StartupPHL’s Call for Ideas Program is Live!

Do you or your organization have an idea that supports or enhances Philly’s entrepreneurial community?

Startup PHL has launched its fifth Call for Ideas, a grant program to fund innovative and exciting proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. While all ideas are welcome, this fifth round of Call for Ideas seeks to fund programs that are promoting entrepreneurship while also:

  • Utilizing the open data sets the City of Philadelphia has published.
  • Using entrepreneurship as a tool to help reduce poverty.

The Call for Ideas program provides small grants to organizations with ideas or initiatives that best meet the objectives of Startup PHL:

  • 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;
  • Deepening integration and coordination between city government, citizens, students, and the startup community.

Applications are due at 11:59 PM, on Sunday, November 13, 2016.  Apply here.

Any questions can be directed to Archna Sahay at: archna.sahay@phila.gov

The StartupPHL Call for Ideas is a Department of Commerce and PIDC program that provides grants for projects that support entrepreneurs and improve Philadelphia’s startup scene. Call for Ideas grants are NOT for funding a business startup costs. The Call for Ideas application period is now OPEN. 

PRESS RELEASE: Startupphl initiative achieves success supporting entrepreneurs & startups in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (July 20, 2016) – Four years after the launch of the StartupPHL initiative, The City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and StartupPHL Fund management partner Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital made a series of StartupPHL announcements taking stock of the goals achieved to date and looking ahead to the future. Attaining many of the set objectives, the initiative has increased startup capital in Philadelphia, catalyzed investment, and increased visibility of and activity in the local startup ecosystem.

“StartupPHL was designed to accelerate the development of a supportive environment for local entrepreneurs,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The City is proud of the success this initiative has achieved to date and committed to its goal to continue to establish Philadelphia as a city of choice for new startups and entrepreneurs.”

A collaborative effort, StartupPHL aims to support entrepreneurs in the city who bring energy, ideas and vitality to Philadelphia as well as further enable the existing entrepreneurial talent that resides in the city’s different neighborhoods to flourish. The StartupPHL initiative encompasses a range of programs including the Call for Ideas grants,StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund, and several measures to enhance visibility and connectivity of the startup community.

The StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund is a venture fund, launched with an initial investment by PIDC leveraging additional funding and management from First Round Capital and co-founder Josh Kopelman, which makes investments in Philadelphia-based tech startups. Today, PIDC announced that the fund made a $100,000 investment in Termaxia, LLC, a big data storage solution that hopes to disrupt the market in significant way.

“Philadelphia is home to an increasing number of innovative startup companies like Termaxia, who are choosing to start and grow their business here,” said Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner at First Round Capital. “The startup community in Philadelphia is an ideal place for entrepreneurs to grow their companies and develop their talent.”

Termaxia was founded by renowned innovators in the tech industry in Philadelphia. CEO Dr. Changbin Liu, has extensive industry experience at AT&T and as an Openstack core developer. Fellow co-founder and Chief Scientist, Boon Thau Loo, is an award-winning professor in the Computer and Information Science (CIS) department at the University of Pennsylvania.

“We are thrilled with the Angel Fund investment we received through the StartupPHL initiative,” said Dr. Liu. “Termaxia is developing a big data storage solution and the support of StartupPHL was critical in helping us get started.”

The announcement marks the final investment from the initial StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund as the three year initial term has been reached. Over the last three years, the fund has invested about $1.1M of PIDC’s capital in 10 Philadelphia startups – which was matched by over $5 million from First Round Capital and Josh Kopelman. The 10 StartupPHL portfolio companies employ more than 100 people and have raised over $36 million in total venture capital to date. Pleased with the results of what is being called ‘Fund I,’ PIDC is looking to continue the momentum into the future.

“Following the success of Fund I, which has increased access to early stage capital in Philadelphia, we are excited about the opportunities for the next iteration of the StartupPHL Fund,” said John Grady, President and CEO of PIDC. “We want to continue to invest as early as possible to support leverage, growth and returns as well as increase capital available.”

