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…


‘Innovate’ Tax Credit to aid PA Tech Firms

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

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…


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
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 For more information on Bloomberg Philanthropies, media should contact Meghan Womack,

Mayor Nutter Launches Startup PHL

PRESS RELEASE: October 26, 2012


Initial measures include public-private seed fund and ‘Call for Ideas’

Philadelphia, October 26, 2012 – Today Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the creation of Startup PHL, an exciting new initiative to support Philadelphia startups and entrepreneurs. The initiative – a partnership between the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation – aims to increase the availability of seed-stage capital for startups and accelerate the development of a supportive environment for entrepreneurs already in the city, as well as establishing Philadelphia as a city of choice for new startups and entrepreneurs.

“Philadelphia is increasingly home to a dynamic, innovative startup and entrepreneurial community who are putting this city on the map as the place to be if you’re an entrepreneur,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The goal of Startup PHL is to build upon and support so much of the good work that is already being done, building more businesses, creating more jobs, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunities to even more Philadelphians.”

Startup PHL is initially composed of two initiatives:

The Startup PHL Seed Fund is a public/private venture fund which will make seed-stage investments in Philadelphia-based tech startups. PIDC will seed the fund with $3 million to be matched and managed by a private investment firm that will make investments on behalf of the fund. An RFP will be issued today to receive proposals from firms interested in matching and managing the fund. More information can be found at

The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a $500,000 fund to support innovative, exciting proposals for ideas and programs that support startups and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. The goal of this fund is to make grants to proposals that enhance collaboration in the startup community; attract new entrepreneurs from both within and outside the city; foster networks for entrepreneurs to collaborate with each other, mentors, talent and investors; and ultimately lead to more business and job creation in Philadelphia. To learn more and to submit an idea visit

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Alan Greenberger, who has led this effort for the Nutter Administration said, “We want to establish Philadelphia as a city where entrepreneurs can conceive of new ideas, grow their companies, hire people and, ultimately, stay. Since 2007 just four companies account for more than $1 billion worth of Philadelphia startups that have left the city in search of funding. Through Startup PHL we want to help more of those companies stay and grow in Philly by providing more capital and by tapping into the incredible imagination and creativity of our entrepreneurial community and partner with them to support startups and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.”

Philadelphia has an incredible array of assets conducive to building a supportive environment for successful entrepreneurs and startups:

  • World-class higher education and research facilities
  • A dynamic and growing startup and entrepreneurial community
  • A burgeoning network of incubators and accelerators which are drawing entrepreneurs from around
  • the United States and the world to Philadelphia
  • A quality of life that is encouraging population growth, particularly among young people
  • Affordable lifestyle and environment in which to build a business
  • Tax structure increasingly favorable to small businesses, job creation and investment

The goal of Startup PHL – and many other partners long-engaged in this work – is to capitalize upon these assets, remove barriers to success, act as a catalyst, and grow Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial community.

“The City’s announcement today is music to the ears of all startup entrepreneurs; another path to capital, another source of hope for us to build businesses in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia entrepreneur Khushboo Shah, CEO of Philadelphia startup Cirrimize, who spoke at the press conference about her company’s opportunity to grow in the City.

Establishing Philadelphia as a city of choice for startups and entrepreneurs is crucial for the future growth of the city and the region. This priority has been reinforced by the World Class Greater Philadelphia initiative – a regional improvement effort supported by more than 1,500 area business, nonprofit, government and community leaders coordinated by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia – which earlier this year identified supporting our entrepreneurial community and increasing availability of growth capital as key business growth priorities for our region. “By focusing on growth capital for startups and supporting entrepreneurial networks, the City is making the kinds of investments that will drive business growth in our region over the long run,” said Economy League Executive Director Steve Wray. “These efforts are wholly in line with the priority regional strategies that are emerging through the World Class initiative.”

Partnering with the Department of Commerce on this initiative is the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). “Startup PHL is a perfect example of the partnership between the public and private sectors which PIDC embodies,” said PIDC President John Grady. “Our contribution to the Startup PHL Seed Fund will be leveraged with even greater private resources to fill a gap in the marketplace and provide muchneeded seed capital to startup companies in Philadelphia’s growing technology sector. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Mayor Nutter and the entrepreneurial community to help make Philadelphia the smart choice for startups.”

Leading figures from the Philadelphia startup and entrepreneurial community welcomed today’s announcement. “This is a great day for Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs,” said Bob Moul, CEO of appRenaissance and president of Philly Startup Leaders. “We choose to live and work in Philly because we love this city and because Philly offers an incredibly high ratio of opportunity to quality of life. It’s great to see the city now investing in us. We thank the Mayor, the administration, and PIDC for believing in us and we look forward to accelerating our work together to build sustainable and socially responsible businesses in Philadelphia.”

Long-time advocate and champion of entrepreneurs in Philadelphia, Steve Goodman of Morgan Lewis, said, “The initiatives announced today by Mayor Nutter tangibly place the City’s resources and muscle behind closing the funding gap, and are a culmination and new starting point in achieving the fruition of what I have depicted as the cosmic convergence.”

More information on Startup PHL can be found at or by following @startupphl on Twitter. Startup PHL complements a wider range of programs and measures to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia administered by the Department of Commerce, more information can be found at

Nutter to announce Startup PHL initiative

October 26, 2012 | Philadelphia Business Journal by Peter Key

“The city of Philadelphia plans to launch a three-pronged effort to help startups that includes a $6 million fund to invest in them.

“Mayor Michael Nutter plans to announce the Startup PHL initiative at 10:30 a.m. today in the Independence Visitors Center and follow up the announcement with a tour of tech companies and co-working spaces in Old City…”


A bubbling of tech firms in Philadelphia’s Old City

July 02, 2012 | Philadelphia Inquirer by Jane M. Von Bergen and Inquirer Staff Writer

“What a great day it was at Dmg Ctrl Ltd., a tech company in Old City. Cofounder Jason Allum pulled the tap on a new mini-kegerator, a little dorm-size fridge perfectly designed to hold one keg of beer that had been installed that afternoon…”