So much going on at the 5th annual Tech Week, OHTec made it 10 days

The annual OHTec Tech Week has grown so much in the past four years that this year’s event is actually 10 days long. The event features leading companies, products and guest speakers in Cleveland’s tech industry.  “There are big things added this year,” says OHTec executive director Brad Nellis.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 people are expected to attend the 16 events during OHTec Tech Week this year – double last year’s attendance and Nellis estimates about 10 times the attendance than its first year. “Every year it’s been a record,” he says. “What we’re really most proud of is that it’s such a vibrant industry in Northeast Ohio.”

The week kicks off this Thursday, April 9 with serial entrepreneur Ray Dalton, founder of Aurora-based PartSource. Dalton will speak on the development and success of his medical replacement parts business at the Aloft Hotel.

New this year is a partnership with the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC), which will host Yuri’s Night Space Party, which celebrates the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. People celebrate around the world and in Cleveland with a big party on Saturday, April 11 at the GLSC.

Outer space appreciation continues with the always-popular Space Apps Challenge on Friday, April 10th through Sunday, April 12th at NASA Glenn Research Center. “It’s a hackathon kind of thing,” says Nellis. “Teams come in Friday night and they come back Saturday and start writing software.”

Two events will both encourage students to explore STEM careers and offer networking opportunities to those who want to get into the field. Nellis and Tim Needles, founder/CEO of Onix Networking, will speak at Tri-C’s Speed Networking event on the state of Northeast Ohio’s tech industry. Employers will also be present to talk about potential job opportunities.
 
Goodyear STEM Career Day on Saturday, April 18 at the University of Akron targets 1,500 students, parents and counselors who are interested in STEM careers. “Obviously, it raises awareness of the IT industry,” says Nellis. “We want kids to understand what great careers there are in tech.”
 
Tech companies will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas, products and services to IT executives at the fourth annual Pitch Night at Lockkeepers in Valley View on Monday, April 13. “It raises awareness of these IT executives that there are really good companies right here in Northeast Ohio,” says Nellis of the event. “It’s a mix of early stage companies and later stage companies. The audience votes on best pitch, most intriguing product and product most wanted. It’s a great way to make it interactive.”
 
And, of course, there is the ninth annual OHTec Best of Tech Awards, which will be held on Thursday, April 16th at Red Space.
 
There are many additional events going on during the 10 day tech celebration. The events require registration and some events have admission fees. Click here for a full calendar and to register.

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.