Here’s what city-backed fund StartUp PHL gets right, and what it needs to do next

StartupPHL has done a bang-up job supporting Philly startups, argues VeryApt CEO Ashrit Kamireddi.

August 1, 2016 | Technical.ly by Ashrit Kamireddi

Over the last few months, a lot has been said about the upcoming changes to StartupPHL and more broadly about city and state involvement in fostering an environment that supports local startup growth.

As a non Philly-native who chose Philadelphia as home for my company, VeryApt, and as a StartUp PHL portfolio company, I thought it would be helpful to give my perspective on the program: how it’s driven Philly’s tech ecosystem and how it can be even better the second time around.

Prior to raising a $270,000 angel round led by StartUp PHL, my two cofounders and I had just graduated from our respective grad programs and had placed 3rd in Wharton’s Business Plan Competition. We could have settled our company anywhere, with New York and San Francisco being the obvious choices. For a startup, the initial round of funding is where geography is most critical. Most angels don’t want to invest outside of their backyard, which explains the natural tendency for startups to relocate where there is the most capital.

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