Mayor Michael Nutter was out making the tech rounds Friday, stopping by four different startup offices — ranging from social media entrepreneurs to medical sales — to offer up words of encouragement, field questions from tech employees and cut a few ribbons.
The four companies — Arcweb, OneTwoSee, Medical Guardian and PeopleLinx — shared little in common, except for a high growth rate: three of the four visits were to commemorate new or increased office spaces, while the fourth stop, at PeopleLinx, offered a more informal setting for discussing the city’s startup scene.
Nutter’s tour started with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the offices of mobile app specialists Arcweb, which recently moved from coworking space Indy Hall into an office at 2nd and Market Streets.
“The is a community that we pay a tremendous amount of attention to,” Nutter said to a packed room of employees and observers, many of whom enjoyed free food and beer afterwards. “You’re bringing people to the city, creating this entrepreneurial, startup, tech-savvy hub that Philadelphia is and will continue to grow.”
From there, the tour traveled west to OneTwoSee, which offers in-screen products for sports programming. The company recently moved into new office space at 16th and Arch Streets. (Prior to that, the company operated out of the incubator SeedPhilly.)
Moving on to 18th and Market, Medical Guardian, a health-care services tech company, provided Nutter with yet another platform to boast on the city’s nifty statistic of having the largest percentage of growth in millennial population — a number which he repeatedly attributed to the lure of the city’s tech community throughout the day.
“This city’s been very good about supporting growing companies, job creators,” said Medical Guardian founder Geoff Gross. “We’ve grown considerably in the last 18 months. We moved in here with 35 people; now we have just over 100 people.”
Wrapping up the day, Nutter put aside his ribbon-cutting shears to stop by social media startup PeopleLinx, and take part in its “fireside chat” series. There he offered a comparatively more candid take on the tech community, as well as on his own career in politics.
In particular, Nutter stressed the importance of “selling” Philadelphia as a viable tech community to out-of-towners — something which he admits hasn’t always been easy. His Friday tech tour, however, did come just a day after an Associated Press article on the city’s tech scene. (Disclosure: Technical.ly cofounder Brian James Kirk is quoted in the article.)
“As this community grows, all of you know someone in the technology world who is in some other part of the country. Invite people in, have them see what this place is all about,” Nutter urged the room of about twenty PeopleLinx employees.
“If you haven’t been to Philadelphia in the last three to five years, you haven’t been to Philadelphia,” he added.-30-