PIDC announced today the release of a Request For Proposals (RFP) for fund management and investment services for StartupPHL Fund II. PIDC is seeking an experienced investment organization with a clear vision for cultivating a thriving startup economy in Philadelphia and the demonstrated capacity to market, co-invest in, and manage Fund II. The RFP can be downloaded from the PIDC website at PIDCphila.com/tools/contract-opportunities. Responses are due on August 31, 2016.

The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce has also announced plans for the fifth round of Call for Ideas grants. Further details on the latest Call for Ideas grants, including the focus, will be released in August. The Call for Ideas is a City funded grant program to support innovative, exciting proposals for ideas and programs that support startups and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. Past recipients have included Coded by Kids, Techgirlz, and Philly Startup Leaders.

“As we prepare for the launch of Fund II, the City looks forward to continuing our support of the StartupPHL platform and its many programs,” said Commerce Director Harold T. Epps. “One of the other key resources provided by StartupPHL is the Call for Ideas grants, which help to seed the next generation of entrepreneurs throughout our city. We are excited to welcome the next batch of applicants and to continue fostering a network of support for Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs.”

As part of its ongoing growth, StartupPHL launched a new website earlier this year,www.startupphl.com, to provide entrepreneurs with information about funding and the ability to submit ideas. It also participated in South by Southwest® (SXSW), the premier trade show and conference that serves as a launch pad for emerging technologies and innovative content, and launched the Amplify Philly branding campaign. Officially branded as “StartupPHL Presents Amplify Philly SXSW Edition,” the campaign builds on the city’s existing efforts to attract global investment and accelerate the growth of the Philadelphia startup community.

Mayor Nutter Announces Startup PHL Investment in Scholly

Education startup the 9th Philly company to receive investment

PRESS RELEASE Philadelphia – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the Startup PHL Angel Fund has made a $100,000 investment in Scholly, a Philadelphia startup which has developed an app that gives students a fast and simple way to find scholarships for college. Scholly also recently won the Rise of the Rest pitch competition securing a $100,000 investment from AOL founder Steve Case on his visit to Philadelphia earlier this week.

“My Administration has worked diligently to build on this city’s history of innovation by providing the support and programming needed by young companies to grow and prosper in Philadelphia,” Said Mayor Nutter. “More companies are choosing not just to launch in the City of Philadelphia but to stay and grow their businesses here as well. Talent is also staying and finding opportunities for themselves in the vibrant startup economy in Philadelphia. My Administration is proud to do all we can to continue to promote Philadelphia as one of America’s top startup cities. Thank you to our partners at PIDC and First Round Capital for making this work possible.”

Scholly has partnered with the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to provide the app to 275k students across America each year. The app has also been endorsed by the Coca Cola Scholars Foundations and the Gates Millennium Scholars Foundation. In less than two years, Scholly has helped students raise at least $20 million in scholarship funds.

Scholly was recently on Shark Tank and was chosen as one of Inc. Magazine’s Top College Start Ups. The company has won UnderArmour’s Cupid’s Cup Competition as well as Drexel’s Incubator competition and was chosen as one of Philly’s Coolest Start Ups of 2013. Founder Christopher Gray, a recent graduate from Drexel and an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2015 for Philadelphia, along with his co-founders Bryson Alef and Nick Pirollo launched the app in May 2013

“Startup PHL is a great opportunity for us and really shows that Philadelphia is growing as a startup ecosystem,” said Scholly founder Christopher Gray. “We are excited to make Philadelphia our home, create more jobs, and be a part of what will be one of the next hubs of entrepreneurship.”

Startup PHL is an initiative between the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and First Round Capital to support the growth of startups in Philadelphia. The Startup PHL Seed Fund and Startup PHL Angel Fund are partnerships between PIDC and leading venture capital firm First Round Capital to make investments in Philadelphia-based startups. Scholly is the ninth company to receive an investment with $1,149,997 invested in Philly startups since 2013.

“I’ve known Chris since his days as a student investor with our Dorm Room Fund. He and his team at Scholly have accomplished an incredible amount in a very short period of time, and I’m thrilled to continue to work closely with them through Startup PHL.” said Josh Kopelman, Partner at First Round Capital.

