Jacobs, 39, became CEO of edtech startup ApprenNet last month. It was a major move for the company, which had long been helmed by Drexel law professor Karl Okamoto.
The Detroit native and mother of a young son died following the Tuesday night derailment of Amtrak Train 188, the New York Times reported Wednesday evening. The Port Richmond crash has claimed the lives of at least six others.
“This is an unthinkable tragedy,” Jacobs’ family wrote in a statement. “Rachel was a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend. She was devoted to her family, her community and the pursuit of social justice. We cannot imagine life without her. We respectfully ask for privacy so that we can begin the process of grieving.”
Jacobs had been among the missing following Tuesday night’s crash. ApprenNet COO Emily Foote and her colleagues spent Wednesday searching for Jacobs.
Jacobs lived in New York City but planned to move to Philadelphia to join the rest of the seven-person team as soon as she got the company to a point where it made sense for her to move, she told Technical.ly Philly in an interview last month.
She traveled between Philly and New York twice a week to work with the ApprenNet team, which splits its time working remotely and at the Innovation Center @ 3401.
Prayers for the family of Rachel Jacobs, CEO of Philly @UCScienceCenter startup ApprenNet. Rachel perished in the Amtrak 188 crash.
— Stephen S. Tang (@stephenstang) May 13, 2015