October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

First Round Capital supports Philly tech scene, QED proof of concept program

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

The city of Philadelphia announced Tuesday that its Startup PHL Seed Fundwill be run by one of the top seed investors in the country — for free.

First Round Capital, the University City-based seed-stage venture-capital firm co-founded by tech entrepreneur and investorJosh Kopelman, will run the fund and invest $3 million in it. The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. also will invest $3 million in the fund, which is part of an effort by the city of Philadelphia to encourage startups to set up shop and grow within its borders.

First Round Capital has agreed not to take a management fee — or any other compensation — for running the fund.

“We are humbled and honored to be selected as the manager of the Startup PHL Seed Fund,” Kopelman said at a noon news conference at City Hall.

Also at the news conference, PIDC announced that its Penn Venture Fund will loan up to $500,000 to the University City Science Center’s QED program, which is meant to provide proof-of-concept funding to researchers developing life-sciences and health-care technologies. PIDC will recoup its money by sharing in the proceeds from successful QED-funded projects.

Additionally, the city announced it will award six Startup PHL grants to programs or services to support the entrepreneurial community in Philadelphia.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Campus Philly will receive $25,000 to create a program to place area college students in internships at companies that have received funding from Ben Franklin.

VentureF0rth will get $25,000 to create a community commons space at its incubator to provide services to startups.

Startup Corps will receive $20,000 to support the expansion of its high-school entrepreneur program.

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce will receive $18,400 to develop an online resource directory for entrepreneurs.

The Enterprise Center, the Center for Culinary Enterprise and the Philly Food Innovation program will receive $15,000 for a workshop series to help 25 early-to-middle-stage food entrepreneurs speed the growth of their businesses.

PhillyCORE Leaders will get $15,000 to support the Supporting Entrepreneurship in Education program, which will feature education entrepreneurs competing for funding at a pitch event with the winners being placed in the Fels Institute Social Innovations Lab to further develop their ideas.

The city said it received more than 115 submissions for the grants and will award another round of them in fall.

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