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StartupPHL Call for Ideas Grant Awardees Announced

For Immediate Release: February 17, 2017

StartupPHL Call for Ideas Grant Awardees Announced

PHILADELPHIA – Today, Mayor Jim Kenney and the Department of Commerce announced the fifth round of StartupPHL Call for Ideas grantees. The Call for Ideas grant program funds innovative and exciting proposals that bolster Philadelphia’s continually expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem, while providing access and opportunities to all Philadelphians.

“The latest set of awardees represent a variety of industries – from tech to entertainment,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “These programs will also serve a number of populations, including young people, small business owners and immigrants. I am eager to see the impact of our latest Call for Ideas grants and the programs they support.”

The Call for Ideas program provides small grants to organizations with ideas or initiatives that best meet the objectives of StartupPHL, including: 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; and Deepening integration and coordination between city government, citizens, students, and the startup community.

“Call for Ideas is one of many ways we are fostering a positive reciprocal relationship between the City and Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs,” said Archna Sahay, Director of Entrepreneurial Investment for the City of Philadelphia. “The awardees chosen in this round all have the potential to make an impact when it comes to encouraging entrepreneurship, growing Philadelphia’s economy, and ultimately reducing poverty.”

The latest round of StartupPHL Call for Ideas provides funding to six organizations, bringing the total number of programs supported by this initiative to twenty-six. The grants awarded this round include:

  • Coded by Kids ($16,500) – Coded by Kids will use the Call for Ideas grant to support the development and piloting of a data science curriculum for students at two recreation centers in Philadelphia. The data science curriculum will use publicly available Open Data sets to teach students how to extract, analyze and present data.
  • Destined to Achieve Successful Heights, Inc. ($22,975) – DASH will partner with PSTV (the Education channel for The School District of Philadelphia) to help students produce, write and record their own original music with Grammy-nominated songwriters and producers while learning the real world economics of the music industry.
  • Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation ($17,200) – The Free Library will utilize the grant to expand business support to four neighborhood Library locations serving low-income communities. Each location will pilot integrated services including free classes, a core collection and seed funding.
  • The Hacktory ($24,000) – The Hacktory will host a summer hardware bootcamp for professionals in the region to learn a foundation of technical, fabrication and design skills through hands-on projects and experimentation.
  • SecondMuse ($25,000) – SecondMuse will use their funds to research and better understand the needs and resources available to Philadelphia’s existing hardware startup and manufacturing communities. Based on the findings, SecondMuse plans to co-design an incubator for hardware.
  • Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians ($25,000) – The Welcoming Center plans to use its Call for Ideas grant to cultivate entrepreneurial leadership among first generation immigrant youth and provide assistance to immigrant-owned small businesses with technology.

StartupPHL is a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). The StartupPHL initiative encompasses a range of programs including the Call for Ideas grants, PIDC’s StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund, and several measures to enhance visibility and connectivity of the startup community. The initiative aims to make our city a more attractive environment to launch and grow a business by investing in entrepreneurs who bring energy, ideas and vitality to Philadelphia, as well as further enabling the existing entrepreneurial talent that resides in the city’s different neighborhoods to flourish.

All applications were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of representatives from the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and members of the entrepreneurial community. The first StartupPHL Call for Ideas was launched in October 2012 as part of the larger StartupPHL initiative. Twenty-six Call for Ideas grants have been awarded to date.

For more information on StartupPHL, visit: startupphl.com.

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StartupPHL is Heading to SXSW 2017

For Immediate Release: February 14, 2017

Mayor Kenney and Amplify Philly Initiative

Announce Details of 2017 SXSW Participation

 

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney and the Philadelphia Department of Commerce will join a coalition of Philadelphia startups, corporations, musicians, and other partners in Austin, Texas  at the SXSW Interactive & Music Festival this March. The Amplify Philly initiative will promote Philadelphia as a hub for innovation, highlighting the companies, music, and technologies created here.

“I am excited the City will once again be part of Amplify Philly’s collaborative effort at SXSW,” said Mayor Kenney. “This initiative is proof of what can be accomplished through a successful public-private partnership. The investment being made by our corporate partners and anchor institutions shows a commitment to Philadelphia’s tech and entrepreneurial community. The City is thrilled to participate in one of the most influential tech conferences in the world, and I am personally looking forward to sharing with so many budding entrepreneurs why Philadelphia is the place to grow their business.”

Mayor Kenney is joining other mayors from across the country for The United States Conference of Mayors track during opening weekend of the 2017 SXSW Interactive Festival. The mayoral track connects several of the nation’s forward-thinking mayors with top innovators in the technology, entrepreneurship, media, nonprofit, philanthropy and creative sectors. In addition to individual and group meetings with industry leaders, Mayor Kenney will also take part in a panel discussion focused on the economic, social and cultural impact of extreme immigration policy on cities like Philadelphia. The panel, Building Bridges When Others Want to Build Walls, takes place on Saturday, March 11. On Sunday, March 12, Mayor Kenney will attend the SXSW Tradeshow to visit the Amplify Philly activation. The Philadelphia Department of Commerce, through its StartupPHL platform, will attend the festival and exhibit as part of the Amplify Philly booth.

