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Philly's finest farm-to-table offerings

Local restaurants are getting a reputation for farm fresh ingredients, according to OffManhattan.

To taste the freshest produce in the region, you can shop one of the city’s many farmers market, haul your selections back home, and crack open a cookbook. Or you can take the effortless route, and settle into one of the top farm-to-table restaurants in Philadelphia.

Uniquely positioned between ‘Jersey Fresh’ territory and Amish Country, Philly offers its chefs an impressive variety of local, seasonal ingredients from which to craft their award-winning menus. And diners will be excited to know that much of this produce makes its way from farm to plate just one day after harvesting. Yes, the peppery radishes and buttery greens in your appetizer salad may have been plucked from the dirt just hours ago.


Source: OffManhattan
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Flourtown man's startup online bookstore creates jobs, scholarships

A Huntingdon Valley online bookseller with a socially conscious focus, Education By Inclusion recently gave a $40,000 scholarship to a Camden, NJ resident, according to The Chestnut Hill Local.

Who would have thought that reselling books and electronics could be such a lucrative business and result in scholarship money for needy students?  Flourtown resident Chetan Bagga, a Columbia University graduate, ran the numbers and started Education by Inclusion (EBI) about a year ago.

The home page of their web site offers this comment to customers. "We are a socially conscious online bookstore with a simple promise -- everything you buy contributes to a deserving student’s education. This year, you’ve made over 100,000 purchases toward scholarships. We sincerely thank you! Let’s keep the momentum going."


Source: The Chestnut Hill Local
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SAP still sitting on top of the enterprise software world

Despite challenges in court and changes in management, enterprise software giant SAP remains at the top of its game, according to The Globe and Mail.

It’s been a tumultuous two years for German technology giant SAP AG. Its CEO was dismissed in the face of poor numbers, and two new co-CEOS were appointed. It was ordered to pay $1.3-billion (U.S.) in penalties after an SAP unit stole trade secrets from rival Oracle Inc. But now things are breaking SAP’s way. A U.S. judge last week rejected the damages as ‘grossly excessive’ and recommended Oracle get $272-million – or seek a fresh trial. And 39-year old SAP – with annual revenue more than €12-billion ($16.8-billion) – is still on top of the enterprise-software world. At the centre of the whirlwind is co-CEO Bill McDermott, a rangy hoops-shooting U.S. marketer who operates out of suburban Philadelphia. He was interviewed the day before the judge’s decision.

Source: The Globe and Mail (Canada)
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A closer look at DreamIt Ventures' current startup class

TechCrunch takes a closer look at startup accelerator DreamIt Ventures' current crop of companies.

The current class includes students and alumni from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Duke, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Columbia and MIT. Startup founders have past work experience at Google, Yahoo, Intel, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan.

Five of the companies were selected together by DreamIt and Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation, as part of its Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program (MEAP). This program provides an extra $350,000 on top of the funding DreamIt offers for minority-led startups. The current group includes owners who are African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Indian.


Original source: TechCrunch
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KOP Sharepoint providers NextDocs raises $10.3M

King of Prussia based NextDocs raises $10.3 million to provide Microsoft SharePoint to life sciences, according to TechCrunch.

NextDocs, a company that sells Microsoft SharePoint based software for the life sciences industry, has raised $10.3 million in a Series A financing from OpenView Venture Partners.

NextDocs helps life sciences companies of leverage SharePoint-based document and management software.The company actually customizes SharePoint for companies in the pharmaceuticals, medical device and biotech industries. NextDocs actually has over 100 customers across the life sciences industry (including five of the ten largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S.).


Source: TechCrunch
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Philly ranks fifth among U.S. cities on Inc. 500 list

With 18 companies, the Philadelphia metro area ranked fifth on the recently released Inc. 500 list of America's fastest growing companies. The Philadelphia region placed nearly 150 companies among Inc.'s 5,000 fastest-growing companies. Flying Kite parent company Issue Media Group made the list for the second consecutive year, rating as the 25th-fastest growing media company in the country.

Here's Greater Philadelphia's fastest in the top 500 (percent growth, revenue in parentheses):

24 - re2g (7,493%, $10.6 million) PA
48 - Leadnomics (3,932%, $5.8 million) PA
67 - NextDocs (3,213%, $9.8 million) PA
123 - Petplan (2,207%, $18.7 million) PA
150 - Optimal Strategix Group (1,878%, $6.5 million) PA
151 - Free For All (1,871%, $2.5 million) NJ
182 - Magic Hat Consulting (1,669%, $3.4 million) PA
214 - Aromatic Fusion (1,455%, $5.3 million) PA
238 - Decision Distribution (1,335%, $34.5 million) PA
272 - Ohana Companies (1,187%, $8.4 million) DE


Original source: Inc. 500
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Bucks County Community College converts cars to electric

The Community College Times writes about how the Green Jobs Academy at Bucks County Community College teaches students to convert gas cars to electric.

Imagine a car that can run for 44 miles on $1.20 worth of electricity.

That recently happened at the Green Jobs Academy at Bucks County Community College (Pennsylvania) when 10 participants converted a 1990 Mazda Miata into a fully electric battery-powered car.

Source: Community College Times
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Meet Philly's first Chief Innovation Officer

Former New Jersey state CTO Adel Ebeid moves into the newly created post of Chief Innovation Officer of the City of Philadelphia, according to Technically Philly.

Described as "the perfect immigrant story" by the city's Managing Director Rich Negrin, Ebeid, who was born in Egypt but raised in Jersey City after losing as a teenager his father to cancer, rose through the ranks of New Jersey state government to become among the only cabinet level leaders that fiery Governor Chris Christie kept on. Now, after 'flatly' turning down the offer, the soft spoken and succinct Ebeid is preparing to move his wife and new daughter to a city he admits he doesn't know well to help inject innovation into the City of Philadelphia.

