Mayor Nutter Welcomes Think Brownstone to Philadelphia

Latest suburban company to open a Philadelphia ‘gateway’ office

Philadelphia, July 10, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Think Brownstone, a Conshohocken-based user experience and design agency, opened the company’s new Philadelphia office at the historic Packard Grande Building in Center City.  Founded in 2007 by Carl White and Brian McIntire, Think Brownstone employs 50 people, including at least 15 who will work in the Philadelphia office, with the potential to expand.   Think Brownstone is the latest in a long line of companies to open a Philadelphia ‘gateway’ office in order to attract the talented workforce that wants to live and work in the city.  Other companies that have recently opened ‘gateway’ offices include Bentley Systems, Fiberlink, SevOne, and Eisner Amper.

“Think Brownstone’s decision to open an office in Philadelphia is the latest demonstration that Philadelphia is a great place to start and grow a technology company,” said Mayor Nutter. “Through initiatives like Startup PHL, my Administration, together with our partner PIDC, continues to do all we can to make Philadelphia a more business-friendly place and put this city on the map as one of America’s most diverse, dynamic and exciting places to build a company.”

Think Brownstone is a user experience and design agency that works with global clients, such as ING, The Hay Group, and Comcast, to improve their digital products. The company uses extensive research and discovery methods to produce user-centered software, including business applications, websites, and data visualization and analytic tools.

“When we originally pictured Think Brownstone, it was going to be in an historic building in the City of Philadelphia,” said Carl White, co-founder and CEO. “Even though we established our first studio in Conshohocken, we are thrilled to see that original vision come to life in our second studio at 15th and Sansom Streets. We are looking forward to being closer to our Philadelphia clients, being more convenient to the extensive pool of talented Philadelphia designers and developers, and taking advantage of all of the business services the city has to offer.”

Supporting entrepreneurs and startup companies in Philadelphia and attracting an educated talented workforce is a major priority for the Nutter Administration. Since the launch of Startup PHL the City has awarded more $210,000 across ten Startup PHL Call for Ideas grants. The latest round focused on attracting and retaining talent; recipients include organizations such as Penn Apps Fellows, Philly Startup Leaders and Technically Philly, NextFab, Zivtech, and the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator. In addition, PIDC has also made investments in the Science Center’s QED program and in DreamIt Ventures, which established its global headquarters at 3401 Market Street on Drexel University’s campus.

“Companies large and small are increasingly moving to Philadelphia because they have access to an incredible talented workforce, high quality of life, and a growing support system for entrepreneurs” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “This is a very exciting and promising development for the future of our city’s tech ecosystem.”

For more information about Startup PHL please visit www.startupphl.com. For more information about Think Brownstone please visit www.thinkbrownstone.com

Mayor Nutter Appoints New Chief Data Officer

Philadelphia, July 2, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Tim Wisniewski has been appointed Chief Data Officer (CDO) for the City of Philadelphia under the Office of Innovation and Technology.  In this role, Wisniewski will coordinate departmental efforts to enhance open government and civic engagement by publishing government data online and will act as the public liaison between data users and data providers.  Additionally, he will oversee the management of the City’s web portfolio, application development and civic technology, including redesigning Phila.Gov as a platform for connecting the general public to open data.

“The Chief Data Officer position plays a key role in our Administration’s efforts to be more transparent, efficient and effective by facilitating information sharing between the City and its residents and between departments,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Tim has a technology and community building background and he has been keenly focused on civic engagement and that clearly makes him a standout choice.  Tim’s appointment will strengthen the City’s commitment to open data and refocus the Administration’s strategy.  I am looking forward to the good work Tim will do with our Open Data policy.”

READ MORE

PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Nutter, Deputy Mayor Greenberger Open New Offices for Tech Companies in Philadelphia

Arcweb, OneTwoSee & Medical Guardian move into new, larger space 

Philadelphia, June 13, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, participated in a series of events today to highlight the growing strength of the startup and technology community in Philadelphia.  Three fast-growing technology companies – Arcweb, OneTwoSee and Medical Guardian – officially opened new or expanded office space to accommodate rapid growth and new employees.  Mayor Nutter and Deputy Mayor Greenberger also visited PeopleLinx to participate in a ‘fireside chat’ with founder Patrick Baynes and their employees.

