Apply for second round of city’s Startup PHL grants, with brain drain focus

November 15, 2013 | Technically Philly by Juliana Reyes

If you had $25,000, how would you fight brain drain in Philadelphia?

Now’s your chance to put that idea into action. The city is looking to fund projects that will connect students with the local startup scene as part of its second round of Startup PHL grants. It’ll accept other types of projects, according to a release, but will have an eye toward those that aim to keep students in the city by exposing them to the tech scene.

Apply here by Dec. 13.

The city will choose four to eight projects and award them grants of under $25,000. It’ll come from $500,000 that was dedicated to the Startup PHL “Call for Ideas” program.

 READ MORE

PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Nutter Announces Second Startup PHL Call for Ideas

Second Startup PHL Call for Ideas focuses on connections between Higher Education and Philadelphia’s tech community.

Philadelphia, November 14, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Startup PHL is now accepting applications for the second round of Call for Ideas, a grant program to fund innovative proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. Full application details are available here.

“Over the last year, the City has welcomed many growing companies to Philadelphia; Fiberlink, Bentley Systems, Brand.com, SevOne, Bulogics, and Real Food Works are just a few. Each company has cited a robust startup community and access to talent as key drivers in their decisions,” said Mayor Nutter. “To continue this momentum, we need to connect the talent from our top-ranked universities to the growing companies, which need a well-educated workforce to flourish.”

The Call for Ideas program provides small grants to organizations with ideas or initiatives that best meet the objectives of Startup PHL. These objectives are:

  • Increasing business and job creation in Philadelphia;
  • Enhancing collaboration between organizations that support entrepreneurs;
  • Fostering networks and creating space for entrepreneurs to develop businesses and connect with mentors, advisors, talent and capital;
  • Continuing integration between Philadelphia’s higher education institutions, students and startup community; and
  • Creating an environment that attracts new entrepreneurs and encourages graduates from Philadelphia’s higher education institutions to remain in the city.

While all submissions are welcome, this second round of Call for Ideas is focused on creating more connections between students and the startup community that will ultimately lead to more people staying in Philadelphia after they graduate.

Creating better connections between Philadelphia’s university and startup communities is also a priority for Philly Startup Leaders, the largest and most active community of startup entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia Region. The group recently convened a session between local startup leaders and the leaders of student-led entrepreneur groups.

“Not only are our members continually looking for top talent, but just as important is the infusion of energy that comes from student startups to the startup community. We want students to look at the resources that exist here and see Philadelphia as a place where their company can thrive. That’s why we’re working closely with student groups like nvigor, which is connecting students across schools,” said Philly Startup Leaders Board Chair Bob Moul.

Mayor Nutter launched the first Startup PHL Call for Ideas in October 2012 as part of the larger Startup PHL initiative. Six Call for Ideas grants were awarded in March 2013.

“In the past year, the City has worked closely with a number of organizations who are working to support the growth of startup companies and entrepreneurs across the city and across diverse industries,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger. “This program allows us to bolster the great work that is already happening here, which ultimately leads to more business and job creation in Philadelphia.”

2013 Call for Ideas Grantee Update:

  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners/Campus Philly received $25,000 to create a Targeted Internship Matching Program and placed 10 Philadelphia-area university students at BFTP portfolio companies in Philadelphia in the summer of 2013. The program provided Philadelphia startups with talent while connecting college students to startups/mentors, increasing the likelihood that the students will stay in Philadelphia post-graduation.
  • Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce received $18,400 to develop an online Entrepreneur’s Resource Directory. The directory provides a centralized online resource for entrepreneurs to find information on funding sources, professional and technical expertise, specialized facilities and professional services.
  • The Enterprise Center, Center for Culinary Enterprises, Philly Food Innovation Program received $15,000 to develop a technical workshop series for early to middle-stage food entrepreneurs. Topics included culinary math, food safety and labeling, and hospitality law. These workshops, which occurred in the summer 2013, were filmed and will be posted to The Enterprise Center website as well as available publically.
  • PhillyCORE Leaders received $15,000 to support the Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education (SEED) program, which included a pitch event for education entrepreneurs to compete for funding held in October 2013. The winning teams will participate in the Fels Institute Social Innovations Lab in 2014 to further develop their ideas.
  • Startup Corps received $20,000 to support the expansion of a high school entrepreneur program that provides programming to a diverse range of teenagers looking to develop entrepreneurial skills and build businesses. Startup Corps is on-track to serve 200 students in 2013.
  • VentureF0rth was awarded $25,000 to create a “community commons” space at the existing VentureF0rth co-working facility that will provide an increased range of services to the startup community, including daytime programming, job training for individuals looking for work in the technology sector and an increase in the number of entry-level low-cost spots available to entrepreneurs.

