Mayor Nutter Launches Startup PHL

PRESS RELEASE: October 26, 2012


Initial measures include public-private seed fund and ‘Call for Ideas’

Philadelphia, October 26, 2012 – Today Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the creation of Startup PHL, an exciting new initiative to support Philadelphia startups and entrepreneurs. The initiative – a partnership between the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation – aims to increase the availability of seed-stage capital for startups and accelerate the development of a supportive environment for entrepreneurs already in the city, as well as establishing Philadelphia as a city of choice for new startups and entrepreneurs.

“Philadelphia is increasingly home to a dynamic, innovative startup and entrepreneurial community who are putting this city on the map as the place to be if you’re an entrepreneur,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The goal of Startup PHL is to build upon and support so much of the good work that is already being done, building more businesses, creating more jobs, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunities to even more Philadelphians.”

Startup PHL is initially composed of two initiatives:

The Startup PHL Seed Fund is a public/private venture fund which will make seed-stage investments in Philadelphia-based tech startups. PIDC will seed the fund with $3 million to be matched and managed by a private investment firm that will make investments on behalf of the fund. An RFP will be issued today to receive proposals from firms interested in matching and managing the fund. More information can be found at

The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a $500,000 fund to support innovative, exciting proposals for ideas and programs that support startups and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. The goal of this fund is to make grants to proposals that enhance collaboration in the startup community; attract new entrepreneurs from both within and outside the city; foster networks for entrepreneurs to collaborate with each other, mentors, talent and investors; and ultimately lead to more business and job creation in Philadelphia. To learn more and to submit an idea visit

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Alan Greenberger, who has led this effort for the Nutter Administration said, “We want to establish Philadelphia as a city where entrepreneurs can conceive of new ideas, grow their companies, hire people and, ultimately, stay. Since 2007 just four companies account for more than $1 billion worth of Philadelphia startups that have left the city in search of funding. Through Startup PHL we want to help more of those companies stay and grow in Philly by providing more capital and by tapping into the incredible imagination and creativity of our entrepreneurial community and partner with them to support startups and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.”

Philadelphia has an incredible array of assets conducive to building a supportive environment for successful entrepreneurs and startups:

  • World-class higher education and research facilities
  • A dynamic and growing startup and entrepreneurial community
  • A burgeoning network of incubators and accelerators which are drawing entrepreneurs from around
  • the United States and the world to Philadelphia
  • A quality of life that is encouraging population growth, particularly among young people
  • Affordable lifestyle and environment in which to build a business
  • Tax structure increasingly favorable to small businesses, job creation and investment

The goal of Startup PHL – and many other partners long-engaged in this work – is to capitalize upon these assets, remove barriers to success, act as a catalyst, and grow Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial community.

“The City’s announcement today is music to the ears of all startup entrepreneurs; another path to capital, another source of hope for us to build businesses in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia entrepreneur Khushboo Shah, CEO of Philadelphia startup Cirrimize, who spoke at the press conference about her company’s opportunity to grow in the City.

Establishing Philadelphia as a city of choice for startups and entrepreneurs is crucial for the future growth of the city and the region. This priority has been reinforced by the World Class Greater Philadelphia initiative – a regional improvement effort supported by more than 1,500 area business, nonprofit, government and community leaders coordinated by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia – which earlier this year identified supporting our entrepreneurial community and increasing availability of growth capital as key business growth priorities for our region. “By focusing on growth capital for startups and supporting entrepreneurial networks, the City is making the kinds of investments that will drive business growth in our region over the long run,” said Economy League Executive Director Steve Wray. “These efforts are wholly in line with the priority regional strategies that are emerging through the World Class initiative.”

Partnering with the Department of Commerce on this initiative is the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). “Startup PHL is a perfect example of the partnership between the public and private sectors which PIDC embodies,” said PIDC President John Grady. “Our contribution to the Startup PHL Seed Fund will be leveraged with even greater private resources to fill a gap in the marketplace and provide muchneeded seed capital to startup companies in Philadelphia’s growing technology sector. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Mayor Nutter and the entrepreneurial community to help make Philadelphia the smart choice for startups.”

Leading figures from the Philadelphia startup and entrepreneurial community welcomed today’s announcement. “This is a great day for Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs,” said Bob Moul, CEO of appRenaissance and president of Philly Startup Leaders. “We choose to live and work in Philly because we love this city and because Philly offers an incredibly high ratio of opportunity to quality of life. It’s great to see the city now investing in us. We thank the Mayor, the administration, and PIDC for believing in us and we look forward to accelerating our work together to build sustainable and socially responsible businesses in Philadelphia.”

Long-time advocate and champion of entrepreneurs in Philadelphia, Steve Goodman of Morgan Lewis, said, “The initiatives announced today by Mayor Nutter tangibly place the City’s resources and muscle behind closing the funding gap, and are a culmination and new starting point in achieving the fruition of what I have depicted as the cosmic convergence.”

More information on Startup PHL can be found at or by following @startupphl on Twitter. Startup PHL complements a wider range of programs and measures to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia administered by the Department of Commerce, more information can be found at

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