CITY OF PHILADELPHIA AND PIDC LAUNCH STARTUP PHL AND ISSUE SEED FUND RFP

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Pictured left to right: John Grady, President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; Mayor Michael A. Nutter; Khushboo Shah, CEO of Philadelphia startup Cirrimize; Josh Kopelman, First Round Capital; Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; and Bob Moul, President of Philly Startup Leaders.

On Friday, October 26, 2012, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the creation of Startup PHL, a new initiative to support Philadelphia startups and entrepreneurs.  The initiative, a partnership between the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), aims to increase the availability of seed-stage capital for startups and to accelerate the development of a supportive environment for entrepreneurs already in the city, as well as to establish Philadelphia as a city of choice for new startups and entrepreneurs.

“Philadelphia is increasingly home to a dynamic, innovative startup and entrepreneurial community who are putting this city on the map as the place to be if you’re an entrepreneur,” said Mayor Nutter.  “The goal of Startup PHL is to build upon and support so much of the good work that is already being done, building more businesses, creating more jobs, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunities to even more Philadelphians.”

The Startup PHL Seed Fund is a public/private venture fund which will make seed-stage investments in Philadelphia-based tech startups. An RFP has been issued seeking proposals from experienced Investment Management Firms to partner with PIDC on a seed-stage capital fund. PIDC will contribute $3 million to be matched and managed by a private firm that will invest on behalf of the fund. Individual investments are intended to range between $150,000 and $300,000 and will allow promising startups to negotiate the early stages of product development before their ideas can attract more significant venture capital.

Respondents to the RFP may be existing venture capital funds, established angel investor networks or other private investment management companies. The selected firm will manage the day-to-day operations of the fund, market the fund to Philadelphia startups and raise additional capital. Compensation for these services will be considered as part of a Respondent’s proposal, with a preference for performance-based compensation structures.

A non-mandatory project information meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 13, at 3 p.m. at the offices of PIDC on the 26th Floor of Centre Square West, 1500 Market Street, in Philadelphia.  The meeting will provide information about the Startup PHL Seed Fund and the RFP process. Interested respondents must register with David Langlieb at dlanglieb@pidc-pa.org  to attend the meeting.  The RFP submission deadline is December 7, 2012.  To learn more and download the RFP, please visit www.startupphl.com.

This Seed Fund RFP is part of the StartupPHL partnership with the City’s Commerce Department, which is simultaneously managing a Call for Ideas grant program. This effort calls on Philadelphians to propose new and innovative ways to enhance the city’s tech community.

The Startup PHL Call for Ideas is a $500,000 fund to support innovative, exciting proposals for ideas and programs that support startups and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia.  The goal of this fund is to make grants to proposals that enhance collaboration in the startup community; attract new entrepreneurs from both within and outside the city; foster networks for entrepreneurs to collaborate with each other, mentors, talent and investors; and ultimately lead to more business and job creation in Philadelphia.  To learn more and to submit an idea, please visit www.startupphl.com.

Startup PHL is a perfect example of the partnership between the public and private sectors which PIDC embodies,” said PIDC President John Grady.  “Our contribution to the Startup PHL Seed Fund will be leveraged with even greater private resources to fill a gap in the marketplace and provide much-needed seed capital to startup companies in Philadelphia’s growing technology sector.  We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Mayor Nutter and the entrepreneurial community to help make Philadelphia the smart choice for startups.”

Enhancing the city’s entrepreneurial climate is a key priority for both city government and PIDC. The recent expansion of homegrown tech companies in Philadelphia has underscored the city’s extraordinary potential as a hub for the technology economy.  Philadelphia has an incredible array of assets conducive to building a supportive environment for successful entrepreneurs and startups:

  • World-class higher education and research facilities
  • A dynamic and growing startup and entrepreneurial community
  • A burgeoning network of incubators and accelerators which are drawing entrepreneurs from around the United States and the world to Philadelphia
  • A quality of life that is encouraging population growth, particularly among young people
  • Affordable lifestyle and environment in which to build a business
  • Tax structure increasingly favorable to small businesses, job creation and investment

The goal of Startup PHL – and many other partners long-engaged in this work – is to capitalize upon these assets, remove barriers to success, act as a catalyst, and grow Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial community.

More information on Startup PHL can be found at www.startupphl.com or by following @startupphl on Twitter.

To learn more on how PIDC can assist your small business to grow in Philadelphia through our financing and real estate resources, please contact Chamor Hollinger at 215-496-8157 or chollinger@pidc-pa.org.

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