Prom Night for Innovators: PACT’s Glittering Return in a Revitalized Philly!

Jason Bannon, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA

When I last wrote about the importance of attending the Mid-Atlantic Capital Conference, I don’t mind saying there was a tone of trepidation behind every word that I put down. As you may recall, back in the fall of 2022, our social world was cresting out of a weird little “green light-yellow light-STOP” pattern thanks to COVID. Getting excited for the PACT conference was just like getting excited for the prom when you’re going with a friend who’s a total blast but sometimes unreliable: exciting, but not all “good-exciting.”

This year is certainly different. In many ways, it’s thanks to Nobel prize-winning Philadelphian innovation that you may have heard about. It’s even more directly thanks to the pioneers, founders, and leaders that really didn’t slow down throughout the last few years. In fact, according to Startup Genome, the innovation community of the Philadelphia region only got more active, bumping up to #27 in its ranking of global startup ecosystems.

So this year, it’s like, “the look is crisp, the date is right, the prom is ON.” OK, maybe the prom metaphor is too strong: this is 2023, and the recommended dress is “smart chic.” So relax a little, and leave your ball gowns at home, people. That’s not a hard stop, mind you—bring your Billy Porter game if you have it, you do you—but the food at the Reading Terminal Market is good, and I’ve personally never networked well in a petticoat, anyway.

Simply put, PACT’s Mid-Atlantic Capital Conference event is the single most active innovation capital-focused convening in Philadelphia this fall. PACT Fest is still one of the networking highlights of the year for the innovation and capital community (and psst, this one is actually fun). This year’s conference lineup of presenting companies and sponsors basically makes the possibility of productive conversations a lock. In a globally strong and still climbing community like Philadelphia, that all means you’re probably going to want to get a ticket.