“Philadelphia is increasingly on the map as one of America’s great startup cities thanks to our incredibly talented workforce, low-cost of doing business, and a strong entrepreneurial community that supports the growth of early-stage companies,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Companies like Arcweb, OneTwoSee, Medical Guardian and PeopleLinx are emblematic of a broader pattern of exciting startups starting, staying and growing in Philadelphia.”

The Nutter Administration, in partnership with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, is committed to supporting entrepreneurs and startups in Philadelphia.  Through a range of initiatives, such as Startup PHL and efforts by the City’s Chief Innovation Officer, Adel Ebeid, to streamline contracting procedures to enable startups to participate in City business the public sector in Philadelphia has partnered with the private sector to increase the resources and opportunities available to startups.

“The emergence of Philadelphia as a startup hub is very encouraging for the future of our city,” said Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger.  “A talented workforce increasingly wants to live in an urban environment, enjoy a high quality of life, and work for exciting and innovative companies.  Philadelphia has all of these assets and that’s one reason why our population is on the way up and our unemployment rate is on the way down.”

Mayor Nutter and Deputy Mayor Greenberger made four stops in two hours to demonstrate the City of Philadelphia’s support for fast-growing companies in the city.  In recent months Mayor Nutter has participated in events to highlight startup success stories such as Artisan Mobile, Curalate, RJ Metrics, RealFoodWorks, and SevOne.  The four companies that were part of today’s tour include:

Arcweb

Founded in 2011, Arcweb recently moved out of Indy Hall into new space at 234 Market Street in order to accommodate an employee count which recently grew to more than 20 people.  The company builds software solutions that primarily service the financial and healthcare markets.  Arcweb was founded by Chris Cera, local entrepreneur and one of the original co-founders of Philly Startup Leaders.  “The Mayor’s continued support of the technology and startup communities is admirable, and has been a catalyst of the growth we have seen,” said Cera.  “It’s exciting to be a member of the community, and very easy to be inspired by many of the people that have grown here in recent years.”

OneTwoSee

OneTwoSee is a fast-growing, Philadelphia-based interactive TV application startup that sits at the intersection of digital media, sports and technology.  It has more than doubled in size since November 2013 and is on track to have more than 20 employees by Fall 2014.  OneTwoSee recently closed a $1.3 million round of fundraising and moved out of Seed Philly to take its own office space at 1650 Arch Street.

Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian was founded in 2005 by local entrepreneur Geoff Gross and has since grown to approximately 100 employees servicing more than 200,000 clients.  Medical Guardian provides an affordable and reliable medical alert service to all those who wish to live an independent life, regardless of their limitations.  The company moved into 12,800 square feet of space at 1818 Market Street in April 2013 and in June 2014 increased the size of its space to 22,600 square feet.

PeopleLinx

PeopleLinx was founded in 2009 by Patrick Baynes and Nathan Egan to help companies improve their workforce’s use of social networks boosting sales and market reach.  They currently employ 25 people and have more than 50 clients.  Mayor Nutter participated in a ‘fireside chat’ with PeopleLinx employees where he shared his own background and talked about his support for the tech community, taking questions from employees.

Vistar Media: why this NYC adtech startup’s tech team is based in Philly

May 7, 2014 | Technically Philly by Juliana Reyes

The beginning of a startup is “a huge software problem,” as the cofounders of venture-backed adtech startup Vistar Media put it.

That’s why Mark Chadwick and Michael Provenzano wanted to hire engineers in a city they were comfortable in. That city was Philadelphia. It was the place they learned the ropes of running a startup, while working at Invite Media, the Center City online advertising company that sold to Google in 2010 for $81 million.

Today, Vistar Media’s six-person engineering team is based in Rittenhouse Square, while the rest of their team (eight staffers) is based in New York City. They’re currently hiring in both cities.

READ MORE

Mayor Nutter Opens New Office for Fast Growing Tech Firm SevOne; Announces Latest Startup PHL Call for Ideas Winners

Philadelphia, March20, 2014 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and SevOne officially opened the company’s new Philadelphia office at the Land Title Building. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, with 270 total employees, SevOne opened an office in Philadelphia in March 2013 with just 12 software developers. With 30 employees currently and plans to employ 50 in Philadelphia by the end of the year, the company has quickly outgrown its first office. Mayor Nutter also announced the winners of the second Startup PHL Call for Ideas awards to support entrepreneurs and improve student engagement with Philadelphia’s tech community.

