StartUp PHL / Startups

DreamIt Ventures launches an internship program with Coded by Kids [Startup Roundup]

Plus: Here's how many startups made the cut for StartUp PHL's first office hours pitch day.


StartUp PHL, the city’s startup fund in collaboration with First Round Capital, held “Office Hours” on Monday, where partners Josh Kopelman and Chris Fralic heard pitches from local founders vying for funding. StartUp PHL received more than 60 submissions, said First Round Capital’s Ben Cmejla, and 12 were chosen to pitch.
DreamIt Ventures is launching an internship program with Coded by Kids, which teaches inner-city kids how to code, said Coded by Kids founder Sylvester Mobley. The program will pair teenage students with DreamIt’s current class. It’s another win for the fledgling STEM education nonprofit, which is now offering classes at two schools: Germantown’s Martin Luther King High School and Center City’s Freire Charter School, Mobley said. The group was also recently honored by City Council. They’re also holding a fundraiser on Feb. 20 at VUID’s Center City offices. (One Coded by Kids student is interning at VUID right now, too.)
NextFab’s second space, on the first floor of Kensington’s Impact Hub, is opening soon, and the makerspace is raising its prices, according to an email announcement. The standard membership, which gives you access to both facilities every single day, is now $249/year, up from $129/year. But if you join before March 1, you can get the old $129/year price. That deal applies to current members, too, said spokeswoman Angie Hilem.
NextFab’s also adding a new tier of membership called “Ultimate,” which “is for the designer, engineer, entrepreneur, and professional maker operating at a very high level. For $349, ultimate makers get access to all of our facilities PLUS $200 monthly credit toward machine time and classes.”
Ajay Raju, CEO of law firm Dilworth Paxson and Philadelphia Citizen backer, joined the board of state-backed investment firm Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners. Raju is also working on a company with Kenexa founder Rudy Karsan, we learned earlier this week. The pair met because they both won the Welcoming Center’s Solas Award. Other new BFTP board members include Comcast Senior Vice President of Investor Relations Jason Armstrong and Franklin Square Capital Partners Senior Vice President Tucker Twitmyer.

Zonoff’s demo suite at CES 2015. (Photo courtesy of Zonoff)

And now, for Zonoff’s next trick:

Perhaps born out of a collaboration with consumer device maker LG and Staples, Zonoff says that in the near future, “premium smart TVs” will display so-called ambient alerts for important household events. For example if the system detects that a door or window has been opened unexpectedly, users will see notifications appear on compatible HDTV screens.

Michele McKeone has officially quit her day job as a teacher at South Philadelphia High School to run Autism Expressed, her startup that teaches digital literacy to special education students, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. She’s working out of a Regus office in Logan Square. “McKeone said she has plans to develop partnerships with tech companies willing to offer job skill certifications to product users,” according to the story.
A dog with a broken hip wandered into BuLogics CEO Felicite Moorman’s backyard she brought him to the vet and helped him get better. She’s raising money here to help pay for the vet visits. (Moorman’s also in the midst of another crowdfunding campaign for a smart-home product her East Falls company built that’s raised more than $60,000 so far.)


MissionOG, the Center City investment firm, invested an undisclosed amount in Accurate Group, an Ohio-based appraisal management company, according to a release.
Greenphire raised an undisclosed amount of money, according to a release. The King of Prussia clinical trial payment company has previously raised at least $5.8 million, according to SEC filings. It employs 65 full-time and is looking to hire 100 this year, a spokeswoman said.


DreamIt Health company BioBots was featured in the Philadelphia Daily News. Headquartered at NextFab, the startup makes 3D printers for organs. Check back for our feature on them next week.

Jason Rappaport, CEO of Squareknot, November 2014. (Photo by Mitchell Leff for the City of Philadelphia)

Jason Rappaport is optimistic. The 25-year-old founder of Squareknot was quoted by CNBC for a story about how millennial entrepreneurs are “bullish on entrepreneurship.” (Editor’s note: We connected Rappaport with CNBC after a CNBC reporter reached out to us looking for a young, optimistic entrepreneur to interview.)
Yasmine Mustafa, cofounder of pre-launch wearable tech startup Roar for Good, was featured in the Daily News. She recently completed a stint working out of the Daily News’ building, as part of the Project Liberty incubator. Mustafa plans to dedicate some of the product’s revenue to education. She said:

After we developed the prototype, some women wondered: Why not teach men not to attack women? We decided the wearable had a safety purpose but we could use part of our revenues to support nonprofits teaching nonviolence and promoting a culture of consent and respect.

Graphene manufacturer Graphene Frontiers made a Forbes list of “The Five Most Disruptive Innovations at CES 2015.”

Companies: Coded by Kids / Squareknot / Autism Expressed / DreamIt Ventures / Graphene Frontiers / Greenphire / MissionOG / NextFab / Zonoff

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