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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: April, 2010

POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010, 8:11 AM
Filed Under: Small Business | Technology

Whenever I feel the need to renew my faith in American ingenuity, there’s no better tonic than listening to a bunch of college students present business plans.

The energy, the enthusiasm, the ideas. All were on display in Huntsman Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus Wednesday when eight teams faced off in the finals of the 12th Wharton Business Plan Competition.

In recent years, student competitions have trended toward all things Internet. But six of the eight finalists at Wharton were medical start-ups, including the winner of the $20,000 grand prize, Cortical Concepts.

POSTED: Thursday, April 29, 2010, 2:05 AM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

One of the biggest acquisitions of a Chinese company was announced this week, and it will have a direct effect on about 450 workers in our region.

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. agreed to buy WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $1.6 billion.

If you’re not employed in the pharmaceutical industry, you’ve probably never heard of either company. But Charles River is one of the biggest contract-research organizations, with 2009 sales of $1.2 billion.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 8:13 AM
Filed Under: Management, workplace

I have yet to get a press release from a company that says it will not be supporting a park clean-up or homeless shelter repainting.

Not a day goes by that some business doesn’t try to convince me or another reporter to write about its Haiti donation or soup-kitchen volunteer work.

You didn’t read about the thousands of Comcast Corp. employees that turned out for volunteer projects on Saturday’s Comcast Cares Day. Or last Wednesday, when more than 250 Aramark Corp. workers helped spruce up areas in North Philadelphia and Camden.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 3:22 PM

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will visit Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Co. in Philadelphia Friday afternoon, according to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Philadelphia).

Locke will tour the 78-year-old maker of saltwater reels and talk about the Obama administration's plan to double exports over the next five years, Fattah said.

The Penn Fishing factory on Hunting Park Avenue in the city's Nicetown-Tioga section makes the privately held company's high-end reels.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 8:16 AM
Filed Under: Management, workplace

While the business world was in slow-down mode for much of 2009, the Philadelphia region hosted a lot of business meetings.

Select Greater Philadelphia analyzed a database assembled by Moorestown-based Basecamp Business of the networking events, conferences, seminars and forums held inside and outside the city.

That online calendar tool had listed 3,504 events in Philadelphia and the 10 other counties that Select Greater Philadelphia considers its core region. (It adds Mercer County in New Jersey and New Castle County in Delaware to the nine-county primary metropolitan statistical area.)

POSTED: Monday, April 26, 2010, 7:58 AM
Filed Under: Corporate Governance

I now declare that annual meeting season is in full swing.

This week, Cigna, FMC and 19 Philadelphia-area public companies will invite their shareholders to hotels, colleges, country clubs or their corporate headquarters to take care of some corporate governance business. (You can read the full list at the bottom of this column.)

In scanning many proxy statements in 2010, I find it’s a rather boring year on the shareholder activism scale. Maybe the much vilified big banks and other financial companies are hogging all the attention?

POSTED: Friday, April 23, 2010, 8:11 AM
Filed Under: Financial Services

Next Tuesday, bankers will head into classrooms across the nation for “Teach Children To Save” day.

As they prepare to do so, I offer some comments from a lawyer who participated in the American Bankers Association’s other big financial literacy event, “Get Smart About Credit,” on Oct. 15.

Leonard A. Bernstein, a partner in Reed Smith L.L.P.’s Philadelphia and Princeton offices who focuses on financial regulation, talked to students at Moorestown High School about credit cards.

POSTED: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 8:10 AM

Since the 2008 election of President Obama, Richard Bendis has been pushing for more innovation and early-stage investment in business in the United States.

He has a daily e-newsletter, called innovationDaily. He frequently speaks before groups such as the National Academy of Sciences and works as a consultant with states and countries on programs to encourage innovation.

Bendis came to Philadelphia in 2001 to become the founding CEO of Innovation Philadelphia, a city-funded organization started by then-Mayor John Street to tout Philadelphia as a hotbed of high-tech.

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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