Three Weeks till Propelify, and Aaron Price Says “Get Ready to Be Wowed”
This year’s Propelify, the tech and innovation festival that’s now a part of TechUnited:NJ, will take place in Maxwell Place Park, a pier in Hoboken at 11th Street, on Wednesday, October 6, with the rain date of October 7.
The event was moved from its indoor location in Jersey City because of the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19. All attendees will need to be vaccinated.
We are sure that Propelify will live up to its reputation as being both a fun and valuable place for the tech community to meet, network and learn about entrepreneurship and technology, all while experiencing an inspiring venue that looks over at the skyline of New York.
This will be the first Propelify that will fully embrace the focus around TechUnited:NJ, Aaron Price, TechUnited:NJ CEO and Propelify founder, told us.
“It’s really the culmination of our programming. So, there will be a lot of programming with a better-wellness, a better-planet focus. And we’ll have some fantastic speakers. But really, this will be a celebration around the New Jersey community to bring us all together in person,” after so much virtual programming.
“We’re still 100 percent into entrepreneurship, and we always had three main focuses on our stages: entrepreneurship, corporate innovation and the future of X. But now we are leaning into, for example, the health and wellness category because there is so much programming we do in this area during the year.” The same holds for the BetterPlanet programming that TechUnited:NJ has been doing all year on energy, sponsored by PSEG.
Attendees will find a more professional event this time, Price promised. “From our point of view, we’re maturing, and Propelify has evolved from an early-stage, tremendously under-resourced experience, to an event that has the backing of the full regional tech community. … I think people will experience a more professionalized event, with startups and entrepreneurship, but also some of the bigger players at the table that they might not have seen before from the corporate side.”
Propelify will have some exciting speakers, Price continued, including Irving Fain, founder of Bowery Farming (New York), which has a significant presence in New Jersey. Another speaker of note will be the new president and COO of PSE&G, Kim Hanemann. Chieh Huang, CEO of Boxed (Union), will also be there. His company is doing a big special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal this year to go public, Price noted. The CTO from Audible (Newark), Tim Martin, will also be on the agenda.
For those into crypto, there will be execs from Celsius (Hoboken) and Lolli (New York). Lolli is a rewards program based on bitcoin. Also on the agenda will be Manny Medina, a Stevens Institute of Technology grad and cofounder and CEO of Outreach (Seattle), which is now a $4 billion company.
David Meltzer, who has graced the Propelify stage before, will be back to talk about how he built a big company without outside capital. Meltzer cofounded Sports 1 Marketing (Irvine, Calif.) after serving as CEO of the renowned agency Steinberg Sports & Entertainment (Newport Beach, Calif.). He was the inspiration for the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire.”
A highlight of the event is sure to be a debate between James Altucher, a serial entrepreneur who wrote the controversial opinion piece in the New York Post titled, “NYC is Dead Forever,” and Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC.
Major events will include the culminations of two competitions: the BetterPlanet Challenge, which will be giving away a $50,000 check, and the BetterWellness Challenge, which is giving away two $25,000 checks. Cheddar News will be on-site conducting interviews with entrepreneurs, and Entrepreneur magazine will be holding a competition for those who want to get into their elevator pitch show.
There will be “Investor Speed Dating,” too. Applications for this event close on September 17. Startups apply here. Investors apply here.
All in all, Propelify promises to be just as exciting and inspiring as it was when Price and some very enthusiastic tech community volunteers organized the first one, then called “Propeller,” in 2016. It will be great to see the New Jersey and regional tech community in action and in person again on October 6.