NJTW News: Newark Tech Week, Women In Tech, Closing The Digital Divide & More

[This article was taken from NJTW News, an NJTechWeekly.com newsletter. Sign up for it here.]

  • Newark Tech Week took place last week with a number of meetings and experiences both online and off.

Women In Tech

  • NJTechWeekly.com attended a Newark Tech Week online event called “Women In Tech – The Virtual Experience,” moderated by Kelly Outing of Equal Space.
  • The speakers were: Loralyn Mears of STEERus; Judith Sheft of the NJ Commission of Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT); Anum Hussain of Below the Fold News; and Flisadam Pointer of IEMC and ENVERT.
  • Mears said she had been humbled “to the core” while starting her company.
  • “Until you do it [start a company] you have no idea what’s really involved. You can read about it all day long, but it’s totally not the same.”
  • Hussain said that fundraising was her biggest roadblock, as it is for many women in tech.
  • “We raised pennies in comparison to what other startups have done and what we need.”
  • Sheft recommended that women and minority startup founders who are challenged by skeptics have confidence in their vision, but ask a lot of questions, and keep moving forward.
  • Pointer told the audience that they can enter the tech world via non-traditional routes.
  • For example, journalists have tapped into the tech space to keep themselves afloat as podcasters.

Closing The Digital Divide In Newark

Liana Summey of the Newark School of Data Science & Information Technology | Screenshot by Esther Surden
  • Another Newark Tech Week event discussed closing the digital divide in Newark.
  • The speakers were: Anthony Avent of the Office of Information Technology, City of Newark; Diane Hill of the Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement at Rutgers-Newark; Liana Summey of the Newark School of Data Science & Information Technology; Gregory Porumbescu of the Transparency and Governance Center at Rutgers-Newark (TGC).
  • The panel was moderated by Suzanne Piotrowski of the TGC.
  • Panelists agreed that making sure the public has equitable access to broadband and devices is essential.
  • However, ensuring that citizens have a support structure is also important.
  • Citizens need training on app and computer use, for example, and they require services that can help them with continued troubleshooting, the panelists said.

Autonomous Vehicles In Trenton

  • Attention autonomous vehicle (AV) technologists in New Jersey.
  • The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) announced a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the “Trenton Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System (MOVES) Project.”
  • Trenton MOVES explores the feasibility of providing safe, equitable, affordable, and sustainable high-quality mobility through the deployment of 100 AVs throughout the state capital.
  • This on-demand automated transit system will serve 90,000 residents of Trenton. 
  • More information can be found here. The deadline to respond is Feb. 11.

Innovation+ Robotics Chat

Jiren Parikh of Ghost Robotics | Screenshot by Esther Surden
  • James Barrood of Innovation+ recently interviewed Jiren Parikh of Ghost Robotics and Brendan Englot of Stevens Institute of Technology about their robotics work.
  • Much of Englot’s research at Stevens centers on how to give robots improved situational awareness in very tough environments, such as under water, Englot said.
  • Ghost Robotics uses a novel technology to create quadruped robots that can be used in military environments.
  • The company is currently selling these robots to the U.S. and its allies, Parikh noted.

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