PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Nutter, First Round Capital and PIDC Announce First Startup PHL Seed Fund Investment

Real Food Works moves headquarters to Philadelphia, receives $200,000 seed investment.

October 24, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, along with First Round Capital and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), announced that Real Food Works will receive the first investment from the Startup PHL Seed Fund. Real Food Works partners with local restaurants to provide customers with healthy prepared meals. It will receive a $200,000 investment from the Startup PHL Seed Fund.

“The goal of Startup PHL is to help innovative new companies to start and grow in Philadelphia, and this investment in Real Food Works is an example of that strategy,” said Mayor Nutter. “Lucinda and her team have created a company that supports the local economy and encourages people to eat healthy food. This investment will allow Real Food Works to continue growing and is the first of many investments in Philadelphia startups that will be made through Startup PHL.”

Real Food Works will receive a $200,000 investment from the Startup PHL Seed Fund, a $6 million seed stage investment fund, in which both PIDC and First Round Capital have invested $3 million. First Round Capital manages the fund.

John Grady, President of PIDC said, “We are proud of our partnership with First Round Capital and the City of Philadelphia to launch the Startup PHL Seed fund to increase the availability of seed-stage capital and to help make Philadelphia an attractive place for entrepreneurs. As a successful startup that has relocated to Philadelphia, Real Food Works is a perfect demonstration of the power of the Startup PHL Seed Fund making the City a great environment to launch and grow business.”

First Round Capital Managing Partner Josh Kopelman said, “We are excited to contribute to the growing vibrancy of the Philadelphia startup ecosystem, to be working with innovative partners, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the City of Philadelphia. We are thrilled that our first investment together is in such a great company and entrepreneur. Real Food Works is tapping into an important trend of healthier eating, and the company’s scalable model and technology promises great growth. And, of course, backing a proven entrepreneur gives us tremendous confidence.”

Lucinda Duncalfe, Founder and CEO of Real Food Works, created the company after being inspired to eat a more healthy diet. She founded Real Food Works in May 2012 and incubated the company at Monetate in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. In June 2013, Duncalfe moved Real Food Works to Philadelphia, where it is currently located at 224 North Juniper Street. Real Food Works employs 10 people.

“The investments from First Round Capital, Startup PHL and Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners are a vote of confidence in Real Food Works’ vision, technology, and team,” said Duncalfe. “We’re grateful for their support, and look forward to working together to make our dream of a healthier America based on a real food diet a reality.”

Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA is also an investor in Real Food Works. President and CEO RoseAnn Rosenthal added, “We’re happy to, once more, be an investor in one of Lucinda’s ventures. We’ve partnered in the past and are thrilled to see her launch yet another enterprise. Her actions reflect the commitment and confidence of entrepreneurs who have achieved success, here, and who are choosing to do it again, here.”

Mayor Nutter launched the Startup PHL initiative in October 2012. In March 2013, the City and PIDC announced that First Round Capital would manage the Startup PHL Seed Fund. The Startup PHL Call for Ideas, another portion of the initiative, is designed to provide small grants to organizations working to support entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. The second round of funding will be announced next week by the Department of Commerce, led by Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.

“Philadelphia is increasingly seen as a home for startups, entrepreneurs and investment with more and more companies locating here” said Greenberger. “Startup PHL is the City’s effort – in partnership with First Round Capital and PIDC – to support this growth and attract new job-creating businesses, firmly establishing Philadelphia as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Startup PHL:
Startup PHL is a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). The Startup PHL Seed Fund is an effort by the City of Philadelphia and PIDC to increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based startups. The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a grant program to support innovative proposals for ideas that support business creation and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. More information about Startup PHL can be found at www.startupphl.com. More information about the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce can be found at www.phila.gov/commerce.

Real Food Works:
Real Food Works delivers fresh meals made with only all-natural whole food ingredients. The meals are developed and cooked fresh by a network of local independent restaurants, which create specific meals to meet the real food diet’s nutritional requirements — ensuring delicious, nutritious food. The real food diet has been popularized in New York Times bestsellers, including The China Study, VB6, and Whole, the Amazon best-selling documentary Forks over Knives, and by celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow and Alicia Silverstone. Located in Philadelphia, the company was founded by seasoned entrepreneur and healthy food fanatic Lucinda Duncalfe and is backed by leading investors. For more information, visit https://www.realfoodworks.com/.

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation:
Beginning in 1958 as a non-profit joint venture between the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC is Philadelphia’s economic development corporation. In the past 55 years, PIDC has invested more than $11.4 billion in Philadelphia supporting $21 billion of total project costs. Currently managing a diverse loan portfolio in excess of $600 million, PIDC brings years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to structuring real estate and financing transactions that attract investment and create and retain jobs in the City of Philadelphia. PIDC has partnered with First Round Capital to create a $6 million public/private venture fund, the Startup PHL Seed Fund. Both PIDC and First Round Capital have invested $3 million and First Round Capital manages the fund increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based entrepreneurs.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania:
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a national, award winning organization that provides capital, knowledge and networks that help innovative enterprises generate jobs and economic growth. Ben Franklin is the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in this region, and is one of the most active seed-stage investors in the United States. Three-quarters of all recent venture funded companies in the Greater Philadelphia region had previously received funding from Ben Franklin. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

Gov Corbett Visits BFTP and Innovation Center; Touts how Innovate in PA Will Accelerate Job Growth

October 18, 2013 | Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Philadelphia – Governor Tom Corbett today met with successful start-up companies at the Ben Franklin Technology Partners’ headquarters in the Building 100 Innovation Center and joined entrepreneurs and members of the legislature to launch Innovate in PA, a new program created to accelerate high-wage job growth through supporting small, emerging companies.

