Back in October, Mayor Michael Nutter made an announcement:
It’s time we became venture capitalists.
That’s right, the taxpayers of the city of Philadelphia would soon be investing $3 million in our local tech scene. Our $3 million would be matched by another $3 million, and the venture capital firm that put up the match would run the entire fund. Because they, not us, know what they’re doing.
It was supposed to be up and running by early 2013.
Why the delay?
An official from the mayor’s office says the StartUp PHL Seed Fund should be launched soon. They’re working out the details with the selected venture capital firm. Local Internet startups should get ready.
No word till announcement day on which firm will be managing the fund, but the odds-on favorite has to be First Round Capital.
Having the city’s most aggressive foray into tech investment be managed by the city’s most prominent VC firm would seem to make a lot of sense.
First Round’s Josh Kopelman, the man who struck it rich with Half.com, is one of the few bona fide stars of the Philadelphia tech scene. His company moved from Conshohocken into West Philadelphia last fall. Its $500,000 Dorm Room Fund is very Philly-centric.
Hey, this video from Bloomberg TV even kind of hints at it: StartUp PHL and First Round Capital are sort of made for each other. The interesting news at this point would be if Nutter’s $3 million carrot isn’t enough to seal the deal.