Half of the six startups from last year’s cohort stayed in Philadelphia. In that way, the program is giving us that DreamIt Ventures vibe.
August 10, 2016 | Technical.ly by Wafai Dias
Leigh Sevin and Jinesh Shah want you to get to your next meeting in style.
The pair runs Arthur, a startup that connects users with personal stylists. After meeting as Venture for America (VFA) fellows in Miami, they’re here in Philadelphia with VFA’s accelerator, along with six other startups run by VFA fellows. (VFA places recent college grads at startups in up and coming tech cities across the country, including Philadelphia, Miami and Detroit.)
It’s the second summer VFA has brought its accelerator to Philadelphia — specifically, First Round Capital’s University City headquarters. The accelerator, which allows fellows to live rent-free for the summer in a West Philadelphia house and get business training and mentorship, is becoming a boon for Philly’s tech scene, akin to the way DreamIt Ventures has historically imported startups from around the country: half of the six startups from last year’s accelerator stayed in Philadelphia and are growing their teams here, including SkyMutual, Compass and LeagueSide.
“A big part of why we stayed in Philly and why our entrepreneurs continue to stay is because of the openness and support we get from the community here,” said Sergei Revzin, VFA’s Entrepreneur in Residence who took over for VFA’s Mike Tarullo in running the accelerator.
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When Muhga Eltigani’s YouTube channel took off, her viewers kept asking how she made her hair products. So she decided to sell them.
July 18, 2016 | Technical.ly by Wafai Dias
Muhga Eltigani’s parents practically had a mid-life crisis when she told them she was going to work on her startup, NaturAll Club, full-time after finishing college.
They figured she would spend some time on it, then come back to her senses and enroll in law school since she had followed a pre-law track at the University of Pennsylvania. That’s the natural career path they expected her to take. As the first born daughter of Sudanese immigrants, the pressure for her to succeed was on.
But as Eltigani’s product drew in customers, her parents started to accept their daughter’s decision.
Demand respect, know what you’re worth and more advice that tech industry veteran Yvonne Chen wishes she knew when she was starting out.
June 24, 2016 | Technical.ly by Yvonne Chen
If you’re a recent female graduate in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field, I have good news: now is one of the best times for you to get hired.
Yes, women are outnumbered by men in STEM fields. But you’re stepping into a workpool where opportunities and smart conversations about women in technology are happening, more than ever. I’ve seen forward-thinking companies, like Etsy and Slack, that recognize the value of a diverse workforce and that are trying ever harder to correct this imbalance. Meetups and organizations across the spectrum like Girl Develop It, Women Who Code and Women in Tech have sprung into being to help and grow women in technical spaces.
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Philadelphia-based BioBots has brought bioprinting to a smaller, more affordable scale.
June 6, 2016 | Inc Magazine by Kevin J. Ryan
Inc.’s 11th annual 30 Under 30 list features the young founders taking on some of the world’s biggest challenges. Here, meet BioBots.
Danny Cabrera has been defying the odds all his life. When he was a 10-year-old living in Cuba, Cabrera’s family had dreams of immigrating to America. His father won a visa lottery to travel to the U.S., and the Cabreras set sail for Miami and soon settled in.
As an 18-year-old at Miami Dade College, he had Ivy League ambitions. So he applied to the University of Pennsylvania and was accepted as a double major in computer science and biology.
At Penn, he wanted to find a way to manipulate biology and build living things from scratch. He soon met Ricardo Solorzano, another biology major from Miami, and the two got to work building a 3-D bioprinter.
Now, Cabrera and Solorzano are the co-founders of BioBots, a startup that creates desktop 3-D printers that can produce living tissue. The entrepreneurs used existing 3-D printing components that were primarily meant for manufacturing plastics and metals and used them to build a bioprinter. The result is a bioprinter far less expensive than most of its competitors: At $10,000, BioBots products are accessible to labs that can’t afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars 3-D printers usually cost. And while most bioprinters can take up entire rooms and have many moving parts, BioBots builds machines about the size of a microwave.
“Imagine a world where scientists could design living things with their laptops and print them on their desktops,” says Cabrera. “That’s what got us really going.” …