“The success of the Startup PHL Initiative continues to showcase Philadelphia as a top competitor in the startup community,” said John Grady, President of PIDC. “PIDC is committed to investing in businesses like Scholly that not only serve Philadelphia’s economy but supports priorities like education. We are proud to partner with First Round Capital and look forward to supporting the next inventive entrepreneur.”

Startup PHL also provides grant funding through its Call for Ideas program. This grant program managed by the Department of Commerce provides grants to initiatives or organizations that are supporting startups and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. The program has awarded over $300,000 in grants to date to support Philadelphia’s startup community through a range of organizations such as Startup Corps, Philly Startup Leaders, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Campus Philly, Techgirlz and Coded by Kids. The next round of Call for Ideas grants will be made next week.

“Over the last few years Philadelphia’s profile as a city from which to launch and grow exciting, innovative companies has grown tremendously and the success of firms like Scholly is testament to that progress,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. “Philadelphia has become a city of choice for startups and for larger firms looking to acquire some of the top talent in the nation and I am proud of what we have been able to do to support the growth of this community.”

Mayor Nutter Announces Startup PHL Angel Fund Investment in Gencore Systems

Philadelphia, March 27, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that the Startup PHL Angel Fund has made a $100,000 investment in Gencore Systems, a software company based in Philadelphia founded by a computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

“The growth of a vibrant startup economy is one of the most exciting developments to take place in this city over recent years and my Administration is proud to do all we can to continue to promote Philadelphia as one of America’s top startup cities,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Through Startup PHL and a range of other initiatives we are providing the resources and support system to help exciting companies start, stay and grow in Philadelphia.  Thank you to our partners at PIDC and First Round Capital for making this work possible.”

Gencore Systems offers a non-intrusive, network-based application performance management solution that provides deep-insights into service delivery and user experience of cloud applications, and helps troubleshoot performance bottlenecks in a proactive manner. The Gencore solution is compatible with both private and public cloud setups, as well as data centers that deploy state-of-the-art Software-defined Networking (SDN) technologies. The company is a spinoff from the University of Pennsylvania, and has incorporated award-winning research into its products.

“We are excited to receive the Startup PHL investment, and plan to use the funding to continue product development, and enhance our product through our ongoing pilot deployments with customers,” said Gencore Systems founder Boon Thau Loo.  “Gencore Systems is delighted to be in Philadelphia. We have been able to benefit from a steady stream of engineering and business talent from local universities. Moreover, the community here is close-knit, and we have always been able to get advice from other entrepreneurs when approached. We look forward to growing the company here in this city.”

Startup PHL is an initiative between the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and First Round Capital to support the growth of startups in Philadelphia.  The Startup PHL Seed Fund and Startup PHL Angel Fund are partnerships between PIDC and leading venture capital firm First Round Capital to make investments in Philadelphia-based startups.  Gencore Systems is the seventh company to receive an investment.

“We’re thrilled to be investing in a company with such deep roots in Philadelphia’s academic community, and are extremely excited to see what lies in store for Gencore,” said Josh Kopelman, Partner at First Round Capital.

The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a grant program managed by the Department of Commerce providing grants to initiatives or organizations that are supporting startups and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.  The program has provided ten grants to date investing $217,400 in Philadelphia’s startup community through a range of organizations such as Startup Corps, Philly Startup Leaders, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Campus Philly, and the Philly Dev Camp.  An announcement of additional grants is expected to be made in the coming weeks.

To learn more about Startup PHL visit www.startupphl.com.

Mayor Nutter Announces StartupPHL Investments, Creation of New StartupPHL Angel Fund, and Opens Latest ‘Call for Ideas’

Philadelphia, November 12, 2014 – Today Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced a range of investments in Philadelphia’s startups and entrepreneurs through Startup PHL, 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. The Startup PHL initiative encompasses a range of programs including the Call For Ideas, Startup PHL Funds, and the University City Science Center QED program. Through Startup PHL Funds and co-investments from First Round Capital six Philadelphia startups have received more than $1 million in combined seed or angel investment since October 2013, and through the Call For Ideas Grants ten organizations have received more than $200,000 in funding to support entrepreneurship programming.

