philadelphia area dedicated to helping Ruby enthusiasts learn, network, and socialize.

First Round Capital is one of the country’s leading early-stage investment groups, based in Conshohocken.

8static will be hosting a live chiptunes/8bit video performance with Third Generation.

Independents Hall is one of the leading coworking spaces in the nation.

Emerging Tech for the Enterprise is a conference highlighting the trends and changes in application development and one of the centerpieces of Philly Tech Week.

Named one of Esquire’s best bars in the world, The Grey Lodge will hosting quizzo with a tech twist.

The Philadelphia Science Festival, organized by the Franklin Institute will co-host several events with Philly Tech Week in the name of collaboration between the city’s science and technology communities.

The Hacktory is a hacking community that will kick it like Office Space and have an ol’ fashioned printer smash. The event is co-hosted with Nonprofit Technology Resources.

The Philly Robotics Expo invites robotics teams, businesses and the public to see recent advances in the field. All proceeds go toward supporting robotics in Philadelphia. Hosted by Central High School’s Robolancers and Drexel University.

Philly Content Strategy Meetup will be holding its first-ever meeting during Tech Week. Join web editors, content strategists and others in discussing this burgeoning industry.

Mongo Philly is a one-day conference dedicated to MongoDB, the leading open source, non-relational database.

The Philadelphia Institute for Journalism Innovation or PhIJI will host local online sports writers to discuss the trends, triumphs and troubles of online sports journalism.

PHILADELPHIA

N E W S I N N OVAT I O N

Philly Amazon Web Services Meetup will host Brian White, Director of Developer Resources for Amazon Web Services.

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, or PIFA, will be hosting “Augmented Reality Check” along with The Philadelphia Science Festival.

Maiden Media Group is a creative digital experience agency, owned and operated by Digital Natives.

BarCamp NewsInnovation is an annual, one-day national unconference on journalism innovation and the future of news as explored by practitioners and friends.

The City of Philadelphia will be unveiling several new data sets, including the landing page OpenDataPhilly.org.

Superfluid makes collaboration in social networks fair by enabling members to trade favors using a virtual currency.

The International Game Developers Association is the largest nonprofit membership organization serving individuals that create video games.

The Neat Company tames the paper monster and transforms complex tasks into simple solutions.

Philly Startup Leaders is the largest and most active community of startup entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia region.

Science Leadership Academy is a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute.

P’unk Ave is a web design and development firm in South Philadelphia. P’unk Avenue is responsible for the creation of Apostrophe, the open source inline content management system.

Tek Lado is a technology and pop culture magazine for the new bilingual generation.

Hive76 is a membershipbased, nonprofit organization that offers workspace and tools for individuals to build personal projects and run technology-based classes and workshops for the benefit of the community.

Two.one.five magazine is a lifestyle publication seeking to create a space where ethnically diverse social exploration can be realized, allowing Philadelphia to help transcend last-century models while documenting the city’s new 21st-century reality.

The Temple Department of Journalism offers students the opportunity to learn multimedia journalism with top faculty in a vibrant urban environment.

Breadboard is a hybrid program at the University City Science Center that facilitates cross-disciplinary art exhibits, community outreach initiatives and special programs offering public access to a new generation of fabrication technology and workspace.

Happy Cog delivers beautiful websites that never lose sight of the human being using them.

The Philadelphia chapter of CocoaHeads meets monthly, on the second Thursday of the month (unless stated otherwise). Meetings are held at the wonderful Independents (Indy) Hall coworking space. Meetings are free and open to everyone.

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Philly Tech Week 2011 Print Publication  

5,000 copies of this publication were delivered to attendees of Philly Tech Week, and were distributed at more than 50 retail locations in P...