Dorm Room Fund invests in ZenKars // BFTP invests $1.6M in 9 startups [Startup Roundup]

Ben Franklin Technology Partners invests $1.6 million in the region, Artists & Instigators gets a new headquarters and ZenKars gets some funding.
Startup Roundup is sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank's Philadelphia office, which serves the life science, technology and clean tech markets in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Philadelphia team also works closely with the venture capital and private equity firms that invest in these sectors.

Technically Philly’s Startup Roundup parses out the small pieces that make our greater Startup ecosystem thrive. We want to keep you in touch with the innovations that we can’t quite get to covering, but that deserve highlight. Follow Startup Roundup’s RSS feed. If you’ve got news to share, get in touch.


First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund announced an investment in ZenKars, the DreamIt Ventures company that won this year’s Wharton Business Plan Competition. The used car sales platform is currently seeking investment and its headquarters depends on where its next investors are located, cofounder Jim Chabas told Technically Philly. Also check out The Inquirer’s profile of the startup.

Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners invested $1.6 million in nine regional startups, according to a release. Philly startups include: Center City companies Real Food Works ($175,000), OneTwoSee ($75,000) and Ticketleap ($50,000) and Callowhill-based couponing app SnipSnap ($100,000).

In honor of its 30th anniversary, BFTP released a report on BFTP’s impact on the state. The report, conducted by The Economy League and a consulting firm, found that BFTP increased the state’s Gross State Product by $6.6 billion from 2007 to 2011. In terms of state tax revenue, BFTP returned $3.60 for every $1 invested by the state, the study found. See more findings here.


First Round Capital participated in a $14.5 million Series A for Waterloo-based wearable technology startup Thalmic Labs, TechCrunch reported.

Artists & Instigators, the venture capital fund led by Wayne Kimmel, is now working out of Rittenhouse Square coworking space Benjamin’s Desk. Kimmel had told Technically Philly in March that the lease for his Conshohocken office was up and he didn’t plan to renew it. We’ll let you know when we have more details on the move.


Real Food Works CEO Lucinda Duncalfe told the Daily News that the biggest challenge of running her healthy meal subscription service is working with restaurant partners to make sure “the right food to the right person in the right condition.” Check out our photos of the startup’s new Center City office, along with an update on its progress.

100 phones are being charged every day at ChargeItSpot‘s kiosk at the Reading Terminal Market, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in this feature on the Center City startup that sells phone charging stations. This is the team that sent 150 sheet cakes to potential clients to make some noise around its launch.

One year ago, Old City wall graphics startup LTL Prints sold to Los Angeles-based digitization company ScanDigital. We spoke to LTL Prints’ cofounder Kendall Schoenrock about the exit, which he said gave a “good return” to its investors. The acquisition left no employees in Philly.

Callowhill mobile app backend Cloudmine is building a mobile app for Kermit’s Bake Shoppe, a new bakery near Point Breeze on Washington Avenue, the Daily News reported.

Center City healthcare payment startup InstaMed was profiled in the Daily News.

Startups, apply to pitch at the IMPACT Venture Summit 2013. Deadline is July 30 and it’s free to pitch.

Meet GoodCompany Group‘s 2013 social enterprise summer class here. Four of the 11 companies were already based in Philadelphia and three of those were edtech-focused.

Poptent, the Orange County, Calif.-based crowdsourced video platform with an office in Conshohocken, has a new CEO, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The new head, Nick Pahade, was previously CEO of TrueAction, “a unit of King of Prussia-based GSI Commerce Inc., from 2008 to 2010,” according to the report.

Try FeedbackLoop, a music subscription service and crowdfunding platform for new artists. Local musician Justin Chapman, who is working with an Artists & Instigators‘ portfolio company that’s in stealth mode, founded the startup.

Curalate, the University City-based visual analytics startup, has gotten some national buzz over its research on what makes the perfect Pinterest photo. Wired first reported the story and it was picked up by BetaBeat, PSFK and other outlets.

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