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Inventing the Future: Philly Tech Breakfast builds bridges in the local tech community

Even when it’s not Philly Tech Week, the region has an ever-growing schedule of hackathons and startup events. Despite the crowded landscape, Philly Tech Breakfast has already racked up over 200 members -- including local notables from Philly Startup Leaders, Technically Philly and Drexel's ExCITe Center -- and they haven't even held their first meetup yet.
The group will meet every third Thursday in Mitchell Auditorium at Drexel’s Bossone Research Enterprise Center. The morning will feature three-to-six presentations from local tech innovators. According to Enterprise Law Associates' Gary Smith, a founding sponsor, Tech Breakfast is "technology agnostic," meaning that folks working on any tech-driven enterprise -- be it a videogame platform or a medical diagnostic device -- are welcome to participate.
"We wanted focus more on the fact that the companies are early-stage and in technology than on the fact that they're in a particular vertical," explains Smith.
By joining the greater Tech Breakfast network -- a listserv boasting thousands of members from Baltimore, Washington D.C., Columbia, Md., and Northern Virginia -- Philly can engage a broader community. A venture capitalist from Northern Virginia, for example, is more likely to build relationships and invest in a Philly software company if they belong to the same community.
"We’ll become part of a larger flow of information," says Smith. "There's a lot of talk about that, but not a lot of practical facilitation of that."
Current sponsors include Namsa, a medical product consultancy, Outlook.com, Technically Philly and Bizelo, an inventory management company for e-commerce. The event was organized by Bizelo founder Ron Schmelzer.
While these breakfasts are free to the general public, they are tailored to tech startup members and supporters. Meetings start April 25 with presentations from AxisPhilly, SnipSnap and Acclaim, among others. 

Source: Gary Smith, Enterprise Law Associates 
Writer: Dana Henry
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