The new Startup PHL call is out — what’s your big idea? - Generocity Philly


Aug. 21, 2015 12:38 pm

The new Startup PHL call is out — what’s your big idea?

Applications to grow the startup community in Philly are due September 11

The Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for round four of the Startup PHL program. This initiative, spearheaded by the City of PhiladelphiaPIDC and First Round Capital, provides funding for early-stage companies and supports programs that develop the startup community in Philadelphia.  

The grant program is open to for innovative proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. The Call for Ideas program provides small grants to organizations with ideas or initiatives that best meet the following objectives:

  • Enhance collaboration between organizations that support entrepreneurs;
  • Foster networks and create space for entrepreneurs to develop businesses and connect with mentors, advisors, talent and capital;
  • Stimulate business and job creation in the city of Philadelphia;
  • Deepen integration between Philadelphia’s higher education institutions, students and startup community;
  • Create an environment that attracts new entrepreneurs and encourages graduates from Philadelphia’s higher education institutions to remain in the city; and
  • Have a particular focus on ideas that address young people and the issue of poverty in the city.

“Through the Startup PHL Call for Ideas program, we have provided funding to a whole range of initiatives across the city which are fostering entrepreneurship, creating new young entrepreneurs and putting Philadelphia on the map as a startup city,” Mayor Michael Nutter said. “Companies around the world are now looking at our city in a new light and, together with events like the Forbes Under 30 Summit and the Rise of the Rest tour, more attention is coming Philadelphia’s way.”

Through Startup PHL Funds and co-investments from First Round Capital, eight Philadelphia startups have received more than $1 million in combined seed stage or angel investment since October 2013. Through the Call For Ideas Grants fourteen organizations have received almost $300,000 in funding to support entrepreneurship programming.  

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Applications for Startup PHL are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 11, 2015. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee made up of representatives from the City of Philadelphia, PIDC and members of the entrepreneurial community.

“The [Startup PHL] funding has given our regional consortium of university entrepreneurship programs the ability to start building this valuable program and to ultimately provide university students with a great program that demonstrates the strength of entrepreneurship in the region.” said Chuck Sacco of Drexel University, a previous recipient of funds.

Organizations that have been funded in the past include:

  • University City Science Center FirstHand Program – a youth STEAM initiative serving Philadelphia youth from under-resourced schools and the teachers, professionals and families from their communities, received $25,000 to assist in acquiring lab equipment for the FirstHand Lab, a dedicated lab space for students.
  • Drexel University, Regional University Business Plan Competition – $23,500 was funded to help establish a multi-university business plan competition run by a new consortium of university-based entrepreneurship programs and incubators.  
  • Coded by Kids Instructor Pipeline Project – Coded by Kids provides inner city children with free, engaging, challenging and creative tech education program. Their Startup PHL funding of $19,870 will establish an adult training program for instructors in the Coded by Kids workshops.
  • TechGirlz Entrepreneur Bootcamp in a Box – TechGirlz hold workshops and an annual entrepreneurial summer camp serving middle-school girls. The $10,000 they received will expand the existing and successful TechGirlz Summer Entrepreneur Bootcamp materials into sharable, lesson plan formats so other groups can teach the program.

“This Tech Entrepreneur Camp is unique in this country and we are extremely happy to be partnering with the City to have more girls understand how they can participate in the tech and startup economy. Innovation is gender blind.” – TechGirlz founder Tracey Welson-Rossman

Image via Kait Privitera for the City of Philadelphia


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