Forbes Under 30 Summit Ditches Philly for Boston

Forbes Editor Randall Lane at the Under 30 Summit in Philly.

Forbes Editor Randall Lane at the Under 30 Summit in Philly last year.

It seemed as though the Forbes Under 30 Summit had found a permanent home in Philadelphia — but now the conference is headed to Boston for 2016 after Mayor Jim Kenney‘s office declined to commit $2 million in funding for the project.

For the past two years, the summit brought together many talented young businesspeople from the magazine’s 30 Under 30 list and featured speakers like Theranos CEO Elizabeth HolmesYouTube sensation Michelle Phan and even the first-ever public address from Monica Lewinsky. Last year’s conference ended with a free concert from Fetty Wap, Shawn Mendes and Hanson.

Sure the 2014 and 2015 events boosted the economy with hotel-room stays, dinners and shopping, but Forbes would not offer details about the conferences’ economic impact, according to Lauren Hitt, the mayor’s communications director. Read more »

Comcast Buys Philly Tech Company to Capitalize on Sports Stat Craze

OneTwoSee co-founder Chris Reynolds and Preston Smalley, vice president of product, sports & X1 Apps for Comcast.

Done deal: OneTwoSee co-founder Chris Reynolds and Preston Smalley, vice president of product, sports & X1 Apps for Comcast in front of the Comcast tower in Center City.

In today’s era of Netflix, on-demand programming, and recorded TV shows, nobody is really watching live television — unless it’s sports. In fact, 93 percent of the top 100 live TV programs were sports content, according to a 2015 Nielsen report. In 2005, sports only made up 14 percent of live viewership.

Nobody knows this better than Comcast, a company that’s investing big dollars to make sports viewing a better experience for the viewer. Today Comcast announced that it has purchased Philly tech company OneTwoSee — the business that provides the statistics behind its X1 Sports App. Financial terms of the deal were not released. Read more »

10 Philly Billionaires on New Forbes List

From left: Mary Alice Dorrance Malone (Campbell Soup photo); Michael Rubin (Undercover Boss screenshot); John Middleton (AP Photo/Matt Rourke); Richard Yuengling, Jr. (Yuengling publicity photo)

From left: Mary Alice Dorrance Malone (Campbell Soup photo); Michael Rubin (Undercover Boss screenshot); John Middleton (AP Photo/Matt Rourke); Richard Yuengling, Jr. (Yuengling publicity photo)

Forbes magazine just released its list of the Richest People on the Planet in 2016, and although Philly doesn’t have a Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey or Jeff Bezos, it does have its fair share of billionaires. Here’s a list of Philly folks who made the list. Read more »

Philly Company Wins Contract to Provide DNC Knick-Knacks

Supporters waiting to greet Democratic National Committee (DNC) representatives in August in Philadelphia.

Supporters waiting to greet Democratic National Committee (DNC) representatives in August in Philadelphia.

The Democratic National Convention is coming to town in July — and that means Philly will not only be Ground Zero for politics, it’ll also be Ground Zero for DNC merchandise. And that’s big business for Luis Liceaga.

On Tuesday, the DNC Host Committee announced that Liceaga’s company, Impact Dimensions, will be its official merchandise provider and manager. That means the 22-employee shop will manufacture, market and sell promotional materials with the host committee’s official, trademarked logo. Think hats, buttons, polo shirts, coffee mugs and plenty of other knick-knacks. Read more »

Report: Independence Health Group Income Down 93 Percent

Independence Blue Cross HQ at 1901 Market Street.

Independence Blue Cross HQ at 1901 Market Street.

As the wave of health care consolidation continues and the Affordable Care Act covers brings new entrants into the insurance market, a new report offers a glimpse into the financial standing of one of Philadelphia’s largest health care players.

Independence Health Group earned $6 million in net income during the first nine months of 2015 — but that’s down 93 percent from the same time period in 2014 when it earned $83 million. The numbers come from Fitch Ratings, which analyzed Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies across the country, finding that 23 out of 35 reported a decline in earnings. Read more »

Curalate CEO: Kenney Needs to Support Tech Community

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Mayor Michael Nutter was a staunch supporter of Philadelphia’s local tech scene. He helped launch StartupPHL, a seed fund and grant program that invests in early stage companies. He’d frequently come to tech events, have a beer and discuss issues with tech founders. To Philly outsiders, he’d brag about N3rd street, a stretch of North 3rd where plenty of tech companies are headquartered.

Will Jim Kenney be just as supportive? In a recent report, Technically Philly said the new mayor and the tech community are in that “awkward, getting-to-know you phase.” Will he keep showing up at events? Will he continue learning about the city’s budding tech economy?  Read more »

Death of a Startup Company

Brian Dragotto (left) and Nick Yap.

Brian Dragotto (left) and Nick Yap.

Just a few years ago Nick Yap and Brian Dragotto had high hopes for their social media app Toboggan, but the 21-year-olds have now realized that the startup world can be an unforgiving place.

Toboggan offers “social points” to users that get the most likes on their photos or videos — and people can cash in those points for real prizes. The platform also curated content on leaderboards to display its most engaging photos or videos. Read more »

College Startup Leaders Show Their Stuff at Pitch Contest

Winners of the College Pitch Philly contest.

Winners of the College Pitch Philly contest.

From an app that aims to transform college meal plans to virtual-reality training to conquer public-speaking fears, the innovations on display at Wednesday night’s College Pitch Philly student business pitch competition were nothing short of impressive.

I served as a judge in the contest and the entrepreneurs blew me away with their passion and ideas. One CEO, Nate Matherson, claimed to already have more than $30,000 per month in revenues for his company LendEDU, which allows users to compare up to 12 different student loan lenders to get the best deals. And he wasn’t even a winner, despite an awesome presentation.  Read more »

Skee-Ball Inc. Sold to Wisconsin Company

dial-a-view/iStockPhoto.com

dial-a-view/iStockPhoto.com

There’s perhaps nothing more iconic to the Jersey Shore than Skee-Ball. Rolling that odd, wooden ball down the lane is basically a rite of passage for kids and gives adults a chance to relive their youth. And let’s be honest, winning tickets can feel intoxicating.

But on Tuesday, the business of Skee-Ball just changed in a big way. Skee-Ball Inc., located in Bucks County, has just been purchased by Bay Tek Games, located in Pulaski, Wisconsin. The sale price was not disclosed. Read more »

Q&A: Jefferson CEO Steve Klasko on Obamacare, Merger Mania

Steve Klasko, CEO of Jefferson.

Steve Klasko, CEO of Jefferson.

Steve Klasko has a bold plan: Fix health care in the United States.

For better or worse, the business of health care has changed since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act — and the CEO of Jefferson has made some bold moves to navigate those waters.

In just the past year, Jefferson merged (or announced mergers) with Abington Health, Aria Health, Kennedy Health and Philadelphia University. But a bigger Jefferson doesn’t mean expanding its Center City hospital, it means bringing care to where people need it most, and partnering with innovators trying to disrupt the space.

I sat down with Klasko to discuss Jefferson’s vision as well as the future of health care in the United States — a hot topic in the 2016 presidential race. (This interview has been edited and condensed.) Read more »

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