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Inquirer Daily News

Small Business

POSTED: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 5:46 PM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

Center City social gaming developer Ryzing L.L.C. has been acquired by a California game developer called RockYou Inc.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

A statement released by one of Ryzing's investors indicated that Ryzing's team, headed by Manu Gambhir, will join RockYou, which intends to maintain and grow the Philadelphia office.

POSTED: Friday, June 8, 2012, 2:32 PM
Filed Under: Small Business

GoodCompany Group, which runs a free business incubator/boot camp, has announced the latest group of start-ups who will participate in its fourth summer program.

Here are the 13 firms:

  • Counterflow RO, which is developing a new reverse-osmosis membrane that can be used in the semiconductor, pharmaceuticals, food processing and municipal drinking water sectors.
  • Desmo, of Sweden, which has developed an online donations widget to make sure that nonprofit organizations receive all that is promised.
  • Edibikes, which was started by two engineering graduates of Northwestern who have developed a line of commuter bicycles.
  • High Hopes, which is a spin-off of Clarifi, the nonprofit financial literacy group formerly known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley, that will use online technology to help high school students plan for a postsecondary education with the least amount of debt.
  • NovaThermal Energy, which is developing a geothermal technology for landlords that is designed to save 30 percent to 60 percent in building heating and cooling costs.
  • PaperWool, which is developing a line of “eco-home furnishings.”
  • PhilanTech, of Washington, D.C., which is trying to reducing the transaction costs of grants administration, which consumes 13 percent of every dollar, or $6 billion annually.
  • pledge4good, the People’s Choice Award winner in the Wharton Business Plan Competittion in 2011 which has built an online platform that aims to make donating casual, recurring and social. (Read a Q&A by Fast Company with the co-founder here.)
  • psGive, which uses game strategies to encourage consumers to support brands that consequently support charities.
  • Regalii, which has built a free platform to replace remittances used by migrant workers with gift cards for the supermarkets and other stores in Latin America where their families shop.
  • StartSomeGood, also from Washington, D.C., which is developing a platform to help social entrepreneurs raise start-up funds, like Kickstarter does for the arts.
  • TuvaLabs, which intends to help teachers offer interactive math learning units for their students.
  • Wash Cycle Laundry, which provides commercial linen rental and personal laundry service in Center City and University City and makes its deliveries using bicycles. (See a story by The Inquirer's Diane Mastrull on the firm here.)
POSTED: Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 1:07 PM

Two more Philadelphia-area banks have gotten funding through the U.S. Treasury Department's Small Business Lending Fund.

DNB Financial Corp., of Downingtown, received $13 million, while Valley Green Bank, of Philadelphia, got $5 million.

They were two of 37 banks that recently obtained a total of $418 million through the federal program, which is intended to encourage community banks to increase lending to small firms. Only banks with less than $10 billion in assets can apply for the funding.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 4:24 PM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

Here are the student-run winners of Drexel University's 2011 Baiada Center Incubator Competition:

First place: Passionfly, a social advertising platform that was formerly known as Campus Sponsorship when it participated in DreamIt Ventures' 2010 bootcamp program. Passionfly's aim is to turn consumers in the 18- to 24-year-old age group into "brand ambassadors" for advertisers over social networks in exchange for rewards, such as donations to groups those consumers care about, according to Rob Falcone, a co-founder of the company.

Second place: CarTech, a start-up seeking to provide a hardware and software system to allow car enthusiasts to measure the performance of their cars. (For another award-winning car team, read my colleague Scott Sturgis' column on the West Philly Hybrid X team here.)

POSTED: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 8:00 PM

It seems odd for the U.S. Small Business Administration to hand out awards to big businesses just because they play well with small business.

But if it wasn’t for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence, the Philadelphia area wouldn’t have any winners among the national awards issued during last week’s National Small Business Week.

Amec Earth & Environmental Inc., of Plymouth Meeting, received the Eisenhower award in the services category. That office is part of Amec P.L.C., a London-based engineering and project-management company that had 2010 revenue of 2.95 billion pounds, or $4.5 billion.

POSTED: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 12:44 PM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

Know a minority entrepreneur with a great idea for a new business?

Thanks to some financial and mentoring support from Comcast Corp.'s venture capital arm, the fall "business accelerator" program of Philadelphia-based DreamIt Ventures Inc. will make sure five of the 15 companies chosen will be minority-led start-ups.

DreamIt will start its three-month program (which will be its fourth third in Philadelphia) in space at the University City Science Center in West Philadelphia Sept. 9. Interested businesses need to submit their applications online here by July 8.

POSTED: Monday, May 16, 2011, 11:30 AM

It’s great to see Azavea Inc. and Stroll L.L.C., both of Philadelphia, make the Inner City 100 list again.

That’s an annual ranking by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City of the fastest-growing companies in urban cores where the unemployment and poverty rates are higher than the surrounding region.

Stroll, an online direct-response retailer of personal-development audio books with offices at 1600 John F. Kennedy Blvd., ranked No. 25. Azavea, a Web software developer at 340 N. 12th St., placed No. 48. Both appeared on the 2010 list; Azavea made the cut in 2009, too, when it was known as Avencia.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 11:39 AM
Filed Under: Small Business

I don’t like to wring my hands too much over one set of economic data.

The $15 trillion U.S. economy is far too complex to fixate on only one aspect of it. The direction of employment, or rather unemployment, gets and deserves a lot of attention, but it’s not the only thing that matters when it comes to economic health.

While I’m inclined to view Friday’s announcement that the economy created more than 200,000 jobs for the third straight month as very positive, it wasn’t the blowout statistic that I think forecasters have been rooting for.

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

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