“SevOne’s Philadelphia presence is further evidence that our City has the talent that growing companies need for success. Philadelphia continues to develop into one of America’s most diverse, dynamic and exciting places to build a technology company,” said Mayor Nutter. “Initiatives like the Startup PHL Call for Ideas, which fosters talent and better connects that talent to thriving companies like SevOne, demonstrate our support for entrepreneurs every step of the way.”

SevOne provides some of the world’s largest companies, including Comcast, Verizon, and Morgan Stanley, a patented performance monitoring, management, and reporting platform to detect and avoid poor network performance. Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Forbes Magazine named SevOne one of America’s Most Promising Companies. In 2013, the company announced a $150 million dollar investment from Bain Capital.

“As a result of SevOne’s accelerated growth, which saw headcount double to 270 employees in the past year alone, it was imperative that we open a larger office in Philadelphia to meet our constantly evolving needs,” explained Jack Sweeney, CEO of SevOne. “We couldn’t be more pleased to remain here in Philadelphia, a vibrant, first-rate city with a motivated and technology-savvy workforce.”

Mayor Nutter also announced the second Startup PHL Call for Idea award winners. The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a program that provides grants for projects that support entrepreneurs and improves Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. This second Call for Ideas focuses on student engagement with Philadelphia’s tech community.

2014 Call for Ideas Grant Awards:

PennApps Fellows Internship Program – $25,000 to fund 10 internships in a local program connecting student interns from across the nation to Philadelphia based companies for a 10-week internship during the summer 2014.

Philadelphia Fashion Incubator – $25,000 to create a series of monthly seminars, panels and interactive workshops focused on the business of fashion for the design community.

Zivtech Developer Boot Camp – $24,000 to teach a six-week developer bootcamp to a class of 30 participants.

NextFab Fellows Coop Program – $25,000 to support four co-op fellowships. Students will receive training and materials while gaining experience working with NextFab companies who struggle to find talent.

Technical.ly / Philly Startup Leaders – $25,000 to create and execute a series of eight workshops to better connect the PHL tech community to students and universities.

Mayor Nutter also thanked the following people for their support and assistance: M. Therese Flaherty (Wharton Small Business Development Center), Apu Gupta (Curalate), Wil Reynolds and Crystal O’Neill (Seer Interactive), Steve Goodman (Morgan Lewis), and Richard Vague (Gabriel Investments).

“Companies continually tell us that a talented workforce is one of the most important factors to their growth,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “Connecting Philadelphia’s world-class universities and students to our burgeoning tech community is a necessary component to not only retain students past graduation, but to also maintain the momentum we see with companies like SevOne expanding 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. One student, Adam Fender, continues to work with his placement company, Agile Switch. “I’ve learned a ridiculous amount in the last 7 months and I have really enjoyed the work. It is also very clear to me that I do not want to leave Philadelphia after graduation. I know that was something that this program hoped to accomplish and it certainly has done that,” said Fender.

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 Directory can be found at http://erd.gpcc.com/

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. A preview video is available at http://theenterprisecenter.com/philly-food-innovation-program/

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 nonprofit 12+ received a $5,000 grant to open a college prep center at Penn Treaty High School. Teacher Trey Smith received a $2,500 grant to launch the Philadelphia Engineering/Math Challenge. To develop their ideas further, both winning teams currently attend the Fels Institute Social Innovations Lab.

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 currently accepting applications for its spring afterschool program serving students aged 13-18. http://www.startupcorps.org/#programs

For more information about SevOne visit www.SevOne.com.

City to bankroll internships, workshops to boost Philly tech scene

March 20th, 2014 | WHYY Newsworks by Zack Seward

The city of Philadelphia is bankrolling tech internships and workshops, using a series of grants to local firms.

“What we wanted to do was really look carefully at the integration of students and universities with the startup community,” said Alan Greenberger, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for economic development.

The five grants total $124,000. It’s the second round of grants to flow from the mayor’s $500,000 Startup PHL Call for Ideas fund.

City officials say the program is meant to both boost local startups and retain young tech talent with the lure of paid gigs. Greenberger says the renewed focus on college-age workers drew from experience with a similar program funded by the first round of Startup PHL grants.

