Best 2016 Tech Conferences to Attend if You're an Entrepreneur

2016 tech conferences

There comes a point in every entrepreneur’s journey when he or she is ready to branch out further from their established community – and conferences are a great venue to do just that. From exhibits to keynote speeches, startup competitions and workshops, a conference allows entrepreneurs to hear the experiences and expertise of many thought leaders.

But conferences aren’t just a chance to get the word out about your company or to learn something new. Most importantly, they’re the perfect opportunity to build foundations for long-term relationships and to join a community of like-minded individuals from across the globe. Entrepreneurs should never underestimate the opportunity to develop synergies amongst new bedfellows – it happens all the time. 

CES, a top conference for consumer technologies, already kicked off the year (next year’s date is set for January 5-8, 2017) to much fanfare, so we’ve compiled a list of the best tech and entrepreneur conferences for the rest of 2016.

We’re highlighting non-Pittsburgh based conferences for a reason. While we believe that Pittsburgh is an incredible place to build and grow a company, we also know the importance of tapping into national and global communities. These connections, both accidental and intentional, can spawn opportunities critical for talent attraction, venture investment, and customer acquisition. 

Tell us your thoughts, which events you’re planning on attending or speaking at this year, and what we should add to this list by leaving a comment, or finding us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

January

Big Data Innovation Summit

Where: Las Vegas, NV

When: January 28-29, 2016

Who: Big data, cloud, and analytics leaders

Why: With a tagline of “Make Your Data Actionable,” the Big Data Innovation Summit brings you 24 sessions of varying expertise and skill sets on Big Data’s latest developments.

 

February

DeveloperWeek

Where: San Francisco, CA

When: February 12-18, 2016

Who: Developers, designers, CTOs

Why: DeveloperWeek, billed as San Francisco’s largest tech event, has it all for tech-minded attendees – a hackathon, workshops, speakers, a hiring mixer, and an expo to exhibit your company.

 

Startup Grind

When: February 23-24, 2016

Where: Redwood City, CA

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs

Why: Mantras such as “make friends, not contacts” and “give first, don’t take” mean that Startup Grind focuses on strengthening the entrepreneurial community as whole, through workshops, talks, intimate meetings, and, of course, parties.

 

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

When: February 29-March 4, 2016

Where: Las Vegas, NV

Who: Health IT professionals, clinicians, executives, and vendors

Why: A top health IT conference that brings in over 40,000 people to participate in workshops, thought leader sessions, roundtable discussions, and more, the highlight of HIMSS is an exhibit of the latest healthcare technology vendors demonstrating their wares.

 

March

SXSW Interactive

When: March 11-15, 2016

Where: Austin, TX

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs

Why: Even if you haven’t heard of any of the other conferences on this list, you’ve heard of SXSW. Not to be confused with the music portion, SXSW Interactive is a must-attend for entrepreneurs at least once, to experience cutting-edge technology exhibitions, hands-on workshops, and best-in-class networking, including one-on-one mentoring sessions and plenty of parties.

 

DroidCon

When: March 17-18, 2016

Where: San Francisco, CA

Who: Android platform developers

Why: Android developers, DroidCon is just for you – enjoy talks from top Android experts and leaders, a hands-on code learning lab, startup alley and demo day.

 

April

GPU Technology Conference

When: April 4-7, 2016

Where: San Jose, CA

Who: Developers, researchers, and technologists (especially in artificial intelligence and deep learning, virtual reality, and self driving cars)

Why: Pittsburgh’s made a bit of noise in the self-driving car industry thanks to Uber so, along with CMU’s strength in robotics, GPU Technology Conference is a perfect fit for the Steel City. Bright minds come together to explore how to use graphics processing units to change the world.

 

Wearable Tech + Digital Health

When: April 5, 2016

Where: San Francisco, CA

Who: Biotech, health, and wearable tech entrepreneurs

Why: If you’re interested in the intersection of technology, health, and sensors, the Wearable Tech + Digital Health conference will discuss innovations in brain technology, wearables, and biomonitoring.

 

Collision

When: April 26-28, 2016

Where: New Orleans, LA

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs

Why: Dubbed as “America’s fastest growing tech conference,” the Pittsburgh connection is strong at this year’s event – Pittsburgh startups, through local partner Thrill Mill, can apply to pitch at Collision’s Launch Pad PITCH Competition as one of eight participating US cities.

 

May

CIO Summit

When: May 1-3, 2016

Where: Chicago, IL

Who: CIOs and IT executives

Why: IT thought leaders engage in discussions, speaker sessions, and peer-to-peer networking at CIO Summit, with a focus on innovation, current trends, and challenges in the information technology sphere.

