The Future Found at Glendale Tech Week


Technology has become an inseparable part of the lives of many people. Roughly 78% of North America has Internet access. More than 3 billion people worldwide are online in some way, according to the United Nations. And nearly 2.5 billion people have smartphones. Computer technology is the way of the future and it will only grow from where it is now. And while some fight the increase in tech, others lean into it.

Learning about technology and all that it will offer is the idea behind Jewel City 2.0, Glendale Tech Week. What started as a way to bring out tech companies to interact has grown into a forum for the sharing of ideas, a place to find a new project or investor, and a place to get the next generation of coders excited about learning computer science.

“It’s a celebration of tech entrepreneurship and innovation for companies in and around Glendale,” said Jennifer Hiramoto, principal economic development officer with the City of Glendale. “This started as part of the Glendale tech strategy which the City Council adopted a couple of years ago. They wanted to better understand where Glendale was in the world of tech and its ecosystem, in relation to Downtown LA and Pasadena and Silicon Beach. Also they wanted to make sure that we were currently working on diversifying our local economy, especially filling up a lot of those office towers.”

What they found was that there are quite a few tech firms in Glendale – more than 1,000 established companies in offices, in fact, and that’s not counting all of the businesses starting in garages, home-run businesses or working out of coffee shops and other co-working spaces, Hiramoto said. This environment is ripe for the picking for investors, larger companies looking to hire new coders and more. Glendale Tech Week brings all this and more.

“We launched Glendale Tech Week with the intent that this would be an area and a time where these entrepreneurs – the startups and even the local companies that are here in Glendale – can have a platform to meet one another and find resources that are important to them,” Hiramoto said.

This is the third year of Tech Week and Hiramoto said they have learned what those resources are and so can provide more of what works. One popular aspect is the Job Fair, where local tech firms like Service Titan and Age of Learning come together with bigger companies like Amazon to show what jobs are out there, available right now. This year, there are 300 job positions available and nearly 800 attendees registered already.

Another popular event is the Meet the Funders event. This pairs angel investors with prospective developers to make connections and get projects funded. Like speed dating for business, developers get a small window to make their elevator pitch, pick their brain or just get some tips and tricks from an investor before moving on to the next table.

“Meet the Funders has been helpful because what we’ve seen is that the startup companies are not necessarily just looking for funding, sometimes they’re looking just for a platform to have a conversation with someone who’s in the business and getting their thoughts on ‘does this business plan work’ or ‘does this business idea makes sense’ or if they have any recommendations for board members to sit on their board, or just getting connected with other folks in the business. We’ve had several anecdotes out of the Meet the Funders event where people have sat on boards,” Hiramoto said. “Through Tech Week in general we have actually seen the creation of an offshoot of a local venture fund called SheVentures and it’s just for female-owned entrepreneur [businesses]. That’s one of the nice things out of Tech Week, that these relationships have actually been able to blossom and were initiated through the creation of Tech Week.”

Glendale Tech Week runs from Sept. 15 – 21 and will include events every day. These PitchFest where pre-selected finalists will pitch their ideas in front of an audience to compete for a $60,000 prize package while a Shark Tank-style investor judges their product and/or pitch. Startup Showcase: Kids Edition gives kids 14 and under the chance to pitch their ideas and products in the same way as PitchFest. “Daphne and Velma,” a prequel to Scooby Doo, will also be screened at the newly opened Lammle Theaters because it shows the meeting of two members of the Mystery Machine Gang.

More information on all the Tech Week events can be found at