Philanthropy Transforming Finance Summit Report

45 impact investors, researchers and others recently met to discuss the role of philanthropy and foundations in creating an “impact economy”. According to the report, creating such a business paradigm requires that philanthropies step up their game. The reason: a paucity of early-stage and seed capital, a gap philanthropies could play a major role in filling. That, in turn, could help attract other funding.

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Apply to the Global Startup Accelerator by November 11th

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and the University City Science Center have partnered to launch the Global Startup Accelerator - a six-month program for early-stage tech startups that have an interest in entering international markets. Participants receive: Insight into business and business growth opportunities in the European market; Access to VCs and potential funding sources; Direct connections to mentors, partners and customers; and the opportunity to pitch European partners at the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia on June 3-6, 2019.

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2019 Greater Philadelphia Social Innovations Awards Nominations : Deadline October 5th!

Help shine the spotlight on and give some deserved recognition to social changemakers in your community! The Social Innovations Journal is looking for publicly nominated movers and shakers in the Greater Philadelphia Area that have shown great leadership and creativity in helping to solve the challenges that our community faces on a daily basis. The theme of this year’s awards "Innovating Ideas, Revolutionizing Realities," expresses the idea that the SIJ is looking for some out of the box approaches to these challenges. If you know someone or a group that embodies that vision, please nominate them today. Nominations are due by October 5th so don’t delay!

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 11: Impact Beyond Innovation

What comes after innovation? As CEO of Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners, an organization charged with catalyzing the Philadelphia region's entrepreneurial and innovation economy, I've struggled with this question. It was 2001 when I began to follow the emerging national narrative around impact, marked by Harvard Business Review's January 2001 issue: Ideas with Impact - an issue I still have to this day. In it, an article by Charles Handy entitled "Tocqueville Revisited: The Meaning of American Prosperity." revisits Tocqueville's journey, but focuses on capitalism instead of democracy. Handy writes of the need for "new capitalism" and discusses American Nobel Prize Winner Robert Fogel's optimism that "a new sense of purpose…will be at the heart of the next stage of capitalism." The idea resonated with me then and stayed with me over time.

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Around the Country, Incomes Are Rising. In Philly, They're Falling.

Out of step with the rest of America and its own suburbs, Philadelphia has remained stubbornly mired in poverty while its median household income has plummeted, a stunning development that puzzles experts and belies the city’s self-styled image as a revitalized metropolis on the rise. Two reports from the U.S. Census Bureau released recently show that as poverty has declined and income has increased nationwide, Philadelphia’s poverty rate remained stuck at around 25%.

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Event Recap & Podcast: An Evening with Author Anand Giridharadas and B Lab’s Jay Coen Gilbert

Is it enough for a business to try to do good? Or, should we also be demanding that businesses do no harm? At stake in the answer is the future of the American workforce—and, perhaps, America itself. This is the issue bestselling author Anand Giridharadas and B Lab’s co-founder Jay Coen Gilbert debated on Thursday night, at The Citizen’s sold-out event. If you weren’t there, you can listen to a recording of the discussion.

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Backstage Capital to Launch an Accelerator in Four Cities to Promote Underrepresented Founders

After launching a $36 million fund earlier this year to help support black female founders, Backstage Capital announced it was launching accelerators in four cities including Philadelphia, which served as location inspiration for the effort. "When Philadelphia is thinking about what it means to become a tech city, it’s not about 'how do we retrofit this Silicon Valley model, but more so how do we use technology to do what Philadelphia does best,' said Aniyia Williams of Tinsel and Black & Brown Founders, who was onstage with Hamilton."

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Can Local-first Procurement Help Oust Philadelphia From Its Position As Poorest Major City in the U.S.?

Supporting locally owned and operated businesses does more than just patronize that specific establishment, but can have a much wider effect in local neighborhoods. This is know as the “local multiplying effect” and Anna Shipp of the Philadelphia Business journal posits that this local-first attitude could be the method by which Philadelphia rises the ranks of wealthy major cities.

