Friday Q & A: Doug Bellenger of Philly Startup Leaders and PhindMe

We asked Bellenger what specific goal the group has for the weekend event as well as what he feels is PSL's greatest accomplishment.

Photo courtest of PBJ

If you go…

: Baiada Center @ Drexel – 3225 Arch Street, Philadelphia
When: Sat, Sun. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
More info

In its two years of existence Philly Startup Leaders has outgrown its Web site and much of its administrative backend.
“We saw this list of activities creeping up on us,” said Doug Bellenger member of the PSL Board of Directors and COO of PhindMe Mobile. “And we said, ‘How are we going to address all of this?'”
To help bring the entrepreneurial support group up to date, it has organized an entire weekend hackithon that hopes to gather together the community to cross some items off its to do list.
We asked Bellenger what specific goal the group has for the weekend event as well as what he feels is PSL’s greatest accomplishment.

Photo courtest of PBJ
As always, edited for length and clarity.
What is your involvement in PSL?
I’m on the Board of Directors and I’m in charge of operations.
What can someone expect by attending PSL Weekend? The site seems purposefully vague.
We’re trying to get a group of crack designers and programmers together and general strategists and trying to put together a more of a visual aspect of PSL as well as content that shares what we are doing.
We don’t do a lot of blog posts, even though we have 500 member companies and all of these events every year. We don’t do a lot to say what’s going on. We also don’t collect our membership information in a way that’s easily accessible and visible.
We’re really just going to group together around ten and figure out the strategy for the weekend and figure out what we are going to accomplish and just go town. Basically rebuild what we currently have. We’re trying to walk away with a new Web site, a content strategy for the Web site, a better way to handle new members and making sure we have a colorful statement around what PSL is.
That handles the branding of PSL and the outside world’s perception of PSL. Is there anything being done to change the goals or internal workings of PSL?
We spent the last year creating the foundation for PSL so if the leaders disappeared we would still have a working model. That’s where the manifesto came from.
This is building up the internal functionality of PSL.


“We are still looking for these big breaks out of Philly: giant funding stories, giant acquisition stories…”-Doug Bellenger

Anyone can show, right?
We are looking for all the help we can have. We figured we can get a group together and really see ourselves as a community. One or two people taking the reigns and building something that they like isn’t going to give us the result we are looking for. We prefer people getting their hands dirty.
Looking back is there one thing PSL is particularly proud of? And looking forward, what is the one thing PSL wants to get done in the next year?
The big thing for me is the awareness of the entrepreneurs in the area and providing them a foundation for them to ask questions in a way they felt they were getting reliable answers. The community is incredible. I never would have expected it to explode the way it has.
Over the next year, I think what I really want to see is that to continue to evolve. We are still looking for these big breaks out of Philly. Giant funding stories, giant acquisition stories. That’s one of the things that, as the economy gets better and people have more solid businesses, we will start to see.
Every Friday, Technically Philly brings you an interview with a leader or innovator in Philadelphia’s technology community. See others here.

Companies: PhindMe Mobile
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