Professional Development

Philly Startup Leaders’ Founder Factory will return IRL with a half-day summit in November

After a skipped year because of the pandemic, this year’s Founder Factory will focus on "overcoming obstacles."

Founder Factory 2019.

(Photo courtesy of Philly Startup Leaders)

After Philly Startup Leaders skipped a year of its annual Founder Factory during the pandemic in 2020, the for-founders-by-founders event returns in 2021 with an in-person event at Quorum in the University City Science Center on Nov. 17.

The half-day summit, running from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., is designed to go beyond high-level concepts and will focus on solving everyday challenges that startup founders face. This year’s theme is on overcoming obstacles, drawing on many of the sentiments business owners have felt over the last few years. (Check out some big ideas from Founder Factory 2019.)

“In listening to our members, we discovered that our growth-stage founders, regardless of industry, face the same obstacles and challenges at the same key points in growth,” said Beth Lawrence, PSL’s director of programs and events. “By introducing attendees to subject matter experts, as well as their peers, we’ll ensure that attendees leave with solutions.”

The in-person event returns on the heels of PSL’s “Welcome Wagon” series that launched in September, bringing community members together for monthly meetups every first Wednesday in different spots around the city. That focus on networking will also be strong during the Nov. 17 event, PSL said, “especially with how rare and intimate in-person events have become.”

The day will kick off with a networking breakfast and opening statements by PSL Director Isabelle Kent. Attendees will then get to join a live recording of On The Goga founder Anna Greenwald‘s podcast, Leadershit, which tells founders’ stories of building human-centered teams, “even when shit hits the fan.”


Attendees will have a wellness break before the “Overcoming Obstacles” workshop, and the summit concludes with a networking lunch. Expect to leave with answers to the questions like, “How and when do I hire, train and retain a truly equitable all-remote team? or “What do need to prepare before raising a round?”

Tickets run between $25 and $110, depending on which events throughout the day you’d like to attend. Attendees must show proof of vaccination to attend Founder Factory, and wear masks while indoors.

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