Latest StartupPHL Call for Ideas Announced

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City of Philadelphia

For Immediate Release: October 12, 2016
Contact: Lauren Cox, 215-683-2067,


Latest StartupPHL Call for Ideas Announced
5th StartupPHL Call for Ideas focuses on utilizing open data & reducing poverty

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney and Commerce Director Harold T. Epps announced that StartupPHL is now accepting applications for the fifth round of Call for Ideas, a grant program to fund innovative proposals that support Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem. The application is available online.
"Call for Ideas is a fantastic example of how public-private partnerships can help Philadelphia companies and residents," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "This program allows the City of Philadelphia to access some our greatest talents and have them come up with creative solutions to the ongoing issues facing our city. Call for Ideas provides local startups with the chance to show off their expertise, and the resulting projects directly benefit Philadelphia residents."
The Call for Ideas program provides small grants to organizations with ideas or initiatives that best meet the objectives of StartupPHL. These objectives are:

  • Increasing business and job creation in Philadelphia;
  • Enhancing collaboration between organizations that support entrepreneurs;
  • Fostering networks and creating space for entrepreneurs to develop businesses and connect with mentors, advisors, talent and capital;
  • Deepening integration and coordination between city government, citizens, students, and the startup community.

While all submissions are welcome, this fifth round of Call for Ideas is focused on utilizing the open data sets published by the City of Philadelphia and using entrepreneurship as a tool to help reduce poverty.
The first StartupPHL Call for Ideas was launched in October 2012 as part of the larger StartupPHL initiative. Twenty Call for Ideas grants have been awarded to date. Past grant awardees include: Coded by Kids, Tiny WPA, TechGirlz, Schoolyard Ventures, and Zivtech.
“We are excited to welcome the next batch of applicants and to continue fostering a positive reciprocal relationship between the City and Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs," said Commerce Director Harold T. Epps. "I am eager to see what possible solutions our community of innovative startups brings to the table to help fight the poverty that persists in Philadelphia. This is a deep-rooted issue for our city, one that we all must play a role in addressing."
The StartupPHL initiative also includes the StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund, a venture fund, launched with an initial investment by PIDC leveraging additional funding and management from First Round Capital and co-founder Josh Kopelman, which to date has invested more than $6 million of initial and follow on capital in 10 Philadelphia startups. The portfolio companies that have received investment together employ more than 100 people and have raised more than $36 million in total venture capital to date. In August 2016, PIDC announced the Request for Proposals for fund management and investment services for Startup PHL Fund II.
“Since Call for Ideas launched, we have seen this program serve as an important complement to the Seed + Angel Fund," said PIDC President John Grady said. "The StartupPHL initiative provides a variety of opportunities to Philadelphia startups and makes our city a more attractive environment to launch and grow a business. We are proud to be a partner to support entrepreneurship and the startup community in Philadelphia.”
Full application details for the fifth Call for Ideas can be found at Applications are due by November 13, 2016. Applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of representatives from the City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and members of the entrepreneurial community.
Startup PHL is a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). The StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund is an effort by the City of Philadelphia and PIDC to increase the availability of investment capital for Philadelphia-based startups. The StartupPHL Call for Ideas is a grant program to support innovative proposals for ideas that support business creation and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. More information about StartupPHL can be found at
City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce:
The mission of the Department of Commerce is to ensure that Philadelphia is a globally competitive city to which employers flock, entrepreneurs thrive and innovation abounds; to recruit and retain a diverse set of businesses; to foster economic opportunities for all Philadelphians in all neighborhoods; and to partner with workforce development programs and local businesses on talent development ensuring that all Philadelphians can find and retain living-wage jobs. For more information about the Department of Commerce, visit
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC):
PIDC is Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation. A non-profit founded in 1958 by the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC’s mission is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. Over the last 58 years, PIDC has invested more than $14 billion of financing and more than 3,100 acres of land sales – which has leveraged over $25 billion in total investment and assisted in retaining and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Philadelphia. In 2012 PIDC partnered with the City of Philadelphia to launch the StartupPHL initiative.  For more information about PIDC, visit and follow us @PIDCphila on Twitter.

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