Tech Forum September 2015 Update
A Note from the Board

As we head into the busy fourth quarter, the Board members and I are excited about the upcoming events and programs being presented by Tech Forum and our partners in the region.

The third annual Inspiring Women in STEM Conference is just two weeks away, and will feature interactive sessions that develop leadership skills and help women advance in their careers. The expert panels and speakers will focus on such topics as developing intergenerational teams, communicating to be heard, and harnessing disruptive technologies.

The Board and I are looking forward to seeing you at our Fall Back Into Networking mixer on October 21st, at Delaware Innovation Week in November, and at all the great events detailed below.

Best regards,

Rick Sommer
President, Technology Forum of Delaware


Tech Forum News

Small Businesses Vulnerable to
Security Breaches


Inspiring Women in STEM Conference

The message coming out of a Technology Forum of Delaware roundtable on cybersecurity was clear – small and mid-sized businesses are more vulnerable than larger enterprises.

Panelists said that despite the headlines involving large organizations, like Target and Home Depot, small businesses  may be  more tempting targets, due to the lack of procedures and technologies  aimed at protecting information.

Many businesses have progressed beyond common passwords for each computer and often have antivirus software and firewalls.

That may not be enough.

Women in scientific and engineering roles need more than technical skills for career success. We must demonstrate leadership, communicate effectively, develop collaborative teams, and innovate.

The 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM Conference will feature educational and interactive sessions to help you develop these critical skills. Join us on October 14th at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington for this empowering professional development program.

You will be inspired by the journeys of extraordinary women leaders, connect with peers to expand your professional network, and be introduced to volunteer opportunities to mentor the next generation.

Click here for more details and to register!

Board of Directors Spotlight

David Gates

Chairman, Technology Forum of Delaware
President & Managing Director of Gates and Company

David Gates has many years of senior management, strategic/tactical planning, operations, and business development experience in entrepreneurial and corporate environments.  David spearheaded early-stage operations and turned around organizations facing significant competitive and financial challenges.  After eight years of increasing responsibility in a variety of business units within the DuPont Company, David acquired, grew, and sold an early-stage technology company.  He was then Executive Vice President at a middle market electronics technology firm. In 1999, David founded Gates and Company, an international management consulting and investment banking firm.
David has a strong educational foundation upon which he has layered his multiple experiences. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Tulsa, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University, and an MBA from The Wharton School.  He is conversant in German having spent a portion of his undergraduate time at the University of Salzburg, Austria and a co-op program with Contraves AG in Zurich, Switzerland.

David is often a guest lecturer at the MBA programs of Drexel University, Temple University, the University of Delaware, and The Wharton School. He was co-founder of Diamond State Ventures (now Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures), and serves on the Board of First State Innovations in addition to the Tech Forum Board. He is a private pilot and piano/keyboard musician and songwriter, and enjoys basketball, sailing, SCUBA diving, and skiing.

Sponsor Spotlight

Wilmington University offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs at locations in Delaware and Southern New Jersey. With a commitment to student-centered service the University now also offers online degrees.

Wilmington University is the only institution to offer the Bachelor of Science in Computer and Network Security in the area. It has also been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity through academic year 2021 by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Wilmington University also offers a Game Design and Development program for the student wishing to design and develop two dimensional and three dimensional game, training and educational, and animation applications deployed to personal computers and game, recreational, and training consoles. Learn more at

Upcoming Events

Inspiring Women in STEM Conference
The 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM Conference will feature skill-building sessions focused on communications, understanding generational differences, developing powerful workplace teams, and realizing your full potential. There will also be ample time for high quality networking. An Exhibitor Showcase will highlight local organizations where you can explore opportunities to inspire girls to enter STEM fields.

Click here for more details and to register!

October 14, 2015
8:00am - 6:00pm AM
DuPont Country Club, 1001 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803

Fall Back Into Networking
The cooler weather is almost here and so is Tech Forum's Fall Back Into Networking mixer. Join us to make new connections and strengthen existing relationships over craft beer and great food. Former Tech Forum board member Lee Mikles will be our host at his new venture, Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen on Main Street in Newark. Register today so you don't miss out on this great event!

Click here for more details and to register!

October 21, 2015
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, 270 East Main Street, Newark, DE 19711

Delaware Innovation Week

Delaware Innovation Week presented by 1313 Innovation and organized by Delaware is a week-long celebration of technology and innovation throughout the state.

November 13 - 21, 2015
Learn more and view all the events at

the Technology Community in Delaware:  Where Are We Going?

In our inaugural report on the “State of the Technology Community in Delaware”, Tech Forum will make a frank and honest assessment of the most important factors driving Delaware’s tech community. This ambitious review will examine four critical pillars - Talent, Collaboration & Support, Funding, and Reputation - and provide a benchmark on the key issues that lead to a vibrant and thriving environment for growth and innovation.

At this special breakfast panel discussion just prior to the Tech2gether Conference on November 18th, an expert in each pillar will take a hard look at where we are today, and provide insights, new data, and analysis to make us think about the path forward.

 November 18, 2015
  8:00 - 10:00 AM
World Café Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

SAVE THE DATE: 15th Anniversary & Holiday Extravaganza

The most anticipated Tech Forum social event each year is our annual Holiday Extravaganza! This December's networking mixer will be extra special as we celebrate 15 years as the region's premier organization for technology, business and entrepreneurial leaders.

 December 16, 2015
  5:30 - 7:30 PM
University & Whist Club, 805 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19806

About Technology Forum of Delaware:
The Technology Forum of Delaware serves the technology markets throughout the Delaware Valley. Tech Forum is dedicated to helping the region’s technology business leaders acquire the knowledge, relationships and resources needed to compete and succeed in a global economy.
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