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.

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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.

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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‘Innovate’ Tax Credit to aid PA Tech Firms

July 7, 2013 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Deborah M. Todd, via philly.com

If tax credits that helped bring Batman and Jack Reacher to Pennsylvania breathed life into the state’s film industry, a similar measure included in the new 2013-14 budget could save the day for early-stage tech investments.

The Innovate in PA Tax Credit was officially signed into the tax code Sunday and will be activated once the 2013-14 budget makes it through all the necessary channels.

The credit boosts funding to Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the state-sponsored initiative that funds regional technology accelerators. It is based in Harrisburg, with Philadelphia in the southeastern regional branch, one of four…

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PIDC to Invest $500K in University City Science Center’s QED Program

Philadelphia, March 19, 2013 – The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation announced today that through its Penn Venture Fund, it will invest up to $500,000 in the University City Science Center’s QED Program, the country’s first multi-institutional proof-of-concept funding program for healthcare and life sciences technologies.  PIDC’s loan will provide direct funding to qualifying research projects at Philadelphia-based academic and research institutions participating in QED. The projects will be developed and selected through QED’s market-driven process. The loan will be repaid from PIDC’s share in proceeds from successful projects.

“PIDC is excited to invest with partners like First Round Capital and the University City Science Center, both of which are highly respected national leaders in their fields,” said PIDC President John Grady.  “These new investments are both designed to bring more capital to entrepreneurs in Philadelphia at earlier stages, so that they can turn their big ideas into reality sooner and more efficiently.  Today’s announcement illustrates PIDC’s ongoing commitment to find innovative ways to partner with the public and private sectors and to develop new resources for Philadelphia businesses.”

The QED Program has funded a total of 16 projects since its launch in April 2009.  So far, five of the projects have resulted in technology options or licenses, and close to $9 million in follow-on funding has been raised. Twenty-two universities and research institutions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, including 11 in Philadelphia, participate in the program.

“Due to a lack of funding, promising technologies are often stranded in the lab and never make it to the marketplace where they can have a positive impact on patients’ lives,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “PIDC’s investment will help launch new companies that commercialize Philadelphia-based discoveries.  We at the Science Center look forward to working with PIDC to encourage these companies to stay and grow in the city.”

First Startup PHL Call for Ideas Awards Announced

Philadelphia, March 19, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that six local organizations will receive Startup PHL grants from the City of Philadelphia for programs or services that support the entrepreneurial community in Philadelphia.  The Startup PHL ‘Call for Ideas’ received more than 115 submissions, which were reviewed by City officials, PIDC, and representatives of the entrepreneurial and startup community. The grant winners are the following:

  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners/Campus Philly – $25,000 to create a Targeted Internship Matching Program to place Philadelphia-area college and university students at BFTP portfolio companies in Philadelphia this summer. The goals of the program are to provide Philadelphia startups with talent and to connect college students to startups/mentors, increasing the likelihood that they stay in Philadelphia post-graduation.  Matching funding will be provided by the companies hosting interns.
  • The Enterprise Center, Center for Culinary Enterprises, Philly Food Innovation Program – $15,000 to support the development of a workshop series for 25 early to middle stage food entrepreneurs to help accelerate their businesses.
  • Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce – $18,400 to develop an online Entrepreneur’s Resource Directory, working with Select Greater Philadelphia, PACT and the Philadelphia startup community.  The Directory will provide a centralized location for entrepreneurs to find information on funding sources, professional and technical expertise, specialized facilities and professional services.  Matching funding will be provided by a corporate sponsor or the Chamber.
  • PhillyCORE Leaders – $15,000 to support the Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education (SEED) program, which includes a pitch event for education entrepreneurs to compete for funding.  The winning teams will then participate in the Fels Institute Social Innovations Lab to further develop their ideas.  Matching funding will be provided by corporate sponsorship.
  • Startup Corps – $20,000 to support the expansion of the high school entrepreneur program that provides programming to a diverse range of teenagers looking to develop entrepreneurial skills and build businesses.  In 2013 Startup Corps plans to expand the number of students served by 50% and develop new partnerships with organizations that support entrepreneurs.  Matching funding will be provided by private sponsorship.
  • VentureF0rth – $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.

Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, said, “The overwhelming response to the ‘Call for Ideas’ is further evidence of the strength of Philadelphia’s startup and entrepreneurial community and one of the many reasons why the Nutter Administration is committed to supporting business creation in Philadelphia.  Increasingly Philadelphia is becoming a place of choice for businesses to start, stay and grow and the Startup PHL initiative is just one more tool we have to help make that happen.”

The City of Philadelphia and PIDC expressed their gratitude to the following people for their support and assistance: Andrea Allon (Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and PIDC Board Member), David Brussin (Monetate), M. Therese Flaherty (Wharton Small Business Development Center), Steve Goodman (Morgan Lewis), Apu Gupta (Curalate), Sam Landman (Comcast Ventures), Bob Moul (Artisan Mobile and Philly Startup Leaders), and Richard Vague (Gabriel Investments).

Philadelphia named a Bloomberg Mayors Challenge Winner

Philadelphia is awarded $1 million prize to support an innovative initiative to help social entrepreneurs solve urban challenges

PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Michael A. Nutter today announced that the City of Philadelphia is one of the five winners in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities to improve the well-being of the nation. Philadelphia was selected as a Mayors Challenge winner out of a pool of over 300 applicant cities, based on four criteria: vision, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication. Philadelphia will be awarded a $1 million innovation prize to implement its idea to create the Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership, a new effort to engage social entrepreneurs in working with city government and other partners to tackle urban challenges. Philadelphia will also receive a sculpture created by world-renowned designer Olafur Eliasson to commemorate each of the Mayors Challenge winners.

“Philadelphia’s selection as a Mayors Challenge winner is a huge honor for our city and a testament to the creative, innovative work that is going on across city government,” said Mayor Nutter. “Through the Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership, our goal is to explore innovative new approaches to issues affecting cities across the country and ultimately to improve the quality of life for our residents. I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and the Mayors Challenge for supporting innovative thinking in cities across America. The City of Philadelphia is also grateful for the efforts of GoodCompany Ventures and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative; both partners were integral to the successful collaboration that advanced our application through the Mayors Challenge process.”

“Procurement processes can stifle innovation and prevent local leaders from solving pressing city problems,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City. “Mayor Nutter’s winning idea will help city government leverage innovation and creative talent to tackle an array of major challenges. Bloomberg Philanthropies is eager to see this idea take hold in Philadelphia and across the country.”

The Philadelphia Social Enterprise Partnership will create a process through which entrepreneurs and city government can work together on researching, developing, and applying innovative solutions to urban challenges. By building on existing innovations taking place in Philadelphia and cities around the country – such as opening up city data for use by citizens and entrepreneurs – Philadelphia will demonstrate that creating partnerships between innovators within and outside of government provides the opportunity to develop more effective solutions to some of our most intractable challenges. Philadelphia will identify two to three issues per year for which it will seek proposals from entrepreneurs, bringing them to the city to develop and pilot their ideas through a proven social enterprise accelerator program.

The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life. Mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more were eligible to compete, with 305 cities representing 45 states submitting applications last September. Providence was awarded the $5 million grand prize, while Chicago, Houston, and Santa Monica were also awarded $1 million prizes. To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit bloomberg.org/mayorschallenge.
The Mayors Challenge is the latest initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities. Other Mayors Project investments include Cities of Service, Innovation Delivery Teams, and Financial Empowerment Centers.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies is on a mission to improve and lengthen lives. We focus on five key areas to create lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation, which includes the Mayors Challenge, and Arts & Culture. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2012, $360 million was distributed. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org. For more information on Bloomberg Philanthropies, media should contact Meghan Womack, meghan@bloomberg.org.