Tonight: Arts + Business Council wants to give you a primer on all Philly's entrepreneurial resources -


Tonight: Arts + Business Council wants to give you a primer on all Philly’s entrepreneurial resources

The event, held at the Pennovation Center, will also highlight a program that just started offering free legal resources to student startups.

Karin Copeland talks about PA Patent.

(Courtesy photo)

This is a guest post by the Arts + Business Council's executive director Karin Copeland.

Tonight from 6-8 p.m. at the Pennovation Center, we come together to celebrate a vision for cross-sector collaboration and to answer a question we’ve had at the Arts + Business Council (ABC) for several years: How can we broaden our community, namely, the creative economy, to include artists, designers, architects, arts and culture nonprofit leaders, and also everyone that has something as simple (and as brilliant!) as an idea?

Tickets are $15.


In fact, often when I talk about the return on investment (ROI) on creativity at our global thought leader events or out in the community with the region’s top CEOs, there is a challenge in first defining the term. But everyone, including the creative and business communities, gets what it means to understand a challenge and come up with a solution. Every successful product, service, business or social enterprise begins with one thing: a really good idea. As makerspaces and coding bootcamps proliferate around the world and the rate of change quickens exponentially, now more than ever, a good idea can come from anywhere. Yet, the path from invention to patent requires access to resources that many inventors, makers and social entrepreneurs may not always have. That’s where we at the ABC come in and over the past two years, we’ve expanded our Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (PVLA) services in extremely meaningful ways.

Last year, with the assistance of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the America Invents Act, and in collaboration with firms around the Commonwealth, we launched PA Patent, a statewide program for providing under-resourced inventors, makers, startups and nonprofits with the assistance of pro bono patent attorneys. This year, we’ve expanded the program even further to include student entrepreneurs, mainly at the undergraduate and graduate level but not limited thereto. If “eds and meds” are two of the hotbeds from which innovation emerges in Greater Philadelphia, then we figured we might as well leverage the incredible depth of expertise of PVLA to help make the region more competitive, more innovation and more secure.


Among our many programs, events and activities, ABC provides a suite of skills-based volunteer services. Our volunteer programs reach far into the region’s many communities, offering over $2 million worth of pro bono legal, business and technology services to our creative sector. PVLA has been providing pro bono legal assistance to artists and arts and cultural nonprofits for nearly 40 years. Just last year, PVLA began providing pro bono legal services to inventors throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania. Last year, we matched more than 30 inventors with pro bono patent attorneys. This year, we are seeing this number continue to grow.

Tonight, we will convene a group of more than 100 leaders from across the business, legal, tech, maker and startup ecosystem to continue the conversation about this vital resource and celebrating the success and expansion of PA Patent. Join us to hear from a host of business, legal and technology experts that will discuss how to effectively turn an idea into a lucrative reality. We will hear a keynote address from Karl Ulrich, the Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship + Innovation at the Wharton School, followed by a robust panel discussion about the tools and resources that are both available and necessary to any innovators’ success. This will be followed by an opportunity for audience Q&A.

And of course, I’d be remiss if I did not mention the companies who support the entrepreneurial ecosystem through PA Patent. Thank you to our presenting sponsors TD Bank Charitable Foundation, Duane Morris and Morgan Lewis as well supporting sponsors BakerHostetler, Global Patent Solutions, IBM, String Theory Schools, Penn Center for Innovation, Benjamin’s Desk and CRW Graphics. Finally, a big thank you to tonight’s host Pennovation for supporting us with this beautiful space.

We believe this program, and this event, is a major opportunity to support entrepreneurs, inventors and makers across Pennsylvania. We also think it’s high time that these folks be recognized as the “creative” geniuses they are. If you agree, I’ll see you tonight at 6 p.m. at Pennovation!

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