Curalate Boosts Instagram Shopping Platform With New Amazon Pay and Moda Operandi Collaboration

Image courtesy of Curalate.

Curalate just took its partnership with Moda Operandi to a new level, and at the same time made shopping on the company’s Instagram much easier.

For starters, nearly every female fashion influencer on the planet follows Moda Operandi on Instagram, which for years has been the go-to online luxury fashion spot to preorder runway looks from high-end designers like Tory Burch and Christian Siriano. Curalate already powers Moda Operandi’s Like2Buy platform, which lets Instagram browsers purchase looks right from the social media platform, but as of Monday, the companies have added Amazon Pay into the mix.

Now when a user spots a pair of Jimmy Choo’s they’d like to purchase or those new velvet Rochas mules, they simply need to visit the same “Like2Buy” platform, and if they’re an Amazon customer, they’ll just click on the one-step checkout button to process their purchase, eliminating the need to manually enter payment and shipping information. Read more »

Thrilled About How Far Philly Tech Has Come? Celebrate at the PHL Innovation Picnic

The Navy Yard | Photo: PIDC

Ten Philadelphia tech organizations are collaborating to host the first-ever PHL Innovation Picnic later this month. In fact, it’s happening next Thursday, June 29th.

The event is a chance to celebrate Philadelphia’s expanding tech community, although people across all industries are welcome to grab a ticket online and head to the Navy Yard for three hours of food, drinks, music, and games.

The Innovation Picnic also doubles as a fundraiser. Proceeds from the event will be donated to three local nonprofits – iPraxis, Spark, and TechGirlz – all of which are dedicated to educating Philadelphia schoolchildren and providing them with resources to succeed. iPraxis and TechGirlz, in particular, focus on science and tech education. Hundreds of attendees are expected to show up in support of these nonprofits and Philly tech.  Read more »

WATCH: Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Explains Why Comcast Isn’t Well-Liked

Image via Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s The David Rubenstein Show kicked off its latest season last week with a tell-all interview featuring Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. The leader typically operates behind the scenes but spoke candidly with David Rubenstein on some hot topics including the company’s poor customer service record, stance on net neutrality, and push against the growing cord-cutting movement.

A question on Rubenstein’s mind was why cable companies like Comcast aren’t liked in the same way that Apple or Amazon are loved by the public. Roberts gave him two answers.  Read more »

Comcast Ranked 4th Top Corporate Startup Investor in the World

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Comcast, one of Philadelphia’s largest companies, has an impressive, growing record of looking after smaller ones.

Since 2011, reports, Comcast’s ventures unit has invested a combined valuation of billions of dollars in 105 different early-stage companies, numbers that recently earned them the number four spot on CB Insight’s 2016 Global Corporate Venture Capital list of the world’s top startup investors.

Amy Banse, managing director and head of funds for Comcast Ventures, calls the program the “Lewis and Clark” of Comcast, an apt nickname in a time when innovation has more frequently begun to stem from smaller companies. “We are witnessing a change that is as fundamental as the Industrial Revolution, and we are in the first or second inning of that,” Banse told the Inquirer. Read more »

Welcome to Cellacon Valley?

Illustration by Muti.

In the conference room of a spacious loft office near 30th Street Station, Usman “Oz” Azam and Michael Christiano huddle for a meeting. They’re CEO and chief business officer, respectively, of Tmunity Therapeutics, a start-up launched to commercialize some breakthrough research out of the University of Pennsylvania — a method of reengineering a patient’s own immune system cells so they can destroy cancer tumors.

The two execs are the company’s sole employees so far. Their new headquarters still contains chalkboard-style signs and leather couches from the prior tenant, some sort of hipster

telemarketing operation. It looks like an abandoned Cosi restaurant.

“Literally the only thing we’ve done is bring in a coffee machine,” Azam says.

It’s a microscopically small start to what some people around Philadelphia hope will become very, very big. Read more »

Kenney, Comcast Champion IoT Tech at Philadelphia Smart Cities Summit

Mayor Jim Kenney addresses the crowd at Philadelphia’s Smart City Summit, June 14th. Photo by Haley Weiss.

This week Mayor Jim Kenney welcomed representatives from tech and other industries across the globe to Philadelphia at the Smart City Summit, the culmination of a packed week of industry events hosted by the LoRa Alliance and Comcast’s machineQ. The summit followed up the 8th LoRa Alliance Open House & Marketplace, which showcased some of the world’s top data technologies.

While addressing attendees at the Franklin Institute, Kenney, who continues to show his support for Philadelphia’s growing technology scene, highlighted the importance of making the city’s growing innovation space inclusive and accessible.

“Philadelphia is the poorest big city in America,” he said, encouraging tech leaders to act as mentors for future innovators in Philadelphia’s schools. “Over the next thirty to forty years, unless kids in our struggling neighborhoods have access to technology and innovation, that poverty needle will never move.”

Kenney’s Rebuild program, which would renovate the city’s recreation centers, libraries, and city parks, will be an opportunity for the city to integrate technology into those spaces. The $500 million program was approved by Philadelphia City Council on Friday.

Read more »

Shoppers Rejoice: Instacart Will Bring You Same-Day Delivery From Giant

$114.99 in groceries from Instacart. Photograph by Jason Varney

Instacart, the San Fransisco-based on-demand grocery delivery service, has announced that it will be expanding its services in Philadelphia, with a new Giant Food Stores partnership. 

