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Wil Reynolds: Turn city entrepreneurs into a Philly cheerleading army

Wil Reynolds, The founder of SEO shop SEER Interactive, is passionate about growing the Philly tech community

Photo by Brady Dale

Another in the Entrance Exam series, as part of the Why I Love Philly campaign from Young Involved Philadelphia and Indy Hall. Tell the world why you love where you live by tweeting #whyilovephilly.
Wil Reynolds, The founder of SEO shop SEER Interactive, is passionate about growing the Philly tech community (read: Philadelphia the city first, and then the region.)
Reynolds, 34, who was leading the now deceased Phillyblog at its time of closure and launched its successor Philadelphia Speaks, grew up in Willingboro, N.J. but moved for a spell in Connecticut. Reynolds came back to his roots in the region, moving to Northern Liberties. In the process, he has developed a perspective to be sure. Like how we need to create a Philly cheerleading army out of local entrepreneurs.

An edited version of a post Wil Reynolds put on his personal blog, repurposed here with permission.
“It’s OK, Philly is NOT for everyone, try convincing Google they should have opened their NYC office in Philly. We all know people change.
…Philly isn’t hurting because one person decided to leave, EVER.  So when individuals decide to leave, why is that even news?… I think the companies we need to try to retain are the tech companies who are typically 10+ employees or that have a growth trajectory that shows them as a “mover”. Under 10 people / certain revenue growth you’ll always have some shops leaving and some shops emerging here, but its the ones who have the BRIGHT futures and leave, they are the ones that really hurt. I tend to think of the Venmo / Ticketleap types.
…If 100 startups (who will probably fail, I’m not being pessimistic, its the truth) leave the city that may not equal he impact of 1 BIG player leaving.  Our time is not limitless, so lets focus it on the people who are movers.
…That is what our local government should be doing…take a part of our high tax burden and spend it on analyzing the fastest growing companies actually in Philly. Bring them to the mayors office.  Have the Mayor talk about his plan to these people – turn them into local cheerleaders for why we are in Philly.
…If someone relocates to SF, guess what? They were going to go anyway…its the companies located in wilmington, king of prussia and conshohocken [sic]] that I think are targets for this strategy…. Turn these companies into an army!  Put on a road show, get them out in the greater Philadelphia area, South Jersey, Wilmington, etc – get them in front of other tech companies that are 5-100 people (I dream small sorry) and have the people who have built companies here talking to the people who should hear their story.  I am sick of this “we’re a region” approach I know the mayor has to say it to be PC. I’d go after them first.
But I will say that there are some intangibles about being in the city that won’t show up on our P&L but have an impact….

Companies: SEER Interactive
People: Rakia Reynolds / Wil Reynolds
Projects: Phillyblog / Philadelphia Speaks / #whyilovephilly

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