Nutter admininstration using paid tech internships in battle against brain drain

August 8 | Newsworks by Zach Seward

The mayor of Philadelphia treated 10 college kids to lunch this week.

The occasion was a city-sponsored internship program that’s part of Mayor Michael Nutter’s StartUp PHL initiative.

Here’s why: Three years ago Campus Philly did a big survey [PDF].

The nonprofit tapped hundreds of local students and recent alumni and found that one thing worked really well at fighting brain drain: If you had an off-campus, paid internship in the area, you were much more likely to stick around…

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Startup PHL-backed tech internships hope to fight brain drain

July 31, 2013 | Technically Philly by Juliana Reyes

Campus Philly’s research points to a link between internships and talent retention. According to a 2010 Campus Philly survey of 4,600 undergraduates, graduates and alumni, 70 percent of alumni who stayed in Philly for a year or more after graduation had a summer internship in Greater Philadelphia.

The answer to Philadelphia’s brain drain problem didn’t seem so complicated at Bliss on Broad Street, where Mayor Michael Nutter had lunch with eight students who were interning at local tech companies through a program funded by the Nutter administration’s StartupPHL program.

“What would make you leave Philadelphia?” asked Rob Weber, cofounder of AgileSwitch, one of the companies hosting the interns.

After a brief pause, the whole table — students from Penn, Haverford, Temple and Penn State — agreed: “If I couldn’t find a job.”

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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).