“For Philadelphia to continue to grow we must be a city that welcomes exciting, innovative companies and the type of talented workforce that wants to work for those companies,” said Mayor Nutter.  “Through Startup PHL our goal is to send the message that Philadelphia is one of America’s great startup cities and that we are committed to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in our city.”

In October 2012 the City of Philadelphia, PIDC and First Round Capital announced the creation of the Startup PHL Seed Fund to invest in fast-growing startups in Philadelphia.  Today, First Round Capital and PIDC announced a combined $400,000 seed investment in Velano Vascular, an innovative medical device company, which has pioneered a needle-free method for drawing blood from hospitalized patients.  The company was recently recognized by the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC and received a $50,000 prize for innovation in pediatric surgical care.

In addition to Velano Vascular, the Startup PHL Seed Fund has funded two other companies to date, including healthy meal delivery company Real Food Works, announced last year, and a third Philadelphia startup, which is not yet public. Also last year, PIDC made a $750,000 investment in the DreamIT Ventures program to support follow-on funding rounds of those companies participating in DreamIt Ventures’ highly successful accelerator programs.

Mayor Nutter also announced that PIDC and Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital have created the Startup PHL Angel Fund, which increases the range of Philadelphia funding options available to city’s earliest-stage startups.  Making investments from $25,000 to $100,000, the StartUp PHL Angel Fund co-invests alongside angel investors to help very early-stage companies build a minimum viable product or validate key assumptions.

“We are thrilled to contribute to the growing resources available to the Philadelphia community of entrepreneurs through the Startup PHL Seed and Angel Funds,” said Josh Kopelman, the founder of First Round Capital.  “PIDC has been a terrific partner in this endeavor, and we look forward to working with them and Mayor Nutter’s Administration to attract and support the next generation of Philly founders.”

Josh Kopelman and John Grady, President of PIDC, will announce the first three Startup PHL Angel Fund investments of $100,000 at an event this evening organized by Philly Startup Leaders, Technically Philly and Startup PHL to build connections between Philadelphia startups and young people studying in the city.

Squareknot is a way for people to create beautiful step-by-step guides. Users can collaborate on guides by branching off in separate directions to demonstrate their unique way of doing the same thing. By organizing steps and guides the same way that Google Maps might organize multiple routes, and combining that with the crowdsourcing philosophies of Wikipedia, Squareknot will become the de facto destination site for how to do things online.  Founder Jason Rappaport said, “When we were deciding where to put Squareknot, Philadelphia was a very clear choice for us. It’s turned out to be one of the smartest decisions we’ve ever made. Philly has proven itself to be one of the most supportive cities in the country. We feel like we can do something good and make a dent here.”

Tesorio enables companies to self-finance their daily operations, streamlining early payments on invoices so suppliers get paid early and buyers optimize returns on cash.  Carlos Vega, founder of Tesorio said, “Philly has a tight-knit and unassuming tech community that has been helpful at every step. Corporations and potential clients are always ready to talk. Investors and lawyers are accessible and generous with advice. Veteran entrepreneurs are collaborative and truly want to see you succeed. The strength of this network and abundance of talent from local universities drove us to choose Philly for Tesorio.”

VeryApt combines user reviews with big data analytics to deliver intelligent, personalized apartment recommendations.  Founder Ashrit Kamireddi explained his choice to locate in Philadelphia.  “When it came to choosing the long term headquarters for VeryApt, our primary focus was picking a city where we could hire high quality talent.  Philadelphia was the obvious choice because of its amazing universities, rapidly growing millennial population, and affordability. We have also been incredibly impressed by Mayor Nutter’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and we’re really excited to be part of Philly’s entrepreneurial revolution!”

“Together the Startup PHL Seed and Angel Funds provide much needed early stage capital to help make Philadelphia an attractive place for entrepreneurs,” said John Grady, President of PIDC. “PIDC is committed to driving growth throughout the city and our Startup PHL initiative is a great way to help support the growth for this important sector of Philadelphia’s economy. We are proud to partner with First Round Capital and Josh Kopelman to create these funds and invest in these terrific businesses to launch and grow here in Philadelphia.”

