One of the questions that keeps coming up at many of the entrepreneurship related events around town – “Are you going to SXSW this year?” There are lots of great Pittsburgh companies that are headed to SXSW and I know there are some Pittsburgh events planned in Austin.
But it occurred to me: why should those who cannot get to Austin miss out on all the fun. So I would like to throw an idea out and see what you think: Northeast x Midwest (NExMW), a series of events here in Pittsburgh highlighting some of the great businesses, projects, and partnerships happening right here in the 412.
The name: NExMW – Last month I made a stop in St. Louis to have lunch with Jeff and Randy Vines – they are the owners of STLstyle (and basically the IheartPGH of St. Louis). Over lunch they asked me if I considered Pittsburgh to be in the North East or Midwest – I replied both. Pittsburgh is a great balance of lots of things North East and lots of things Midwest.
The Format: A Series of Events – Other the past I’ve had a bunch of other conversations with other folks about what makes a good networking event and how to meet other Pittsburghers to work with. There are lots of happy hours, open coffees, and general networking events, but it can be hard to get past the small talk. Rather than have one big event – I am thinking it makes sense to have NExMW be a series of smaller, structured events – panel discussions, small networking meals and hands-on workshops. I have already reached out to the folks at GrubWithUs and they are ready to have us their platform to plan some meals.
The Theme: Collaboration – exploring and celebrating the intersection of community and commerce in Pittsburgh. There are so many interesting collaborations that are driving change in this city, especially between the arts and business. NExMW is an opportunity to learn more about and see firsthand how these collaborations evolve and function, and how they are contributing to making Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. IheartPGH exists to share the stories of individuals, businesses, projects, are organizations in Pittsburgh that are, in a small and not-s0-small ways, making this a great place to live. Yesterday, NPR re-aired this interview with Dan Buettner, author of the book Thrive. Listening to Buettner talk about how where you live can impact your happiness is one of the reasons I decided to move this idea for NExMW from my “wouldn’t it be nice if” list to my “this needs to happen” list. I envision NExMW as an opportunity to really explore what makes Pittsburgh so livable.
Events We’re Planning:
- Panel Discussion at East End Book Exchange
- Event at Commonwealth Press
- GrubWithUs Meals
- Podcast About Pittsburgh StartUps
- some sort of event with the mayoral candidates
What do you think?
- Which events would you like to attend?
- Are you interested in planning/hosting an event?
- What Pittsburghers would you to have lunch or dinner with?
- What businesses would you like to tour?
- Would you be interested in being a sponsor for NExMW
Stay Tuned for More
Emily Levenson says
I think it’s a FABULOUS idea. I look forward to seeing what events get scheduled.
Interestingly enough, last year I organized a music event for The Original magazine called North x Midwest (NXMW) centered around the same principle—highlighting Pittsburgh’s unique interregional community (Northeaster and Midwestern) and the art it produces.
Though SXSW has grown into an industry development conference, it was founded on music, and therefore other art forms (and then eventually the media industry) were drawn under the festival’s umbrella.
I’ve since moved out of PGH but someone drew this to my attention and though I’d let you know there is some precedent around this principle in the three river valley.
Katie! Thank you so much for sharing – I would love to talk more about what you organized last year. I really appreciate you leaving a comment and I am happy to know that others were thinking the same way.