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February 19, 2017

Philly doles out grants to six organizations to boost business, job creation

Economy Grants
philadelphia skyline Stock/AP

Philadelphia officials identified six innovative programs this week to receive $130,675 in grants in support of the tech startup community in the city.

Mayor Jim Kenney and the Department of Commerce announced Friday the annual StartupPHL Call for Ideas awards. The five-year program allows the city to attract entrepreneurs who will create jobs and increase business.

This year's recipients will benefit a variety of demographic groups, including young people, small-business owners and immigrants, Kenney noted.

The grants typically average approximately $25,000 to showcase the city as a "startup hub." The program's goal is to encourage companies to establish headquarters in the city and take advantage of the existing business community.

“The awardees chosen in this round all have the potential to make an impact when it comes to encouraging entrepreneurship, growing Philadelphia’s economy, and ultimately reducing poverty,” said Archna Sahay, the city's director of entrepreneurial investment.

The six organizations to receive funding are:

• Coded by Kids ($16,500), to develop data science curriculum for city students at two recreation centers.

• Destined to Achieve Successful Heights, Inc. ($22,975), to help students produce, write and record original music with Grammy-nominated songwriters and producers.

• Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation ($17,200), to expand business support at four branches serving low-income communities.

• The Hacktory ($24,000), to teach a foundation of technical, fabrication and design skills at a summer hardware bootcamp.

• SecondMuse ($25,000), to research the needs and resources available to the city's hardware startup and manufacturing communities.

• Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians ($25,000), to cultivate entrepreneurial leadership among first-generation immigrant youth and provide assistance to immigrant-owned small businesses with technology.

To date, 26 Call for Ideas grants have been awarded since October 2012.