These 8 Startups Landed a Spot in Dreamit Health’s Spring 2017 Cohort

Image via Pixabay.

Image via Pixabay.

Dreamit Health recently announced its spring 2017 cohort of startups, and it’s medley of eight impressive early stage companies from all around the world.

The new group represents Dreamit’s 22nd cohort, and this cycle represents the accelerator’s fifth year in partnership with Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross. The selected startups are addressing everything from the patient experience to the medical workflow.

The 14-week program will kick off with six weeks of business model refinement when the companies will work closely with Dreamit managing directors to get in shape for their next round of funding. The companies will then put their innovations to the test with two weeks of face-to-face customer immersions. They’ll get the chance to pitch and receive feedback from national healthcare giants like Blue Cross, Merck, Penn Medicine, and Digitas Health. To wrap up the program, the startups will engage in a Philadelphia Demo Day and then take part in a two-week, bi-coastal investor roadshow.  Read more »

I Love My Job: Lew Blum

Philly tow guy Lew Blum (center) with artist Marc Brodzik (left) and Philly performer Darren Finizio (right).

Philly tow guy Lew Blum (center) with artist Marc Brodzik (left) and Philly performer Darren Finizio (right).

Is Lew Blum the most hated man in Philadelphia? It’s possible. The 61-year-old owner of Lew Blum Towing is the public face of Philly tow-truck companies, the guy who gets the call when you park your Honda in front of a driveway you didn’t even realize was there. (Or at least you claimed you didn’t.)

Blum is a guy who likes to keep to himself, but he recently came out of the woodwork thanks to a new Philly “ticket to tow” law that he says puts the stranglehold on the towing industry. Business may not be good, but Blum says he still loves it. Read more »

Frontier Just Launched Non-Stop Flights to Puerto Rico From Philly

Frontier Airlines

On Tuesday, low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines announced that it will begin non-stop flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Philadelphia International Airport in June.

On Wednesday, Frontier club members could book flights for as low as $49 on an introductory fare rate, with non-club flight prices beginning at $59.

The flights are scheduled to operate year-round except for a period after Labor Day until mid-November for a seasonal hiatus. The flights will also run daily on the A-321 aircraft. The flight will depart PHL at 9:15 p.m. and arrive in San Juan at 1:23 a.m. Returning passengers will depart San Juan at 2:25 a.m. and arrive in Philadelphia at 6:43 a.m.  Read more »

Philly Is the Nation’s 10th-Best City for Women in Tech

Philly is the country’s 10th best city for women in tech, according to SmartAsset’s 2017 ranking.

The fintech company combed through data on men and women in tech jobs in 59 of the largest U.S. cities and ranked them according to the gender pay gap in tech, income after housing costs, women as a percentage of the tech workforce and the city’s four-year tech employment growth.

According to the study, women fill just 32.3 percent of tech jobs in Philadelphia, but it beats the national figure of women filling only 26.2 percent of tech jobs. After Philly housing costs, women bring home an average of $47,622 in income, compared to $53,158 nationally. The city’s gender pay gap in tech is 92 percent compared to 84.8 percent nationwide, which represents the ratio of median earnings for women in mathematical occupations to median earnings for men in computer and mathematical occupations. Philly’s four-year tech employment growth, measured from 2012 to 2015 (the most recent year for which data is available), is 14 percent, four percentage points higher than the national average.  Read more »

Hahnemann to Discontinue Heart Transplant Services

Photo from Hahnemann University Hospital's Facebook page

Photo from Hahnemann University Hospital’s Facebook page

In an email to employees on Monday, Hahnemann University Hospital CEO Michael P. Halter announced that the institution would be shutting down its heart transplant program on May 27th due to “low activity.”

In the email obtained by the Inquirer, Halter told employees that the closure was not a reflection of “the high-quality care that has been provided to our patients.” Read more »

Flights From Philly to Cuba Won’t Be Happening

frontier cuba

Airlines rushed to make history last year when they launched commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. But now because of a glut in service to the Caribbean country, those same airlines are scaling back, including on direct flights from Philly to Havana.

Frontier Airlines, which was approved for eight weekly trips between Philadelphia International Airport and the cities of Camaguey, Matanzas, and Santa Clara, Cuba, is terminating service to the country altogether, the Inquirer reports. The airline also had a route between Miami and Havana, but it’ll be shutting down that route on June 4th. Read more »

Comcast Aids “Smart City” Initiatives With New Business Surveillance System

Image courtesy of Comcast.

Image courtesy of Comcast.

Cities like Philadelphia are on a quest to become “smart,” and Comcast Business is offering the tech that can help them get there. Last week the company announced that its SmartOffice video surveillance technology for small and medium-sized businesses is now on the market.

The technology’s key features include its cloud storage and instant mobile access. Up to 30 days of video can be stored, and up to four employees can be given permission to access and retrieve footage. Both live and recorded footage can be accessed on a desktop or through the SmartOffice mobile app on a smart phone or tablet. Comcast says the technology will also offer crystal-clear images with 720p HD surveillance cameras that have flexible zoom, wide view, and night-vision capabilities. Read more »

U.S. Senators Vote to Gut Internet Privacy Rules


The U.S. Senate sent Internet privacy down the drain on Thursday when it voted to repeal Obama-era rules aimed at protecting consumers’ online data. Without the rules, Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon can share and sell your web browsing history with advertisers without your permission.

The privacy rules, passed last year by the Federal Communications Commission, required Internet providers to get a customer’s permission before sharing their personal information such as geolocation, financial and health information, as well as children’s information, with third-party advertisers. Passed in October, the rules haven’t even taken effect yet, but a vote from the House, where the resolution is headed next, could effectively kill the consumer protection altogether. Read more »

A.C. Moore to Open Flagship Store in Center City Next Month

Rendering of A.C. Moore store. Image courtesy of A.C. Moore.

Rendering of A.C. Moore store. Image courtesy of A.C. Moore.

Just in time for spring, arts and crafts store A.C. Moore just confirmed an opening date for its Center City flagship location. The 27,000-square-foot store will open its doors to customers on April 11th.

And as previously announced, its location at 100 South Broad Street (the former F.Y.E. space) is the national chain’s first urban location ever.

“We recognized a need in the Philadelphia retail space for a supplier of arts, crafts and home décor — all at competitive prices — and are taking advantage of the opportunity with this incredible new location,” said A.C. Moore chief marketing and merchandising officer, Anthony Piperno.  Read more »

VitalTrax Scores First Cut of $6 Million Philly Digital Health Fund

Screenshot of VitalTrax website.

Screenshot of VitalTrax website.

Clinical trial software platform VitalTrax just became the first startup to dip into the $6 million digital health funding initiative launched by Safeguard Scientifics, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and Independence Blue Cross last December.

VitalTrax, a member of the University Science Center’s ic@3401 community, received $150,000 in seed funding from the new digital health initiative. The company’s cloud-based platform allows clinical trial teams to better recruit patients and communicate with them throughout the course of a trial. With the company’s mobile app, Wing, patients can search and apply for trials and directly input data into the app for the trials they participate in. And because many patients still face big hurdles to participation in clinical trials, these developments might play a big role in revolutionizing the space.  Read more »

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