Philadelphia magazine this week published a list of its “76 Most Influential People in Philadelphia,” and along with nods to some of the city’s top government officials (hello at #1, Mayor Jim Kenney), public health personnel and other institutional leaders, Philly’s tech scene is very present.
From executives at huge corps like Comcast to venture capitalists to founders of startups and leaders in the entrepreneurship scene, check out who Philly Mag (which recently saw some leadership changes of its own) deemed influential.
(Before we dive in, it’s worth calling out: Technical.ly published its own such list, the inaugural, 100-person strong RealLIST Connectors, in May. Check it out here.)
Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts was named No. 2 for after promising shareholders Comcast would be “part of the movement to reimagine all forms of society” in the wake of the killing of George Floyd back in May. The company has stepped up its inclusion efforts and helped strike a deal with the city on how to handle connectivity and digital equity while we face the coronavirus pandemic. David Cohen, who announced last year that he’ll be stepping down from his role with the company, was named No. 63.
Stephen Klasko, CEO of Jefferson Health, makes the list at N0. 22 for leading what Philly Mag calls “one of the most technologically limber and fastest-growing academic health institutions in the country.” Jefferson is now the second largest employe in the city, and Klasko is committed to making sure it’s a leader in digital healthcare, the mag said.
First Round Capital cofounder Josh Kopelman comes in at No. 26, as a guru for eyeing a potential disruption, and because the firm published “The Founder’s Field Guide for Navigating This Crisis” early in the spring to get entrepreneurs through their first downturn.
Little Giant Creative head Tayyib Smith is named at No. 29 for having a hand in any “super-dope entrepreneurial project that’s taken off in Philly in the past decade.” Peep one of his latest endeavors, an entrepreneurship hub proposed for 52nd and Arch streets in West Philadelphia.
Tech investor Richard Vague makes the list at No. 35, for his work as a “banking whiz, an angel investor, a civic dynamo, and the author of 2019’s ‘A Brief History of Doom,’ about economic collapses.” The Gabriel Investments managing partner who’s backed local companies such as Sidecar, Cloudamize and TicketLeap even considered a presidential run in 2019.
Sciences and tech investor Osagie Imasogie, No. 36, has a long history as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, and has helped attract VC dollars to the city. He’s a recent investor in tech startup Stimulus, and honoree of awards like the University City Science Center’s Innovators Walk of Fame. “He also takes the time and makes the effort to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs,” Comcast’s Cohen told the mag.
Quickly growing Black-owned food delivery startup Black and Mobile cofounder David Cabello lands on the list at No. 43 for his success in growing the biz, recently named Startup of the Year at the 2020 Technical.ly Awards. And oh yeah, he recently appeared with cofounder and brother Aaron Cabello in the music video for “Entrepreneur,” the recently released song from Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z. You can find the app in Philly, Detroit and Atlanta, and it’s expanding to Baltimore in about two weeks and then D.C. in about six weeks.
Delivery startup goPuff, one of the fastest-growing Philly tech companies (which just raised another huge round of fundraising), saw its cofounders Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola at No. 47 on the list. If you’ve been paying attention to the tech scene at all, you’ll know these two are connecting with big investors like SoftBank and Accel and are hiring a ton to keep up with the growth into new areas: They currently have a presence in 500 cities.
Former Philly Startup Leaders Director Kiera Smalls, who left her post this summer to run Bloc Delivery, makes the list at No. 59. She’s done a lot for founders in the city, but most recent and notable is her raising $550,000 in a few days for underrepresented founders from a mix of nonprofits and corporations.
“Yes, we’re still going to be known for our events, and education and networking, but it’s been a dream to also be a part of funding,” she said of the org in June.
Whew. Go team.