Newark Tech Week Coming in Early November with a Host of Tech, Community Events

Photo: Last year's Lean Startup Machine Newark. This November the event will be part of Newark Tech Week. Photo Credit: Esther Surden
Last year’s Lean Startup Machine Newark. This November the event will be part of Newark Tech Week. | Esther Surden

For the second time, Newark is putting together a week of events– November 2 through 10– sponsored by the Brick City Development Corp. (BCDC), Rutgers, NJIT, Brick City Tech Meetup and many others to showcase this city’s efforts to become a key part of the tech innovation story that is happening in New Jersey right now. We covered the last Newark Tech Week in April with several articles and a call to action here.

Newark Tech Week includes a diverse set of activities designed to engage both the tech community and also involve current residents who can learn about how tech touches their lives and the tech community, Emily Manz, Associate for Real Estate and Business Attraction, BCDC told us.

“We have this really high energy sector and we want to make sure everyone knows about it,” Manz said. “And we want to get the rest of the Newark community involved.”

On Saturday Nov. 2, Newark will host an all-day TEDx event at the Rutgers Business School called TedxBroadStreet: Reach, Rise, Revive. Most of the speakers won’t be dealing with tech, but will touch on topics relevant to making Newark a good place for startups.

TEDxBroadStreet’s speakers and performance artists will address a range of topics carefully selected by Newark community stakeholders, including the “Newark brand,” sustainable neighborhoods, and women in leadership.

On Monday Nov. 4, Newark neighbors can come out for an intriguing event at the Rutger’s Business School Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development called “Nonobvious Uses of Technology: Technology in Sports, Entertainment and Food.” The organizers told us they are attempting to arrange the panel now and have reached out to people from the Prudential Center in Newark, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, people from the food industry and artists to participate.

For those interested in the blending of tech and art, Blerdology and Geek Soul Brother will be looking at “Sci-Fi Art: Branding and Expanding in the Digital World” on Tuesday Nov. 5 at Fortress of Solitude, a comic book store in Newark. asked organizer Kat Calvin of Blerdology to describe the event.

“The event is all about how comic book and sci-fi artists can use tech/digital to publish and publicize their art and expand their brands,” Calvin said. “We have some pretty amazing panelists, including Dilettante Bass, Darrell Goza and Anthony Frasier. Several Newark artists will be exhibiting their art after the panel! It should be a great event for comic book/sci-fi artists to learn how to use tech to get their art out to the world and for everyone who loves great sci-fi art to see some really cool works by some of the most talented artists in Newark,” she added.

On November 6 from 3PM to 4:30 PM, women in tech will get an entrepreneurial pep talk from author Bart Jackson, who is a believer in women startups, as part of an Honor’s College Colloquium Series at NJIT. Jackson’s philosophy is that the “only individuals as exciting as explorers are entrepreneurs” and during his talk he will stress “that women of business today are doing it just right…they have taken the bull by the horns and are enthusiastically growing their careers and companies.”

The deadline for the Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge, a contest open to any current student of a Newark area college or university and any community member who is proposing to start a business in Newark, is Thursday Nov. 7. Capital One and Sterling Medical provide Innovation Acceleration Fellowships to winners ($3,000 each) for summer support to allow students to work on continuing development of their business ideas. Full-time participation over the summer is required. An initial application is no more than two pages.

The Scarlet Startups Meetup will be presenting a panel called “Starting your Startup” 6:30 PM on Thursday Nov.7 that will feature several entrepreneurs who launched their startups while in college or right afterwards. Founders from DoUdeal, SquadUP, Pijon, and Sumpto will share their steps for success. Scarlet Startups is also hosting a drinks and networking event after the meeting.

The weekend of November 8 through 10 will be set aside for Lean Start-Up Machine Newark, an event where entrepreneurs follow lean methodology to test out concepts for their startups and learn how to build what customers want. This type of exercise is particularly suited to tech startup ideas, but anyone with an idea can benefit, and last year’s winner was a snack food company.

During a Lean event, participants “get out of the building” to ask real world customers to react to their ideas, then they come back, change their ideas, and go get some more feedback. Mentors help them every step of the way. We covered last year’s Lean Newark effort extensively and many of the companies that came to test their startup ideas are still in business.

Sometime during the week, officials are scheduling a Tech Ed Roundtable called “Why Tech Ed?”, but the details for this event have not yet been determined. The roundtable will focus on new technologies being used to help low income students.

Manz told us that more events could be added to this lineup shortly, so the tech community is advised to check back on the Newark Tech Week website as the week approaches. A possible event to be added, for example, will help Newark small businesses learn to use the Internet to increase their revenues. That event will be called “Build in Brick City: Leveraging Technology for Your Small Business,” sponsored by ConnectingNJ and Brick City Development Corporation.

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