Giant operates 184 grocery stores throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, with a strong presence in the Greater Philadelphia area. Instacart promises to deliver your groceries from the chain within the hour for a delivery fee of $7.99, and it’s fee is just $5.99 for deliveries made in two hours or more, including those that are scheduled.

Instacart first arrived in Philly in February of 2014, and has established partnerships with a variety of vendors, including Whole Foods and Reading Terminal Market. Back in early 2016, Philadelphians were dismayed when the service stopped delivering alcohol in the city, but Instacart is confident that its Giant partnership can win them a larger customer base in the area.

Read more »

Here’s How Much Income Puts You in Philadelphia’s Top 1 Percent

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The gap between the country’s top earners and everyone else is, unsurprisingly, still widening, and a report from CNBC this week gives us some insight into what that gap looks like in the country’s 25 largest metro areas. Philly is on the list, and let’s just say the threshold for the city’s 1 percent club ain’t low.

For the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro, the annual income required to be in the top one percent is a whopping $489,305, and the average annual income of the top one percent in Philadelphia stands at $1,145,336. Read more »

I Love My Job: Turn5 Founders Steve and Andrew Voudouris

Turn5 president & CEO Steve Voudouris (left) and Turn5 executive marketing director Andrew Voudouris (right). Image via Turn5.

Not many people can say they started a successful business in high school, but brothers Andrew and Steve Voudouris can actually boast that Turn5 — what they launched in 2004 when they were 17 and 15 — is now one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in the Philadelphia region. The Malvern-based company’s three brands —,, — are a haven for car enthusiasts looking to stock up on fun parts (think special headlights, souped up steering wheels, and fancy bumper covers) for their Mustangs, Jeeps and trucks. The founders say what sets Turn5 apart in the automotive aftermarket industry is the platform’s ability to foster a community of learners through the convergence of auto experts and technology. The company recently secured $611,000 in state credits to expand to new headquarters in Paoli this fall, adding 200 more jobs (by 2020) to its team that currently stands at almost 400. Fresh off of their EY Entrepreneur of the Year win, the brothers tell BizPhilly why Turn5 is experiencing so much growth and how they plan to do more in the Philly tech community. They’re already involved with Coded by Kids and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and without ever getting college degrees of their own, they’ve awarded $44,000 in college scholarships to teens across the region. The brothers tell me why school wasn’t for them and get into the nitty-gritty of running their operation at the ages of 32 and 30 now. (Warning: This interview may make you want to buy a Jeep.)

We grew up in … Delaware County about a half hour outside of Philadelphia and went to Marple Newtown High School in Newtown Square.

A story that best describes our sibling relationship … goes back to 1992 when we were 6 and 8 years old. Nintendo released a game called Contra, and before we knew it, we were saving the world from aliens. He’d shoot up into the right, and I’d shoot down into the left to get the bad guys on that side. That was the beginning of our divide and conquer scheme.

We decided to get into business together because … we were bored with high school, nerdy, bad at sports and into technology. High school was not our favorite place to be.

We became interested in tech because … it was the early 2000s and tech was all the rage. The dot-com bubble. Everything in the news was about tech, and it was hard to not be excited about how things were changing. I remember in fifth grade having a computer, a 66K modem and dial-up. You could download a song, but you had to start it before you went to bed and hopefully it was done in the morning. And then DSL came out. Everything was just changing so fast, and we wanted to be a part of it.

We got into cars when … I (Steve) got my first car in 2001, a V6 Mustang. That’s what got me into it. It became a lot more fun when the business started to do a bit better. We could have a lot more fun. I bought a 2007 Mustang G2 and supercharged it and had a great time with it. But I’d say we’re more of a tech company than we are a car company.

We started Turn5 because … the automotive market at the time was prime for being disrupted by technology. People were ordering out of catalogues and mailing checks halfway across the country, and that was an opportunity. In 2004, having a website and allowing consumers to order online, and setting up tracking numbers—it was an industry that was behind the times. That excited us because we were so interested in technology and so interested in e-commerce. Read more »

Chamber Says CHOP, Drexel Would Suffer Under Philadelphia’s Wage Equity Law

Rob Wonderling. Image via Twitter.

The Chamber of Commerce has finally opened up about the “broad coalition” of business community members who say they’d suffer if Philadelphia’s new wage equity law takes effect.

In a revised lawsuit submitted this week, the Chamber reestablished its case, which was thrown out by a court on May 31. Common Pleas Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg dismissed the Chamber’s complaint on the grounds that the organization lacks standing, mainly because it failed to name a single member business that’d be harmed.

The Court gave the Chamber 14 days to respond with a revised complaint—counsel for the Chamber responded just in time on Tuesday.

The revised lawsuit still argues that the law violates employers’ First Amendment rights, and would make it harder for companies to do business because salary history is integral to the hiring process. The complaint also posits that Philadelphia will become less competitive as businesses will overlook the city as a place to settle down.

And to strengthen its case for standing, the complaint also names just thirteen out of over a thousand of the Chamber’s member companies, including Philly behemoths like Drexel, CHOP and Comcast.

“The Ordinance faces opposition from abroad cross-section of businesses in the city—including prominent women-owned companies, rapidly growing small businesses, and established large firms, who collectively have created tens of thousands of jobs across all sectors,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint organizes the companies according to how they’d be harmed by the law:  Read more »

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