What started out as great conversations, networking, and craft brews by the dehydration station turned into an intimate fireside chat with Dell Boomi co-founder Rick Nucci. Rick was actually at Venturef0rth (a co-working space) to talk about his new role as president of Philly Startup Leaders (PSL). An organization which "unites isolated entrepreneurs into a network of ambitious leaders who inspire, energize, and empower each other."
During the fireside chat, Rick spoke about Philadelphia's technological innovations, as well as why he thought it is such a great city to work out of. "You can walk down the street out of your office, passing art galleries, restaurants, music and shows, it's a really unique experience where you'll find cool things happening around you." When someone from the audience asked how Philadelphia is different from Silicon Valley or New York, he touched on the fact that Silicon Valley and New York both have become saturated in the past five years with too many companies, and there is a trend of people getting kind of tired of the same old thing. Whereas here in Philadelphia, "We have been seeing a community form, kind of an ecosystem, where college students are now staying here instead of leaving, and investors are starting to put money into companies from outside of Philadelphia because they see our potential."
After a successful exit from Boomi to Dell, Rick made a decision to start his new company here in Philadelphia, instead of the suburbs because he understands the power of our ecosystem. When asked how a new startup should go about getting their first round of funding once they have gotten to a certain point by bootstrapping, he responded, "The best thing you can do when looking for funding, is to not tell the investors you're looking for funding. Instead just tell them your story, highlight your milestones, and ask for advice or feedback instead. Form a relationship, that's the most important thing."
As the president of PSL, Rick is now heading up a new incubator program that has just started in January with various companies being teamed up with mentors to take their ideas to the next level. He feels as though the next five years in Philadelphia will show twice as many startups, twice as many college students staying in Philadelphia, twice as many funding opportunities, twice as many events, everything will be doubling. "There are so many events here in Philadelphia, there is always somewhere to go, people to meet, you can find 100 people just like yourself if you just network." He mentioned Philly Tech Week coming up in April, and how that will be the perfect opportunity for entrepreneurs, "To get involved with the Philadelphia tech community."
Overall, the fireside chat at Venturef0rth was a fantastic event full of laughter, smiles, great questions and answers, and of course awesome craft brews. See you at the next one!
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