Angel Investor on Why He’s Pumped for Shark Tank-Style Investment Contest in Philly

(Syda Productions/Shutterstock)

(Syda Productions/Shutterstock)

As the United States has recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, the popular ABC series, Shark Tank, has become a fixture on primetime television. The show captures the frustrations and hopes of entrepreneurs as they seek investments from successful business leaders during intense pitch sessions and negotiations. While these interactions make for good reality TV, they’re also a great illustration of the important relationship between entrepreneurs and established business innovators. Such dynamics are driving forces in the expansion of various industries across the United States. Read more »

City of Philadelphia Will Trade Startup Cash for Great Ideas

(Zurijeta/Shutterstock)

(Zurijeta/Shutterstock)

The fourth round of Startup PHL‘s Call for Ideas is here, and city officials are looking for “all innovative, exciting proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem, with a particular focus on ideas that address young people and the issue of poverty in the city,” according to a call for applications.

Applications are due Sept. 11. Startup PHL is a partnership of the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department, PIDC, and First Round Capital to provide funding for early-stage companies and to support programs that develop the startup community in Philadelphia. It’s given eight local startups more than $1 million in investments since October 2013. Read more »

Wing Bowl for Nerds Taking Over Wells Fargo Center

Techies at a previous PennApps hackathon. (Photo courtesy of PennApps.)

Techies at a previous PennApps hackathon. (Photo courtesy of PennApps.)

Techies from all over the world will descend on the Wells Fargo Center for a weekend-long hackathon. Called PennApps XII, the event is expected to draw 2,000 people from all over the world from Sept. 4-6, competing for more than $30,000 in prizes. Organizers are calling it the largest collegiate hackathon in the country.

It’s kind of like the nerd version of Wing Bowl (minus the barbecue sauce and strippers.) Student teams will have just 36 hours to build innovative software and hardware products. A select few will be chosen to demo their innovation on Sunday at 10 a.m. Sleeping during the weekend is optional. Read more »

Meet the CEO Who Turned His Love of Data Into One of Philly’s Most Successful Startups

Robert Moore, CEO of RJ Metrics.

Robert Moore, CEO of RJ Metrics.

What started in 2008 with two data geeks in a stinking hot, non-air conditioned attic in Collingswood, N.J., has blossomed into a business with 120 employees in a slick space on the 15th floor of a Center City high rise. When co-founders Robert Moore and Jake Stein started RJMetrics, they never dreamed they’d have employees playing ping-pong during down time, gain $22 million in investment capital, and become one the Philly startup scene’s leading voices.

The company’s mission is simple: Offer a data analytics platform designed to empower online businesses make smarter decisions. RJMetrics takes a company’s fragmented data, places it into one centralized data warehouse and then offers analysis to help clients better understand how their business is performing. In today’s era of Big Data, RJMetrics has carved itself a very profitable niche. Read more »

5 Reasons Startups Are Setting Up Shop in Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

More and more new entrepreneurs are choosing to start companies in Philadelphia compared to other cities — and it’s easy to see why.

When we first brought our technology company to the U.S. from India in 2011, finding a home for our North American headquarters involved a long and exhaustive search for locations across the country. Ultimately we arrived on Greater Philadelphia – Wayne, PA, specifically — and looking back a few years later, I’m confident we made the right choice. Here’s why: Read more »

An Important Lesson from HBO’s Silicon Valley

Frank Masi/HBO

Frank Masi/HBO

Trivia time: You’re Javeed from the Season 2 premiere of HBO’s wildly popular show Silicon Valley. You just sold your company for $200 million. How much of that do you take home? Can you say money machine?

Well, Javeed was a startup CEO that got a bit greedy in the negotiation of his Series A investment — angling for the largest amount of money at the highest possible valuation, which also means the highest expectations. Read more »

7 Mistakes New Startup Investors Make

(Gajus/Shutterstock)

(Gajus/Shutterstock)

The day you, as an entrepreneur, had dreamed and hoped for has finally arrived. Someone has decided to buy your company for a vault full of money. Your spouse already has plans for that new addition to the house or that European vacation that you have put off as you built your business.

After taking the trips you have missed, buying the Tesla that says you are one of the elite entrepreneurs in the land and you have golfed so much that you are wearing golf attire even to family functions, you decide, like an addicted gambler that you are in need of some action. You have some ideas to start a new venture, but family and friends are questioning your sanity. Frankly, you aren’t sure you have the stomach to do it all over again. Instead you’re going to get your fix through investing in startups. Read more »

Startup Bootcamp Aims to Whip Philly Entrepreneurs Into Shape

DuckDuckGo Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg.

DuckDuckGo Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg is just one of the speakers at the Philly Startup Leaders bootcamp.

Philly Startup Leaders has launched details of its new Startup Bootcamp that aims to take entrepreneurs from idea to startup in 90 days. The free program’s “professors” are heavy hitters in the local startup and tech world, including Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO of fast-growing internet search engine DuckDuckGo and Ted Mann, founder and CEO of coupon app SnipSnap.

Just like college, students will have reading and assignments to complete. Read more »

Investor: What I Look for in Startup CEOs

(Pressmaster/Shutterstock)

(Pressmaster/Shutterstock)

For growing companies, securing the right leadership is both a critical and daunting task that can have broad implications for the future success of the company. As a private equity investor at NewSpring Capital, I have a unique vantage point into the hiring and evaluation of C-level executives.

In my line of work, we must thoroughly assess the capabilities of management teams before making an investment into their organizations. We have to be absolutely certain that executives looking for investment capital will be fully capable of leading the expansion of their enterprises. The careers of many professionals rely on such decisions, so naturally we only invest in the most competent leaders. Years of taking this approach has yielded a wealth of knowledge into identifying the most capable business leaders and placing them with the right company. Read more »

Comcast Expands Internet Essentials

(ang intaravichian/Shutterstock)

(ang intaravichian/Shutterstock)

In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s hard to believe that there are still households in Philadelphia without Internet access. Sure, people can use 3G on wireless devices, but having high-speed Internet in the home makes it easier to do homework, connect with one another and possibly even start a business. Read more »

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