Awards / Startups

Power Moves: Economy League’s Well City Challenge picked its 2023 finalists

Plus, EY picked 30 local finalists as Entrepreneurs Of The Year, PACT named a Legend Enterprise awardee, and Comcast's RISE program is open for applications.

Finalists of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia's Well City Challenge 2023. (Courtesy photo)
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With an aim to solve inequities in Philly’s healthcare systems, the second Well City Challenge announced its finalists last week.

Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross partnered again for the challenge, this time bringing in Accelerate Health Equity, too. Over the past few months, the orgs have been working with individuals developing ventures to tackle these three issues: creating safe spaces, equitable access to nutrition and care, and supporting community connections, all in relation to “mind and heart health disparities among underserved communities.”

The Economy League last hosted challenge in 2021 during the height of the pandemic, so it worked mostly virtually to select the inaugural winner. Hey Auntie!, an online platform that connects intergenerational Black women in Philadelphia around mentorship, took home that $50,000 grand prize.

This year, more than 100 teams applied, and 15 were considered for the three categories. Economy League Executive Director Jeff Hornstein said being able to interact with the teams face to face and watching the 2023 pitch competition in person on May 4 was “a thrilling experience.”

“You could really feel the reach these teams have with their communities and connection to the people they’ll impact with their solutions,” he said in a statement.

Three teams were chosen as finalists, one in each category, each receiving $10,000 to continue refining and implementing their ideas:

  • Equitable access to nutrition and care — Peds 360+, which offers an “integrative approach to pediatric medicine by providing comprehensive, family-centered care”
  • Creating safe spaces — TCBME, a “behavioral health counseling ecosystem tailored for Black and brown youth”
  • Supporting community connections — The Wellness Co-Op, which “promotes opportunities for all residents to gain consistent access to quality health and wellness resources facilitated by local wellness providers at local public spaces”

The three finalists will continue to work with mentors and coaches to refine their idea and prepare for the pilot phase.

Three People’s Choice winners were also selected by members of the public, and will each receive $7,500:

  • Heart Healthy Philadelphia (Health4Naija), which “addresses health inequity and primordial prevention of heart disease by training local high school students in schools and via social media”
  • The Hermitage Philadelphia, a “nonprofit retreat center for community mental health professionals offering free to low-cost wellness”
  • WavelyDX (Nightlife to Wholelife app), an “online platform that provides millennials with information to promote healthier choices within nightlife”

“Having worked closely with these teams throughout the past four weeks, we are incredibly proud to see their creativity and ingenuity being shared with the public,” said Erica Dixon, director of Accelerate Health Equity, in a statement. “Starting from our listening sessions in the fall of 2022 to identify Philadelphia communities’ most common and significant barriers to health equity, our finalists are truly a reflection of the solutions that Philadelphia’s underserved communities need here and now.”

PACT named a Legend Enterprise awardee

Philly entrepreneur and investor David Adelman is the recipient of the 2023 Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies’ (PACT) Legend Enterprise Award for lifetime achievement, the organization announced Tuesday. Adelman is known for leading Campus Apartments at its CEO, for founding Darco Capital and for cofounding FS Investments, as well as participating in local philanthropy.

“Philadelphia is at the heart of a lot of what I do and making a positive impact on its communities, both
physically and economically, is a priority for me,” Adelman said in a statement.

The 2023 PACT Enterprise Awards will take place on May 23 at Springfield Country Club.

“David’s unwavering dedication to fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth has transformed Philadelphia and left an indelible mark on our city,” said Dean Miller, president CEO of PACT. “It is with great admiration and respect that we honor David with the 2023 Legend Award, recognizing the profound impact he has had on our community and the lives of those around him.”

EY named the local EY Entrepreneurs Of The Year

Philly’s tech entrepreneurs showed up and showed out in Ernst & Young’s 37th annual Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. Through the awards program, the multinational professional services firm recognizes local tech company leaders that it believes are “transformative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all.”

This year, 30 local entrepreneurs were selected as finalists by an independent panel of judges. The candidates were screened based on the long-term value they’ve built through entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, among a few other core attributes, per EY.

The region’s award winners will be announced on June 8, where they’ll be considered by the national judges for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards in the fall. The winner of the national award will go on to compete for World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in June 2024.

Meet the Philly-area finalists:

  • Dea Belazi, AscellaHealth LLC
  • Daniel Berger, Berger Communities
  • Anthony DaRe, BSI Corporate Benefits
  • Patrick Cozzi, Cesium
  • Joshua C. Benson, Frank Burrell and Paul Brown, Deerfield Agency
  • Betsy Hamm, Duck Donuts Holdings, LLC
  • Christopher Gallagher, Gallagher Fluid Seals Inc
  • Joseph Truitt, iECURE
  • Michael Raphael, IndeVets
  • Frank Shultz, Infinite Blue Applications LLC
  • Brandon Singer and Justin Silverman, JustBrand Limited
  • Patricia Brennan, Key Financial, Inc.
  • Ira Greenberg, Keystone Technologies, LLC
  • Steven Lagos, LAGOS
  • Andrew Turner, LoanStar Technologies
  • Adit Gupta, Lula Delivery
  • Dr. Rebecca Taub, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals
  • Jeffrey Meiler, Marlette Holdings, Inc.
  • James Freeman, PJ Fitzpatrick, LLC
  • Michael Schreiber, Playfly Sports
  • Matt Pestronk, Post Brothers
  • Dr. Ellen Stang, ProgenyHealth, LLC
  • Michael Capone, Qlik
  • John Dulczak, RetireeFirst
  • Brendan Cawley, Righteous Felon
  • Clement Pappas, Stateside Vodka
  • Guido Gallicchio, Thayer Distribution
  • Vaughan Buckley, Volumetric Building Companies
  • B.J. Werzyn, West Shore Home
  • Perry Steiner, Xactus

Venture for America added to its board of directors

Venture for America, the nonprofit that recruits college grads to work for two years at emerging startups and early-stage companies in more than a dozen cities in the US, has added two new people to its national board of directors: Kim Kolt of San Francisco and Matt Haggman of Miami.

Of the many cities Venture for America works with, Philadelphia receives the largest population of fellows.

Kolt is a founding general partner at Bay Bridge Ventures, in Berkeley, which has a motto that future’s most successful companies will be those that solve for environmental and humanity-based problems. She previously worked as the founder and president of For Good Ventures, an impact venture capital fund, and at Goldman Sachs in their technology, media and telecom investment banking groups.

And Haggman is EVP of The Beacon Council, a public-private partnership that’s the official economic organization for metropolitan Miami, where he focuses on shaping Miami’s long-term economic future based with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, talent and inclusion and sustainability and resilience. Haggman comes from a journalism background, and previously served as Miami director of the Knight Foundation.

Bonus: Apply for Comcast RISE

Through its RISE program, Comcast is providing 100 businesses in Philadelphia with business consultation services, educational resources, a $5,000 monetary grant, creative production, media schedule, and a technology makeover.

The first round of RISE funding was dispersed in 2021, after the program was created in 2020 to address the needs of small businesses facing challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Philadelphia is among the five cities Comcast is targeting with its RISE program, alongside Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis and Portland. To date, 200 Philadelphia small businesses have received $2 million in grants and nearly 400 received marketing or tech services packages through the program.

From June 1 through June 30, small businesses may apply for the grants and business support. Apply here.

Companies: Lula / Infinite Blue / Cesium / EY / Venture for America / Economy League of Greater Philadelphia / Independence Blue Cross / PACT / Qlik Technologies
Series: Power Moves

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