The three founders of an application aiming to interject social media into TV watching got an education in Philadelphia but their addresses — and the buzz surrounding their startup — are in the familiar bi-coastal entertainment hubs.
As the web has buzzed for some time now, PHILO is a web and iPhone application that has its users ‘tune in’ to the TV programs they are watching in the same way Foursquare users ‘check in’ to physical locations, then pushing a conversation discussing shows in a “newsfeed-like conversation” as Mashable put it.
Like others before them, the three founders put time in at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in the 1990s but don’t call the region home. CEO David Levy, who also heads the Wharton Angel Network, and CTO Carter Page are in New York City, and Greg Goldman calls Los Angeles home.
Penn and its Wharton school are major draws for top tier talent across the country, but a handful of the most celebrated recent startups from their alumni continue the march away from Philadelphia — and the region.
- In May, Google acquired mobile ad network AdMob, a startup of major note from Wharton man Omar Hamoui who had relocated to Silicon Valley.
- Last month, Google also bought display advertising dashboard provider Invite Media, which has Wharton educations on its staff and had Center City headquarters and deep roots in Philadelphia but has shifted much of its presence to New York.
- Gregg Spiridellis, the founder of digital studio JibJab, which built a national reputation on a 2004 presidential parody video.
Like the rest, PHILO is hankering for a big splash into a sexy market.
Its free iPhone app and options to show trending conversations on TV and blossom a central hub for social watching has caught the gaze of bloggers, the New York Times, LA Times, the Wall Street Journal and investment community alike.
The group did pay homage to Philadelphia with a ‘Freedom’ badge that can be unlocked for watching a certain, secretive combination of Philly-related programming, as Geekadelphia reported.
But, of course, the dollars and networking of the startup don’t seem to extend much further into Philadelphia than that.-30-
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