For the second consecutive year, Amplify Philly is coordinating Philadelphia’s presence at SXSW. The 2017 initiative, organized by Philly Startup Leaders and REC Philly, is made possible through the support of 15 sponsors, including: StartupPHL, Comcast, University City Science Center, Guru, Zivtech, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Chariot Solutions, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Visit Philadelphia, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Brandywine Realty Trust, Safeguard Scientifics, and CoStar360. This year, 18 Philadelphia companies will be exhibiting at the SXSW Tradeshow as part of the Amplify Philly activation: BioRealize, Boost Linguistics, Chariot Solutions, Comcast, Cosy, Eventuosity, Iqinetics, Keriton, LIA Diagnostics, MLeads, Neuroflow, Oat Foundry, Oncora, ROAR for Good, SafeStamp, Social Ladder, Stratis, and Zivtech.

Amplify Philly will also promote Philadelphia to the SXSW audience through two additional activities – a happy hour event and concert. The happy hour and accompanying interactive event on Monday, March 13 will feature entertainment by Philadelphia music legend DJ Jazzy Jeff. Invited guests will have the opportunity to network with Amplify Philly sponsors and participating companies. On Tuesday, March 14, the Amplify Philly Official Music Showcase will spotlight local talent, including: Bilal, DJ Aktive, Good Girl, The Districts, Son Little, The Dove & The Wolf, Julian King, and Queen of Jeans. The concert is open to all SXSW badge holders.

Additional details about the Amplify Philly initiative will be made available on AmplifyPhilly.com. Mayor Kenney’s public schedule will be released daily while he is in Austin.

 

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PRESS RELEASE: University City Keystone Innovation Zone Expands to Old City, N3rd Street Startup Community

Eligible Startups will have Access Up to $100,000 in Sellable Tax Credits Annually

March 23, 2016 – Contact:  Ajeenah Amir ajeenah.amir@phila.gov

PHILADELPHIA– Today Mayor Jim Kenney and the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, alongside The University City Keystone Innovation Zone (UC KIZ), announced that the UC KIZ has received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to expand its existing boundaries to include the growing tech community in Old City, including the area along N. 3rd Street, known as “N3rd Street.”

“The expansion of the UC KIZ is an incredibly important development for Philadelphia’s startup community,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.  “The inclusion of Old City will bolster the already exciting growth of tech companies we’ve seen on and around N3rd St. We’re committed to helping Philadelphia’s innovation community flourish throughout the City, and tools like KIZs are a big part of that equation.”

As a result of the expansion, a new swath of companies in Philadelphia’s growing innovation ecosystem will be able to access up to $100,000 annually in sellable tax credits. The DCED could award as much as $1.2 million in tax credits to newly eligible companies within the expanded zone in 2017. Many KIZ Tax Credit awardees invest those funds in new employees, while others purchase equipment to further develop and commercialize products and technologies.

“We need to nurture the talent pipeline that exists in Pennsylvania from higher education to business ownership by providing as many opportunities as possible to support their efforts,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin. “We are thrilled with the success of the KIZ program and are extremely excited with the increased opportunities available in Philadelphia through the expansion of the UC KIZ.”

Pennsylvania’s Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit is a fundamental component of the KIZ program. Up to $25 million in credits are available each year to eligible companies. Companies without tax liabilities can sell their tax credits themselves or secure a third-party, independent broker to sell the credits on their behalf.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship are thriving all across Philadelphia – from University City and uCity Square all the way to N3rd Street,” says Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA, President & CEO of the University City Science Center, which serves as the fiscal agent of the UC KIZ. “Thanks to this expansion, the UC KIZ will be better equipped to accommodate and support the cluster of tech startups in Old City while helping to attract and retain even more early-stage companies in Philadelphia.”

Twenty-one startup companies in the UC KIZ received a collective $1.8 million in tax credits awarded by the DCED in 2015 as part of the KIZ Tax Credit Program. Over the last 10 years, 48 UC KIZ companies have benefited from almost $8 million in KIZ Tax Credits.

“Our recent KIZ Tax Credit award will help our company retain two software developers” says first-time applicant John Nosek, Founder and Vice President for Research and Product Innovation at Guiding Technologies. “Also, these tax credits meet requirements for matching National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR Phase IB funding, which enhances our chances of obtaining much larger NSF SBIR Phase II and Phase IIB funding.”

About the University City Keystone Innovation Zone

The University City Keystone Innovation Zone was established in 2004 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority as a Keystone Innovation Zone, a geographically designated zone designed to create a “knowledge neighborhood” that develops technology business communities by aligning talent and resources.  It is a partnership of BioAdvance, Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, the University City Science Center, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and The Wistar Institute.. UC KIZ partners are committed to working together to ensure that life sciences and information technology opportunities are developed and supported to maximize the potential of university research, start-up companies and international companies seeking to locate in the region.  The Science Center serves as the administrative and fiscal agent of the UC KIZ.

For more information about the University City Keystone Innovation Zone, call (215) 966-6156 or visit https://www.sciencecenter.org/programs/university-city-keystone-innovation-zone.

RJMetrics pegged as one of the fastest growing startup at SXSW by Big Data firm

March 9, 2016 | Philadelphia Business Journal by Dan Norton

RJMetrics was tapped as the 10th fastest growing startup in the U.S. that will have a presence at South by Southwest, according to Mattermark, a Big Data analytics firm.

RJMetrics is the only Philadelphia startup on the list, although the City of Brotherly Love will have a large contingent at the Austin festival next week.

Robert Moore‘s a data analytics software startup facilitates data-driven business decisions for its customers. For the last few years, it has been one of Philadelphia’s most successful tech ventures.

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