FastFWD Business Accelerator Connects Companies with City Officials - Generocity Philly

Mar. 12, 2014 12:59 pm

FastFWD Business Accelerator Connects Companies with City Officials

FastFWD offices at Impact HUB in South Kensington FastFWD, a cross-sector business accelerator designed to address major social problems, is putting city officials in the same room as entrepreneurs for the program’s first 12-week accelerator focused on public safety. The accelerator is a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Social Impact Initiative, GoodCompany Group […]

FastFWD offices at Impact HUB in South Kensington


FastFWD, a cross-sector business accelerator designed to address major social problems, is putting city officials in the same room as entrepreneurs for the program’s first 12-week accelerator focused on public safety.

The accelerator is a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Social Impact Initiative, GoodCompany Group and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics.

With the first round of companies selected, the real work of bridging the gap between these sectors has begun. FastFWD is holding meetings between city officials and the 10 companies in the accelerator as they refine their business plans and prepare to pitch their ideas to investors and clients, including the city itself.

These officials, mostly in the fields of crime, safety, health and economic development, have already worked with the entrepreneurs or are scheduled to do so:

✓ Alan Greenberger – Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, Director of Commerce, Chairman of City Planning Commission

✓ Rebecca Lopez Kriss – Manager of Entrepreneurial Investment for Commerce Department

✓ Dave Walk – Civic Technology Engineer at City of Philadelphia

✓ Stacey Mosley -IT Manager at Office of Innovation and Technology

✓ Henry Costo – Deputy Commissioner at Philadelphia Fire Department

✓ Derrick Sawyer – Deputy Commissioner at Philadelphia Fire Department

✓ Kevin Thomas – Director of Research and Analysis at Philadelphia Police Department

✓ Mark Maher – Deputy Commissioner, Administration and Management at Department of Human Services

This is just the beginning of the kind of cross-pollination that is planned for the accelerator.

“We will facilitate much more engagement among the city’s high level decision makers and our group once we’re confident that all of the entrepreneurs have strong business models,” said Catherine Griffin, program manager at GoodCompany.

Rebecca Lopez Kriss from the Commerce Department, who is scheduled to meet with the entrepreneurs, noted her excitement at helping the them understand business in Philadelphia.

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“For us, it’s a chance to dispel some of the mythology about working in Philadelphia,” she said.

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