Equal Space, a co-working space in Newark for “intellectuals, techies and entrepreneurs,” is hosting its first Tech Town Hall on July 20 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the city’s future in the technology world.
“We are working hard to build a moment where our community can speak directly with the mayor and learn that Newark is tech-friendly, and that the city recognizes and will be supporting its tech community,” said Citi Medina, who runs Equal Space along with the team at Medina=Citi, the creative services firm where he serves as creative director.
The dialogue will feature a question and answer session with Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. Anthony Frasier, co-founder of The Phat Startup and Brick City Tech Meetup & Ventures and Chrishan Wright, owner of Propel Media Group, will be moderating the event. The tech town hall is meant to bring together leaders, local businesses, educators, economic developers and state policy makers to discuss the future of innovation in Newark, according to Equal Space.
Frasier said the event will do more than pay lip service to that future. “This event shows that the city is listening. It’s great to have events like this that aren’t for show, but looking to actually produce meaningful change,” said Frasier. “Newark is at pivotal moment, and technology from all fronts can’t be ignored or we will be left behind. Exchanges like the tech town hall are put in place to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Frasier continued.
Isaiah Little, founder of Gallery Retail and “Brigade Captain” of Code for Newark, said he hopes this event will kick off a movement of “using technology as an ecosystem to move the city forward, and also stimulate diversity and develop Newark into a region with ‘smart city’ capabilities.”
Other tech leaders in attendance include Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code; Judith A. Sheft, VP of technology development at NJIT; Seth Wainer, Newark’s Chief Information Officer; and Clayton Banks, co-founder and executive director of Silicon Harlem.
The tech town hall will also congratulate and celebrate the winners of the Wolf Den Competition, a tournament for high school innovators modeled after the entrepreneurial television show “Shark Tank.”
The event will take place at the Equal Space building located at 89 Market St. in Newark. Light appetizers will be served at 5 p.m. before the town hall begins. The event is free, but online reservations are required.
Equal Space itself provides communal workspaces and dedicated desk space, internet, conference tables, resources for startups, and coaching for tech companies. Medina reflected on the convergence between the mission of his space and that of the tech town hall. “Putting it plainly, Equal Space wants to be a place where techies can find resources and support,” Medina said. “This event is a great step in the direction of gaining further support from our mayor and having the questions the community has answered. It is about building a rapport with our city and showing that tech can solve a myriad of urban cities’ obstacles,” he continued.
Featured image courtesy of Equal Space