PSL President’s Update – May 2012

From Bob Moul, President, Philly Startup Leaders

May 28, 2012

Here is a summary of the progress we’ve made over the last quarter as well as plans for upcoming events and programming for the next quarter.

1.       In consultation with the PSL advisory board and leadership team, agreed on an updated mission statement for PSL: The mission of PSL is to provide support, resources and inspiration to tech-focused startup entrepreneurs and to foster the overall entrepreneurial ecosystem of the greater Philadelphia region.

2.       We also confirmed the three main focus areas for PSL programs / partnerships:

a.       Resources (where to find space, talent, capital, mentors /advisors etc.)

b.      Education (PSL University)

c.       Connectivity (Circles, events, clubs, partnerships etc.)

3.       Josh Kopelman and Gabe Weinberg have agreed to join the PSL Board of Directors.  The board now consists of me, Chris Cera, Josh, Gabe and one open seat to be filled.

4.       Partnered with PACT to deliver the first Phorum conference at World Café Live in March.  The conference themes were cloud computing and mobility and was attended by roughly 400 CxOs.  Feedback was universally very positive.

5.       Delivered the 4th annual Entrepreneur Expo with 40 companies exhibiting and 500+ registrants.  The feedback on this event was also universally positive.  Huge thank you to Gloria Bell and team for organizing.

6.       Helped to bring Lean Startup Machine to Philadelphia (hosted by VentureF0rth) including help with event marketing, presentations and coaching by PSL members.  Mayor Michael Nutter gave a talk during the three-day weekend event.  Lean will be returning to Philly later this summer or early fall so watch for details.

7.       Supported Select Greater Philadelphia by giving a talk on Philly Startup Leaders and the Philly startup scene in general to its international representatives during a conference at Quorum.  These representatives live in their home countries around the world and work to recruit businesses to move to Philadelphia.

8.       Tracey Welson-Rossman organized and hosted a meeting to introduce startups to Select Greater Philadelphia so they could gain a better understanding of the types of startups in the region and the tech clusters which have or are forming in Philly.

9.       Supported an Angel Investor education event at Quorum on opportunities in the Mobile space.  This is an ongoing series by Quorum to help Angel investors better understand emerging technologies and potential investment opportunities.

10.   Danielle Cohn who heads PSL’s PR / communications formed a “communications circle” which includes key PR/communications personnel from such organizations as the Mayor’s office, PIDC, Select Greater Philadelphia, universities and news journals / publications.  This group, which has already met four times, is hard at work on a variety of initiatives to promote the Philly startup community both locally and nationally.  Kudos to Danielle for her efforts thus far. (Don’t forget to take the media outreach survey if you haven’t already at

11.   Bob Moore is hard at work organizing the first several installments of PSL University.  He conducted a survey on potential topics and used this feedback to prioritize the sessions.  As I said in my last update, we recognize that other groups in the region provide various types of education / training (kudos in particular to the accelerators and incubators) and we will seek to not duplicate.  That said, we want to hone in on practical / pragmatic education to help make us all more successful and productive entrepreneurs.  The first session in the series is planned for June.  Stay tuned for more details.

12.   Joel Frisch is taking the lead on our “beta testers” program in partnership with PACT.  The goal is to work with later stage companies to provide “market validation / testing / feedback” (customer development) which is critical for startups.  They are currently working on a pilot.  Stay tuned.

13.   We are working with Wakefield to bring the “Uncubed” job fair / party to World Café Live on June 21.  Fees for startups to exhibit depend on company size (ranging from $200 – $750) and there are also sponsorship opportunities as well.  Uncubed was a huge success in NYC with startups like Spotify, Tumblr, Meetup, and shutterstock participating.  Interested parties should contact Tarek Pertew at

14.   Work is progressing on organizing the annual summer BBQ as well as this year’s Founder’s Forum.  Watch for more details here.

15.   We lost our excellent leader of the PSL “Circles” program, Brian Glick, to increased job duties which includes substantial travel.  We are looking for a replacement.  Let me know if you are interested.  I need someone who is very organized, detail oriented, positive and friendly who can dedicate 5 – 10 hours a week (at least initially to get going) and I would prefer someone with hands-on startup experience.

16.   We will be launching a periodic “new members coffee hour” soon as a way of welcoming new folks to PSL and getting them oriented.

17.   I am organizing a cross-community meeting along with Chris Cera and Brad Oyler to discuss the feasibility of a shared community directory / database.  Thanks to the many folks who have volunteered to help.  I have now met with most of the key community stakeholders initially and our first meeting is in June.  Keep you posted.


A lot of people have commented on the renewed “buzz” in Philly’s startup community.  I hope this note demonstrates PSL’s commitment to working collaboratively in the community on the fundamentals needed for real, sustained growth and vitality and not just to be cheerleaders of the cause (although we need this as well in my view).  At the end of the day though, the real credit goes to our region’s entrepreneurs because without you and the risks you take and your endless hours of toil, your frustrations and failures, your triumphs and successes, we wouldn’t need PSL or any of the other support organizations in town.  You guys rock.


Happy Memorial Day,


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