Six Philadelphians huddled together in the cramped set of Comcast’s Social Media Lounge at South by Southwest 2017 to, unanimously, belt out one message: Philadelphia is a great town to start a tech company.
COSY founder Jonas Cleveland, StratIS CEO Felicite Moorman, Zivtech CEO Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg, Guru founder Rick Nucci and REC Philly founder Dave Silver took their turns at the mic on Sunday, in a conversation led by Philly Startup Leader’s Yuval Yarden, to give showgoers a glimpse into the Philly tech ecosystem.
The founders were in town as part of a broader effort called Amplify Philly, which raised sponshorship dollars from Philly orgs and rallied together 19 companies and Mayor Jim Kenney to head for the Austin megaconference in a solidified contingent.
“What drew me to Philly was the fact that Philly is growing organically across each industry,” said Moorman on why Philly had enchanted her. “Technologists can’t survive alone, and the camaraderie in the business community generally extends beyond technology.”
— PhillyStartupLeaders (@startupleaders) March 12, 2017
For COSY’s Cleveland, the advantage of having a robust academic ecosystem has paid off.
“We work with top 20 retailers in the U.S. all of whom have flown people out to Philadelphia,” said the realLIST company’s founder, who partly credits the Penn ecosystem with raising the city’s national profile. “It’s pretty cool that stuff happening in Philly is regularly attracting Fortune 500 companies to send their people from all over the world into the city.”
When asked for a projection of what the next decade will hold for the local ecosystem, Nucci said it was all about the return business: companies cultivating talented staff who then go out and start their own business.
“When I think about the next ten years it’s about having that circle continuing to go, and I think the circle is moving,” said the Nooch.
— Guru_HQ (@Guru_HQ) March 14, 2017
Called to make the same prediction, REC Philly’s Silver said to watch out for a boom in the creative ecosystem.
“The next ten years there’s going to be a rise in the creative ecosystem, Silver said. “The bridge between corporate and culture is going to start getting closer and closer over the next ten years.”
As for Urevick-Ackelsberg, no stranger to singin’ Philly’s praises, actually threw some slight shade to other towns.
“One of the great things about Philly is the collaboration between different startups,” Urevick-Ackelsberg said. “I don’t see that happening in other cities. People are really concerned about the general good for all of our businesses.”