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February Convening of OpenAccessPHL Featured How Organizations Are Making Themselves Innovative

February 13, 2015 Category: Method

This month’s OpenAccessPHL presenters covered a variety of different topics, from co-working spaces and civic hacking and more. (We’ll be updating this post as the videos are edited).

Marvin Weinberger – Venturef0rth/American Certified


Weinberger — who recently purchased the Venturef0rth space and turned it into a nonprofit — said he purchased Venturef0rth because it was cheaper to buy it than to move out (his business, American Certified, was the largest tenant). Some things currently in the works at the space: a broadband lab in development with Comcast,  low or no-cost accelerator for entrepreneurs and startups (Sylvester Mobley of Coded By Kids is one of the first tenants) and a partnership with the Corzo Center for creative programming.

Dawn McDougall – Code for Philly


One of the key things McDougall spoke about was how successful projects at Code For Philly partnered with organizations and people all across the city to address the needs and concerns of citizens — such as Unlock Philly and GreenSTEM Network. She also spoke about how Code for Philly needs non-coders to be civic hackers as well. ( wrote about this topic last year.)

Cat McManus – Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition (EBPC)


McManus primarily spoke about the Education Business Plan Competition and described what her organization does in six words — supporting ed-ent (education entrepreneurs) with mentorship, funding, and research. She talked about how the competition has a new track in 2015: the Idea track, meant for newer, less solidified business plans versus the Venture track for those who already have either customers, revenue, outside investment, grants, or intellectual property.

From our Partners

Julia Anaya – Venture for America


Julia Anaya, a Venture for America fellow, talked about programs that help get college students working for startups. She mentioned how startups account for 100% of net job growth, so Venture for American trains top college grads and then sends them to work at startups. There are currently 16 fellows in Philly. In March, Venture for America will launch an accelerator.

View OpenAccessPHL’s  Twitter recap.


Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition

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