Sharing a launch at the Philly New Technology Meetup’s College Demo Night.
As the founding editor of BizPhilly, I’m finding myself at more and more tech meetups. They’re generally a good time with food, beers and lots of smart young people. In fact, watching college entrepreneurs pitch businesses at last night’s Philly New Technology Meetup, I couldn’t help but feel like a slacker. Why didn’t I start a business in college? Was I too busy drinking beer and watching reruns of The Simpsons?
At the tech meetup last night at Quorum at the University City Science Center, nine college entrepreneurs delivered spitfire demos of their new products, many of which looked sleek, cool and scalable.
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Stephen Tang, CEO of the University City Science Center.
Excited about Philly’s innovation boom over the last five or 10 years? Well the University City Science Center has been funding entrepreneurs and advancing innovation for 52 years.
Under the same roof on 37th and Market Streets, there are scientists working on treatments for Ebola, blood sensors to detect heart attacks and cancer, and beer tests to prevent spoilage. It’s a place where early-stage companies can get free space, free coffee, free wifi, and connect with other entrepreneurs and startups. It’s also happens to be the oldest and largest urban research park in the country.
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Benjamin’s Desk celebrated innovation last week with a cocktail party on “The 8th Floor,” its new work and party space at 1701 Walnut Street. Benjamin’s Desk is a coworking space for mobile professionals, entrepreneurs and startups on Rittenhouse Row.
Individuals and companies can rent space at the Desk from $99 a month to $1,100 plus for full-size companies. The atmosphere is similar to a think tank, with lots of people from different companies working alongside each other. At any given time conversations and ideas can flow from one work station to another, and a new innovative idea is born.
The newly-acquired eighth floor will welcome the first “smart-space” in Philadelphia, featuring Nest thermostats, seven flat-screens, Philips Hue lighting and streaming video, all of which can be controlled by an iPad. The space can be rented for events to outside vendors. Eventually it will have a roof deck.
More of HughE’s photos from Benjamin’s Desk after the jump »
The growing start-up community in Philadelphia is a major point of interest in this interview with First Round Capital founding partner, Josh Kopelman, and Philadelphia magazine editor, Tom McGrath.
Spending 25 years in Philly, Kopelman feels that it is not until recently that he considered Philadelphia a place where he works in addition to a place where he lives. He explains why within the past 5 years, Philly has taken a turn for the better and become a competitor in the financial ecosystem. Kopelman also asks young entrepreneurs their opinions on starting a business in Philadelphia, and shares a story about how his undergraduate office manager got his company a free photocopier for a year.