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Step right up: StartUp PHL is holding office hours

You could be the next startup backed by the city's early-stage investment fund. Feb. 2 is your time to shine.

Josh Kopelman (left) and Mayor Michael Nutter at the November 2014 Start. Stay. Grow. event where they announced a new round of StartUp PHL investments. (Photo by Mitchell Leff for the City of Philadelphia)

Josh Kopelman wants to meet you.
The First Round Capital managing partner who also runs the city’s StartUp PHL early-stage investment fund is holding office hours on Feb. 2 to meet Philly companies that could be a good fit for StartUp PHL’s portfolio. Chosen companies will get 15 minutes to pitch either Kopelman or First Round partner Chris Fralic.
Apply by Jan. 21
Why host office hours?
“While we meet great founders through our networks, office hours give Startup PHL a chance to make new connections with interesting people building companies in Philly,” wrote First Round’s Ben Cmejla, who helps run the program.
The office hours announcement also comes after a handful of entrepreneurs on the Philly Startup Leaders listserv asked about the mechanics of getting funded by StartUp PHL. It feels like a way to level the playing field for entrepreneurs who might not have the luxury of a warm intro from, say, the Wharton alumni network.
The StartUp PHL website says as much: “We accept business plan submissions from everyone, however we’ve found that the most effective introduction is from someone who knows you and knows us. We place a much higher priority on deals that are referred/endorsed by people we know and trust. […] Don’t know anyone in common? Don’t let it stop you. Click here to introduce yourself to the Startup PHL Funds.”
There are two ways entrepreneurs can get funded through StartUp PHL: through the seed fund, which makes investments of about $200,000-$400,000 and is backed by money from First Round Capital and the semi-governmental Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; and the new angel fund, which makes investments of about $100,000 and is backed by city money and angel money. (Kopelman is one of the angels. He declined to disclose the others.)
The fund has invested in six startups so far, one of which has not been announced.

Companies: City of Philadelphia

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