Events / Funding / Resources

Resource Roundup: Check out these 5 timely grants and other biz opportunities

Apply for a COVID-19 relief program or an accelerator this week, or stop by a virtual event.

LIFT Labs' home in the Comcast Technology Center. (Photo by Paige Gross)

We’ve reached the middle of March, and it’s time for a check-in on events, programs and resources available to the Philly tech and biz community. As spring is springing (sad to see you again, allergies, but happy to be reacquainted, Daylight Savings), take a look at what’s happening or open this month.

Want to tell us about a program or new opportunity for entrepreneurs and technologists that we should include in a future roundup? Email us at

You can also check out our March Events Roundup for more opportunities. And hey, we’d be remiss to not mention’s own NET/WORK hiring fair happening Thursday, March 18:

Meet the regions most exciting tech companies. RSVP for NET/WORK hbspt.cta.load(2084427, ‘9fccf8d0-5499-46dd-bb82-389d92419c3a’, {});

Adult Education Program Support Grants

The City of Philadelphia this week announced that the Office of Children and Families has launched an application process for Adult Education Program Support Grants, a one-time funding opportunity that will fund adult education, digital literacy, and workforce organizations in Philadelphia. The grants can be used for program expenses that support educational outcomes for adult learners, and interested organizations may request up to $25,000.

The City is working on this initiative with Philadelphia Works to oversee the grant application and administration. Funds can be used for instances such as tech for learners who need access to virtual classes; software and tech to manage intake, assessment and learning; testing fees for learners taking the GED/HiSET exams or other certifications; and professional development for the awarded organizations’ staff.

Applications for grants will be accepted from now until May 16 and will be awarded on a rolling basis. The Office has a total of $430,515 to award, and funds must be expended by June 30, 2021.

“We’re excited to fund community-based partners to provide better opportunities, access, and support for Philadelphia’s adult learners,” said Deputy Mayor Cynthia Figueroa in a statement. “The pandemic has created additional challenges for adult education and workforce providers and we hope these grants will bolster their efforts to connect Philadelphia residents with skill building.”

The American Rescue Plan Act resources

The American Rescue Plan Act signed into law on March 11 includes an extra $7.25 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funding and now includes eligibility to additional nonprofits and digital news services. This round of PPP will remain open through the end of the month — though it will likely be extended until the end of May — with a special focus on the nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries.

The plan also greenlit $28.6 billion in funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund for industry-focused grants and $100 million in funding to establish a Community Navigator pilot program which will awards grants to eligible organizations supporting efforts to improve access to COVID–19 pandemic assistance programs and resources. See all of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s current COVID-19 relief efforts.

Tourism, Hospitality & Events summit

Temple University will host the Tourism, Hospitality & Events Global Higher Education Leadership Summit 2021 virtually on Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. The event is co-organized by the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management and the U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism & Hospitality Research. Thirty deans, directors and academia leaders from across the world will be speaking across the two-day conference, and will focus on themes of resilience and recovery following the pandemic. 

The conference is open to the public and free to attend.

LIFT Labs Accelerator apps

Comcast NBCUniversal’s LIFT Labs Accelerator powered by Techstars recently opened applications for its fourth annual biz-building program for tech startups. This year’s cohort will be made of startups working in connected living, “next gen” entertainment, future of work and personalized experiences.

The accelerator will begin its 13 weeks of mentorship and programming in August and conclude with a demo day in November. Accepted startups will receive seed funding up to $120,000 per team in exchange for 6 to 10% equity. And the cohort may be able to work in-person at Comcast HQ — it will depend on future local COVID-19 regulations, a spokesperson said.

Selected entrepreneurs will benefit from mentors working at Comcast NBCUniversal’s businesses, including Xfinity and DreamWorks Animation, as well as Techstars’ network of professionals. Founders have until May 12 to apply for the 2021 accelerator.

IBX customers can access GradFin

Center City-headquartered Independence Blue Cross announced Wednesday that its members can now access a platform for managing student loans, GradFin, for free.

GradFin offers loan financial education, advice on refinancing and consolidating student loans, and help with complying with the federal  Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. It has an office just a few blocks from the IBX tower on Market Street. Lear more about the IBX partnership.

Companies: City of Philadelphia / Comcast / Independence Blue Cross / Philadelphia Works / Temple University

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