FastFWD / Startups

DuckDuckGo gets banned in China [Startup Roundup]

Plus: fresh on the heels of a major Series B, RJMetrics is taking to SEPTA to find new recruits.

Batmobile breakdown. (Courtesy Photo)

startup roundup


From the We Think This is a Good Sign? Department: presumably due to its rising popularity, Paoli search engine DuckDuckGo has been banned in China, iDigitalTimes reported. Other consumer Internet giants like Google, Facebook and Wikipedia are banned in China. Meanwhile, listen to DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg on the TropicalMBA podcast talking about how DuckDuckGo maintains privacy for its users and other topics.

Searching for a super mini speaker? Like one that would fit into a shot glass? Meet The Shot, developed by a Philly team. They’re raising $2,500 on Indiegogo and have raised almost $490 so far. Prices start at $15. The team consists of Josh Oiknine, 34, and Michele Alexy, 37, both of Northeast Philadelphia, and David Nieves, 33, of Lansdale. They met while working at Wireless Xcessories Group in Huntingdon Valley.

FastFWD company Village Defense, which is a high-tech form of town watch, is working with Mayfair-based, 81-acre Lincoln High School through the city contract it got after the FastFWD accelerator, cofounder Sharath Mekala told us. The FastFWD contracts are all still being worked out but will begin soon, FastFWD director Story Bellows said.

Tuva Labs, the edtech company that graduated from Project Liberty and GoodCompany Ventures, is participating in TechStars’ New York City Kaplan EdTech Accelerator. Each company gets $20,000 in exchange for 6 percent equity. The team is now based in New York City, though Tuva Labs designer Ben Farahmand is based in Philadelphia.

Legal Science Partners, the FastFWD company and Temple spinout that wants to be the iTunes of legal research, moved into the Science Center, according to a release. Other companies that just moved in include CETICS Healthcare Technologies, HaRo Pharmaceutical and Hyalo Technologies.

The GREEN Program, an eco-minded study abroad program, and Bike Share Philly, the city’s forthcoming bikeshare program, came out on top at this month’s Greenfest Philly SCA Green Innovators Awards, according to a spokeswoman. Civic hacking projects Climate Tracker and Cycle Philly also participated in the competition.



Aaron McLean, who cofounded web dev firm Eight Eleven, is now a partner at digital marketing company Stuzo, according to a release. He’ll be focused on scaling MEG, Stuzo’s mobile marketing platform. He left Eight Eleven at the beginning of the year because he wanted to work in startups, he told us. After two stints with local startups EasyCopay and A Way to Donate (we’ll have more on them shortly), McLean joined Stuzo.

Eight Eleven cofounder Glenda Laudisio took over Eight Eleven and acquired its customers, McLean said. Laudisio did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Melissa Koenig, who used to run Tech In Motion’s meetups, is now the Philly program manager for DreamIt Ventures.

Education Design Studio, Inc., the edtech accelerator in partnership with Penn’s Graduate School of Education, has a new CEO: Leslie Mitts. Brien Walton, former EDSi CEO, is now the founding CIO of Virginia-based Jefferson Education Accelerator.



Designers Lauren Hallden and Zach Berman-Kozac with the ads they designed for RJMetrics. (Photo via RJMetrics)

Fresh off a $16.5 million Series B, RJMetrics has new hiring ads on SEPTA. Check one out on the Regional Rail here.

It’s an interesting move for a startup, to advertise job openings on SEPTA (and shows the company’s locally-focused recruiting efforts). Here’s what CEO Robert Moore had to say about it:

We’re working hard to introduce as many Philadelphians as possible to the career opportunities we have available at RJMetrics. This means getting in front of people who might not see our name otherwise. We thought the SEPTA Regional Rail would be a great start. These ads put us in front of people who either live in the city and might want to ditch their commute or live in the burbs and are already comfortable commuting into the city.

The verdict is still out on whether they’re working, but based on activity we’ve seen on Twitter so far I’m optimistic that they’ll be well worth the investment.

Also, check out RJMetrics’ Instagram for photos that show off their company culture. Got a company Insta? Share ’em in the comments or tweet it to us: @TechnicallyPHL

Companies: Village Defense / Legal Science Partners / DreamIt Ventures / DuckDuckGo / Eight Eleven / RJMetrics / Stuzo / Tuva Labs

Knowledge is power!

Subscribe for free today and stay up to date with news and tips you need to grow your career and connect with our vibrant tech community.


RealLIST Startups 2024: Meet 10 of Philly’s most promising early-stage tech companies

Building a community of tech entrepreneurs: Looking back at 15 years of Philly Startup Leaders

Call for AI startups: Unlock partnership opportunities with the Vertical AI accelerator from Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs

If you own a business, you need to know about the Corporate Transparency Act

Technically Media