Start-up businesses thriving in Philadelphia, Nutter says

February 19, 2014 | philly.com by Claudia Vargas

Just before Mayor Nutter addressed the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce at its annual luncheon Tuesday, he celebrated the new office space of a Philadelphia start-up company that nearly doubled in size in the last year.

RJ Metrics, a tech firm that helps businesses analyze their data and has more than 250 clients including Hootsuite and Threadless, is an example of a company that can “start in Philly, grow in Philly and stay in Philly,” Nutter said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Dozens of young professionals mingled around a fancy breakfast spread at the top of the Weidner Building on Broad and Chestnut Tuesday – RJ Metric’s new home to fit its 46 employee base and more – as RJ Metric’s CEO Bob Moore offered remarks alongside the mayor.

Moore, who cofounded the firm with Jake Stein in 2009, called the Philadelphia start-up scene a “rekindling of the entrepreneurial spirit of the city.”

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Start-up Opens Digital Door for Students with Autism

February 17, 2014 | Philly.com by Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA One of the hottest start-ups in the city sprang up in an unlikely place – a fourth-floor classroom at South Philadelphia High.

In between lesson plans and parent conferences, teacher Michele McKeone has attracted some major buzz, along with sizable grants from the University of Pennsylvania and the Milken Family Foundation, attention from national media, and a start-up-of-the-year prize at the Philadelphia Geek Awards.

Autism Expressed, her fledgling business, teaches digital skills to students with autism. It is the first program of its kind on the market, experts believe, and one McKeone hopes will modernize special-education services.

It began in a way familiar to many teachers. She saw a need in her classroom, so she filled it.

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Entrepreneur Works aims to help female business owners

February 10, 2014 | The Philadelphia Tribune by Ayana Jones

A new initiative aims to help women-owned businesses gain access to capital and mentorship.

Entrepreneur Works, an organization that provides loans and support services to local entrepreneurs, was selected as the Philadelphia loan partner for Elizabeth Street Capital — a Tory Burch Foundation and Bank of America initiative.

The Elizabeth Street Capital initiative aims to foster economic independence and strengthen local economies through job creation and community revitalization. The initiative is designed to provide early-stage women entrepreneurs in the United States with access to low-cost capital, mentoring support and networking opportunities to grow their businesses, creating communities of women entrepreneurs.

“When we started our foundation, we understood that women entrepreneurs need access to capital as well as access to business networks, and by partnering with Bank of America, we are thrilled to be providing help to women across the United States. The combination of loans, mentoring support and peer networking expertise opens up new opportunities for women looking to build and grow their businesses,” said Tory Burch, founder of TBF.

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