An ad for Verizon Fios in Suburban Station. (Photo: Dan McQuade)
Verizon says it’s fulfilled its contractual obligations to roll out Fios to the entire city. Philadelphia isn’t so sure.
Earlier this month, the city asked residents to let them know if they’d tried to get Verizon Fios but were told it was not available in their area. Verizon signed a franchise agreement with the city for its Fios television service in early 2009. One requirement, standard in most franchise agreements in American cities, was for Verizon to have the entire city covered with Fios service by February of this year.
“It’s in our best interests as a company — after pursuing the franchise agreement and investing millions of dollars to build our network — to make the service available to as many city residents as possible,” says Verizon spokesman John O’Malley. He says Verizon completed a build-out of its network a bit before the February deadline.
But Philadelphia has received more than 500 submissions to the city website asking residents if they’ve been unable to get Fios, says Philadelphia Chief Information Officer Charlie Brennan. If it’s determined Verizon violated the agreement, the company could pay fines up to $2.6 million “if we can prove definitively that they have not met their commitment,” Brennan says. Read more »
Philly will play host to a couple of tech conferences this summer, helping showcase the burgeoning local scene. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Mayor Michael Nutter was a staunch supporter of Philadelphia’s local tech scene. He helped launch StartupPHL, a seed fund and grant program that invests in early stage companies. He’d frequently come to tech events, have a beer and discuss issues with tech founders. To Philly outsiders, he’d brag about N3rd street, a stretch of North 3rd where plenty of tech companies are headquartered.
Will Jim Kenney be just as supportive? In a recent report, Technically Philly said the new mayor and the tech community are in that “awkward, getting-to-know you phase.” Will he keep showing up at events? Will he continue learning about the city’s budding tech economy? Read more »
Brian Dragotto (left) and Nick Yap.
Just a few years ago Nick Yap and Brian Dragotto had high hopes for their social media app Toboggan, but the 21-year-olds have now realized that the startup world can be an unforgiving place.
Toboggan offers “social points” to users that get the most likes on their photos or videos — and people can cash in those points for real prizes. The platform also curated content on leaderboards to display its most engaging photos or videos. Read more »
Who’s going to buy Yahoo? A titan of the tech industry, Yahoo has worldwide brand recognition, a $26 billion stake in Chinese internet giant, Alibaba — but it’s struggled to satisfy shareholders in recent years.
Bloomberg, citing “people familiar with the process” is reporting that Yahoo is going to reach out to potential bidders as early as today — and said Comcast is one of several companies interested.
Bloomberg reports: “Companies such as Verizon Communications Inc., Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. are among interested parties, as well as buyout firms including Bain Capital Partners, KKR & Co. and TPG, the people said, asking not to be identified as the situation isn’t public.” Bloomberg said not to expect actual offers for at least a month. Read more »
Martin Dell’Arciprete pitches SmartPlate on Shark Tank. (ABC/Michael Desmond)
If you’re a fan of Philly’s budding tech and entrepreneurial community, Friday night’s episode of Shark Tank was cringe-worthy. It featured Martin Dell’Arciprete pitching Mark Cuban and the gang about a Philly-based invention called SmartPlate — which weighs and analyzes food to output calorie counts and other nutritional information.
Like many of you, I can’t help but root for a Philly company when they go into the Tank. The national exposure is great for the city and its entrepreneurial community — and another Shark Tank success like Scrub Daddy or Scholly would mean a big boost to the local economy.
But as soon as the segment began, SmartPlate seemed dead on arrival. Dell’Arciprete asked for the hefty sum of $1 million for a 15 percent stake in the business, leading Daymond John to offer a surprised “whoa.” The SmartPlate was still in prototype mode so Dell’Arciprete couldn’t even demonstrate the plate’s embedded-camera technology. Read more »
The Philadelphia 76ers will sell all tickets through StubHub starting next season — and they’re doing it to unlock a treasure trove of data about ticket buyers.
All Sixers tickets for the 2016-2017 season (both season tickets and individual) will be sold through a new StubHub platform available on Sixers.com. For fans, it’s a place where they can see all the available tickets in one place, with one seat map. Plus, it’s optimized for mobile devices and allows people to buy tickets from multiple sellers in one transaction.
For the Sixers, it’s all about data. Currently, the team has no information on people that buy tickets through StubHub, Craigslist or other secondary-ticket marketplace. That means the team can’t send them targeted advertisements or learn about their purchase habits. Read more »
Photo | Jeff Fusco
Hey business owners: If you had $30,000, how would you use technology improve your business? Give a compelling answer and you could get a serious windfall of cash and business advice from Comcast.
For the third consecutive year, Comcast Business is looking for startups and seasoned entrepreneurs to compete in its Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest. Winners will receive cash prizes as well as business advice from a panel of experts, including the British cuisine connoisseur behind TV’s Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine. Read more »
Anthony Bucci, CEO of Revzilla.
UPDATE: Revzilla was not acquired by Cycle Gear. Instead, it announced that it’s partnering with J.W. Childs (the private equity firm that owns Cycle Gear) to form a new holding company that will own both Cycle Gear and RevZilla. Read all about the deal here.
What started as the brainchild of three motorcycle-loving friends working out of an Old City apartment could become one of the biggest stories in Philadelphia startup history.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, Reuters is reporting that Revzilla is nearing a deal to be bought by California-based Cycle Gear, creating a company valued at the whopping sum of $400 million to $500 million. The source said the deal is expected to be announced in the coming days. Read more »
Members of the Philly Startup Leaders new accelerator class.
An Uber for salons, collapsable bike helmets for women and a service that connects home chefs with hungry eaters are just some of the innovations coming from Philly’s burgeoning startup community. But going from freshly-launched businesses to successful companies is a road paved with obstacles.
But Philly Startup Leaders has a plan to help. It launched it’s third accelerator program and has accepted seven companies into this year’s class after receiving 41 applications.
The class features lots of awesome innovations — like TresseNoire which helps African American women “create an amazing salon experience for ‘naturalistas’ in the privacy and convenience of their home.” Another one that jumped out at me was dlux, a company arguing that too much electric light is bad for your health. Their solution? Work with architects, engineers and sleep scientists to create lighting controls that give you the light you need, when you need it to maximize health and productivity. Read more »