StartupPHL Newsletter #44

Inbound Networking, Life Hacks Using Physics, and The Future of Finance


This week Mayor Kenney spoke at Philly Startup Leaders’ Founder Factory kickoff event: #DiversityDinner16Check out’s recap. Photos via @TechnicallyPHL & @FabiolaCineas.

Your weekend reading is right here.

Networking With Other Successful People

Cultivating a strong network is one of the best investments you can make, but as you progress in your career it can become increasingly difficult to connect with other professionals. Harvard Business Review explores the idea of “inbound networking” – finding ways to attract prominent individuals to you.

3 Strategies, via Harvard Business Review

Tis The Season For Bad Weather & Automobile Snafus

The winter months tend to bring sleet, snow and other unpleasant weather. Since these conditions increase the chances of cars ending up in ditches, we want you to be prepared! Learn how to pull a car from a ditch using nothing but rope, a tree and the laws of physics.

Details, via Wired

How AI Is Impacting Financial Institutions

AI is bringing innovation to the financial services field, but the changes to regulation and ethics that come with this are still being worked out. What will the future of finance and wealth look like with the increasing influence of AI?

Learn More, via TechCrunch

StartupPHL Spotlight

We want to shine a light on awesome things happening in the local community. Have something to share? Email us or tell us on social.

StartupPHL is the City of Philadelphia’s platform for supporting entrepreneurship and startup activity.

All events and applications noted in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not an endorsement. We encourage readers to perform due diligence for any programs listed here.

Philly, It’s Time for SXSW 2017

September 19, 2016 | PhillyMag by Fabiola Cineas

Though South by Southwest 2017 is a few months from now, some Philadelphians are already making an effort to draw the city’s attention to the global destination festival and conference.

Back in March, an estimated 300 Philadelphians—artists, technologists and supporters—made their way to Austin for the annual conference that brings together some of the world’s top innovators and creatives. This year marked the city’s largest concerted effort to elevate Philadelphia on the national platform, and organizers David Silver of REC Philly and Yuval Yarden of Philly Startup Leaders, want to make Philadelphia’s 2017 showing, from March 10th to 19th, even greater.

“SXSW is the leading conference in the country around innovation and technology,” said Silver, “When you think about where and when in the country do thousands of tastemakers and influencers, venture capitalists and business people come together, SXSW is what comes to a lot of people’s minds.”

Get the full story, and how you can get involved.

These Startups Won Awards for Best Workplace Culture, Civic Savvy and More

This year’s Philly Startup Leaders’ Summer BBQ was action-packed, with more than 400 attendees. The group also announced its launch of the Philly Tech Guide.

August 13, 2016 | PhillyMag by Fabiola Cineas

Standouts in the startup community had reason to rejoice on Thursday evening. At Philly Startup Leaders’ annual Summer BBQ at The Piazza at Schmidt’s, the organization doled out awards to members of the community.

But leaders weren’t recognized for traditional markers of success. Instead, they took home gold medallions — shinier and twice the size of Olympics gold medals — for quirkier, more comical accomplishments.

“The Emerging Politician” award presented by UKTI went to Curalate for their civic pride. According to PSL, the company is closely tied to the local government — the CEO, Apu Gupta, wrote an open letter to Mayor Jim Kenney, and it hired Luke Butler, former Mayor Michael Nutter’s special assistant. The company was also named the official tech partner of the DNC. Curalate beat out Azavea and Skyless Gaming for the prize. …

Get the whole scoop.

Philly Tech Loved SXSW. SXSW Loved Philly Tech Back

Tracey Welson-Rossman’s report from the networking trenches of SXSW’s “Philly Alley.”

March 22, 2016 | Philadelphia Magazine by Tracey Welson-Rossman

The Philadelphia tech and startup scene made its way down to Austin last week for South by Southwest — better known as SXSW. As an interactive-focused conference-turned-festival, SXSW is one of the largest gatherings of leaders and organizations spanning the technological, design and creative realms.

For the first time this year, a concerted effort has been made to spread the message of Philadelphia’s growing tech culture and the vibrant innovation coming from our region — and what better place to do so than right at SXSW. With that goal in mind, a solid group of Philadelphia’s tech leaders decided to head south and represent the great things brewing in Philadelphia’s emerging tech scene. So, why, exactly, did 10 companies and close to 200 Philadelphians (including Comcast, Independence Blue Cross, Zivtech, my own Chariot Solutions, and others) decide it was worth the time, effort, and money to make the trek to Texas?

I asked Yuval Yarden, program director for Philly Startup Leaders, and one of the driving forces behind the push to spread the word, what she felt the main goal of organizing this coalition was. Yuval summed it up well: It is time for the Philadelphia region to to a better job telling our story.

“We feel SXSW is the best opportunity for our tech community to tell its story since Philadelphia is becoming known as a tech and innovation hub, housing not just software companies, but all types of technology,” Yarden said. “We love that there have been many articles as of late touting Philadelphia’s music, culture and restaurant scene, but we want to make sure Philadelphia is also known for its startups. We are here to discuss why Philadelphia is a great place to start and grow a tech company.”


Philly tech ambassadors trying to spread the word at SXSW

March 7, 2016 | by Todd Bookman

Representatives from the Philadelphia region’s tech scene are packing their bags for Texas.

This Friday, the 2016 edition of South by Southwest kicks off in Austin, and while the festival is still best known for showcasing new musicians, it has also become a key place for tech entrepreneurs to show up and show off.

For the first time, a collection of Philadelphia startups, along with local networking groups and some big name companies, are joining together to host a booth inside the Austin Convention Center as part of the SXSW Interactive Trade Show. It’s a tactical effort to highlight the Philly tech scene, and lure companies and capital to an area that may not yet be on the national radar.

“We all know how great Philadelphia is, and we all understand all the great wonderful activity and energy that’s going on in our city, but you have to get out, and you have to promote it, you have to market it,” said Archna Sahay, director of entrepreneurial investment for Philadelphia.

The SXSW Philly effort and its branding concept, Amplify Philly, are sponsored in part by Comcast and Independence Blue Cross. Yuval Yarden, program director for the group Philly Startup Leaders, says nearly 100 local representatives will head to Austin for the Trade Show’s opening on Sunday.