City to bankroll internships, workshops to boost Philly tech scene

March 20th, 2014 | WHYY Newsworks by Zack Seward

The city of Philadelphia is bankrolling tech internships and workshops, using a series of grants to local firms.

“What we wanted to do was really look carefully at the integration of students and universities with the startup community,” said Alan Greenberger, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for economic development.

The five grants total $124,000. It’s the second round of grants to flow from the mayor’s $500,000 Startup PHL Call for Ideas fund.

City officials say the program is meant to both boost local startups and retain young tech talent with the lure of paid gigs. Greenberger says the renewed focus on college-age workers drew from experience with a similar program funded by the first round of Startup PHL grants.

Two outside observers say this influx of funding is likely to be a worthwhile investment…

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Full day in Philly for Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

December 2, 2013 | Newsworks by Zach Seward

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is on an epic book tour: five months, 150 stops. On Monday, Philadelphia hosted three of those stops: a tech breakfast with local executives, a pizza-side chat at First Round Capital and an early evening event at UPenn. The man knows how to hustle.

“I want to just help these startups be great,” Ohanian said at the day’s second stop. “A conversation with a successful founder isn’t necessarily going to change your life, it isn’t necessarily going to give you the light bulb that makes your company 10X or whatever it is, but hopefully it’s helpful. And that’s the kind of atmosphere I expect at a place like this.”

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Nutter welcomes Brand.com to new HQ in Center City Philadelphia

September 5, 2013 | WHYY Newsworks by Zack Seward

Want to look good online? That’s what Brand.com promises. On Thursday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter did his best to return the favor, welcoming the company to its new headquarters in Center City. Nutter took the opportunity to highlight his administration’s efforts to build up the Philly tech scene. “We are focused each and every day on companies like Brand.com and many, many others,” Nutter said, “to be in Philadelphia, to encourage their location or expansion and to do everything we can to improve the economy here in this city.”

That includes certain tax exemptions for startups as well as initiatives like StartUp PHL. Brand.com moved into the city from West Chester, Pa., in January, spending months deciding where to locate its corporate headquarters for keeps.

Nutter said the firm’s move is another sign that companies are cluing in to Philadelphia’s growing pool of tech talent. “There’s a tremendous amount of talent right here in the city,” Nutter said.

Brand.com president Michael Zammuto says that was a big reason why his company chose the Curtis Center at 6th and Walnut. The company is on a veritable hiring spree, he says, looking to add 100 workers over the next 12 months, including 30-40 in the next month or so.

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With ‘boot camp,’ TechGirlz seeks to build future startup leaders

July 16, 2013 | Newsworks By Zack Seward

Just 3 percent of tech startups are launched by women. That stat motivates TechGirlz, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that aims to upend current statistics by getting a really early start. That’s why 19 girls, ages 11 to 15, spent last week in a tech entrepreneurship “boot camp.” “At the end of the day, what we are trying to show them is the possibilities of what they can do,” said TechGirlz founder Tracey Welson-Rossman.

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Tech company moves into East Falls’ Mason Building

July 10, 2013 | Newsworks by Matthew Grady

Situated in a historic building, a once-suburban startup is now based along a Northwest Philadelphia business corridor.

Earlier this month, BuLogics, Inc. announced that they have departed their Malvern headquarters and have set up shop at the prominent Mason Building, located at the intersection of Ridge and Midvale avenues in East Falls.

Founded in 2003, BuLogics is a wireless embedded software engineering firm that has completed numerous national projects, and recently adopted a new focus on energy management tools for apartment buildings and other multiple dwelling units. Among their local projects was a $175,000 award from the city in 2010 to install its energy control systems at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and the Inn at Penn, according to the company’s website.

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StartUp PHL looks to boost Philly tech scene

October 26, 2012 | WHYY NewsWorks by Zack Seward

“Mayor Michael Nutter launched a new initiative Friday to support Philadelphia tech startups. On the roof deck of the Independence Visitor Center, Nutter kicked off the proceedings with a nod to the past. ‘Philly is a perfect place for founders, people looking to start businesses and make things,’ said Nutter.

“The city’s entrepreneurs drive the economy, the mayor said. And city government needs to help out — especially with a growing sense of momentum around Philly tech startups…”

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