Startups
Finance / Municipal government / Philly Tech Week

7 questions Philly startup founders want Mayor Kenney to answer

During our quarterly stakeholder meeting we held a brief AMA of sorts on behalf of the mayor. We'll ask him these questions (and maybe yours?) Thursday at #PTW18's marquee event.

Stakeholders gathered at Pennovation ahead of Philly Tech Week 2018. (Photo by Christopher Wink)

During Introduced by Technical.ly on Thursday, May 3 (get a 20 percent discount by clicking here) Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will sit down with this reporter to answer the tech community’s most pressing questions during our yearly Tech Town Hall.

Ahead of that event, we gathered a group of stakeholders to help us map out the conversation. An overarching theme? Founders and execs want to know what the mayor envisions for the next stage of City Hall–tech scene relations. During last year’s conversation, Kenney spoke about how a trip out to South by Southwest was one way he was aiming to connect with the community.

As recently as two weeks ago, he gave his blessing to the seven companies in the Philly Startup Leaders accelerator program. More than two years into the job, and following that awkward “getting-to-know-you” stage at the beginning, here are the topics Philly’s tech leaders want to hear more on from Mayor Kenney.

Diversity

Sylvester Mobley, founder of Coded by Kids:

  • “What’s a meaningful way that you’ll aim to back tech diversity efforts?” Mobley asked. “A lot of the conversations are good and people know that there’s a problem but we need to address the problem now.”

Amazon

Robert Melton, marketing director at Clarip

Engagement

Mohamed Zerban, founder of Tern Water

  • “For a city to be more prominent with tech companies, they should be more engaging with them,” Zerban said. “How can we see more outward engagement without so much bureaucracy?”

Model cities

Archna Sahay, senior consultant with J Nowak Strategy (and former Kenney administration startup czar)

  • “What’s a city that you think is doing good work when it comes to tech ecosystems?”

City taxes

Rich Mager, COO of Keriton

  • “We’re going through the process of filing for state and city tax credits,” Mager said. “Can the city make that process easier instead of us having to go through private services?”

State taxes

Will Luttrell, founder of Amino

  • “How do we make sure the state tax for tech services proposal doesn’t go forward?” Luttrell asked. “It would be hugely detrimental for doing business in the city.”

Gameplan

Naila Mattison, comununity manager for The ITEM

  • “There’s no reason why this can’t be a tech city,” Mattison said. “We have all the resources so, what is his exact plan for this to be a tech city?”

P.S. Have other questions for Mayor Kenney? Ask them at Introduced.

Get tickets (20% off)
Companies: City of Philadelphia

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly 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.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services
Engagement

Join our growing Slack community

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

Trending

Philly startup Burro aims to revolutionize farming with robots

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

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

Technically Media