Civic News

Councilman Allan Domb got cozy with Philly’s tech scene at #SXSW

It's the latest in a slew of tech-related efforts for Domb.

Philly Mayor Jim Kenney (left) with Councilman Allan Domb at SXSW. (Courtesy photo)

Ask a guy like Councilman Allan Domb about tech and he’ll quickly tell you that tech jobs are economic multipliers: four jobs are spawned off every tech job created. Pressed for a source behind that stat, he will direct you to this book by economist Enrico Moretti.

And because he’s hoping for a similar boost to spread across Philly, he got on a plane last week to spend the weekend in Austin, where 19 of Philly’s tech companies posted up at the massive week-long conference. (Of course, the photo op doesn’t hurt.)

“I’m very proud that Mayor [Jim Kenney], the Department of Commerce and StartupPHL had a presence there,” said Domb over the phone, now back in Philly. “It was a tremendous honor to be there and meet companies like ROAR and StratIS.” (But Councilman, you know you could’ve met them just a few miles from your office, right?)

The Councilman used his own funds to pay his way to the conference, said Domb’s policy director David Tusio.

Domb said Philly’s tech ecosystem having a presence in the national space was key. But he wants to think bigger.

“There were 250 Philadelphians there,” said Domb “And I wanna challenge the Philadelphia tech community to see if we can double that presence for next year.”

Domb has been doing the rounds around the tech scene. We spotted him praising Kenney’s tech scene approach at the Philly Startup Leaders Diversity Dinner, he stumped for tech growth at this City Council panel and even had a ping-pong match with RJMetrics cofounder Robert Moore at Stitch’s HQ.

But his latest tech scene move was less about showing up somewhere and more about giving back: last December it was announced that City Council would be pledging $60,000 to fund four Coded by Kids programs at high schools. Tthat dough was actually kicked in by Domb himself.

“And now I’d like to ask the Philadelphia tech community to go in this effort with me and also pledge to fund a Coded by Kids site,” said Domb.

Flanked by Philly Startup Leaders’s Yuval Yarden, the Councilman also got a chance to drop a visit to Austin’s Capital Factory, a coworking/accelerator mashup of sorts.

Here’s Domb lifting up the Amplify Philly set on Saturday. He’ll be easy to spot, look for the one guy in a suit.

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