“With new, growth businesses continuing to drive job creation in Pennsylvania, Innovate in PA is a common-sense approach to economic growth,” Corbett said. “Innovate in PA’s investments will help forward-thinking companies inspired with vision to become household names, turning Pennsylvania into the next Silicon Valley.”

Innovate in PA will offer $100 million in deferred tax credits to insurance companies in the state to raise funds over multiple years. The funds raised will be directed to the highly successful Ben Franklin Technology Development Partners (BFTP), three Life Sciences Greenhouses and the Venture Capital investment program…

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SEED – Supporting Entrepreneurs in Education – 3.0 is coming October 16, 2013

Buy your tickets online: http://seed3point0.eventbrite.com/

WHAT?

SEED (Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education) 3.0 is a crowd-funded and -sourced opportunity for education entrepreneurs and teachers to compete for cash prizes and, even more importantly, present their ideas before an engaged audience of potential funders, users, collaborators, and community members.

SEED 3.0 is modeled off the internationally popular Sunday Soup program, a micro-granting program where attendees pay on a sliding scale (usually $10-20) for a locally sourced dinner during which they hear brief presentations from members of the creative community.  The attendees then vote on their choices for first, second, and third prize.  Once the votes are tallied, the winning groups take home monetary prizes of varying sizes (e.g., $400 for first, $200 for second, $100 for third) funded by the attendance charge.

SEED 3.0 takes the premise of Sunday Soup and tweaks it: the presentations focus solely on education entrepreneurship in the Philadelphia area.  Following a meet and mingle period, during which presenters will be available to answer attendee questions on their concepts, presenters will be given three minutes each to “pitch” their idea to the entire audience.  After each pitch, an esteemed panel of judges has five minutes to ask questions, critique business plans, and make suggestions.  After all the pitches and Q&A, the audience then votes for a winner.

To generate a significant monetary prize (targeted at $5,000 for first place and $2,500 for second place), attendees will be asked to pay a $25 entrance fee and sponsorships from corporate partners will be solicited.  A large portion of this year’s monetary prize comes from a StartUp PHL grant awarded to PhillyCORE Leaders. Other sponsors include PECO, Oxford Mills, and the Philadelphia School Partnership.

WHO?

The first SEED in March 2012 had over 40 applicants, which were narrowed down to 12 finalists – 6 in an “Emerging” Entrepreneurs category and 6 in an “Expanding/Established” Entrepreneurs category.  The winner of the “Emerging” Entrepreneurs category – PhilaSoup – won $5,000, which it is used to apply for non-profit status and to extend its outreach.  The winner of the “Expanding/Established” Entrepreneurs category – Springboard Collaborative – won a bundle of pro-bono services (legal, accounting, etc.) and sit-downs with several foundation heads in the region.

The second SEED event, called SEED 2.0, was held in October 2012, and the theme was “technology in the classroom.”  We attracted over 20 “ed tech” applicants, which were narrowed down to 5 finalists.  The winner, Teachers Lead Philly, used the $5,000 to create an online portal that would supplement its off-line teacher networking and collaboration events.  Each SEED event had on average 150 attendees and each raised about $9,000, including $5,000 from ticket sales and $4,000 from corporate sponsorships.

This year, there will be two categories for this year’s SEED event.  The first category will be for education entrepreneurs (either non-profit or for-profit) and the second category will be specifically for teachers who are focused on bringing innovation and leadership to their school but are committed to remaining in the classroom as teacher.

WHEN/Where? Wednesday, October 16th from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  at City Hall

Buy your tickets online: http://seed3point0.eventbrite.com/

Entrepreneurs and startups will be eligible for Innovate in PA funding

October 10, 2013 | Keystone Edge by Elise Vider

The state has officially launched its new Innovate in PA program to accelerate high-wage job growth by supporting entrepreneurs and startups.

At a recent visit toInnovation Works’ Alpha Lab, Gov. Corbett said, “With 98 percent of new jobs in Pennsylvania coming from startups and small emerging growth companies, Innovate in PA is a common-sense approach to economic growth. Innovate in PA’s investments will help forward-thinking companies inspired with vision to become household names, turning Pennsylvania into the next Silicon Valley.”

Innovate in PA, effective as of October 1, will offer $100 million in deferred tax credits to insurance companies in the state to raise funds over multiple years. The funds raised will be directed to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Partners, three Life Sciences Greenhouses and the Venture Capital investment program.