Finally Mayor Nutter announced that the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department is now accepting applications for the third round of Startup PHL Call for Ideas, a program providing grants to initiatives or organizations that are supporting startups and entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.  The program has provided ten grants to date investing $217,400 in Philadelphia’s startup community through a range of organizations such as Startup Corps, Philly Startup Leaders, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Campus Philly, and the Philly Dev Camp.  The closing date for applications for the third Call for Ideas is Friday January 2, 2015.  Further information, along with details of previous investments and how to apply, can be found at www.startupphl.com.

“Supporting startups and entrepreneurs across Philadelphia through programs such as Startup PHL is one of our top priorities and we’re seeing real success from these efforts,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.  “Businesses from across the region, country and around the world are giving Philadelphia a second look as a place to locate due to our talented workforce, our livable downtown, the strong network to plug into, and the ease of doing business in our city.  It is thanks to partners such as PIDC and First Round Capital that the case for moving a business to Philadelphia is an increasingly convincing case to make.”

The growth of Philadelphia as a startup hub is an exciting trend for the future of the city.  From major corporations such as Comcast and Independence Blue Cross investing in innovation to the continued growth of grassroots efforts such as Philly Startup Leaders, N3RD Street, and Philly Tech Week, recent years have seen an increase in the level of activity supporting startups.  Companies such as RJ Metrics, Cloudmine, and Leadnomics have raised venture capital and moved into larger office space while businesses such as SevOne, Think Brownstone, and Eastern Standard have established Philadelphia offices.

Philly Dev Camp kicks off with help from city fund

July 24, 2014| Philadelphia Business Journal by Lauren Hertzler

Zoe Goldberg, a soon-to-be senior at the University of Pennsylvania, has summer plans quite unusual for a typical 21-year-old.

Instead of turning her brain off for the remainder of her last summer vacation, she’s spending five weeks in an intense website development camp, dubbed Philly Dev Camp, run by Zivtech and Neomind Labs.

Philly Dev Camp, which kicked off this week in a Zivtech workroom, is made possible from a $24,000 grant from StartUp PHL, the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation initiative. The camp’s goal is to train interested individuals, and ultimately create a group of talented Web developers, who can boost the city’s tech scene.

“I always hated my job before coming into this field,” said Jody Hamilton, Zivtech co-founder and chief technology officer. “And this is such a good job. There’s demand for this job, it pays well, you can work in Center City in a nice office, it’s creative, you work with interesting people. There’s nothing bad you can say about these [Web developer] jobs.”

The only missing piece, Hamilton continued, is finding people with the right skills to do the work.

READ MORE

PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Nutter Announces Second Startup PHL Call for Ideas

Second Startup PHL Call for Ideas focuses on connections between Higher Education and Philadelphia’s tech community.

Philadelphia, November 14, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Startup PHL is now accepting applications for the second round of Call for Ideas, a grant program to fund innovative proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. Full application details are available here.

“Over the last year, the City has welcomed many growing companies to Philadelphia; Fiberlink, Bentley Systems, Brand.com, SevOne, Bulogics, and Real Food Works are just a few. Each company has cited a robust startup community and access to talent as key drivers in their decisions,” said Mayor Nutter. “To continue this momentum, we need to connect the talent from our top-ranked universities to the growing companies, which need a well-educated workforce to flourish.”

The Call for Ideas program provides small grants to organizations with ideas or initiatives that best meet the objectives of Startup PHL. These objectives are:

  • 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;
  • Continuing integration between Philadelphia’s higher education institutions, students and startup community; and
  • Creating an environment that attracts new entrepreneurs and encourages graduates from Philadelphia’s higher education institutions to remain in the city.

While all submissions are welcome, this second round of Call for Ideas is focused on creating more connections between students and the startup community that will ultimately lead to more people staying in Philadelphia after they graduate.