Startup PHL also includes the Startup PHL Seed Fund, a $6 million seed stage investment fund, in which both the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and First Round Capital have invested $3 million. The Seed Fund announced its first investment in Real Food Works in October 2013; the company moved to Philadelphia because of the award.

PIDC President John Grady said, “Real Food Works is a great demonstration of how the Startup PHL Seed Fund is increasing the availability of seed-stage capital to help make the City an attractive place for entrepreneurs. Call for Ideas is the perfect complement to the Seed Fund. Together they make Startup PHL a powerful program and Philadelphia an attractive and supportive environment to launch and grow a business.”

Full application details for the second Call for Ideas can be found at www.startupphl.com. Applications are due by December 13, 2013. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of representatives from the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and members of the entrepreneurial community.

Startup PHL:
Startup PHL is a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia’s 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 the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce can be found at www.phila.gov/commerce.

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.

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…

READ MORE

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.

CHOP launches tech transfer partnership with Osage University Partners

September 30, 2013 | Technically Philly by Juliana Reyes

One of the main challenges behind spinout companies is “finding dollars to move the companies forward,” said Ellen Purpus, head of CHOP’s Tech Transfer Office. The partnership with Osage, which invests exclusively on startups that are commercializing university research, aims to help that.

The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania has announced a partnership withOsage University Partners that aims to increase the amount of investment behind its tech transfer spinout companies.

Like other tech transfer offices, the one at CHOP, started in the early 90s, looks for businesses that can partner with the hospital and turn its research into products — that can mean anything from vaccines to medicines to research tools. It does about seven to ten licensing deals a year, said Ellen Purpus, head of CHOP’s Tech Transfer Office.

READ MORE

Penn’s Graduate School of Education launches $2.1M edtech incubator

September 24, 2013 | Technically Philly by Juliana Reyes

This fall, five startups will participate in Penn‘s Graduate School of Education (GSE) six-month edtech incubator, according to a release.

The $2.1 million effort, first announced in May, is called the Education Design Studio, Inc. Participating companies do not have to move to Philadelphia, like they would with other programs like DreamIt Ventures and GoodCompany Group. Rather, the five companies will meet once a month in a different city for training and workshops.

READ MORE

Silicon Valley investment firm places bet on Philly business-intelligence startup

September 24, 2013 | philly.com by Michael Hinkelman

Robert J. Moore, 29, of Society Hill, is co-founder & CEO of RJMetrics, a Center City business-intelligence software firm. The fast-growing start-up helps e-commerce companies quickly analyze data to make smarter decisions. In May, RJMetrics landed a $6.5 million investment from Trinity Ventures in Silicon Valley.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for RJMetrics?

A: My co-founder [Jake Stein] and I worked at a venture-capital firm in New York in 2006-07. My job was to help them decide on good investments. So I manually analyzed all data about a company’s customers. I saw an opportunity to do this via the Internet.

Q: What about start-up funds?

A: We decided to build the business ourselves and moved back to Philadelphia because it was more affordable and we had roots here. We started in 2009, and it was just myself and Jake. In January 2012, we raised our first outside money, $1 million, from angels, including a customer and local investors.

READ MORE