Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) has a new game plan.
After months of brainstorming and working with founders and partners, PSL is launching a new website, revamped programing and is touting an upcoming resource center — a physical space for folks to get help with their small businesses and startups.
The nonprofit, now more than a decade old, is a community of and for startup entrepreneurs.
“Last summer we got feedback from folks who identify as members and non-members, and we heard that we need a clearer message and understanding of what PSL does,” said Kiera Smalls, the organization’s executive director.
— Kiera Smalls (@KieraSmalls) August 5, 2019
Smalls came to the organization last year after three years as marketing manager of Bicycle Transit Systems, and after cofounding City Fit Girls, a fitness community looking to provide women with access to physical activity.
“When potential entrepreneurs need a tool or resource to help them grow, I hope someone in that conversation brings up PSL,” Smalls told Technical.ly Philly at the time.
A year and a half after her arrival to the organization, it’s rolling out a new look, new programing and soon, a new space.
The website, designed by Melissa Alam, made its relaunch Monday, along with announcements from the organization about changes to its accelerator program. PSL Accelerator will now be known as Founded In Philly and will host two cohorts: one in the fall, with a group of “MVP founders” — folks who are current entrepreneurs — and a second, new cohort in the spring for 20 to 30 entrepreneurs who are in the “idea phase” of a new business. (Apps for the latter open Oct. 1.)
In the next few months, PSL will also be piloting a resource center with MakeOffices, where the accelerator programs will operate out of and folks can stop by to troubleshoot their business questions with staff.
“The center will be accessible to current and future founders, and we hope to open more resource centers across the city in the future,” Smalls said.
Also new to the site is the Community Calendar, a collection of events relevant to startup founders hosted by PSL and orgs across the city. (In other events news: The annual Diversity Dinner has been rebranded to A Seat at the Table.)
Smalls said after working in the organization for more than a year and talking to countless current and aspiring founders, she heard over and over again that the focus should be doubling down on earliest-stage entrepreneurs and making resource sharing easier. These changes help zone in on the mission of the organization, she said.
“I had a founder tell me that he went to an investor and the investor asked why he was still in Philly,” Smalls said. “We want you to leave only because you’ve exhausted all your resources here, not because you didn’t know where to find resources here.”
Full disclosure: Technical.ly founder Chris Wink serves on the Philly Startup Leaders board. That relationship is unrelated to this report.
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