Creating better connections between Philadelphia’s university and startup communities is also a priority for Philly Startup Leaders, the largest and most active community of startup entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia Region. The group recently convened a session between local startup leaders and the leaders of student-led entrepreneur groups.

“Not only are our members continually looking for top talent, but just as important is the infusion of energy that comes from student startups to the startup community. We want students to look at the resources that exist here and see Philadelphia as a place where their company can thrive. That’s why we’re working closely with student groups like nvigor, which is connecting students across schools,” said Philly Startup Leaders Board Chair Bob Moul.

Mayor Nutter launched the first Startup PHL Call for Ideas in October 2012 as part of the larger Startup PHL initiative. Six Call for Ideas grants were awarded in March 2013.

“In the past year, the City has worked closely with a number of organizations who are working to support the growth of startup companies and entrepreneurs across the city and across diverse industries,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger. “This program allows us to bolster the great work that is already happening here, which ultimately leads to more business and job creation in Philadelphia.”

2013 Call for Ideas Grantee Update:

  • Ben Franklin Technology Partners/Campus Philly received $25,000 to create a Targeted Internship Matching Program and placed 10 Philadelphia-area university students at BFTP portfolio companies in Philadelphia in the summer of 2013. The program provided Philadelphia startups with talent while connecting college students to startups/mentors, increasing the likelihood that the students will stay in Philadelphia post-graduation.
  • Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce received $18,400 to develop an online Entrepreneur’s Resource Directory. The directory provides a centralized online resource for entrepreneurs to find information on funding sources, professional and technical expertise, specialized facilities and professional services.
  • The Enterprise Center, Center for Culinary Enterprises, Philly Food Innovation Program received $15,000 to develop a technical workshop series for early to middle-stage food entrepreneurs. Topics included culinary math, food safety and labeling, and hospitality law. These workshops, which occurred in the summer 2013, were filmed and will be posted to The Enterprise Center website as well as available publically.
  • PhillyCORE Leaders received $15,000 to support the Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education (SEED) program, which included a pitch event for education entrepreneurs to compete for funding held in October 2013. The winning teams will participate in the Fels Institute Social Innovations Lab in 2014 to further develop their ideas.
  • Startup Corps received $20,000 to support the expansion of a high school entrepreneur program that provides programming to a diverse range of teenagers looking to develop entrepreneurial skills and build businesses. Startup Corps is on-track to serve 200 students in 2013.
  • VentureF0rth was awarded $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.

Startup PHL also includes the Startup PHL Seed Fund, a $6 million seed stage investment fund, in which both the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and First Round Capital have invested $3 million. The Seed Fund announced its first investment in Real Food Works in October 2013; the company moved to Philadelphia because of the award.

PIDC President John Grady said, “Real Food Works is a great demonstration of how the Startup PHL Seed Fund is increasing the availability of seed-stage capital to help make the City an attractive place for entrepreneurs. Call for Ideas is the perfect complement to the Seed Fund. Together they make Startup PHL a powerful program and Philadelphia an attractive and supportive environment to launch and grow a business.”

Full application details for the second Call for Ideas can be found at www.startupphl.com. Applications are due by December 13, 2013. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of representatives from the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and members of the entrepreneurial community.

Startup PHL:
Startup PHL is a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). The Startup PHL Seed Fund is an effort by the City of Philadelphia and PIDC to increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based startups. The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a grant program to support innovative proposals for ideas that support business creation and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. More information about the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce can be found at www.phila.gov/commerce.

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation:
Beginning in 1958 as a non-profit joint venture between the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC is Philadelphia’s economic development corporation. In the past 55 years, PIDC has invested more than $11.4 billion in Philadelphia supporting $21 billion of total project costs. Currently managing a diverse loan portfolio in excess of $600 million, PIDC brings years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to structuring real estate and financing transactions that attract investment and create and retain jobs in the City of Philadelphia. PIDC has partnered with First Round Capital to create a $6 million public/private venture fund, the Startup PHL Seed Fund. Both PIDC and First Round Capital have invested $3 million and First Round Capital manages the fund increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based entrepreneurs.

PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Nutter, First Round Capital and PIDC Announce First Startup PHL Seed Fund Investment

Real Food Works moves headquarters to Philadelphia, receives $200,000 seed investment.

October 24, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter, along with First Round Capital and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), announced that Real Food Works will receive the first investment from the Startup PHL Seed Fund. Real Food Works partners with local restaurants to provide customers with healthy prepared meals. It will receive a $200,000 investment from the Startup PHL Seed Fund.

“The goal of Startup PHL is to help innovative new companies to start and grow in Philadelphia, and this investment in Real Food Works is an example of that strategy,” said Mayor Nutter. “Lucinda and her team have created a company that supports the local economy and encourages people to eat healthy food. This investment will allow Real Food Works to continue growing and is the first of many investments in Philadelphia startups that will be made through Startup PHL.”

Real Food Works will receive a $200,000 investment from the Startup PHL Seed Fund, a $6 million seed stage investment fund, in which both PIDC and First Round Capital have invested $3 million. First Round Capital manages the fund.

John Grady, President of PIDC said, “We are proud of our partnership with First Round Capital and the City of Philadelphia to launch the Startup PHL Seed fund to increase the availability of seed-stage capital and to help make Philadelphia an attractive place for entrepreneurs. As a successful startup that has relocated to Philadelphia, Real Food Works is a perfect demonstration of the power of the Startup PHL Seed Fund making the City a great environment to launch and grow business.”

First Round Capital Managing Partner Josh Kopelman said, “We are excited to contribute to the growing vibrancy of the Philadelphia startup ecosystem, to be working with innovative partners, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the City of Philadelphia. We are thrilled that our first investment together is in such a great company and entrepreneur. Real Food Works is tapping into an important trend of healthier eating, and the company’s scalable model and technology promises great growth. And, of course, backing a proven entrepreneur gives us tremendous confidence.”

Lucinda Duncalfe, Founder and CEO of Real Food Works, created the company after being inspired to eat a more healthy diet. She founded Real Food Works in May 2012 and incubated the company at Monetate in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. In June 2013, Duncalfe moved Real Food Works to Philadelphia, where it is currently located at 224 North Juniper Street. Real Food Works employs 10 people.

“The investments from First Round Capital, Startup PHL and Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners are a vote of confidence in Real Food Works’ vision, technology, and team,” said Duncalfe. “We’re grateful for their support, and look forward to working together to make our dream of a healthier America based on a real food diet a reality.”

Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA is also an investor in Real Food Works. President and CEO RoseAnn Rosenthal added, “We’re happy to, once more, be an investor in one of Lucinda’s ventures. We’ve partnered in the past and are thrilled to see her launch yet another enterprise. Her actions reflect the commitment and confidence of entrepreneurs who have achieved success, here, and who are choosing to do it again, here.”

Mayor Nutter launched the Startup PHL initiative in October 2012. In March 2013, the City and PIDC announced that First Round Capital would manage the Startup PHL Seed Fund. The Startup PHL Call for Ideas, another portion of the initiative, is designed to provide small grants to organizations working to support entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. The second round of funding will be announced next week by the Department of Commerce, led by Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.

“Philadelphia is increasingly seen as a home for startups, entrepreneurs and investment with more and more companies locating here” said Greenberger. “Startup PHL is the City’s effort – in partnership with First Round Capital and PIDC – to support this growth and attract new job-creating businesses, firmly establishing Philadelphia as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Startup PHL:
Startup PHL is a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). The Startup PHL Seed Fund is an effort by the City of Philadelphia and PIDC to increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based startups. The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a grant program to support innovative proposals for ideas that support business creation and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. More information about Startup PHL can be found at www.startupphl.com. More information about the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce can be found at www.phila.gov/commerce.

Real Food Works:
Real Food Works delivers fresh meals made with only all-natural whole food ingredients. The meals are developed and cooked fresh by a network of local independent restaurants, which create specific meals to meet the real food diet’s nutritional requirements — ensuring delicious, nutritious food. The real food diet has been popularized in New York Times bestsellers, including The China Study, VB6, and Whole, the Amazon best-selling documentary Forks over Knives, and by celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow and Alicia Silverstone. Located in Philadelphia, the company was founded by seasoned entrepreneur and healthy food fanatic Lucinda Duncalfe and is backed by leading investors. For more information, visit https://www.realfoodworks.com/.