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 10: Fostering Economic Growth and Mobility in Philadelphia

Although community development finance has primarily built its foundation around real estate investing, we have learned that in a city like Philadelphia, neighborhood revitalization does not always empower local residents to move up the economic ladder but can often lead to displacement through gentrification. An impact economy requires both growth AND mobility, and thus, our strategies must include a focus on both improving places AND empowering people. To this goal, an effective impact capital strategy is about more than just building and investing financial and physical capital. We should also consider how we build and invest in human and social capital in our city.

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This Diversity Survey Could Help Transform Philly’s Tech Community

Before a problem can be fixed, it must first be diagnosed. When it comes to grappling with racial and gender diversity in the tech industry, the roadmap to getting Philadelphia’s startups looking more like the city they’re in starts by knowing where the community stands. In a bid to help orient diversity, equity and inclusion discussions in the city, a coalition of stakeholders just launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmark Survey, which seeks to gather data to help inform the path to bridging inequities in Philly’s expanding tech economy.

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Investing Together : Emerging Approaches in Collaborative Place-Based Impact Investing

In this report, The Urban Institute identifies and classifies some of the collaborative efforts, including ImpactPHL, that are taking shape to better understand the complexities of collaborative place-based impact investing. It is important to emphasize that collaborative place-based impact investing, is a nascent practice. It represents an innovation in impact investing and in philanthropic practice. Although in some cases the type of capital deployment that results from these initiatives may not look new on the surface, the processes of collective thinking, resource-sharing, and alignment around a common goal is very new work for many of the partners around their investments strategies, and the innovativeness of this move toward collaboration in this space should not be discounted. Further, the work that was captured in the interviews for this study is dynamic and continues to change and develop.

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Sustainability Work Can Be as Diverse as Philly’s Residents: SustainPHL 2018

The third annual SustainPHL awards were hosted on August 16th, and highlighted a dais of speakers and awardees that were as diverse as the city it celebrates. The awards show from consulting company and blog Green Philly highlighted community impact leaders, social enterprises, civic orgs and nonprofits for their impactful sustainability efforts.

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A Philadelphia Organization Brings Impact Investing Leadership Together

When the Philadelphia-based impact collaborative ImpactPHL decided to create a program aimed at bringing together impact investing leadership throughout the region, organizers expected the initiative would launch with no more than a handful of participants. “We were targeting six to eight organizations,” ImpactPHL chairman John Moore said of the Leaders program. “We ended up with 20.” In fact, the program now has 22 participants, with the possibility of more organizations being added in 2018.

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Total Impact Portfolio Challenge Is Now Live

The Good Capital Project, in collaboration with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, has announced that applications are now open for the Total Impact Portfolio Challenge. The Challenge is an annual competition to equip students with the knowledge and practical skills to design and execute 100% impact portfolios. Get your applications in today and get impact investing!

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PACT Capital Conference to Add Designated Impact Track For First Time

For the first time at the PACT Capital Conference, there will be a track specifically for impact-driven ventures. The PACT Capital Conference is the longest running and largest venture conference on the East Coast and has hosted countless top entrepreneurs, companies and investors during its 25 year run. Applications to participate in the event are due by August 3rd

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ImpactPHL Perspectives, Volume 9: Innovation Ecosystems - A Mechanism For Creating, Developing, And Scaling New Solutions For Education

To date, many innovative education technology products and services have not been adopted by schools or have failed to achieve scale.  One reason for this lack of adoption and implementation is the disconnect that often exists between educators and entrepreneurs. Practitioners often receive inadequate information about new tools and their capacity to enhance instruction, which further impedes implementation. In addition, the limited amount of time and resources that most practitioners encounter on a daily basis, including insufficient professional development on how to use new technologies, further impedes adoption rates.

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