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March 05, 2016

CHOP staffers eye Philly tech partnerships at SXSW

Annual Austin conference attracts local leaders to represent Philadelphia and deepen local ties

CHOP Exterior JVinocur/Wikimedia Commons

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)

Among a standout cast of local leaders who will represent Philadelphia at this year's South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, three employees of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will be out building partnerships to help commercialize the hospital's new technologies.

The annual convention of film, music, media and technology innovators has drawn Philadelphia's top talent for several years running. Representatives from DreamIt Ventures, Comcast, and Bluecadet have all attended SXSW to help shine a spotlight on local success stories, invite collaboration with companies around the world and strengthen relationships with local firms.

According to Philly, two former DreamIt employees acted as catalysts for CHOP's expanded participation in 2016. Patrick Fitzgerald, VP of entrepreneurship and innovation, is joined by Paul Dehel and Kamilah Weems as they seek out opportunities to expand on several recent advances pediatric medicine.

At last month's White House Precision Medicine Initiative Summit, CHOP and genomics firm Seven Bridges launched a new data platform, Cavatica, that will provide a national analytics storehouse for pediatric cancer research. CHOP is also a leading partner in the annual Impact Pediatric Health Pitch Competition at SXSW, which calls on up-and-coming digital health and medical device start-ups to present unique solutions to the healthcare needs of babies, kids and teenagers.

With Philly's Juliana Reyes and company down in Austin to rep SXSW Philly, the model of the conference could encourage a new trend among Philadelphia's top-flight institutions, from the University of Pennsylvania to Jefferson and Independence Blue Cross. Reyes believes big companies will increasingly employ liaisons who can develop ties with small tech companies for specialized projects in the health IT sector.

South by Southwest will be held in three overlapping phases from March 11-20: Interactive (March 11-15), Film (March 11-19) and Music (March 15-20). Check in the official SXSW website to follow the conference's biggest developments in 2016.

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