Engaging Entrepreneurs in the Burbs


By Leslie Rylke

On Tuesday, July 25, more than 80 people gathered to promote entrepreneurship in the Philly Burbs.  The program, “Entrepreneurship Summer Meetup – The Story of a Philly Success,” was organized by the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) through its Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n) and the Liberty Valley initiative (LVI).

WSFS Bank generously sponsored the event which was held at West Chester University’s Alumni & Foundation Center.  The success in bringing together startup community founders, companies, and support organizations can be attributed to the partnership between LVI and i2n who share a mission to foster technology and entrepreneurial growth in the region.

Nancy Kunkle, Project Director for i2n, Representative Warren Kampf, Michal Ciavarelli of WSFS Bank, and Monica Zimmerman of West Chester University

“Working with i2n and CCEDC alongside LVI team has given us the opportunity to apply more resources toward our mission of bridging the gaps between the city and suburbs” noted Brian Dainis, one of LVI’s founders who also serves as CEO/Founder of Curotec.  “Events like this help us foster technology innovation in the local business community.”

The guest speaker was Bob Moore who is head of Magento Business Intelligence at Magento Commerce and the Co-Founder and Chairman of Stitch.  He was previously co-founder and CEO of RJMetrics, a SaaS business intelligence company with the mission of inspiring and empowering data-driven people. RJMetrics was acquired by Magento Commerce in 2016. He also serves as the President of Philly Startup Leaders.

During his presentation, he spoke about the good, the bad, and the ugly behind a successful tech startup.   “Participants took away from this meeting new connections and learnings” noted Nancy Kunkle, Project Director for i2n.  “Bob Moore shared the hard realities of being a tech start up but also offered encouragement for perseverance.  He also gave practical solutions to challenges that might be faced, speaking from the many mistakes he made along the way.”

Among those in the audience were representatives from more than 20 startup companies.  Attendees from the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem included educational partners space providers, mentors and coaches, investors and bankers, and service providers.  Representative Warren E. Kampf of Pennsylvania’s 157th Legislative District and author of the Innovate PA initiative that raised $100M to fuel innovation through entities such as the Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

“The partnership between CCEDC, i2n and LVI is ongoing” added Kunkle.  “We will regularly provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to network so they can obtain much needed industry connections as well as continually expand the ecosystem of resources available to them in Chester County and neighboring Philly Burbs.”

Learn more about CCEDC and i2n.  Learn more about LVI.


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