Philly daily roundup: Hopeworks gets $1M; Drexel invests $450k; City workers go back to the office

Plus, Philadelphia is still the sixth largest city in the country.

The Phils are on a roll (Sarah Huffman/

Welcome to the daily roundup of the latest from Philly's tech and entrepreneurship scene. Want this in your inbox? Subscribe for free.

Hopeworks uses $1 million donation to expand

The workforce development organization Hopeworks plans to increase the amount of students it can train, add more program offerings and expand the space at its Kensington location thanks to an anonymous donation.

The funding will help double the number of students at Hopeworks, supporting 64 students at a time, instead of just 32. That will lead to an additional 100 people per year in tech jobs making sustainable wages, according to CEO Dan Rhoton.

➡️ Read more about Hopeworks’ expansion plans

Drexel invests $450,000 in 3 new startups

Drexel University’s Innovation Fund provided $150,000 grants to the second cohort of university-affiliated startups. This year’s group includes green energy firm 1DNano, nanomaterial manufacturer MXene Inc and makeup brand Aer Cosmetics, Drexel announced on Friday.

These companies were partially chosen by undergraduate students at the University, who took a course that lets them work on the due diligence process with the investment advisory committee.

➡️ Read more about the selection process for the Innovation Fund

News Incubator: What else to know today

• Despite losing 3.3% of its population during the pandemic, Philadelphia is still the sixth largest city in the country. However, San Antonio is right behind us. [The Inquirer/]

• Mayor Cherelle Parker announced that all city workers would be required to return to the office five days a week starting in July. In the past, Parker has praised Comcast and Independence Blue Cross for bringing it employees back to the office. [WHYY/]

• Salesforce digital marketing agency ListEngage is set to acquire 2024 RealLIST startup 1to1. The company uses AI to customize content on ecommerce sites for individual consumers.  [PRNewswire/]

• Generative AI company PamPam created a version of our 2024 coworking guide using its interactive map platform. [PamPam/]

• You can now borrow video games from all 54 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia. [PhillyVoice]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• Philly Data and AI is hosting its May happy hour on May 21 at 6 p.m. [More Details]

• ProductTank Philadelphia is hosting a discussion with product management expert George Thomas on May 22 at 5:30 p.m. [More Details]

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

Our services Preferred partners The journalism fund

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Philly is ranked one of the world’s best places to found a startup, climbing to No. 25 globally

Ghost Robotics is landing a $240M exit, dodging months of protests over military uses

Coded by Kids drops ‘kids’ but keeps the focus on young people

As a returning citizen, she experienced tech overload. Now she’s fighting to end the digital divide

Technically Media