There Has Never Been a Better Time to Start a Company in Philadelphia

And StartUp PHL is hoping to make it even better – by providing early-stage investment capital for emerging technology companies. Funded in partnership with PIDC, StartUp PHL invests through two funds:

StartUp PHL Angel Fund:

Making investments from $25,000 to $100,000 the StartUp PHL Angel Fund co-invests alongside angels to turbo charge very early-stage companies with a small capital injection to help build a minimum viable product or validate key assumptions.

StartUp PHL Seed Fund:

The StartUp PHL Seed Fund co-invests alongside First Round in Philadelphia-based, seed-stage companies. The typical investment size will be $250,000 to $750,000.
While the requirements for the two funds are slightly different, the most important for both is that you are a Philadelphia-based, early-stage technology business who will remain headquartered in Philadelphia for at least the next 18 months.

What We Look For

  • Exceptional Entrepreneurs

    Your Business plan is wrong. It's a prediction of the future that is out of date as soon as you hit save, print or send. Things change. Competition. Timing. Costs. Pricing. We'd much rather invest in someone who can collect market feedback and adapt to change than someone who is convinced they can predict the future.
  • Internet Enabled

    We tend to focus on companies and markets where we have a strong experience base and ability to add value. This tends to focus us around internet-enabled businesses (both consumer and enterprise) with a clear distribution strategy. [Note: We reject more companies for this reason than any other.]
  • Capital Efficient

    We are big fans of capital-efficient companies. Advances in software development (SaaS, OpenSource, Cloud) have made it much cheaper to get a company started. And that helps companies get to market - and succeed or fail faster.
  • New Business Models

    We look for companies that are able to leverage advances in distribution, technology or marketing to change industry economics or invent a new business model.
  • Solve Big Problems

    We seek to fund companies that provide a unique solution to an existing urgent need. And we typically avoid companies that try to change consumer behavior or create a new consumer need.
  • Knowledge

    Entrepreneurs must know what they are talking about - and have a clear understanding of their marketplace, their competitors and the financial dynamics of the industry. But they also should be willing to say the words "I don't know".
  • Simplicity

    We value simplicity and clarity - if it takes more than 5 minutes to get us excited about your business, you might be trying to do too many things... And watch out for the Domino Rally Business Models.
  • Executors & Repeaters

    While we fund both beginner and repeat entrepreneurs, we have a bias towards proven management, with emphasis on repeat entrepreneurs who are strong executors.
  • Shrink a Market

    We love investing in technologies and business models that are able to shrink existing markets. If your company can take $5 of revenue from a competitor for every $1 you earn - let's talk!

Still interested in speaking with us? We accept business plan submissions from everyone, however we've found that the most effective introduction is from someone who knows you and knows us. We place a much higher priority on deals that are referred/endorsed by people we know and trust. That includes people employed by existing First Round portfolio companies, partners, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs, bankers and recruiters.

Don't know anyone in common? Don't let it stop you. Click here to introduce yourself to the Startup PHL Funds.