Announcement wraps up 10-day focus on startups and entrepreneurship in Philadelphia
PRESS RELEASE: Philadelphia, October 8, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger announced a new round of Startup PHL Call for Ideas grants to organizations that provide programs and events to support entrepreneurship in Philadelphia. The announcement comes at the end of a series of events and announcements related to startups, innovation and entrepreneurship in Philadelphia, kicking off with Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Tour last week and including the Forbes Under 30 Conference which concluded yesterday. The grants announced today help programs supporting a wide range of entrepreneurs across Philadelphia.
“Over the last week we have showcased our city’s startups and entrepreneurs to leaders from around the country and around the world, demonstrating that Philadelphia is one of America’s top startup cities,” said Mayor Nutter. “Increasingly, people are learning that Philadelphia has all of the raw ingredients necessary to start and grow exciting companies. I am confident that the attention our city receives will only continue to grow as more founders and entrepreneurs choose Philadelphia as their home city.”
The latest round of Startup PHL Call for Ideas grants provides funding to six organizations, bringing the total number of programs supported by this initiative to twenty. The programs funded in this round include:
- Asociacion Puertorriquenos En Marcha ($20,000) – APM will convert a parcel of land at 6th and Susquehanna into a pop-up market place and provide entrepreneurial training to aspiring and nascent entrepreneurs, creating a gateway for entrepreneurial activity in this community.
- Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts ($15,000) – In January 2016, the Center – in partnership with the Philadelphia Free Library – will offer an interactive, program to those considering a business based in the creative economy. Participants will also receive two hours of one-on-one consulting and the opportunity to apply for seed grants.
- Refugee Women’s Textile Initiative ($18,548) – The RWTI will empower refugee women with sewing and textile skills and manufacturing contacts to create independent businesses, develop a cooperative store, and merge traditional textiles with new art forms to overcome poverty and gain economic mobility.
- Schoolyard Ventures ($6,000) – Schoolyard Ventures will create a marketplace where teens with great ideas can connect with those who wish to fund them. After helping over 800 middle school and high school aged students launch businesses providing over $70,000 in direct micro-capital to them, Schoolyard Ventures has learned that as little as $250 can help a young person launch a business, as well as build skills and improve the lives of others in the city.
- TechGirlz Charitable Foundation ($19,990) – TechGirlz will provide a stipend or college credit for high school and college students who teach the TechShopz in a Box Program in workshops throughout Philadelphia. TechShopz in a Box is a TechGirlz-developed curricula for middle school girls.
- Tiny WPA ($25,000) – The Building Hero Project is a design, leadership and entrepreneurship incubator for individuals ages 16 and up who want to be a part of a diverse community of civic change agents. Participants will learn how to design and build products for sale and manage an eCommerce store.
Startup PHL is an initiative of the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department, PIDC, and First Round Capital to provide funding for early-stage companies and to support programs that develop the startup community in Philadelphia. Through Startup PHL Funds and co-investments from First Round Capital, nine Philadelphia startups have received more than $1.1 million in combined seed stage or angel investment since October 2013, and through the Call For Ideas Grants twenty organizations have received more than $400,000 in funding to support entrepreneurship programming. Just last week Mayor Nutter, Deputy Mayor Greenberger, PIDC and First Round Capital announced a $100,000 Startup PHL Angel Fund investment in Scholly, an education startup in Philadelphia connecting students to scholarship opportunities. Scholly also won the Rise of the Rest pitch competition securing a $100,000 investment from AOL founder Steve Case.
“Our goal through Startup PHL is to provide more capital to growing startups in Philadelphia and to support collaboration and entrepreneurship across the city,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “We have invested around $1.5 million into our city’s ecosystem to date and, in the process, sought to elevate the profile of entrepreneurship in Philadelphia by working with incredible partners such as PIDC and First Round Capital.”
The applications were evaluated by officials from the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce and PIDC along with representatives of the investment, academic, policy and startup communities.