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Citywide Business Plan Competition Takes Shape

Thanks to a grant from Startup PHL, companies from schools across Philadelphia will have a chance to square off this fall.

Startup Philly
The Close School's Chuck Sacco (far right) with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other Startup PHL grant winners.

May 20, 2015

by Zach Epstein

The Close School’s Chuck Sacco, Director of External Relations, Entrepreneur in Residence and Director of the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, was awarded a $23,500 grant from Startup PHL to fund a regional business plan competition. The grant comes as part of Startup PHL’s Call for Ideas program, which supports organizations and programs in Philadelphia that foster entrepreneurship.

“A number of us at university-based entrepreneurship programs wanted to find new ways to have entrepreneurially-minded college students work across the region and build their networks at other universities and colleges and within the community,” Sacco says. “A regional business plan competition will be a great way for that to occur.”

The competition will likely be held this fall, and Sacco hopes to include participation from Temple University, Villanova University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Delaware, Philadelphia University, Rowan University, Neumann University, and perhaps others.

While a location is still to be determined, Sacco said it could be held at a neutral site, or may ultimately rotate between the participating institutions. Startups will likely be nominated by their home university for a place in the overall competition.

Startup PHL is an initiative of the City of Philadelphia that provides funding to early stage startup companies and programs dedicated to developing Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“This is really about regional cooperation,” Sacco says. “It’s another important piece of the puzzle to demonstrate that Philadelphia is a great destination for entrepreneurship.

“We want to increase our regional capacity to develop great companies and keep them here.”