Warby Parker Just Launched This Controversial Eye Screening App

Though Warby Parker opened its first Philly storefront just a few months ago, Philadelphians may soon have no reason to go. The Wharton grads behind the budget glasses brand released an app on Tuesday that allows customers to check their eyeglass prescriptions at home.

Aptly named Prescription Check, the app consists of a 20-minute series of optical tests, the equivalent of the common Snellen eye test (the one with the big and small letters), completed on a smartphone and computer. Sounds simple and even revolutionary, but since the app’s release a few days ago, it’s faced backlash from ophthalmologists and optometrists who’ve expressed concerns over similar services in the past, Business Insider reports. Read more »

Air Travelers, Rejoice! PHL to Get a $900M Facelift

OTG Liberty Prime at PHL. OTG Management plans to bring iPads and new eateries to PHL.

Philadelphia International Airport is planning its largest set renovations in over 15 years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The FAA recently announced that PHL will get a new air traffic control tower, and now some of the airport’s top airlines have approved $900 million in investments through their city lease agreements, the Inquirer reports. Some of the investments will be made in the next five to seven years.

American Airlines, which currently carries 73 percent of Philadelphia’s passengers, will contribute the largest portion of the overall investments. The airline will oversee a new arrivals building for terminals B and C, which will feature a state-of-the-art checked-bag screening system. A new high-tech transportation system, allowing passengers to move quickly between terminals, is in the works as well, but will likely be a longer-term update for PHL.  Read more »

Kauffman Index Shows Philly Startup Economy Has Much Room to Grow

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia™

According to Kauffman’s 2017 Startup Activity Index, the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area is in a bit of a lull when it comes to new business creation activity.

Dropping two spots from last year’s ranking, the region took the 36th ranking out of 40 spots, coming in just behind Baltimore and a few spots ahead of Pittsburgh, which ranked last.

The list, topped off by Miami, Austin, and Los Angeles, was compiled using three distinct measurements for each metro area. The first – the rate of new entrepreneurs – represents a percentage of adults in the area that are entering entrepreneurship at a given point in time. The second measure, opportunity share of new entrepreneurs, evaluates the percentage of people entering entrepreneurship out of “opportunity” rather than out of “necessity.” And startup density, the final measure, looks at the number of new employer businesses normalized by population.

Read more »

Corporations May Soon Be Able to Slap Their Names on Pa. State Buildings

Image via Shutterstock.

Two Pennsylvania senators believe that they’ve found a way to bring in additional state revenue without raising costs for taxpayers.

Senators David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) and Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny) have introduced a proposal that would allow the state to sell government buildings’ naming rights to private corporations. Read more »

Ben Franklin Tech Partners Pumped $3.7M Into These 21 Philly-Area Startups Last Quarter

Ben Franklin Technology Partners HQ.

Tech investment powerhouse Ben Franklin Technology Partners released their third quarter investment plan this week and 21 early-stage companies got approved for investment. A total of $3.7 in funding has been approved, and eight companies in the physical sciences sector got approved for the biggest sum of investment. The eight companies will receive $1.4 million in total.

The group’s three other divisions – information technology, digital health, and health – each hold 5 or fewer companies. Read more »

These Innovators Won Big at the 2017 PACT Enterprise Awards

The scene at the 2017 PACT Enterprise Awards. Image via Twitter.

On Thursday night, the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT), held their 24th Annual Enterprise Awards. The event, sponsored by Fairmount Partners, honored eleven local businesses and individuals that have made exceptional contributions to technology, healthcare and related fields. With a record number of over 400 submissions, this year’s Enterprise Awards were the most competitive yet, with a list of winners spanning every branch of Philly’s hotbed of innovation. Read more »

Comcast Secures Tenth Spot on LinkedIn’s Top 50 Companies List

Photo | Jeff Fusco

On Thursday, LinkedIn unveiled its 2017 top companies list and Comcast NBCUniversal scored the tenth spot, just ahead of both Airbnb and Netflix. The ranking, assembled using LinkedIn data collected from more than 500 million users, assessed the businesses on three measures: interest in a company’s jobs, interest in a company’s brand and employees, and employee retention.

Read more »

“Stop Lighting Money on Fire”: DA Nominee Larry Krasner on His Plans for the Office

Criminal defense attorney Larry Krasner. | Photo courtesy of Krasner’s campaign

Democratic district attorney candidate Larry Krasner, whose progressive platform inspired the highest Philadelphia voter turnout for a DA primary since 2001 and earned him a nod from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, laid out his vision for the future of the DA’s office on Wednesday. Read more »

Campbell Soup Breaks Ground on Solar Power Project at Camden HQ

Project rendering. Photo courtesy of Campbell Soup Company.

Local chicken noodle titan Campbell Soup Company may be known for its classic red label, but by next fall, the company will be leaning green.

On Wednesday, workers at Campbell’s Camden, NJ World Headquarters broke ground on the company’s third solar installation project. The project, developed by BNB Renewable Energy Holdings, will furnish the headquarters with a total of 4.4 megawatts (MW) of SunPower paneling.

The solar array will span Campbell’s 38-acre campus, as well as a newly purchased 4.5-acre remediated brownfield nearby, incorporating otherwise unusable land into surface area that will help to harness a total of more than 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Read more »

Philadelphia International Airport Plans for New $200M Air Traffic Control Tower

PHL | flickr

Philadelphia International Airport announced this week that plans are in the works for the construction of a brand new air traffic control tower.

According to Philly.com, the Federal Aviation Administration intends to work with PHL over the next five years to site, design, fund, and build the new tower. If the plan succeeds, the tower will be built where the free parking area for people picking up travelers is currently located, which would require a relocation and reconstruction of the airport’s cellphone lot as well. Read more »

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