Two outside observers say this influx of funding is likely to be a worthwhile investment…

READ MORE

See the 5 winners of City of Philadelphia’s ‘Call for Ideas’ grants

March 20, 2014 | Technical.ly by Juliana Reyes

The second set of the city-backed StartupPHL ‘Call for Ideas’ grants focus on training and retaining talent in Philadelphia. The grants were created “to support the culture” of the Philly tech scene, said city Commerce Director Alan Greenberger in an interview last month.

Full disclosure, as listed below, Technical.ly applied for and, in partnership with another community group, received one of these grants. This reporter was not part of the process.

According to a release, the awardees, which were announced today at SevOne’s new Center City Office, include:

  • PennApps Fellows Internship Program: $2,500 per student participant to support a local program connecting student interns from across the nation to Philadelphia based companies for a 10-week internship during the summer of 2014.
  • Philadelphia Fashion Incubator: $25,000 to create a series of monthly seminars, panels and interactive workshops focused on the business of fashion for the design community.
  • Zivtech Developer Boot Camp: $24,000 to teach a six-week developer bootcamp to a class of 30 participants.
  • NextFab Fellows Coop Program: – $25,000 to support four co-op fellowships. Students will receive training and materials while gaining experience working for NextFab companies who struggle to find talent.
  • Technical.ly / Philly Startup Leaders: $25,000 to create and execute a series of eight workshops to better connect the PHL tech community to universities and students. (Find coverage of the event that sparked this idea here)

*Full Disclosure: Technical.ly applied and won a Call for Ideas grant. This reporter was not part of that process.

READ MORE

PRESS RELEASE: Philadelphia Launches Fastfwd; Challenges Entrepreneurs to Address Public Safety Issues

October 30, 2013–  Mayor Michael A. Nutter officially launched FastFWD, an Urban Innovation Refinery, a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, GoodCompany Group, a social enterprise accelerator, and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  FastFWD, formerly known as the Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership, is an initiative that seeks to recruit and support entrepreneurs in developing solutions to urban challenges.  In its inaugural year, FastFWD will focus on public safety.

“Our Administration is committed to public safety, spending $1.8 billion last year on behalf of our citizens,” said Mayor Nutter.  “FastFWD is a unique approach to engage and utilize public-private partnerships and to encourage private sector to work with government in the public interest.  In FastFWD’s first cycle, our goal is to harness entrepreneurial talents, resources and innovative ideas to create solutions to the most pressing public safety challenges that our city, and other cities, face every day.”

FastFWD invites entrepreneurs to offer their most innovative public safety solutions, services and products for consideration.   Entrepreneurs that submit the most promising ideas will be given capital, development support and access to experts to help refine and implement their ideas.

“As cities face greater challenges with increasingly fewer resources, the need for entrepreneurial innovation has never been greater,” said Story Bellows, Co-Director, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. “With the launch of FastFWD, we are calling on entrepreneurs to submit their brightest and boldest ideas for consideration.  We look forward to seeing the depth of talent and creativity they have to offer.”

Applications are due by January 22, 2014.

Ten finalists will be selected in spring 2014 to participate in an intensive, twelve-week accelerator program.  During the program, finalists will refine their proposal under the guidance of legal counsel, investors, industry experts and fellow entrepreneurs.  Finalists who enter the accelerator program will receive $10,000 stipends provided by FastFWD.

Upon completion of the accelerator program, the finalists’ proposals will be eligible for implementation as a fast-track funded pilot.

Professor Katherine Klein, Vice Dean for the Wharton Social Impact Initiative added, “Wharton Social Impact Initiative is thrilled to be helping the city in spurring entrepreneurial solutions to urban challenges. The FastFWD process represents a cutting-edge approach, linking business, city government and the University to create sustainable solutions.  There’s a palpable sense of excitement and optimism among all who are participating in this process, including the Mayor – a Wharton alum – and his team.”
“Above all, FastFWD will offer entrepreneurs access. The program will provide access to the core problems, prioritizing and presenting them as target of entrepreneurial opportunity, said Garrett Melby, Founder and Managing Director, GoodCompany Group. “FastFWD will also provide access to expertise for entrepreneurs to refine their ideas with subject-matter experts, and hone their business model with finance experts from The Wharton School.”
In addition, the City announced that FastFWD will partner with Impact Hub on entrepreneur engagement and Code for America on procurement reform.
For more information on FastFWD, including applications, log onto http://fast-fwd.org.

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.