Neat Company to be featured on Celebrity Apprentice [Startup Roundup]

Plus: The City of Philadelphia hires staffers from Textizen and UArts to join its innovation team.

One of the large-scale paintings Hidalgo painting on commission for Sallie Mae (Courtesy Photo)


The Neat Company, the Center City digital filing company, is going to be on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in January. Spokeswoman Jessica Fitzgerald said she couldn’t share more details. We profiled Neat over the summer, checking in on the company’s all-new executive team — and the possibility of an IPO.

Read the full story

Seems like everyone is turning social media platforms into ecommerce sites. See Curalate’s “Like2Buy” platform, DreamIt Ventures startup SpotItBuyIt and now, Etsy, as per a report from our sister site Brooklyn.

More changes for Callowhill coworking space Venturef0rth: new owner Marvin Weinberger is turning it into a nonprofit, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. “For me, Venturef0rth is not itself because it’s a good real estate play,” Weinberger told PBJ. “I’m happy for Venturef0rth to break even.”

Philly Startup Leaders has a spiffy new website, thanks to thoughtbot.

Look who’s advertising … on SEPTA buses. The irony of an illegal service advertising for drivers on state-run buses isn’t lost on us.

uberx septa ad

(Photo by Tyler Waldman)

The University City Science Center has three new tenants, according to a release: Denovo HealthSmart Activities of Daily Living (Smart ADL) (both at 3711 Market St.) and Oncoceutics (at 3624 Market St.).

News startup Billy Penn is sponsoring today’s (at-capacity) Philly New Tech Meetup. Here’s editor Chris Krewson on why: “So we get to support this group, and we raise awareness that we exist, and to demo the site in front of one of the groups we’d like to reach. It’s an introduction to the site and what we’re trying to accomplish.”

matt monihan

RJMetrics’ Matt Monihan. (Courtesy photo)

AWeber, the email marketing firm in Chalfont, Pa., hosted an “Hour of Code” session last week with 20 female students from New Hope Solebury High School, spokeswoman Brandyn Bissinger told us.

RJMetrics UX designer Matt Monihan launched a podcast on how people work. It’s called The Mercenary Podcast. Listen to it here.

Ambitioni, a career planning startup founded by Wharton MBA Neha Mittal, is participating in the London Business School incubator program. Mittal is based in London now and her business partner, Martin Whitaker, is based in Wynnewood. We first introduced you to Ambitioni last summer.

SocialLadder, the CityCoHo-based mobile app that rewards “social influencers,” finished a giveaway with movie director Kevin Smith. One of the app’s most influential users won a trip to the set of Smith’s new movie, Yoga Hosers. Read more on the Philadelphia Business Journal.



Alex Kaplan, formerly dev shop Neomind Labs’ marketing manager, just got hired at NextFab. He’ll be working in business development, figuring out how to bring new people into the makerspace.


Lauren Ancona. (Via

The City of Philadelphia hired two more for their innovation team: Todd Baylson, who was formerly the business development lead at Textizen, will be the city’s technology procurement advocate, and Lauren Ancona, who was formerly assistant director of the Corzo Center at University of the Arts, will be the city’s data scientist.



Here’s the latest round of Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners’ funding: $2.8 million to 16 companies, including DreamIt Health company Towerview Health, real-time feedback platform Yorn and a handful of life sciences companies.

One of those companies was AlphaPoint, a Bitcoin platform that raised $1.35 million from several Philly investors. While AlphaPoint has offices in New York and San Francisco, its founder Vadim Telyatnikov and three other employees are based in Philly, said spokeswoman Natalie Telyatnikov. They’re looking into opening an office in 2015, she wrote in an email.

It does seem a bit strange that the state-backed BFTP would invest in a company that doesn’t explicitly have a headquarters in the region. Here’s what BFTP’s Alan Kraus said about that:

We take a look at many aspects of a company investment in making our decision…the market opportunity, the potential to stimulate a new market development in the region, and, yes, the prospects for regional and state employment growth. We look for a meaningful presence based on the business plan and market opportunity presented by the enterprise. In the case of AlphaPoint, we are satisfied with their plans to grow jobs here and are very excited with the focus on the nexus between cybersecurity and the developing Bitcoin market.



RJMetrics CEO Robert Moore explains how he realized that he needed to invest more money in sales and marketing in his column in the New York Times.

Old City’s Biomeme gets featured in the BBC in a story about smartphone diagnostics. The story mentions Maria Chacon-Heszele, who’s been a scientist with Biomeme since last spring. She was previously doing post-doctoral research at Penn.

Dan Fine, the Penn undergrad founder of sunglasses company Glass U, was featured in the New York Times as an example of a college student who decided to stay in school instead of dropping out (that’s kind of the norm here in Philly, as we’ve reported). Headline: “After Starting 4 Businesses, College Entrepreneur Decides on Degree.”

How can an introvert become a powerful leader? Express your ideas, VenturePact cofounder Randy Rayess said in an Inc. story. Rayess, a Penn grad, is part of the invite-only Young Entrepreneur Council, which writes stories for Inc. from time to time.

Companies: Billy Penn / Biomeme / AWeber / Neat Company / NextFab / Philly Startup Leaders / RJMetrics / SocialLadder / University City Science Center / Venturef0rth / Yorn

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