 

Disrupt NY

When: May 9-11, 2016

Where: New York, NY

Who: Any-stage entrepreneur (particularly early)

Why: Hosted by media company TechCrunch, Disrupt is known for debuting some truly game-changing startups. Featuring a hackathon, large expo space for both software and hardware companies, and after parties, the event culminates with the highly regarded Startup Battlefield Competition.

 

Finovate Spring

When: May 10-11, 2016

Where: San Jose, CA

Who: Banking and financial technology entrepreneurs

Why: Finovate is the home for startups, established companies, and financial institutions to listen, learn, and share new fintech innovations (and it has a more formal dress code than most of the other conferences on this list).

 

Internet Week

When: May 16-19, 2016

Where: New York, NY

Who: Any-stage entrepreneur

Why: Movers and shakers discuss where “technology, business, and culture meet” in the tech-driven future for all sectors, with 250+ events at the Internet Week headquarters, plus an additional 150+ organized by citywide event partners.

 

June

Techweek Chicago

When: June 20-24, 2016

Where: Chicago, IL

Who: Any-stage tech entrepreneurs

Why: With a mission of “building a better world through tech entrepreneurship,” Techweek brings entrepreneurs, visionaries, and thought leaders together to shine a spotlight on the exciting innovation in their present local community. Chicago is the original location – other Techweek cities with different dates are Detroit, Toronto, Kansas City, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Dallas.

 

July and August

There aren't many conferences in the dead of summer, so take a break, foster some of the connections you may have made, and plan for the second half of the year.

 

September

Finovate Fall

When: September 8-9, 2016

Where: New York, NY

Who: Banking and financial technology entrepreneurs

Why: Similiar to the spring event in San Jose: Finovate is the home for startups, established companies, and financial institutions to listen, learn, and share new fintech innovations (and it has a more formal dress code than most of the other conferences on this list).

 

Disrupt SF

When: September 12-14, 2016

Where: San Francisco, CA

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs

Why: The same as its sister event in NYC in May, just on the West Coast: Hosted by media company TechCrunch, Disrupt is known for debuting some truly game-changing startups. Featuring a hackathon, large expo space for both software and hardware companies, and after parties, the event culminates with the highly regarded Startup Battlefield Competition.

 

Health 2.0

When: September 25-28, 2016

Where: Santa Clara, CA

Who: Health entrepreneurs and professionals

Why: Health and healthcare pros gather at Health 2.0 for top-notch networking, product demos, speakers, company launches, breakout sessions, and more in the healthtech world.

 

October

&Then

When: October 4-6, 2016

Where: Boston, MA

Who: Digital marketing professionals

Why: Data-drive digital marketers flocks to &Then for over 100 interactive sessions and keynote speakers focused on sharing ideas and getting results.

 

Also check out the West Coast version in LA on October 16-18, 2016.

 

November

AdTech

When: November 2-3, 2016

Where: New York, NY

Who: Marketing, technology, and media professionals

Why: Dubbed “the event for modern marketing and media,” AdTech unites marketers, technology pros, and media communities to build, share, and strategize for the marketing industry.

 

Inbound

When: November 8-11, 2016

Where: Boston, MA

Who: Marketing and sales professionals

Why: Some of the biggest names in marketing and sales come to Inbound to share and receive inspiration, education, and connections, to transform businesses, regardless of the industry.

 

Fast Company Innovation Festival

When: November 9-13, 2016

Where: New York, NY

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs

Why: With a flair for drama, the Fast Company Innovation Festival brings what they call “extraordinary personalities” to New York for talks, hands-on workshops, performances, and behind-the-scenes tours, to inspire creativity and innovation.

 

The Next Web

When: November 16, 2016

Where: New York, NY

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs

Why: Top content, business development, and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and leaders, The Next Web Conference is all about the future of technology, innovation, marketing, communication, and imagination.

 

iConic

When: Fall 2016

Where: Washington, DC

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs

Why: Inc. Magazine and CNBC came together to bring us iConic, a day of talks that join dynamic business forces together to “Innovate. Inspire. Ignite.”

 

Lean Startup

When:  Fall 2016

Where: San Francisco, CA

Who: Any-stage entrepreneurs (particularly early)

Why: Most tech startups are familiar with the highly touted Lean Startup methodology – this intensive conference brings the best of that community to the stage for fast-paced programming and networking.

 

December

AppSphere

When: Winter 2016

Where: Las Vegas, NV

Who: Software and mobile application entrepreneurs

Why: AppShere helps technologists and innovators gain a competitive edge in a software-focused world by providing best practices and tools in a variety of sessions and training.

 

Ignition

When: Winter 2016

Where: New York, NY

Who: Media and technology professionals

Why: Business Insider’s flagship conference, Ignition joins leaders in technology and media together to share and discuss what they think the future of innovation will bring.