Source: Technically Philly
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Barcade's craft beer and video arcade to open in Fishtown

Expanding south, the Brooklyn-born Barcade concept comes to Philadelphia next month, according to Inc. Magazine in this profile of its founders

As a kid, Paul Kermizian was younger than most everyone else at the local arcade. He got pushed aside. He had to wait in line.

Not anymore. Today he can play whenever he wants—and he doesn't even have to keep a pocketful of quarters. Kermizian, now 36, is the owner of Barcade, a hybrid craft beer bar and—yep, you called it—video arcade. With four partners, his longtime friends Jon Miller, Scott Beard, Kevin Beard, and Pete Langway, he launched the bar in two locations: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Jersey City. And their retro empire is growing: a third Barcade is scheduled to open next month in Philadelphia.

Source: Inc. Magazine
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Monkeyreader: From bookstore to childhood literacy advocate

The Associated Press checks in on Philly-based online kids' bookstore Monkeyreader donates 5 percent of profits to childhood literacy.

Once upon a time, there was a bookstore. One day, the bookstore went away and reopened online with a new name and a mission to combat childhood illiteracy.

The rest of the story of year-old e-tailer MonkeyReader.com is still being written but its founders hope the ending will be happy—and successful.

"We're beginning, we're growing, we have a lot of great ideas," co-founder David Lenett of the venture, a successor of the Discovery Bookshop, a popular Philadelphia children's bookstore that closed in the 1990s and became an online storefront that evolved into the more interactive MonkeyReader site. 

Source: The Associated Press
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myYearbook sold for $100M, to stay in New Hope

Teen networking site myYearbook is expected to stay in New Hope after being sold for $100 million to Latino social network Quepasa, according to Forbes.

An unknown person once said that high school is the mouse race to prepare you for the rat race. For the next generation of million dollar milennials, that race is off to an early start.

It was a simple and irresistibly practical idea from siblings Catherine and David Cook. In 2005, the 15- and 16-year-old duo decided to trade the paper version of the regular high school yearbook for the digital one. myYearbook was born, a social networking website that the brother and sister team worked with throughout high school. The founder of the site would be Geoff Cook, the other sibling to Catherine and David, who would work to hire over 100 employees with the company. myYearbook exploded in popularity and in just six years it could proudly boast $17 million raised in financing, over 20 million members, 1.2 billion monthly page views, and $20 million in revenue as reported by both MSNBC and Business Insider.

Source: Forbes

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R5's Agnew helps N.Y. group bring Union Transfer music venue to Spring Garden St.

The Bowery Presents rock club group will open Union Transfer in Philadelphia in the former Spaghetti Warehouse building on Spring Garden Street, with help from local impresarios Sean Agnew and Avram Hornik, according to The New York Times.

The Bowery Presents empire of rock clubs and theaters has already expanded from the Lower East Side to New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine, and now it is spreading to Pennsylvania.

Working with two local partners, the company is opening Union Transfer, a new performance space near Center City in Philadelphia with room for 600 people. The first show will be Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Sept. 21, and other coming shows include Shellac on Sept. 29, Wild Flag on Oct. 19 and Boris on Oct. 28, according to an announcement on Tuesday by Bowery Presents. About 200 shows a year are planned for the space, which was once a train depot and more recently a Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant.

Source: The New York Times

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Gigi and Big R's soul food truck earns Vendy Cup as Philly's top vendor

More than 500 people came to the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties for Saturday's Vendy Awards, reports the Associated Press.

Eight of the city's most popular food carts and trucks competed Saturday at the Vendy Awards, an offshoot of the popular New York City cook-off that started in 2005. Online voters chose the eight finalists and a panel of chefs and foodies at Saturday's sold-out and sweltering event chose the Caribbean and American soul food of Gigi and Big R's as the winner.

The 10-year-old curbside culinary business is operated by Elukene Rene ("Big R"), originally from Haiti, and Thomas Bacon ("Gigi"), from Philadelphia, and operates on the Drexel University campus.

Original source
: Associated Press
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IndyHall: We Cared About Philadelphia

AOL's travel blog Gadling makes a stop in Philly and is instantly enamored with Old City co-working space Independents Hall.

Sitting in a kitchen in a loft on Third Street in Old City, talking to one of the most enthusiastic and driven people I've met in years, I began to wonder what would happen if I quit my job, moved to Philadelphia and started my own business. Alex Hillman, wearing a t-shirt that read "I <3 my internet friends," was selling me on the cheekily named co-working space Independents Hall, of which he's a co-founder. His friend Parker Whitney was helping, telling me the story of his two years in Philadelphia.

The IndyHall guys certainly have the attention of the city, or at least some of its politicians. City councilman Bill Green is a big supporter, and government staffers are taking notice of the way things get done when fueled by passionate people-and Victory beer happy hours.

Original source: Gadling
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Berwyn firm leads benefit corporation, social entrepreneurship movements

Berwyn-based nonprofit B Lab is growing social entrepreneurship nationally, reports Inc.

The B Corp movement was founded in 2007 by 81 companies seeking an alternative to the for-profit way of doing business. According to B Lab, the B community today comprises 422 certified companies throughout 54 industries including business services firms, telecoms, banks, venture capitalists, tech firms, apparel, and consumer goods manufactures. These certified B Corps have a combined total of $1.94 billion in revenues.

There are tons of certified B Corps that are profitable businesses, says Jay Coen Gilbert, a B Lab cofounder. "Some have been getting great valuations and attracting outside capital. And some have sold their businesses for a profit."

Original source: Inc.
Read the full story here.

154 Entrepreneurship Articles | Page: | Show All
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