(Photo by Roberto Torres)
As the Microsoft Reactor Philadelphia officially opened up shop in the heart of University City earlier this month, we gave it a few challenges to work on: diversity, opportunities to smaller startups and reaching out to the community.
The team behind Stimulus, a grant information platform, sees its selection as the center’s first startup in residence as a sign of Microsoft’s commitment to tackle all three tasks.
The young, Philly-bred, minority-owned business has been informally operating out of the center since this summer, but the squad of six full-timers will officially move into the ground floor of 3711 Market Street at the end of the year.
Tiffanie Stanard, the company’s cofounder and CEO, is leveraging her background in marketing and entrepreneurship to jumpstart a platform that will link up people and organizations with resources for economic development. (She also runs branding agency Prestige Concepts, which we profiled in 2015, and has spoken on a number of panels about diversity in the tech scene.) There’s no end-date to the agreement with Microsoft, as Stimulus is the first company to join the “in-residence” model.
“Both founders specialize in connecting communities with resources for sustainable social impact,” Stanard said. “We’re focused on personal growth and development.”
So how does the company cash in on all that connecting? Though Stanard said the grant search engine will be free forever, by summer 2017 the company is looking to roll out a SaaS “freemium” model with additional services for companies like grant-writing assistance and other perks not yet disclosed.
Stanard teased the possibility of some deals like those being announced before the year is out. We’ll hold you to that, Stimulus.