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation:
Beginning in 1958 as a non-profit joint venture between the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC is Philadelphia’s economic development corporation. In the past 55 years, PIDC has invested more than $11.4 billion in Philadelphia supporting $21 billion of total project costs. Currently managing a diverse loan portfolio in excess of $600 million, PIDC brings years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to structuring real estate and financing transactions that attract investment and create and retain jobs in the City of Philadelphia. PIDC has partnered with First Round Capital to create a $6 million public/private venture fund, the Startup PHL Seed Fund. Both PIDC and First Round Capital have invested $3 million and First Round Capital manages the fund increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based entrepreneurs.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania:
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a national, award winning organization that provides capital, knowledge and networks that help innovative enterprises generate jobs and economic growth. Ben Franklin is the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in this region, and is one of the most active seed-stage investors in the United States. Three-quarters of all recent venture funded companies in the Greater Philadelphia region had previously received funding from Ben Franklin. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

First Round Capital to Manage $6 Million Startup PHL Seed Fund

Philadelphia, March 19, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) will partner with First Round Capital, one of the most active investment firms in the country, to invest in and manage the Startup PHL Seed Fund, a new effort by the City of Philadelphia and PIDC to increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based startups.  Both PIDC and First Round Capital will invest $3 million and First Round Capital will manage the fund to make early-stage investments on behalf of the Startup PHL Seed Fund.  First Round Capital will not receive a management fee, or any other form of compensation, for managing the Startup PHL Seed Fund.

“Supporting entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses in Philadelphia is a priority for my Administration and is crucial for the future of our city. I am thrilled that one of the leading investment firms in the country will partner with us in this effort,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “Josh Kopelman is one of the most successful investors in the venture community and a leading entrepreneur who has demonstrated his commitment to this city time and time again.  With his help and the support of our entrepreneurial community, Philadelphia will once again be recognized as one of America’s leading cities for innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital’s founder, said, “We are thrilled to be participating in this effort. Mayor Nutter’s Administration has been very supportive of entrepreneurship and the Startup PHL Seed Fund is a very concrete example of how the City of Philadelphia is dedicating real attention and resources towards helping founders succeed in America’s founding city.”

PIDC to Invest $500K in University City Science Center’s QED Program

Philadelphia, March 19, 2013 – The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation announced today that through its Penn Venture Fund, it will invest up to $500,000 in the University City Science Center’s QED Program, the country’s first multi-institutional proof-of-concept funding program for healthcare and life sciences technologies.  PIDC’s loan will provide direct funding to qualifying research projects at Philadelphia-based academic and research institutions participating in QED. The projects will be developed and selected through QED’s market-driven process. The loan will be repaid from PIDC’s share in proceeds from successful projects.

“PIDC is excited to invest with partners like First Round Capital and the University City Science Center, both of which are highly respected national leaders in their fields,” said PIDC President John Grady.  “These new investments are both designed to bring more capital to entrepreneurs in Philadelphia at earlier stages, so that they can turn their big ideas into reality sooner and more efficiently.  Today’s announcement illustrates PIDC’s ongoing commitment to find innovative ways to partner with the public and private sectors and to develop new resources for Philadelphia businesses.”

The QED Program has funded a total of 16 projects since its launch in April 2009.  So far, five of the projects have resulted in technology options or licenses, and close to $9 million in follow-on funding has been raised. Twenty-two universities and research institutions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, including 11 in Philadelphia, participate in the program.

“Due to a lack of funding, promising technologies are often stranded in the lab and never make it to the marketplace where they can have a positive impact on patients’ lives,” says Science Center President & CEO Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA. “PIDC’s investment will help launch new companies that commercialize Philadelphia-based discoveries.  We at the Science Center look forward to working with PIDC to encourage these companies to stay and grow in the city.”

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