Nutter’s International Trip Hopes to Lure Businesses to Philly

The Mayor is off to Germany and Israel this week.

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Mayor Michael Nutter is once again leaving Philadelphia — this time going to Frankfurt, Germany and Tel Aviv, Israel in an effort to lure businesses to Philadelphia.

In Germany from Tuesday-Friday, the mayor and a small delegation will join Frankfurt Mayor Peter Feldmann to sign a sister-city agreement. The goal is to increase economic and cultural collaboration between the two cities. (It’s Philly’s first sister-city agreement since 1992. Others are Tianjin, China; Florence, Italy; and Tel Aviv.)

“The mayor will be speaking to 60 business leaders in Frankfurt,” said Luke Butler, chief of staff to the deputy mayor for economic development. “Frankfurt and Philadelphia share strengths in biotech, life sciences and creative industries. This trip is to introduce Philadelphia to those companies.”

In Israel from Friday until Monday evening, the mayor will have a similar agenda, following up on a 2013 trip that has already lured a few companies to Philly. Nutter will be joined by a number of companies that have already made a commitment to Philadelphia “to talk to peers about why they chose Philly and why they should do the same,” said Butler.

Here are some of the companies that have committed to creating a Philadelphia presence:

  • Pango: An Israeli-based parking app.
  • Pico: A photo-sharing company from Israel that went through the DreamIt Ventures program.
  • PhysiMax: An Israeli-based movement analysis tech company.
  • WeWork: A New York-based co-working company with offices around the world. It’s opening a Northern Liberties space in the Piazza later this year.

Simlat is seriously considering a Philadelphia presence, said Butler. It’s an unmanned vehicle systems (drones) business from Israel.

“There are a whole range of others who are very seriously considering [a move to Philly],” said Butler. “And while we’re over there, we want to make sure to connect them to the right people.”

Here’s the list of people going on the trip with Nutter:

  • Sapna Bhatt, director of international business investment for Philadelphia
  • Nancy Gilboy, president and CEO of the Citizens Diplomacy International of Philadelphia.
  • Desiree Peterkin Bell from the Mayor’s communication team.
  • Luke Butler, chief of staff to the deputy mayor for economic development
  • Lydia Sarson, executive director of the German American Chamber of Commerce of Philadelphia.
  • Vered Nohi-Becker, executive director of the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

It’s paid for by Select Greater Philadelphia, the City of Frankfurt, and law firm Morgan Lewis, said Butler.