5Q: Chris Wink of Technical.ly Delaware

Christopher Wink is the co-founder and publisher of Technical.ly, a network of technology news sites that includes Technical.ly Delaware. He is also the co-organizer of Delaware Innovation Week, an event series on technology and innovation in New Castle County. We asked Wink about how the event has evolved over the last three years and how it’s tailored for Delaware.

Innovation Week originated in Philadelphia. How does Delaware differ in terms of its innovation and technology sectors?

Technical.ly first hosted Philly Tech Week in April 2011. We first organized Delaware Innovation Week (note the name difference) in November 2015. One of the differences is we think the open calendar of events can be even more widespread and welcoming to a range of topics, people and organizations who are working on improving Delaware’s future.

Delaware Innovation Week is now on its third year. Have you adjusted the model at all since its launch?

One of the clearest changes is making nearly all of the events entirely free. One of the real goals is to continue to make Delaware Innovation Week one of the most accessible entry points for joining the tech, entrepreneurship and innovation community in the state. As always, Technical.ly is just the lead organizer, as we’re alongside more than a dozen local partners on bringing this conversation together.

How do you find local partners for this type of event and how do you know you have the right people in the room?

Across the country, nearly all thriving tech and startup economies have some kind of annual week of events for those communities to come together locally. So most local leaders know it’s a needed and common model worth contributing to, as it can be shared by everyone who wants to take part. So one of the signs of success is that the week is full of both the many leaders of Delaware’s tech community and people who are experiencing  it for the first time.

One session this year looks at how to do business with banks, which make up a large segment of Delaware’s economy. How did this event come to be?

We always aim to respond to community feedback, and one of the loudest requests was to help young companies grow their business and, in particular, with Delaware’s big banking sector. That event is aimed at exactly that.

What’s the value of an event like this to the Delaware market?

For Delaware to thrive in the future, the state needs a dense collection of the kind of smart people who will power the economy. That means we need companies of every size, a dynamic city people want to live in and the kinds of events that bring all of this together. Around the country, tech communities are putting their best on display.

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