These Entrepreneurs Just Won $80,000

Kale, an app to help diabetes patients.

Kale, an app to help diabetes patients.

Tackling diabetes takes serious work. Simply monitoring blood sugar is just the beginning. So the folks at Benecure created Kale, a two-pronged system offering a patient-management portal for caregivers and an app for patients.

The Chicago-based company just won first prize in the PACT Healthcare App Challenge, taking home $30,000 in prize money. PACT (an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce) gave out a total of $80,000 to four companies on Monday. Read more »

Military Veterans Turned Entrepreneurs Have Space of Their Own in Philly

Dan Tobon, a veteran entrepreneur at the grand opening of The Bunker. (Comcast Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

Dan Tobon, a veteran entrepreneur at the grand opening of The Bunker. (Comcast Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

Dan Tobon sees plenty of similarities between his time in the Army and his new life as an entrepreneur. The founder of Starchup – basically a GrubHub for laundry and dry-cleaning — Tobon said both groups attract risk takers who think on their feet, solve abstract problems and have a unique ability to stay calm in stressful situations.

“Being an entrepreneur and being a veteran are very similar,” he said. “Everyone thinks it’s very cool, but would not do it themselves.” Read more »

Comcast Launches X1 Sports App with Help From Local Tech Co.

Get your sports geek on with the Comcast X1 Sports app.

Get your sports geek on with the Comcast X1 Sports app.

With the help of a 5-year-old Philly tech company, Comcast is launching the Xfinity Sports App for the X1 platform.

It provides a plethora of visual sports info along the right side of the screen to help fans follow along with each game. Let’s take baseball for example. The app not only features the pitching match-ups and box scores casual fans are used to, but also strike-out percentages, hit zones and spray charts for the stat geeks. It kind of feels like ESPN’s GameCast but on your TV. Read more »

Valet Park Anywhere in Philly with New App

Luxe is coming to Philly.

Luxe is coming to Philly.

Parking in Philadelphia is notoriously bad. Good luck finding a public space during peek times, parking lots are expensive and often crowded, and the Philadelphia Parking Authority is always ready to pounce.

But a slew of app-based solutions are on their way.

Today, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported that Luxe — a San Francisco-based valet-parking app — is se to launch in Philly by the end of the summer. Luxe will pick up your car anywhere then store it in a secure lot. Then it delivers your car back to you — even if you’re in a different location. The company says it costs about $5 per hour. It’ll even wash it and fill it up with gas if you pay extra. Read more »

Report: Northern Liberties Getting Yet Another Co-Working Space

A WeWork co-working space in New York. The company is reportedly opening in Northern Liberties soon.

A WeWork co-working space in New York. The company is reportedly opening in Northern Liberties soon.

For the second time this month, news broke that Northern Liberties will be getting a new co-working space.

WeWork signed a lease for 30,000 square feet at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, the open-air residential and commercial center at Germantown and Hancock Streets, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

It would be WeWork’s first presence in Philadelphia. It already has spaces in 11 U.S. cities including Boston, Los Angeles and New York. It also has locations in Israel, London and Amsterdam. Read more »

SmartPlate that Detects Nutrition Facts of Food Completes $100,000 Kickstarter

This plate will calculate the nutritional value of your food.

This plate will calculate the nutritional value of your food.

When I spoke to Anthony Ortiz on Thursday, he couldn’t help being a little nervous. His company’s $100,000 Kickstarter campaign sat at $96,258 with just three days to go. With Kickstarter, if you don’t hit your goal, you don’t get a dime.

“Talk about a nail-biting nerve-wracking process,” said Ortiz, the CEO Fitly. “That’s the risk you take with a platform like Kickstarter – it’s all or nothing.” Read more »

Hey Philly, Stop Your Silicon Valley Penis Envy

(Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

Marvin Weinberger, who faces a funding shortfall at his Philly co-working space Venturef0rth, blasted the local tech community last week. He said he’s “continuing to lose a few thousand dollars a month” and has “quietly turned to some pillars of the community for assistance, but have been rebuffed (often rudely).”

There are two sides to every story but Weinberger’s struggle to find tenants at his startup space raises a more important issue about Philadelphia’s tech community. Is it for real? And, more importantly, do we care? Read more »

Elon Musk Wants to Transport Humans at 700 MPH Through Steel Vacuum Tubes

A Tesla Motors mockup of the Hyperloop.  (http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/blog_attachments/hyperloop_alpha3.pdf)

A Tesla Motors mockup of the Hyperloop. (http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/blog_attachments/hyperloop_alpha3.pdf)

Elon Musk is at it again. The Tesla and SpaceX founder now wants to transport people at 700 mph through steel vacuum tubes. Seriously. Maybe it’s the future of travel, maybe it’s a jet-powered potato gun.

If the Hyperloop actually works, it could transport someone from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes. (That’s a nearly six-hour drive or a one-hour-and-20-minute plane ride.) Check out detailed plans here. Read more »

Watch Out Google, Duck Duck Go Handles 3 Billion Searches Per Year

DuckDuckGo Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg.

DuckDuckGo Founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg.

The founder of Duck Duck Go — the Paoli, Pa.-based search engine that doesn’t track user information — spoke on CNBC’s Squawk Alley last week. (Hat tip to Technically Philly for finding it first.)

Gabriel Weinberg said Duck Duck Go is handling approximately 3 billion searches per year and said the company is “already pretty mainstream.” In fact, it’s one of just a handful of default search engines available on iOS 8 for Apple’s iPhones.

Weinberg said it’s a “myth that you have to track people to make money in search” and said the company’s making the bulk of its profits from keyword advertising. Read more »

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