Since 2014, Philly Startup Leaders (PSL) has helped 44 companies start-up through the PSL Accelerator; an annual program designed to equip early stage founders with the knowledge and network needed to secure long term success. In this 12-week program, new founders participate in educational sessions led by seasoned entrepreneurs and work with dedicated mentors to refine their business models and accelerate growth.
The program concludes with Pitch Night, a celebratory event that gives each startup the opportunity to tell their story, pitch their business, and share what’s next for building their companies in Philadelphia. While Pitch Night is the culmination event to our annual Accelerator, it is only the beginning for these passionate founders and their promising startups.
These founders identified a problem and created a solution. Read on to learn more about what inspired our 2019 Accelerator companies to start-up.
“I have worked on the front lines of the public transportation industry in Philadelphia for nearly a decade. Each day I have noticed a major problem: the poor interconnectivity of public and private transportation. We believe that MILES’ approach is far more valuable to public transit companies than Uber’s simple offering of price and time comparisons.”
MILES is an urban ride share company focused on integrating ride sharing services with public transit, to solve infrastructure problems.
Founders: Devon Logan and Shandy Perez
“We want to help save lives. The quicker we can get this technology in the hands of first responders, the faster we can do that.”
Arke Aeronautics makes life saving drone technology for first responders.
Founders: Brandon Graham, Jon Penera and Sherman Hartman
“We were inspired to found WEach Seats after our son was born and lost our home office to his nursery. We discovered that there were many underutilized spaces throughout the city that could (and wanted to) be transformed into inspiring workspaces.”
WEach Seats mobile app connects daytime workspace seekers to a network of normally closed or underutilized restaurants, cocktail bars, and breweries – providing convenient co-working spaces anywhere and everywhere.
Founders: Matt Weaver and Sarina Chernock
“I’ve always loved education (my mom was a teacher) and helping others so NuMoola really brings those two passions together in way that not only helps families talk about money in the here and now but addresses a longer-term impact on savings rates, debt and a healthier relationship with money. My own kids inspire me each day because I see how excited they get when we talk about money in broad terms, not just what they can buy with their money but what it means to save it, give it away and even the idea of budgeting.”
The NuMoola app is a fun and engaging educational tool to help the next generation build financial wealth. A money management and financial literacy platform for kids and their parents.
Founder: Eric Redline
“A person’s identity should not limit their career opportunity. Yet, it can, and it does. This is detrimental to the person, their company, and the economy at large. Swirl represents my passion to shift that paradigm.”
Swirl Technologies is a tool to help companies grow equitable, inclusive workplace cultures, so that they can improve recruitment, retention, innovation and financial performance.
Founder: Munir Pathak
“We saw a problem and we wanted to create a solution.”
Hopskip, a travel technology platform that simplifies the way groups book hotel rooms.
Founders: Sean Whalin, Dave Santoli
“I love health care. I love helping people, and I love problem-solving. After working in healthcare for many years, it became apparent to me that it is a challenge for families to manage their healthcare and that there should be an easier way to simplify family health.”
Health Genie is an organizational app for busy moms managing their families’ health.
Founder: Linda Donoho
“The founding team lived and breathed the challenges of the B2B buying process for years. Our experience buying and selling B2B software gives us a unique insight into why it is so difficult to buy today and how we can make the process better for everyone.”
Vetd is a stress free way to buy from vendors. From sales emails through vetting, Vetd takes takes the pain away from choosing a vendor.
Founder: Andrew Hoagland and Zach Shapiro
“As a busy working mom of three active kids, it has been a challenge to find fast, trusted rides. The more I surveyed parents in my community, the more I realized that this need was real. I want to change how parents find trusted rides for their kids, making it a seamless experience they can count on.”
Designed for busy parents, Trust and Go provides immediate access to a trusted network of friends who will always help your kids get where they need to go.
Founder: Kari Kurtz
“We are inspired everyday to achieve our mission to level the college admissions playing field. We want to provide affordable and convenient means of receiving quality direction. We want to redefine an industry and to increase educational equality. We know it won’t be easy, but it will be special.”
Leadovate is the first interactive learning platform for applying to college. Their mission is to level the admissions playing field for the 80% of college applicants who lack substantive application guidance.
Founders: Lucas del Priore and Hang Nguyen
“I used to travel 40-50 weeks a year for work, and honestly, I got sick of spending time in locations alone. I’d often discover after the fact that most of these times I had friends, colleagues or people from my network who were in the same location as me that I could have met up with, if only we’d known it. I tried multiple tools to coordinate meetups and make the best use of my travel time, but other approaches were time consuming and inaccurate. That is why I founded Nomo Fomo and am on a mission to make it easier for people to get together outside of their hometowns and daily routines.”Nomo FOMO is a social travel app that allows frequent business travelers to share their travel plans with others. This allows travelers to then simply coordinate meetups with friends and colleagues who happen to be in the same place, at the same time.
Founder: Jeffrey Walsh
“I have always had a passion for creativity and design. My inspiration for starting Cotton Wars came from my general interest in t-shirt design and wanting to integrate myself into the creative aspect both personally and professionally.”
Cotton Wars is a competition platform for designers, where they can sell to customers while winning prize money.
Founder: James Gallagher
The 2019 PSL Pitches event will take place on the evening of Tuesday, April 23rd at Punchline Philly.